Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's Fall!

     Our September snow storm melted , and then came the beautiful Fall colors.  The color started high on the tops of the mountains, and then slowly crept down the hills until the whole camp was enveloped in gold, orange, pink, and red.  It was as though a painter had dipped his brush in his paint and created a master piece over night.  What once was shades of green, were now the brilliant colors of His masterpiece.
With the cooler days of Fall, and the absence of so many campers, there was more time to enjoy the beauty around us--time to hike those trails that wind all over the camp. A time for the Sisters to have "girl" time.
Two of my most favorite "hiking buddies"-Karen Smith and Judy Kenyon.
How I love the change of seasons and the wonder of watching the Lord's hand in nature.

Winter in September!

The weather on the mountain this year was so different from our previous summer.  From the first of August we did  not have a single week without a rain storm or some disturbance.  But, we awoke one morning in September and were surprised with a world of white awaiting us.  It just ended being Summer--now Winter?

Even the deer were a little bewildered by the blanket of white covering everything.

Well, this just gave us an early preview of what is to come.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Grandson, John.

Having our grandson, John visit us at camp was a special time.  Something special happened that was tender and dear to me.  As we walked as a family around the lake, all of us were busy visiting and talking and seeing all the "things" around the lake.  As John walked he carefully chose long pieces of grass and sticks until he had picked just the special bunch that he wanted.  This he held tightly in his hands.
Grandpa seemed to be part of the project, but it was John who held so tightly to his special "bunch".
The walk around the lake was about a mile, and one would think the "bunch" might be tossed a side as the walk became long.  Not so.  We arrived back at the dock and he still proudly carried his treasure.

Now it became time to go.  Time to get in the car and head for home.  Not convenient to carry a large bunch of grass into the car. What to do?  I suggested to John that we could put the grass in a special place in the bushes where it would be safe and no one would bother it.  I could see him thinking carefully about this.  He hesitated and then hurried with his grass, not to the bushes, but quickly climbed up into the watch tower at the lake, and placed his treasure in the safest place he could think of.  Tears came to my eyes.  I assured him it would be safe there.
The next day, as the staff gathered to start another busy day, I went up into the tower. There, it was as he had placed it, safe and sound.  

I picked it up.  I held it proudly and reverently in my hands.  Something so special and dear to my grandson.  Something he had so carefully and thoughtfully placed. I love you John. I love the way you see things a bit deeper and more gently than I do in my busy world. I placed your "treasure" in an even safer place.  A place where it would not be walked on or torn apart by others, but where it would be loved and be a haven for small critters at the Lake.

And Family Came!

A very special time at camp is when the families of the missionaries come to visit.  They can come on weekends when all the other campers are gone. All summer we watched as other families came, and then it was our turn .On labor day weekend, my daughter, Tracy and her family were visiting from Arizona.  They had come for an event in Paul's family, but were able to find time to include us in their visit.  They joined us first of all for church.
Church is held in an outdoor pavilion without walls, windows, or doors.  So bundling up in a blanket is just what you do.
After sacrament meeting, we changed clothes, had a few minutes to catch Grandpa with his newest grandson, Jacob.

It was a good time had by all. So wonderful to be able to share this special time on our mission with our family.  I must admit there were tears in my eyes as their car pulled away.  So thankful for this special day, and the gift of family.

Talent? Show!

One of the highlights of the camp season is the annual Camp Talent Show.  It is the climax of all the activities held on the mountain.  Each of the teams come up with a presentation, everything from the sublime to the ridiculous.  Imagination and creativity are superb.
The Lake team led off the evening with our version of synchronized swimming.  Here are a few pics of our team.
                                         Aren't we cute.  Steve looks ready to go, goggles and all.

We don't know who was laughing the most, the audience, or us.  Lots of fun and silliness.

The Challenge Course team were amazing, costumes that were incredible!
            And then there were the Batemans with their skit about cows.  He is making his cow call.
                                          Maintenance invited a special guest, "Mater" himself.
These lovely ladies had lots of tips about what to do when you are hiking the camp trails.
This is just a smattering of the talent, but it was a great night of laughter, humor, and just of love and friendship.  A great way to end the year.

Happy Trails to You . . .

     I always thought when you serve a mission for the Lord will protect you from harm or accident and that time spent on the mission would be pleasant and free from trials.  I learned that that is not so.  Perhaps I learned that trials still come but the ability to bear them is greatly increased.  Many of the missionaries had great physical and emotional trials while here at Heber Valley Camp.
     One of these very special Elders was Elder Monty Hadley.  He and his wife were at the camp last year also. While he was there he had developed a cancer, a sarcoma that was in his buttocks area. He had to have surgery during his time at camp, but as soon as he was able, they were right back at camp fulfilling their duties on public safety.  One would never know anything was wrong.  He always had a smile and a handshake, never a complaint.  They were named the team leaders for Safety for the 2013 season.

     They came back to camp this year with great optimism.  This was going to be the very best year!  He started the season with his usual smile, handshake, and friendship to all.  He did sit on his special pillow, but life was good.  He brought sunshine and love wherever he was.
     But, alas, his trial was not over.  The cancer returned.  This time it had started to spread.  His goal was to finish his mission with his sweetheart.  Two weeks before camp would end, he had to leave the mountain for good.  They had to load up the trailer and pull it down to their home in Taylor, Utah.
     I kept getting a prompting, "gather all the missionaries along the road by the welcome center and wave goodbye to this wonderful missionary."  But I kept putting it aside--too much trouble, it would never work, etc.  But the prompting kept coming.  Do I do it?  Naw!  But at the potluck on Sunday it just kept coming back.  I asked a couple sisters as I was standing at the potluck what they thought of the idea.  They loved it.  OK, lets make this work.  Permission was granted by Elder Nielson, and the word was spread.  Sister Robbins said she would be the signal caller.  The signal was "Come,Come Ye Saints".  She would give us as much warning as possible, and at the signal all the missionaries would come to the welcome center and line the roadway.
     Monday morning came.  The whole camp was ready and waiting for the call.  It came!  From every direction missionaries stopped their tasks, jumped on their ATV's and headed for the welcome center.  The safety team parked   everyone, and the gathering took place.  A group had painted a large banner that stretched across the road that said, "We love you Elder and Sister Hadley".  Sister Boyse passed out the words to "Happy Trails to You" (he was a cowboy). Sister Balls helped us practice it, and we were ready.

    Soon the truck pulling their RV rounded the corner and pulled between the lines of missionaries.  Tears were flowing as we sang, cheered, waved, and shook hands with these wonderful missionaries who had given so much.  Prayers were in our hearts.  They pulled down the mountain, tears in their eyes.

     On October 9th, Elder Hadley passed away, one day before the official end of the mission.  He had served to the end.  His funeral was held, October 14th.  I went to the funeral.  At least 1/2 of the people there were Heber Valley Camp missionaries, people he had showed so much love to.  He was one of the Lord's great men here on this earth, and he is now one of the great men up there in heaven.
     At the funeral it was mentioned that the morning he left camp he would never forget all the missionaries lining the road waving and saying goodbye.  That brought tears to my eyes, and a silent thank you to Heavenly Father for giving me those promptings and the courage to act on them.

Legacy LakeTeam

On our mission at the girls camp, all 70 missionary couples were assigned to various teams. Our assignment was the "Lake Team".  There were 9 couples on our team.  As we worked together each day at our task of launching over 500 boaters a day, we became very close friends.  These are friendships that will last forever..  Here are the members of our team.
Judy and Steve Kenyon, our team leaders, Riverton, Utah
Mary & Ken LeBlanc, Heber City, Utah
Us, Grantsville, Utah
Karen & Larry Smith, Ammon, Idaho
Beth & Bob Turner, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Marlene & Bruce Niederhauser, St.George, Utah
Mary Lee and Charles Richards,  Roy, Utah
Holly & Jim Wilson, Layton, Utah
Barbara & Jerry Smith, Pleasant Grove, Utah

Each team member brought their own skills and talents.  Each brought their own personalities.  Putting all this together we accomplished great things.