Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's a boy, and a boy, and a boy . . .

No, we are not having triplets, but we do have three baby boys on the way!! My daughter in-law, Kali is expecting a little boy in early May. And today Kristen found out her twins are both boys!!

So, when you add those three to Camden, (5 months old), and Enoch (1 year), we will have five grandsons born within 18 months!! After only having one son, Wes finally gets his boys basketball team!!

But poor Carly. She is the oldest grandchild--at 3-- and will have to wait a few years before she gets a girl cousin to play with at family reunions. But I am already planning fun days with her, while grandpa watches all the boys. :-)

In other news . . . I have been busy trying to re-learn Spanish. Vocabulary is coming back rather quickly, but I am pretty sure I never really knew or understood the grammar. That is progressing much more slowly.

But I have good help. Twice a week I meet with a man in our stake and his wife for tutoring. The man, Grandpa C, taught Spanish in college and is a great teacher! I am so thankful for him as he helps me make sense of it all. And learning with his wife is so much fun.

In addition, I have tutoring from the MTC, via skype, three times a week. This is not very much fun! My tutor is nice, but really thinks I am better than I am and it ends up being very frustrating. The tutoring sessions are each an hour and about at the 45 minute mark I have to start holding back tears.

Today was a good day though. I was supposed to converse with a lady from Chile for 12 minutes, then discuss our conversation and get pointers on how to do it better, and then converse again, hopefully making the corrections. But she was very enthusiastic to share with me all about her country and her conversion. I loved it!! She was so sweet and fun to visit with. (Although I didn't understand everything she was telling me:-) And the time passed by quickly, with me actually having to say very little.

That was a relief! But next week I get a break due to my having gum surgery.

Not fun.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Response to KMS

Dear KMS,

I don't know your name and I can't find a way to reach you other than posting again, so I hope you are able to read this.

In your comment to me you asked if I wanted to go on the mission and if I could just say no. The short answer is yes, I want to go, and yes I could say no, but I never would do that, even if I weren't happy to be going.

Usually married couples choose to go on a mission (or not) and choose the time they want to serve. They then fill out medical and dental forms to show they are capable of serving without serious medical issues, are interviewed by their church leaders and then wait for our prophet (leader of our church) to send a letter back telling them where they will go. In these instances, couples serve anywhere between 1 and 2 years at their own expense.

My husband and I have always planned on going on a mission, but our plan was to leave in a few years. In our case, we did not turn in papers requesting a mission call, but instead were asked by our church leaders to go and serve for three years.

Since we believe that our prophet speaks for God, we also then believe that it is God's will that we go. We could, of course, say no, but then we would be going against God's will for us, and we do not want to do that.

Now that said, I will admit that I didn't readily embrace this assignment. My mother is in poor health, and my children are having babies. The thought of leaving them all for three years was heart wrenching to say the least. But I am also getting very excited. We could go to any of 30 missions in 12 different Spanish speaking countries. And at a time when my baby is graduating from high school and leaving home, I will help my husband care for around 400 young men and women (over the course of the three years) who are away from their homes serving as missionaries as well. We will also get to learn a new culture and make new friends.

I have always loved traveling and new adventures and this is like the ultimate adventure trip. :-) So I know I will cry a lot when we leave Arizona, but I am confident that I will cry just as much or more, when we have to leave our area of service and come back.

Because I am sure the mission will bring great . . . joy to our journey.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

So, If Anyone Is Still Out There . . . We Are Mission Bound!

I quit posting nearly three months ago. That was the same time we received a call to serve a mission.

Since then my head has been in a whirl, first trying to celebrate the holidays, put together the ward Christmas party, attend two weddings (one out of state) enjoy all my kids over Christmas break, and worry about my mother who was in the hospital again. While also crying over the thought of leaving my kids and grandchildren behind for three years, (did I mention our daughter Kristen, who got married last summer is expecting twins in July?) going to the dentist and having numerous medical tests, wondering what we will do with our house for that long, and trying to re-learn Spanish.

But rewind . . . . let me go back to the beginning.

Last fall Wes and I thought it would be a great idea to visit our kids in college so we decided to take a trip to Utah at conference time. Then one day, about a week before our trip, we received a telephone call from Elder Oaks' office. He wanted to meet with us while we were in Utah for conference.


Frankly, I was a bit nervous about it all, but also excited to spend some time with an apostle. During our visit with him he told us that Wes was being considered for a calling as a mission president but that they interview many more than they call. However, if we were to be called, it would probably be around December.

A week later we received a phone call from the missionary department asking us to fill out mission papers--which of course included medical and dental. So we began the process, still wondering if it were all for naught. Then about two weeks later, we received a call requesting that we meet with President Uchtdorf. We did and he extended the official call for us to preside over a Spanish speaking mission with service beginning June 23.

We still do not know where we are going but hope to find out in the next month. We were sent a list of possibilities though, and there are 30 missions on the list. About 10 of them I would be thrilled with. Another 6 I would have to pray very hard to be enthusiastic about, and the rest I really don't know enough about to have strong feelings either way. Not knowing is killing Wes, but I am okay waiting to find out. There is one place I really do not want to go, but it is where Wes thinks we will go, so I am happy to live a few more weeks in content oblivion.

For the past seven years Wes has served as the president of our stake. This coming Sunday he will be released from that calling. We have had to keep our new calling a secret until just this past week, when his release was announced. That has been extremely hard for me, as I have felt I was carrying a huge burden all alone.

Now that it is public I feel much better, but I am also sad to see Wes released. When they read the letter in church this past week, I sat and cried. He has served in the stake presidency for 12 years. It will be nice to sit by him in church again, but sad to see this time of our lives come to an end. I have absolutely loved my association with the counselor's wives, the high council, and bishop parties we held each year, and I will especially miss our annual bishop's wife luncheon in the fall. That is always a highlight of my year.

But now we will put it all in the past as we embrace this new adventure. I served a mission in Ecuador so I did know Spanish at one time, I just haven't spoken it since. But I am now working on it--along with studying Preach My Gospel along with a large stack of other books we were sent to study before beginning service this summer.

So that is where I have been. With my head spinning in the clouds all the while trying to get my feet back on the ground. But I have missed everyone and hope to get around to "visit" soon.