Saturday, September 28, 2013

the days of our many lives

as a kid i remember missionary farewells.   i remember wanting to speak at my uncle's farewell but being to scared, (i was like 6ish), and being so sad that i couldn't actually speak.   everyone was sad and yet happy to see the missionary go and so happy to see him come back.   as i got older, i enjoyed having the missionaries over for dinner and was sad to see them transferred,  but that is kind of part of it.   it wasn't until here in germany that i made another connection.   we still had the missionaries over all the time, but now, when they went home to america, they went to my home too.   i was sad to see them go because we enjoyed having them over.   i also enjoyed having fellow americans over.   then, as i kept up with them on facebook, i saw the welcome home they received, and it hit me.   it was one of those, "AH-HA!" moments that kind of makes you go, "duh!" at the same time.

a person is born into a family with parents that teach them.
they grow and learn as much as they can.
then they go from one place to another to have experiences that they cannot have where they have grown to this point.
they go.
the people around them have lost the presents and communication with them for a while.
it seems like an eternity but is actually a very short part of their entire existence.
they learn and they gain experience.
then they leave that place and return to their place of origin.
the people where they have been serving, learning and gaining experience, are sad to see them go and lose their presents with them.
the people who welcome them home, rejoice and celebrate their return.
they bring that experience with them into their life at home.

what i realized is that this story is the same for missionaries and every person that leaves their pre-mortal home to come to earth.   go ahead, read it again with the thought of premortal, mortal and afterlife in mind.   obviously, there are some differences.   one of the big ones is that the missionaries that go home, leave mortal life, and we can still keep up with them through facebook, email, etc.   this is painfully clear when you have friends or family that have moved onto the afterlife.  but it has reminded me that those people are still there and just moved onto another place and not just gone.   it has made the reality of an afterlife more tangible for me actually.

honestly, i think this realization also took me having family pass to the afterlife to really take hold.    of course i knew that my family was not gone, but this helped me really comprehend and accept it with my mortal mind.   we will see how it does when i have missionaries leaving my own home in years to come.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


i was patching my favorite pair of jeans today.   i love these jeans!   i inspected them and kept finding places that needed little reinforcements before they tore out.   i am determined to continue patching these jeans until i am patching patches and there is nothing left but patches.   in an effort to better use my time, i was also listening to a talk by craig a. cardon entitled, the Savior wants to forgive

i took me until the end of the talk to realize the object lesson in this.  

"Peter once inquired how many times he should forgive his brother and then asked, “Till seven times?” Surely that would be more than enough. But the Savior’s response opened wide the door to His merciful heart: “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."

i realized that i was doing for my jeans, is what the Savior does for our spirits through the Atonement.   he patches, and patches, and patches, and patches.
as i was finding those thin spots, and applying some backing to strengthen them, i realized the same thing happens in our spirits as well.

"The Lord knows our weakness and the eternal consequences of “the world” upon imperfect men and women. ".   
ether 12:27  And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

 God strengthens us, He sees the weak spots and will bolster us so that those places do not completely wear through.     of course, we have to do our part.   like my jeans, passing through the heat of my iron, we have to read, pray, have faith, all of those simple primary answers that just seem too easy to have any effect.   all of those things put a patch on our weak spots.   the simple, daily things that God has asked us to do, strengthen us.    the Atonement repairs us.   Christ wants to patch us up, heal our souls, because he loves us.   He loves us more than i could ever love my jeans that i am putting so much work into.   He does so much more than patch.      

i don't know how crafty you are, but if you have ever have to patch a pair of pants, a tire, a stuffed animal, a roof, or anything else, use that moment to teach and learn something deeper.

the references for the underlined quotes from brother cardons talk
Matthew 18:21–22; emphasis added; see also Luke 17:1–4.

Doctrine and Covenants 64:2; emphasis added.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

snap back

there was a missionary that always had d rubber band around his wrist.   finally i asked him why.   he said that when things were tough and he was having a hard time or beginning to whine, he would pull it and snap himself.   it reminded him that things could be worse and that the painful times only last a little while.  just like the snapping of a rubber band.   it really hurts for a second but then it's gone with in moments.   it doesn't seem so bad once it's over.

through the button hole

we had the missionaries over for family home evening last night.   what a blast!

we used the games i wrote about here - missionary games.   we also gave them a positive packet that i describe here - perpetual positive propulsion packet.   in their packet, and as one of the activities while we ate, i gave them this object lesson.   i found the basic idea here -
of course, i tweaked it a bit.

i wanted something that they could take with them and use on their mission, in life, family etc.    the original uses paper but i wanted it sturdy.   i thought about fabric but had no time, my sewing machine is not running and i was afraid that the fabric would give too much and thus , not really get the point across.   so, i used one of my favorite, go to, fixer upper, do it all, resources - duct tape!

i tore a piece about 10 inches long, folded it over, (probably the hardest part of this craft), and cut.   make sure that your holes at the bottom are not too big.   a slit or little oval is better than a hole.   it only needs to be as large as the center strip you cut.    i think the one you see laying out flat is the one that had a too large hole and i had to quickly make another one for my industrious missionary that was able to get his button out of the hole.

the buttons were fun to do and i probably overdid just because i like to crochet.   my excuse is that i wanted to make something sturdy.   that's my story and i'm sticking with it.

you could use buttons, sticks, pieces of wood, bottle caps or can tabs as long as your hole is smaller that what you use.  you may notice that my string is much shorter than the one in the original site.   my son was able to pull the string over the top and get the thing off that way.  even with the strings so short as i made them, one missionary got his off that way.   ok, so there is more than one way to solve a problem.  here's a basic on how i crocheted the buttons together.   just a tiny hook and pull the yarn through the holes.   i did 20 stitches between the buttons and it turned out about right.

 i let the boys struggle with these and listened to the conversations.   when someone thought they had it figured out, they would hide it under the table so no one else could see.   one young man got the buttons off but wasn't sure if he got it right and wanted to know how i had done it.  i showed him because he asked.

the object of the lesson is a bit more than the thought on the original site.  i told them that everyone is handed problems in life, everyone has struggles.   we have to do all we can to solve them.   we also know that it is possible, no matter how impossible it seems, God always provides a way.   then i pointed out that most of them had not asked for help.   i pointed out that we have to help each other in our troubles.   we all laughed about the helping each other in times of trouble because they had been really secret about their discoveries.   they had a little ah-ha moment about the way they had been teasing each other and telling each other not to cheat.   it was all fun and very light.  we all laughed about the lesson compared to the behavior.   i don't think ah-ha moments need to be serious all the time.  

i truly just kind of went with the spirit on this lesson, i had a basic idea and just went with whatever came out of it.

here's the finished product, (you can see that i did not measure in any way shape or form).    i hope you have fun with it and can use it in your object lessons.  

here's a quick how-to on getting the buttons on and off.   pull the center strip through the hole.   push the buttons through to get them on or pull them out to get them off.   that's all there is to it.   super simple once you know how.