Sunday, June 9, 2013

What It's All About!

     What we have been waiting for . . . .the girls!!!  This was our first week to have our long awaited girls in camp.  And, come they did.  At 9:00 am, the buses and vehicles stretched down the mountain.. . 2500 girls and leaders for the week.
Getting the girls checked in took a whole crew of missionaries. . . but they did it!
We know you have all been waiting to see the place where we work at the camp.  Our assignment is Legacy Lake.  I think you will agree there could not be a more beautiful site.  This is a photo taken early in the morning before the groups head down for their time on the lake. 
 Each group is about 120+ girls, and we do about 5 groups a day.  Here are some shots of the girls in action!  Fun!


                                         Sometimes there are tip overs, so there goes Grandpa to the rescue!

Our first week is over.  Now we look forward to another week of girls!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Me and My Flag!

     Me and my flag?  Well, it really isn't my flag, but let me tell you about it.  Each area at the girls camp has its very own flagpole.  For a week or so when we first came up on the mountain, our flag pole in our missionary park  was empty and bare.  No flag.  That just wasn't right.  So . . . I went down to the maintenance building and asked for a flag.  They did not have one handy, but said they would find one.  That evening, up raced an ATV with a Sister on it, with a flag.  I was so excited!  All my life I have loved the flag and have always loved flag ceremonies and saying the pledge of allegiance.  Now I had my very own flag, to put up on the flag pole just in front of where we were camped.
     Now each morning the first thing I do is slip on some pants, a sweatshirt, some shoes, take the flag, and I walk in the early morning air to the flag pole and I put up the flag.  I love this time alone with "my flag". I love clipping the flag to the rope, careful to make sure the blue and the stars are at the top.   I enjoy raising it and seeing it unfold and furl out into the wind.  After it is up and snugged into place, I step back and  do my very own private pledge of allegiance,  just me and my flag. 

     During the day I always look up to see if it is there, waving in the air, and it is. In the evening, just at dusk, I once again go to the flag pole and take it down.  I then take it in and Steve and I fold it and place it where it will wait until it has the chance to fly from the top of the pole the next morning. 
      Heavenly Father helped create our country and government, and this flag just reminds me of His love for me and for all of us.   I am so thankful for this opportunity to love and show respect for "my flag", and  of this special time to be  just  "Me and My Flag!"

Sunday, June 2, 2013

We Spoke in Church!

     The previous Sunday as we stood in line for the Sunday Potluck, one of our friends, Elder Betourney approached us with a big smile on his face. After a friendly "hello" he extended his hand in which he had a white piece of paper. I took it and opened it, and there was written, "You have been asked to speak next Sunday in Sacrament Meeting. Use the talk by Elder Hales "Stand Strong in Holy Places". I passed the paper on to Elder Brown, and then Elder Betourney sort of quickly disappeared into the throng of missionaries.
      We had escaped being asked to speak last year, so we knew this would probably happen, but I don't think one is ever prepared. So we started preparing. I found that my thoughts traveled more to the definition of "what a holy place is, and what the holy places in my life are." I actually enjoyed researching and finding what others had shared on this topic. It is the Youths' theme for this year, so alot has been spoken on this subject.
Here are a few of my thoughts that I shared: Sister Ann Dibbs stated, "A Holy Place is not confined to a geographical place or location. It can also include moments in time, moments when the Holy Ghost testifies to us. Moments when we feel Heavenly Father's love, or when we receive an asnwer to our prayer." She also said, "I believe anytime you have the courage to stand for what is right, especially in situations where no one else is willing to do so, you are creating a Holy Place.
      Holy Places are ofen found where least expected. A number of years ago I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Istanbul, Turkey on a humanitarian mission with a group of LDS doctors and nurses. As part of our trip we had time to vbe tourists and vist some of the oldest and grandest religious structures in the city. They were ancient, decorated in
beautiful handmade tiles and gold. They were beautiful and very historical. On Studay morning our group went to churh. It was held in a very plain and simple building. We climbed a very narrow, plain stairway and entered a simple apartment that had been made into a small chapel. As we entered, a young man was playing familiar church hymns on a simple key board. My heart was touched and that room became a Holy Place.

      Anywhere you are where the Spirit is present can be a Holy Place.

       Holy places can be different for each of us. Some of my Holy Places are: 1) the foot of the bed where Elder Brown and I kneel in morning and evening prayer. 2) My garden . . .as I dig, plant and care for my garden, I feel in touch with the Spirit of the Lord. 3) As I walk hand in hand in the temple with my sweet companion. 4) The Neonatal Unit at the University of Utah. I felt as though I was the hands of God caring for these new, tiny spirits.

5) This one might seem strange, but my computer at times becomes a Holy Place as I search and find ancestors. I often feel my fingers are guided and directed to the right websites where the information is stored.
 6) Anytime I am in nature and take the time o stop and observe the beauty and wonders of his creations I am so filled with love for my Heavenly Father.

     Our challenge is to find and recognize these Holy Places in our lives, and then to stand strong and be not moved, for it is when we are in these Holy Places that we become holy.

      1) We need to recognize the spirit in our lives. We need to TAKE TIME, SLOW DOWN, TURN OFF, and OPEN UP. We need to be willing to quiet our lives. Turn off the constant barrage from the media, and open up and read the scriptures and words from our general authorities.
       2) Return often to our Holy Places.
       3) Stand strong together. The huge redwood trees are able to stand strong and tall because they interlock their roots with all the trees around them.

 It is in the Holy Places in our lives that we will be safe and protected.

      Steve had been sick all week with a viral chest infection. He coughed constantly, was weak, and felt so exhausted. But with faith and prayer he was able to give his talk and bear such a strong testimony of how he puts Christ #1 in his life. Not once during his talk or while the meeting was being conducted did he cough. Afterwards the symptoms returned and he was back to bed. The Lord really does hear our prayers.