Thursday, February 15, 2018

I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go

When I was a teenager, Ma Hoffman had the missionaries living with her.  They had it good there as she did their cooking, laundry and cleaning.  She wouldn't take any money for rent either.  That was back in the day when each missionary paid whatever rent was in their area. 

I was at her home the day that a specific missionary got word that he was being transferred.  I don't recall his name but I know he was a larger guy.  Tall too.  Ma was maybe 5' tall.  This missionary was upset and crying because he didn't want to leave.  I suppose it was like living with your grandma when you stayed there.  I was standing in her kitchen when I saw her look up at this giant of a man and start singing, "I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord, over mountain or plain or sea..."  He was still crying but I believe it was for a different reason now.  It was a powerful thing to witness.

Years ago when there was still a stake mission, I was interviewed by Gary Olsen and extended the call to be a stake missionary.  My husband was serving as a counselor in the stake presidency and I had many young children at home.  I had no idea how I could fulfill this commitment and told him that I would have to go home and pray over it.  I had never done that before.  I always accepted each calling when it was extended.  I spent the next week pondering, praying and wondering how I could possibly accept this calling.  Then I remembered that experience from years earlier.  I could hear Ma singing to me, "I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord..."  When Gary called to ask what my decision was I was able to tell him that I would accept the call.  By the way, I loved that calling.

Fast forward to Sunday, February 11, 2018.  Pat and I were driving to Beaver Dam for a speaking assignment with our calling as Area Temple and Family History Consultants. I put a MoTab cd in to listen to music.  As I listened the choir began to sing,
It may not be on a mountain height or over a stormy sea,
It may not be on the battle's front, the Lord has need of me.
But if by a still, small voice he calls, to paths that I do not know,
I'll answer dear Lord, with my hand in thine, I'll go where you want me to go.

As I listened I thought how the Lord doesn't usually ask me to do things that are out of my scope.  Instead he asks me to do things that are out of my comfort zone.  He asks me to do things that will help me grow spiritually.  The KEY is the last line of that verse.  I'll go with my hand in His.  I love the imagery of that.  When I am asked to do hard things, He will take me by the hand and lead me.  With him leading, I can do all things.  I believe Nephi said something very similar in 1 Nephi 3:7.  There is nothing too difficult if I allow the Lord to help me do it.  I can do nothing of myself.  I will fail if I don't let the Lord lead me.

I now have an even greater appreciation for that hymn.  I WILL go where He wants me to go.

You're my Elder Ford

Pat and I spent a lot of time biking over the summer and fall.  I was sad when it got too cold to go out anymore.  I suggested we get some cross country skis for the winter as we have the Mountain Bay trail just across the street.  It is used as a snowmobile trail so it gets groomed.  In December Pat brought home two pairs of skis, poles and boots.  We went out a few times before the trail was groomed.  It made the going a bit tough but we really enjoyed it.  We tried to go out in new snow but that just does NOT work.  It has been so bitter cold that we just haven't gone out as much as we would have liked to. 

Today was a beautiful day in the high 30's or low 40's.  I believe the trails are closed to snowmobile traffic after being open for about a week.  The last two days have melted a lot of snow and ice.  It will be cold again tomorrow just as an FYI.  Anyway, we got out on that wonderfully groomed trail and started off.  I stayed with Pat for quite a while but he just doesn't glide across the snow like I do.  He spends more time "walking" across the snow.  I finally decided to go out and begin really striding and I got ahead of Pat by a bit.  Then I stopped and waited for him to catch up.  Repeat, repeat, repeat. 

Back up to Pat's mission.  He had a greenie named Elder Ford.  They were in a bike area and Elder Ford would always ride ahead, turn around and come back.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  So today Pat told me that I was his Elder Ford.  I consider that a compliment.

What Next?

Just about a month ago I received a phone call that the Meals on Wheels delivery person found Bonny unresponsive in her apartment.  I was at work so I had to get someone to cover so I could go to the hospital.  When I got there, the attending Nurse Practitioner asked me what I thought was wrong with her.  I immediately told her UTI.  They did the proper tests and confirmed my diagnosis.  I told the NP about her previous hospitalization and the broken heart syndrome.  She didn't know anything about that so I educated her.  Due to the infection, the cardiac enzymes were elevated.  Once they were rechecked, it was decided to move her to Green Bay as they continued to elevate.

As I went to her apartment to take her clothing and gather things she would need once she was released.  There were some phone calls from someone I didn't know.  Upon further exploration I found she was being scammed.  Almost all of her funds are safe in irrevocable trusts which she cannot get her hands on.  So instead she took the funds set aside for her funeral and wasted them.  Susie found that she had credit monitoring again coming out of that account.  When I was able to cancel it I found they had already taken close to $1000 over the past 10+ months.  I believe those people are also scammers.  They just happen to be legal about it. 

I spent a few days making phone calls and changing accounts to keep her trusts safe.  I was concerned about information she may have given to the phone scammer but found that my fears were unwarranted.  That Friday was my temple assignment and I decided I was not going to miss serving in the temple because my sister didn't use any common sense.

We went to the temple and served on Friday night.  On Saturday morning I had a some time by myself due to being the coordinator in the initiatory.  I was able to sit in quiet contemplation and give thanks to my Father in Heaven for his mercy and direction.  Later I was able to serve again in the initiatory and had a amazing, spiritual experience there.  I would not have wanted to miss that opportunity.

Bonny is now in a rehab facility where she is getting proper attention to her disability.  She is getting physical and occupational therapy to help her get stronger.  They informed me and her that she needs to be stronger and more steady before they will allow her to return to her own home.  I am grateful for that.  In the mean time, I am going to her place every few days to spend a little time with her cat, Piper.  She craves attention and comes out and is actually social rather than her usual hiding as soon as I come in.

Sammi and I have been to her apartment and have cleaned out the fridge, vacuumed everything, washed everything that can be washed and just cleaned up and threw out a lot of junk.  The place actually doesn't have a unpleasant odor anymore.  Now to keep that up once she gets home.

Bon and I have had some very important discussions and one thing I told her was that she needs to have some counseling to help her through the feelings she has for her children and especially her former spouse.  He was a monster to her and she needs to find a way to forgive all his nastiness.  I don't think it will be easy but it is necessary.  She has an amazing bishop who will help her through whatever he can.  I hope she will allow him to assist her.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Anniversary Week

Our 35th wedding anniversary was on Thursday of this week.  Thirty-five years!  Where did that time go?  On Monday my sweetheart brought home a dozen yellow roses.  I LOVE yellow roses and he knows it.  What a thoughtful gesture.  I was doing the dishes on Monday night and noticed that my second-hand crock pot had a crack 2/3s of the way through it.  I love having two crock pots as I use them often and at times I use both of them.  So on Tuesday after work, my sweetie came home with a new crock pot.  I asked what this was for and he responded, "It's our anniversary week."

I was instructed not to make any dinner on Wednesday night as he was bringing home KFC.  That was our dinner the night we got married.  It's been a tradition for a couple of years to have KFC on our anniversary but since he already had plans he brought it home on Wednesday.

On Thursday, our actual anniversary, we went to work together.  I didn't do much other than wait around for him to install two water heaters that took much longer than he anticipated.  When he was finally finished, we went to see the movie Darkest Hour.  It was about Winston Churchill and set in WWII.  We sat in a theater holding hands in our recliners.  It was a really good, historical movie.  After the movie was finished we went to Olive Garden.  Our server asked us if we were celebrating anything special.  With that information, he provided us with a free dessert.  It was something with warm apples and ice cream.  So delicious!

Last night we went to a basketball game and I scored.  During the varsity game, Pat scored the opponent's book as he had no one to do it.  At least we could sit together.  Today we went to Shawano together to run some errands and tomorrow we are speaking in the Appleton 2nd ward before going to meet with their stake presidency to do some training. 

It's been a wonderful week. The temperatures were above normal for several days this week which made me happy.  Now, we're back to the deep freeze.  It's been a wonderful anniversary week!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

An Engagement!

While Andrew was home, he informed us that he would be proposing to Cierra at some point after they got back to Utah.  So, with all the information Sammi got about what kind of ring she wanted, she went online searching for the perfect ring on Christmas day.  When Andrew came home from playing basketball, there were many tabs open on the computer.  He finally chose one and ordered it.  I got a call two days ago that it was in store.
 He decided that he would pick it up yesterday and that it would also be the day when he would ask her to be his bride.  She had suspicions but didn't put it all together until it happened.
We are beyond excited to have this beautiful woman join our family on May 10th! Let the planning begin!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Speaking Assignments

This new calling has given us some new opportunities.  We have been to five of the six stake presidencies to give them our vision and some training on the importance of this work and let them know how we can assist them.  Our sixth stake presidency will meet with us in two weeks.  One of the other unique opportunities I've had is to attend a CCM (coordinated council meeting).  That's where the six stake presidents in Wisconsin, along with the mission and temple presidents meet together under Elder Scott's (area Seventy) direction.  It was fun to watch these brethren interact with one another and discuss topics pertinent to their callings as stake presidents.  I could tell, just by listening, which of them have served the longest. 

On a side note, Elder Scott usually calls people by the title President, Brother or Sister.  But he always calls me Heidi.  I think it's interesting but I like it.  I think, perhaps, it's because we have a more personal relationship.  Ours is the first home he stayed in when he visited our stake.

In the 13 months since Pat and I were called to be Area Temple & Family History Consultants, we have taken the opportunity to speak in any of the units in our six stake area that will invite us.  To date we've spoken in Prairie du Chein, Stoughton, Rhinelander, Antigo, Wausau, Shawano, Stevens Point and in Gresham just a few days ago.  We have plans so far in 2018 to go to Appleton 2nd, Baraboo, Iron Mountain, Sturgeon Bay and Marinette.  We have also been invited to go to Houghton, Marquette and Verona units.  Travel is a part of this assignment.  I look forward to being able to meet and speak in many more units throughout our area.

We are sharing our experiences with finding names to take to the temple as well as putting memories on our web page.  I share some wonderful memories of my own as well as some of those from my parents' lives.  I will admit that preparing to speak in Gresham was a little different as most people there knew my parents and they all know us.  I didn't have to give any background information about my parents which allowed me to share more memories. 

As a result of our speaking, several people let me know that they went on to their own pages and shared a memory or did some research.  Our granddaughter, Camille was one of those individuals and she's only 10 years old!  I'm so proud of her.

I think our message resonates with people because it is very personal. I change up some of the things I share but I always share "Letter to my Grandmother" written by my mom in 1979.  She writes about memories she has and then asks a bunch of questions.  I felt so impressed to share this while preparing for our very first speaking assignment.  That hasn't changed.  I still feel it is very important to share.  I also share some scriptures of the importance of keeping records.

This is such an important message.  We need to leave memories for our posterity who will come behind and not get to know us.  We also need to find those who are waiting to be found.  I think being able to serve with my husband is the best part of this calling.  I think it is preparing us for when we are missionaries.

Below is "Letter to my Grandmother"written on November 1, 1979.

Dear Grandmother, I'm sending this invitation -- I hope you will accept it. On November 19th, I am going to Washington, D.C., to the temple. I hope you will be there with me on that day. You see, Grandma, I joined the Lord's Church just over 11 years ago. In 1968, I received my own endowment and was sealed to my husband and children for time and all eternity. This has been such a blessing in my life -- I want you to have that blessing, too. You were so special to me, Grandma, my almost-mother for 4 years after my difficult birth which left Mother so weak and slow to recover due to my sister's impatience to come to this earth so soon after I did. I remember that you read "Farmer Brown's Boy" to me every day, and more than once a day if I had my way! Then, when the book fell apart due to old age and hard use, you crocheted it together with red yarn. I remember how you rocked me and sang "Darling Nelly Gray" after you finished the story. I remember the slipper socks you knitted for us and that we all called "zochs" with your German accent. I remember you taught me a little German prayer: Ach du Lieber Vatter, but I don't remember the rest or what it meant. How proud you were that I could say it in your native tongue! I remember also, Grandma, that you died when I was only 4 years old and I looked all over the house for you, sure that you were hiding, because I had never known anyone that had died before, and I checked your room each morning to see if you had come back. Four years to know you was much too short a time, Grandma. There are so many things I want to know about you. Did you like to sing? How did you feel about leaving your homeland at age 8, and coming to America on a big boat? How did you get from Baltimore to Wisconsin? Nobody has ever been able to tell me. I have the sea chest you brought with you from Germany, the wooden one with the curved top and the dovetailed corners with the adz marks on the top. Did your father, my great-grandfather, make it? Both of my daughters love this "coffin" as we call it. I wish you knew my girls, they are blue-eyed blondes, where your daughters were dark and brown-eyed. They are taller than you, Grandma, but most everyone is taller than 4'11". I have the black jet beads that were yours. I love to wear them and wear them often. Did you know they came back into style? I know there are missionaries over there, Grandma, and you probably know more about the gospel than I. Mother said that you were a religious woman so I am sure you accepted the "Good News" of the gospel when it came to you. She told me that you always fasted on Sundays when you took the sacrament, or communion, as it was called in your church. Did Lutherans fast, or were you some other religion at one time? I wish I knew. Anyway, Grandma, I am writing to invite you to the Lord's House. There I will take your name and be baptized and confirmed for you in the Lord's way. I will receive the endowment on your behalf and be sealed to Grandpa and your daughter -- my aunts -- Tillie and Amanda, for time and all eternity. I am doing this part to repay you for all the "Darling Nelly Gray's" you sang to me, partly because my own salvation depends on my doing the work for you, partly because I'm selfish and want to see you again, but mostly, Grandma, because I want to renew, in eternity, that love that we had for each other some 40 years ago. I hope you will be at the temple. With love, Your granddaughter, Carol

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Andrew has met a beautiful woman with the name of Cierra Su'a.  She came home with him from Salt Lake City on the 16th and stayed for four full days.  She flew home to Independence, MO on the morning of the 21st.  
 It was a joy to get to meet her and find out more about her.  She's a returned missionary.  She served in Brazil which was really nice for Jeff.  They can speak to one another in Portugese.
 They met on the dating app "Mutual."  These were their profile pictures.  It turns out that they are in the same single's stake in Salt Lake.  She is attending the University of Utah.
 I don't know everything about her obviously, but I know that I love her. 
 She and Andrew have gone on some interesting dates.  Like hiking up the mountain in order to watch the sun rise. 
 They've gone to see the "Tree of Life" in Draper.  I love this photo.  I think I'll put it on my wall.
They've also gone to the Christmas devotional in the Conference Center (along with Erin) and to a Jazz game as well as a few basketball games at the U of U.  I believe she will fit in our family beautifully.

A ring was purchased just yesterday and a tentative date of May 11th has been set for a wedding in the Nauvoo temple.  Interesting that my 7 year old son told me upon walking into the sealing room in the Nauvoo temple (before he even knew what happened in that room), "This is where I'm going to get married." 

Finding quality mates is one of my greatest desires for my children.  So far, so good.  They all have impeccable taste in finding someone who loves Jesus Christ and desires to make a forever family.