Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Guest Post by Haley

Haley from Life is sweet shared this post with us:

Christmas Advent in a Box...on it's way to Chile!

We finally got Corrie's Christmas package (with her insanely belated Birthday goodies) in the mail to her yesterday...it's on its way to Chile!! :) I hope she enjoys some American sweets every day leading up to Christmas, along with scripture verses and uplifting quotes in Spanish from this past General Conference (in lovely print form from this site, they come in English, Spanish, and French!).

In case you have someone you love and miss and you want to send them a Christmas count-down, here's how I sent ours to Corrie in Chile! :)

We love and miss that girl...but we know she's having the time of her life serving in Chile. ¡Te queremos Corrie!

***If you would like to share a post and be a guest on our blog please comment or leave a message in our contact tab. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

What to send?

Whether it is a Holiday or simple Boost the Spirits package, some of us may run into the WHAT TO SEND problem. 

Well I fell in love with this cute post on what to send your missionary . . .
Link HERE, from http://hollytherobinson.blogspot.com

What to send:
1. Ties. OBVIOUSLY. let's just get that outta the way right now. I mean, sure they might have more ties than they do shoes, pants, and shirts combine, but um, like I care. They probably get sick of the same 30 ties, so go to Etsy RIGHT NOW, fork up the money, and buy a couple snazzy ties. Also, Maceys Grocery store has cheap cheap cheap ties, and they are PRETTY dang good looking. Also Savers has spazzy ones, and pfft. ANTIQUE STORES. why not? (this is not from any sort of missionary, this is my own mind, and no one can change it. I love ties)

2. Socks. My neighbor just got back from a mission, and his mom told me that he LOOOVED socks so much, she would just send some with every package. Who doesn't love a fresh new pair of socks? I think they probs have to be black. 

3. FOOOOOD. my dears. this is something you need to know for life. boys love food. well, PEOPLE love food. after you've put the big things in the package, fill the empty spaces with candy.
A few friends with international Buddhist excursion experiences say go with Ranch Dressing (who doesn't love a good dollop of ranch on anything?) and anything peanut butter. (do they lack in the PB department overseas?) WARNING: this is expensive. 
I'm about to send off a package to Pedro of nothing but Cereal. Missionaries don't wanna spend money on the pricey (good) cereal, so send em some Reeses Puffs for heavens sake!
But really. anything. Just fill that box to the top with grub. they will be SO HAPPY.

4. "TREAT YOURSELF" money. Missionaries are the most unselfish people you'll ever know, so send them some money TO BE SELFISH. attach a note to a nice little wad of cash (I'm talkin' like $10-20) that instructs them ONLY to spend this on junk food or something.

5. Go to town at the dollar section at Target. I'm sure missionaries won't hate you for sending something they have to pack, but it's a hassle. Bubbles, play-dough, fake mustaches, light-up ties, wonky, random little toys that they can throw away after a while. (and leave them a note that says "you can throw this away if you don't wanna pack it away with your next transfer.)

6. Wishbones. that's just darn cute. I mean, not common. but I think that was a brilliant moment of mine.

7. If you're OK spending a little bit more money, for Christmas last year I got my pals Moccasins! They LOVED them. When my neighbor Cole got home, we went to Target and we realized he was wearing the ones I had given him last year! everyone needs shoes they can slip on on P-days and to go check the mail so their tootsies don't freeze.

8. Things for Kids. Small things amuse them, it's true! Jessy went and got a bunch of those cheap green CTR rings to hand out to kids! BRILLIANT.  Pictures of Jesus, bookmarks, stickers, treats, anything they can give away! Kids will LOVE THEM.

9.  Notes from friends. Make a public announcement that you are sending so-and-so a package, and anyone who wants to add a letter or note can! There are always friends who love the guy or girl, but don't get around to writing that often, so collect some love and throw it in there!

10. If they are in a close-by state, cookies will occasionally work out! and Scotch-a-roos! (Of course I have it easy over here with Mr. Colorado.)

11. If they are in an area where the cold winds come 'a blowin, find a nice manly scarf or hat or mittens! Old Navy has decently-priced things like that for guys.

12. PICTURES. we love them, so they love them too!

13. Gift Cards. if they are state-side, Walmart gift cards are gold! You can also get fast-food gift cards! Brilliant. A missionary in my ward is in  New York, and he said it's cheaper to go out to eat, than to cook your own meal up in there.

14. I've just been informed pop tarts and wheat things are crucial in the food category.

15. Hot Chocolate too. that's me though. OH. Introduce them to the "Tim-Tam Slam"... look it up and it will change your life. 

16. Chap stick is someone EVERYONE needs. if you're really nice and want to make an impression *wink wink* you'll send Burts Bee's, because that stuff is miraculous.

17. (if you are going for an actual gift) Go to Paper Coterie dot com, and MAKE THEM A JOURNAL. seriously, brilliant and pretty cheap! If you want to personalize one, but don't want to do the work, know that I am a NERD for that stuff, and I'll do it for you! 

18. THIS JUST IN. A magnet with your face on it. bloody brilliant. 

19. Office supplies. Post-its, highlighters, notebooks, etc. They'll always need paper!

20. Mormon Ads! those little card things. RIGHT? Go to Deseret Book and pick up some little doo-dads, the scripture guy plastic figure things, stickers, all that good stuff.

21. A mixed CD. don't even diss. Mixed Tapes are sooo underrated! There are obviously standards on music, it needs to be church music or instrumental. two words: William Joseph. ALSO, since it's the holiday season, I plan on putting together a marvelous Christmas CD! The rules are no romanticness, I'm pretty sure.  

22. Cake/brownie mix. Even if the man is the opposite of domestic, those things are a piece of CAKE to make. (haha. heh.)

She also has a cute WHAT TO WRITE section, directly after this WHAT TO SEND section. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Get Well

We all know our missionaries don't last the full two years (or 18 months) without a few sniffles here and there.

So for those missionaries that are feeling a tad under the weather, check these ideas out . . .

What would I send in my Get Well Package?
Old-Fashioned Get Well Soon Care Package

Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup
Cough Drops
Cold Medicine
Powerade Drink Mix (for rehydration)
Energy Bars
Multi- Vitamins
A bag of Kisses and Hugs

Saturday, December 1, 2012

12 Days of Christmas

Christmas season begins. 
And how cute is this idea. 
Link Here.

Day 1
December is the time of year the days are getting cold. a nice hot cup of cocoa is like an ounce of gold. so find some nice hot water, and open the popcorn -- no fuss! and once in awhile as you treat yourself try to think of me! 
gift: koolaid disguised as hot chocolate, popcorn, pictures of everyone, fake snow, and a tape 

Day 2
On the 2nd day of christmas, you're always on my list, here's something fun to eat so you know that you are missed. sit down--take off your shoes, here's something you adore. these kit kat bars will give you energy as you go door to door.
gift: kit kat bars

Day 3
on the 3rd day of christmas i send you christmas lights, in hopes that you will hang them up and let them all shine bright. remembrance of your service to your father up above, i think of you so often, and am sending you my love.
gift: 100 christmas lights

Day 4
on the 4th day of christmas you're always on my mind i think of you so often and how you're one of a kind sit down--take off your shoes--here's something you can burn, kirs "pringle" with give you energy to go out and learn
gift: pringles

Day 5
on the 5th day of christmas, the days go by so fast, i wanted to provide you with something that will last. a helpful littler something that will make your home so cheery, so that the odors tomorrow won't seem quite so dreary.
gift: christmas smelling febreeze

Day 6 
on the 6th day of christmas, our hearts began to swell the love we feel inside for you we could never tell....
gift: tape with everyone recording on it

Day 7
on the 7th day of christmas, a very special night, i wish i could be with you, the spirit is just right. "love one another" was the lord's admonition, sharing with each other will help fulfill our mission.
gift: christmas book

Day 8
on the 8th day of christmas, i know you're feeling beat, so set aside your books and put up your feet. we know with all your walking your toes need to rest, so slip on these slippers and put them to the test.
gift: slippers

Day 9
on the 9th day of christmas, i know you're working hard. i knew that you'd need something more than just a little card. this is sure to help you as you're working up a sweat, be sure to apply it every day so you'll no regret!!
gift: deodorant

Day 10
on the 10th day of christmas i send you "peace on earth" as people all around the world celebrate his birth. to help us gain eternal life was our lord's endeavor. give away this book to show "families can be forever"
gift: book of mormon with a picture of his family in it

Day 11
'tis the night before christmas and all through the house, not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse. this stocking was stuffed by your girlfriend with care in hopes that you christmas is more than just fair. so open up your goodies--your sock's full to the top. with family voices, presents, and blessing that won't stop!
gift: stocking, pajama pants, and a tape

Day 12
christmas day is special even though you're miles from home. whispering of the spirit tell me you're not alone. this gift you'll enjoy at all times of the year so keep our thoughts close and help us feel near. we love you matt! merry christmas!
gift: byu shirt, and a calendar with pictures of everyone

So much work went into this idea, and how could you not love it! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

OREGON has a new ELDER


We just had our brother return home from Brazil at the end of September. And are now preparing for another to leave. He is anxious to go and has been held back due to extreme orthodontics. We are happy to announce that he finished his papers and waited for his call, and we guessed and gathered as he excitedly uttered his MISSIONARY CALL! Called to serve in the EUGENE OREGON MISSION!

So happy for you brother! And soon to be Elder. Can't wait to bombard you with packages and love!

We will miss you dearly but are so proud of the work you will be doing come February.

Sister of a Sister

  • I just had to share these ridiculously cute ideas, from my friend Shey.

    Postal Mail
     "Send our sister (who is serving currently) a one word letter for like 5 days in a row until it's complete. It could be longer than one word, but make it a continuation of a letter for the week or something."
    It could be an inspirational cute, an inside joke, a story, or a scripture. 
    Small Package Idea
    "Unique to her and her situation...she is serving in Kansas (you know, where the Wizard of Oz was done) and she has a charm bracelet so I told her she is there as the Mormon girl missionary form of Dorothy, Dorothy had to click her heels three times to get home but she is there teaching the 3 pillars of the Gospel that people need to know to get home. So I got her a ruby slippers charm!"
    This is a great idea for sister missionaries! A charm bracelet for Christmas that you can expand on for different holidays, seasons, or special events. 
    Themed Package
    "The first package I sent had random fun stuff in it, but I named each of them for Halloween...I put in a bracelet that was made out of metal & had leaves on it & said that it was petrified pumpkin leaves. Some Reese's & called them cremated peanuts, etc & labeled each item with a Halloween spin on it."
    This is an excellent idea for any season or holiday or even color. I am sure your will get an overload of themed package ideas on this blog :) 
    Wrapped Package
    "Before she left I gave her a gift that I wrapped to look like a shirt..
     And I also made her personalized stationary." Send a message to sheydoodles@gmail.com for more information on personalized stationary and to see her work check out 
    "I made her a pennant banner to decorate her room with and laminated it so that it would travel well. Also gave her a little stuffed Snow White doll (she loves snow white) to put on her bed. Atmosphere just is really big to me & her too..so I thought it would be fun to have those little things to make her room look happy."

    I love all these ideas they are simply fabulous. Cute, unique and so fun for our Sisters in the field. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

"... Over mountain or plain or sea;"

Photograph by Jed Clark
I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go
Hymns, no. 270 (PDF version)

1. It may not be on the mountain height
Or over the stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle’s front
My Lord will have 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.

I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
Over mountain or plain or sea;
I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
I’ll be what you want me to be.

2. Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now in the paths of sin
Some wand’rer whom I should seek.
O Savior, if thou wilt be my guide,
Tho dark and rugged the way,
My voice shall echo the message sweet:
I’ll say what you want me to say.

3. There’s surely somewhere a lowly place
In earth’s harvest fields so wide
Where I may labor through life’s short day
For Jesus, the Crucified.
So trusting my all to thy tender care,
And knowing thou lovest me,
I’ll do thy will with a heart sincere:
I’ll be what you want me to be.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

12 Week of Missionary PREP

For those sending their first son or daughter away into the missionary field, I thought this may be helpful. I am amazed by this Mother's organizational skills. Maybe one day I will use this for my son, but I still have a while before I need to start thinking about that :)

From http://preparedldsfamily.blogspot.com 
"As we count down the days until our number three son leaves on his LDS mission (enters MTC March 2nd) to Stockholm, Sweden, I'm busy working on those last few details. Today he's off skiing with his dad for the last time. I love this boy of mine that has grown up and become a man with his own independent thoughts and direction. We are excited that he will serve in an area where my ancestors are from. I have immensely enjoyed the last two months with him before he heads out on his mission, I am grateful he went to BYU for 6 months, to help with the separation anxiety this mom may have.
Attached is the missionary preparation timeline that has helped me with all three of my sons regardless of where they served. It's on Excel so I could adjust for their various missions and number of weeks before the mission. Feel free to copy and adjust for your own use. This time I put the items in my Google calendar as an all day event and it has helped me pace myself. I hope someone finds it useful."

12 Weeks of Preparation PDF version

Monday, October 29, 2012

Coming Home

Returning Missionary tribute!

Laughing Letters

Whether it is for an email or an addition to a written letter, a little humor adds something fun for your missionary to read. At the beginning of my brother's mission I tried including a joke at the end of my email, after exhausting any jokes I could find I decided a spiritual thought was a  little easier. Here are a few sites I sifted through to add a little humor for my missionary to read.




Here are a bunch of missionary funnies:
(click to enlarge and print)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paper Bouquet

Congratulations to all of you new Sister Missionaries that are preparing to serve now due to the age change. And congrats to all of those that were preparing earlier and for all of those that are already serving!

For a special Sister Missionary package. Give your Sister's apartment a little lift with a bouquet of flowers. A  paper bouquet that they can keep all year round! And they are simple and so utterly fun how could you not enjoy a package of flowers!

Here are a few ideas!

 Paper Flowers

Paper Flower Bouquet 

Paper Flower Bouquet
Crafted Bouquet from Martha Stewart

Coffee Filter Flowers
The books I made for my maids to carry and the crepe paper roses I made for the chapel

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sending a Halloween Treat?

Wanting to send your missionary a spooky care package in honor of Halloween this month?

The website SugarDoodle has a "spiritual twist" on this beloved holiday,
"I sent all of these to [my missionary] in a trick or treat bag reminding him that this year Trick or Treating will be different for him. I told him you will be sharing the ultimate TREAT of the Gospel message and bearing your testimony that is no TRICK.  "

Send something small to celebrate this scary season...

Hershey's Bar all wrapped in Gauze!

Orange Tic-Tacs

OR send a package with a Treat Bag filled with goodies to match the yellow words in a note like this...

For Halloween Care Package ideas and printables, view the full SugarDoodle Post Here!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Missionary News

Wonderful news!
So excited for all the new missionaries that will be serving due to the new change in missionary service age.  Below is a few statements from the Newsroom on the church website, lds.org.

In a move to expand the opportunities for young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve full-time missions, Church President Thomas S. Monson announced today that, effective immediately, men may now begin serving at age 18 and women at age 19.

The previous age for beginning missionary service was 19 years of age for young men and 21 for young women.

The announcement was made during the opening session of the Church’s 182nd Semiannual General Conference, broadcast worldwide from Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Church anticipates that lowering the age requirement will significantly increase the number of missionaries who will serve by expanding the options for when they may begin their service.

“I am not suggesting that all young men will — or should — serve at this earlier age,” President Monson said. Rather, he said, the option is now available based on individual circumstances, as well as upon a determination by local Church leaders.
Regarding lowering the age requirement for women, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that while it is not an obligation for young Latter-day Saint women to serve missions, “those who do serve are stunningly successful and we enthusiastically welcome your service.” He said, “Personally, I am absolutely delighted if this change in policy allows many, many more young women to serve.”

Currently 58,000 missionaries are serving, and that number has been increasing in recent years and will likely rise significantly with this change. Elder Holland said it is likely that additional missions will be needed around the world and many missions will have more missionaries serving in them.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Finish Line

We just had our missionary RETURN! And after making posters and decorating our home inside and out we  also had time to put together a finish line sign for him to run through at the airport it was so fun and got some video of it! IT was quite a fun idea. We are loving having him home and are preparing for the next brother to get his call! Wow it is one crazy year!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Rewarding Service

Missionary Work: A Priesthood Duty

President Thomas S. Monson speaks to young people about missionary service—a duty for young men and a rewarding option for young women.                 


Friday, September 14, 2012


While our missionary is away we have recorded his emails in a blog, to keep family and friends informed that don't get the emails.

It is also a remarkable experience to be there when your missionary is being set apart, right before they leave. Recording some of the statements made in a journal or blog, will be a special part of their missionary records that they can keep and share forever. It can be a source of inspiration to come.

Encourage your missionary to write in a journal and "enhance [his] ability to recall revelation". Share with him Elder Scott's take on obtaining revelation through recording.
Missionary Journals
At the April 2012 General Conference Elder Richard Scott gave a talk on record keeping, entitled:
Here is an excerpt: 
"Revelation can also be given in a dream when there is an almost imperceptible transition from sleep to wakefulness. If you strive to capture the content immediately, you can record great detail, but otherwise it fades rapidly. Inspired communication in the night is generally accompanied by a sacred feeling for the entire experience. The Lord uses individuals for whom we have great respect to teach us truths in a dream because we trust them and will listen to their counsel. It is the Lord doing the teaching through the Holy Ghost. However, He may in a dream make it both easier to understand and more likely to touch our hearts by teaching us through someone we love and respect.

When it is for the Lord’s purposes, He can bring anything to our remembrance. That should not weaken our determination to record impressions of the Spirit. Inspiration carefully recorded shows God that His communications are sacred to us. Recording will also enhance our ability to recall revelation. Such recording of direction of the Spirit should be protected from loss or intrusion by others."

A box of Sunshine

Whether your missionary needs some cheering up or your just wanting to send a little sun his way, this package is a fun take on a color theme. I enjoyed putting this together for my brother. He is nearing the end of his mission and with less then 6 months left I know it is hard not to think about home. So I decided to send him a little of our sun. 

Items enclosed:
- Clorox Wipes
- Whoopee Cushion
- Nerds
- Sour Patch Kids
- Silly Putty
- Burt's Bees Chap stick
-Yellow writing supplies
- Squirt Gun
- Gloves
- Notepad
- Slim Jim
- Sponge Bob Ice Pack
-Sponge Bob Bandaids
-Crystal Light powdered drink

I placed lyrics to "There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today" at the bottom of the package!
To print or copy lyrics, click here

I made cards to put inside and a paper sun and printed out some cute sunshine sayings. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

"The choice is mine."

I came across an excerpt of a story from Gordon B. Hinckley's youth the other day while searching "Illustrated History of the Church", I looked up the full talk and decided to share the full story in the latest email I sent to my brother. Who by the way is coming home at the end of the month and will be influencing many to serve. I also shared this story with my other brother who is currently interviewing and preparing his mission papers, he is eager to set out and serve shortly. I included the full talk for you and the story I mentioned is in gray. 

PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY, First Counselor in the First Presidency
Gordon B. Hinckley 

I have a duty to speak to you. Beyond that, it’s a great privilege and a tremendous opportunity, and I seek the direction of the Holy Spirit.

I have been so appreciative of this returned missionary chorus who has sung to us this night. I have heard them and their kind sing all across this world. I wish that there were time for them to sing to us “Ye elders of Israel, come join now with me.” (Hymns, 1985, no. 319.) They could do it in English English, American English, Australian English, New Zealand English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, and other languages. Thank you, brethren, for the music with which you have blessed us.

What Brother Monson said and the presence of this chorus have set a theme for me.

I spoke with a young man the other evening who is deeply troubled over the question of whether he should go on a mission. He outlined a program of education which would be tremendously challenging. He spoke of his love for a beautiful girl and of the feeling that he could not leave her. He spoke of financial problems which would entail sacrifice.

I told him that I could understand his feelings. I told him his concerns were similar to those of many others, including some I had experienced in my own life. At his age, I was in the university. It was the time of the worst economic depression in the history of the world. Unemployment in this area was about 35 percent, and most of the unemployed were husbands and fathers, since relatively few women worked in the labor force. Very few missionaries were going into the field at that time. We send out as many in a week now as then went during the entire year. I received my bachelor’s degree and planned on somehow attending graduate school. Then the bishop came with what seemed to me a shocking suggestion. He spoke of a mission. I was called to go to England which, at that time, was the most expensive mission in the world. The cost per month was the equivalent of what would be about $500 now.

We discovered that my mother, who had passed away, had established a small savings account to be available for this purpose. I had a savings account in a different place, but the bank in which I had mine had failed. There was then no government insurance program to cover its failure as there is now. My father, a man of great faith and love, supplied the necessary means, with all of the family cooperating at a sacrifice. As I look back upon it, I see all of it as a miracle. Somehow the money was there every month.

The work in the field was not easy. It was difficult and discouraging. But what a wonderful experience it was. In retrospect, I recognize that I was probably a selfish young man when I arrived in Britain. What a blessing it became to set aside my own selfish interests to the greater interests of the work of the Lord. I had the association of tremendous young men and women. They have become treasured friends whom I have known and loved now for more than half a century.

The girl I left came to mean more to me while I was away. Next spring, we shall commemorate our fiftieth wedding anniversary.

How profoundly grateful I am for the experience of that mission. I touched the lives of a few who have, over the years, expressed appreciation. That has been important. But I have never been greatly concerned over the number of baptisms that I had or that other missionaries had. My satisfaction has come from the assurance that I did what the Lord wanted me to do and that I was an instrument in His hands for the accomplishment of His purposes. In the course of that experience, there became riveted into my very being a conviction and knowledge that this is in very deed the true and living work of God, restored through a prophet for the blessing of all who will accept it and live its principles.

There may be a few young men in this vast audience tonight who may be wondering, ever so seriously, whether they should go on missions. There may be a scarcity of money. There may be compelling plans for education. There may be that wonderful girl you love and feel you cannot leave. You say to yourself, “The choice is mine.”

That is true. But before you make a decision against a mission, count your blessings, my dear friend. Think of all the great and marvelous things you have—your very life, your health, your parents, your home, the girl you love. Are they not all gifts from a generous Heavenly Father? Did you really earn them alone, independent of His blessing? No, the lives of all of us are in His hands. All of the precious things that are ours come from Him who is the giver of every good gift.

I am not suggesting that He will withdraw His blessings and leave you bereft if you do not go on a mission. But I am saying that out of a spirit of appreciation and gratitude, and a sense of duty, you ought to make whatever adjustment is necessary to give a little of your time—as little as two years—consecrating your strength, your means, your talents to the work of sharing with others the gospel, which is the source of so much of the good that you have.

I promise that if you will do so, you will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make.

Let there be no hesitancy in your decision. Live worthy of a call, and respond without hesitation when that call comes. Go forth with a spirit of dedication, placing yourself in the hands of the Lord to do His great work.

To you younger boys, may I encourage you to save money now for a future mission. Put it in a place where it is safe, not in a speculative account where it may be endangered. Consecrate it for this great purpose, and let it not be used for any other. Prepare yourselves. Attend seminary and institute. Prayerfully read the Book of Mormon.

I hear much these days of costly youth excursions to exotic places during spring breaks and at other times. Why not stay near home and put the money in your future missionary accounts? Someday you will be grateful you did.

The Church needs you. The Lord needs you. The world needs you—yes, ten thousand more of you. There are many out there who need exactly what you have to offer. They are not easy to find, but they will not be found unless there are those who are prepared and willing to seek them out. God bless you each one, every one of you, that a mission may be a planned and essential part of the program of your lives.

Now, I wish to say a word to all who are here. It is simply a reminder of the obligation, the duty, each has to share with others the precious gospel of Jesus Christ.
I was going to tell you the story of a friend who recently joined the Church. Rather than do that, I am going to ask him to tell it himself.

May I introduce Brother William Sheffield, who was baptized last November. Brother Sheffield, come and tell us of your experience.

William Sheffield: My dear brothers, following law school at Berkeley, I developed a successful private practice, particularly with international clients, including Indira Ghandi, former prime minister of India.

For years as a lawyer I had sought a judicial appointment. The day the governor of California called to say I had been appointed to the Superior Court was exhilarating and filled with visions of perhaps, someday, even the Supreme Court. But then, after less than two years as a judge and after just purchasing a new home, we decided to leave this nearly idyllic life. I had heard the Lord call me to the seminary. In response, my wife and I agreed that from then on we would always trust in the Lord, agreeing to be as leaves in a stream—two leaves in His stream, obeying His call, wanting more than anything else to follow Him.

But I had not always followed Christ. For many years, I was uncertain who He was or how I could get close to Him. Almost daily I silently asked myself: Is there a purpose to life? Why am I here? Where am I going? Is the meaning of life found in chasing after the most pleasurable way to get through it—or is there something more? My Christian friends told me all I had to do was “knock and the door will be opened unto you, seek and ye shall find.” (See Matt. 7:7.)

I began knocking. And as I knocked, the Lord answered. Like a seed growing within me, the gospel began taking over my life. I felt the Spirit calling me. I applied at the Yale Divinity School and was accepted. I resigned my judgeship, we rented out our home in southern California, and headed to New Haven, Connecticut. I was in the divinity school though not yet a member of any church.

Arriving in New Haven, we began searching for a home near the campus. However, the Lord had other ideas. Try as we did, we could not find the house we wanted near Yale. Looking back, I now know why. The Lord wanted us in a very special ward about forty miles south of Yale, the New Canaan First Ward.

Many miracles later we found ourselves attending our first Sunday sacrament meeting in this ward. We were received as though we were expected. We had not been inside the building longer than about five minutes when we were introduced to the bishop and his counselors and invited to a dinner party that week. But my attention was first captured by the radiant spirituality of particularly the male members. I wondered: How could they live their professional lives in the fastest fast lane of them all, New York City, yet continue to radiate such a deep spirituality? What was it that caused the tears to well up in their eyes as they testified that Christ lives and the Church is true? I needed to find out.

But I didn’t particularly want to be a Mormon, I told my friends. Since I was in the divinity school, I presumed the Lord wanted me in the ministry. What would I do after graduating with an advanced degree in religion if I became a Mormon? Yet I wanted to be the leaf in a stream that I had promised the Lord I would be when we left California.

During the entire time that I was working through, struggling with, and fighting the Joseph Smith story, my friends in the ward were patient, loving, and gentle. Every time I would tell the bishop that Joseph Smith’s story was more Disney than Disney, he would tell me, “Maybe so—but it’s all true.” Every time I would tell the bishop’s counselor, “Joseph’s story can’t be true,” he would say to me, “Yes, it is.” They genuinely loved me, and I them.

For months I examined, cross-examined, reflected, pondered, and prayed about the Joseph Smith story and the Book of Mormon. I found the book complex, sophisticated, doctrinally profound, and beautiful. The more I studied the text, the more profound and beautiful it became.
Much happened over the months. I told my friends and my wife, who was an inactive Mormon and who was beginning to feel some interest in the faith of her forebears, that I would not join the Church to please them, as much as I loved them. I would join only when I had a testimony—when I could say, as a direct witness, that I know Joseph Smith was a prophet, that the Book of Mormon is gospel, and the Latter-day Saint church is His church.

In September of last year, the Lord blessed me with that testimony. I now know, without any doubt or uncertainty, without even the ability to conjure up an imaginary doubt, that in the premortal life the Lord selected Joseph Smith as His prophet in the latter days, that the Book of Mormon was preserved by Christ Himself and delivered to Joseph Smith for translation, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His church.

I owe a great debt to the New Canaan First Ward and to my dear wife. Their patience, their steadfast loyalty to the restored gospel, and their love for me all combined together to affect me eternally.

I still am uncertain as to what the Lord has in mind for me when I graduate from the Yale Divinity School, but I know this: my wife and I will always continue to serve God, in His church, as leaves in a stream.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thank you, Brother Sheffield. I am convinced that there are many, many thousands of men such as this good man who, with warmth and welcome, can be led to the eternal truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They are looking for something better than they have. They must be friendshipped. They must be fellowshipped. They must be made to feel comfortable and at home, so they can observe in the lives of the members of the Church those virtues they wish for themselves. God bless us, my beloved brethren, to become examples such as influenced Brother Sheffield.

The world is our responsibility. We cannot evade it. I think of the words of Jacob in the Book of Mormon, who with his brother Joseph had been consecrated a priest and teacher unto the people:

“And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence.” (Jacob 1:19.)

God bless you, my beloved brethren, young and old, to be faithful to the great responsibility placed upon us to share with others this most precious of all things, I humbly ask, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Two By Two Plus One

As more missionary's embark into the field every day it is comforting to remember who else is walking with them.

(I made a card and printed this painting off to remind my brother who is always with him.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Don't be BLUE we LOVE YOU

We are really lucky because our missionary is really optimistic and never voices his hardships or his bouts or distress. So we try and just guess when he may be feeling blue and give him a pick me up. I enjoyed putting this package together with my two littles. They colored on blue hearts and are both not old enough to write so they signed their hearts with traced hand prints. And I wrote their names in the middle. I also sent a few extra blue hearts to go along with the theme, DON"T BE BLUE WE LOVE YOU! One heart had a special note from me. 

I sent a whole bunch of blue fun. BUT was short on time and forgot to take pictures because of the rush. SO here area few items you could send that I bought for my package but didn't have room enough to send.

This is what actually made it in my package (remember it was a small package)...
  • Chapstick
  • Jolly Rancher Crunch and Chews
  • Baby Ruth (Not quite ALL blue but they are my brother's favorties... and yes they are chocolate so he will have to refrigerate)
  • Kool Aid
  • Jello- Chocolate Pudding
  • Ring Pop- Blue Raspberry
  • Blue Pens
  • The blue hearts I made
  • Blue tissue paper to top the package off
And here is an idea from Pinterest with some more package ideas, entitled "Blue without You"
I tried to follow the link and couldn't find the post
 so it may need some searching if your interested. 

For a small International Flat Rate Package to Brazil it costs me around $15.00 for more information or an estimated price go to the USPS site.