Friday, August 22, 2014

017 - Tuesday to Tuesday, Aug 13-19, 2014

We finished another week with the question most on our minds – Where is the time going?  We passed some interesting milestones during this time. I finally finished the papers to get us buried. It is a doggone shame that you have to pay some much money just to rent a box for a period of time until we get resurrected. Surely, our leaving this world should be cheaper than when we entered it. Oh, well. It is done. The kids will not have to worry about what will happen. Like I said before, teach those grandkids how to play “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes. Enough with this, let’s get started.

Wednesday began just like any other day. We had to get out of bed and actually move like we were alive. I think it gets harder and harder to get up in the morning. It is my opinion that people tend to get old no matter what. We like to believe that we won’t feel the effects of age like our parents did, but it comes to the best of us. We moan and groan as our joints take time limbering up, and it takes a little walking around to convince ourselves that we are going to live. And, live we did. We got to go to the Chicago Temple with one of the young men we had been teaching in the Temple Prep classes. 
Elders Cutshaw, Santos, Ellsworth, and Ward. See the man working on the Temple in the background.
 His name is Xavier Watts, and he is headed for Birmingham. He says he will be going to Tuscaloosa and Huntsville, so it looks like they have a big mission area. How fun! We will have to contact some of our friends in both cities to be on the lookout for him. He told me he had looked up Bear Bryant – since he is too young to have heard of him before. He loves football so he is heading into football heaven. It was really special to see him at the Temple as he made special covenants with the Lord to do all he could to return to our Father in Heaven. We had to leave at 12:30 to get the missionaries we were taking with us and get on the road. Our wonderful GPS took us through some lovely unnecessary sites to get on the interstate. Xavier’s appointment time was 3:00, and we didn’t want to be late, but once again that GPS was smart enough to take us off the tollroads and into the back country. We saw some interesting places; some reminded me of Chilhowie and Abingdon. My sisters and brother will understand what I’m saying. We did actually make it in plenty of time and are grateful that we did. It was a nice cool day (as usual) with a bright sunlight. I love this weather. The Spirit was present, and we felt blessed to be in the Temple.

The Temple session was over at 5:30pm, and we had to get back to Milwaukee by 7:00 for a genealogy society meeting that we attend. We joined their organization and love to attend their meetings. They are a PAF group with 600 members. On average, 150-200 attend each month. These are serious genealogists, and they have a lot to share with those of us who are still rather newbies in the work. While there, the Stake Family History Consultant told us about the Scandia Festival that she wants us to attend. We love this place. It truly has an unbelievable international culture that is exhibited in their festivals. It was really late when we finally got home.

On Thursday, we were glad for a slow day. We began by visiting Jane Maher, the woman who was in charge of Irish Fest, and getting our tickets and parking pass for the festival.  She had mailed them to us, but we didn’t get them. With the tickets for Friday, she also gave us complimentary tickets for Thursday evening. We decided to go at the last minute, and it was a blast. There was some drinking, but it was mild compared to the German Fest. People were really listening to the bands – there were at least three that night. They were all good. We had a chance to stay after the closing (10:00pm) to listen to a band that was making a video and we could have been in the audience; but we were too tired.
I believe this may be a Scottish band playing through the Festival.
I think this is called an Irish Cross and was part of the decorations for the festival.
Just to prove that we were there!

One of the bands we got to listen to on Thursday night.

The morning of Irish Fest kept us busy as we had  much to do with organizing our work for helping new members do their genealogy so they can take names of their ancestors to the Temple for the first time. That is a big deal. We try to explain to people when they ask why we are so interested in genealogy that it is all about family. If we all do our family work, then we can find the connections that will bring us together. Families are so important in God’s plan, and if we raise good strong families, our world will be a better place in which to live. People in Milwaukee love to do family history, and if they haven’t done it before, they get so excited when we help them find some of their grandparents or great grandparents. It really means something to them, and that is why we enjoy doing this work. We spent the day emailing and making spreadsheets as we received information from throughout the Stakes.

Friday morning we went to the gym and then tried to get some other business cleared up before we began our work session at the Irish Fest that afternoon. We left at 1:30 to be able to find the parking lot. The night before we had located a man who sold some beautiful pottery. I had decided I wanted a piece and had told him we would be back on Friday. So we left ourselves enough time to do that before we began our genealogy workshift. I chose a beautiful red gravy bowl with lid. I asked him if he did the Scottish Fest also because I had seen the same pottery there when we went to the small one in July. I will probably pick up another piece when the main Scottish Fest comes back at the end of August. I’ve got to collect something, don’t I? 
Much redder than picture shows. I'm not as good a picture taker as Craig.
Hey, before I forget, children if you want to contribute to a manger scene for my Christmas present, I’ll happily take donations. I found it at Holy Hill, and it is different from all my other ones. One day one of you will inherit it. Hahahaha  - any takers???

The tent that we worked in that evening was really big and hot. I wore a dress for cool weather because the night before it was really cold. Naturally, it was too hot on Friday. We were in an area that blocked the normal breeze that would cool us off so I was glad when I could stop sweating later in the evening as the temperature dropped. We met such nice people at the festival. We got to work at one table that looked up surnames to help people declare that they really were Irish, and then later we worked the computers to help people find their ancestors. I worked with a husband and wife on his genealogy and found his great great grandfather and grandmother. We were able to find maiden names for all of the women in his family. He didn’t have any of the information for his people, and he was so grateful to find the information we did.

I may look like I know what I'm doing, but I'm struggling with all the information.
Let me backtrack for a moment. As of last Wednesday, we had not received any information about Irish Fest even though another senior couple had gotten their tickets. So, I had called Jane last Wednesday to ask if she still wanted us to work with her at the Festival. She sounded really old and grumpy and it seemed as if she didn’t think I was telling the truth about not having gotten the tickets in the mail because she had sent them. I assured her that we hadn’t gotten them, and that is why we had to pick them up the next day. I made the assumption that she was going to be a tough one to work for, but when I met her that morning, she was very nice. Then she gave us the complimentary tickets for Thursday also, and I realized I needed to change my opinion of her fast. When we met at the festival on Friday afternoon, she was wonderful. Her son is a Catholic Priest, and he was quick to make our acquaintance. Craig and he got along really well. It is humbling to make quick judgments without all the facts, and I’m glad we got to work with them. She told us that several years ago the LDS Church had promised they would set up a table in their tent to show off FamilySearch and at the last minute they called it off because someone said it was too dangerous to be at the festival . She called them and told them they were expected to come, but if they didn’t, it would be alright because she would put up a sign that said in effect, “The LDS Church was supposed to be here, but they decided not to come. Maybe they’ll come another year.” I don’t really think those were the exact words, but evidently we got the message because we showed up. However, it left a bad impression with her. We received a really nice compliment when she told us that it was such a pleasure to work with us, and she was glad the Church was willing to come again. She would love to work with us next year. If we hadn’t had to leave the next morning for Mallory’s, we would have worked all weekend.

Saturday, we were out of bed at 3:00am in the morning. Had to catch the 6:30 plane, and it was all we could do to make it out of the apartment and to the airport. I slept the whole way to Colorado, and I rarely ever sleep on a plane. We had a very short visit for Parker’s baby blessing. All of Brad’s family except for one sister was there, so Mallory appreciated that we could come and represent her side of the family. Parker has sure grown a lot in three weeks. Cohen is such a doll, but it appeared his two-year molars must be breaking through because he was not a happy camper for some of the time. When they gave him some pain medication, he finally began to return to his usual happy self. He is fun to be around, but I had to admit I was a little jealous that he kept calling Brad’s mom, grandma. That’s my name!  hahahaha  It doesn’t really matter, but I thought back and remembered that we always called our grandparents  as “Granddaddy Dowell” and “Granddaddy Walton.” They didn’t have special names to distinguish between the different sides of the family. Times are achanging.

Good picture captured by Craig.

Sunday, we went to Church for Sacrament and then back home to feed family members who were supposed to leave early in the afternoon. Brad gave a beautiful blessing to Parker, and we found other Ivey family members who also lived in Colorado. Mallory will be surrounded by family, and that’s a good thing.

Sorry the picture is so washed out, but this is Parker, Mom, and both Grandmothers.

Monday, we spent the day helping Mallory with chores around the house and getting prepared to leave that evening. Brad’s mom, Donna, was still there and would leave on Tuesday, so between the three ladies we got lots done. We hated to leave, but we were feeling the need to get back to our most important work at this time. We are grateful for a Mission President who allows us to participate in family events, but we go knowing that we must return quickly. We left at 5:00 (should have left sooner) and got into the slowest traffic ever because of two accidents about 30 miles away from the airport. Nothing puts Craig on the hotseat like being late for our plane flights. We actually did get there on time. It helped that I had prayed that the plane would be delayed, and it was for about 15 minutes. We were grateful. We got in after 11:00 and hit the bed as soon as the door was closed and locked.

Tuesday found us at District Meeting. We had to go to Denise’s place after the meeting because she was holding a farewell party for Elder Ellsworth who would leave on Thursday for Arizona. I had to make cornbread, and of course, I had no eggs. So I got all the ingredients ready to take and make at her place. We would buy eggs on the way over. She had also asked that I bring potato salad, so I had to get some of that too.

Our District Meeting was excellent as usual. Elder Ellsworth is a country boy, lives around Mesa somewhere on a farm. He breaks horses, and he always has some homey saying coming out of his mouth. Craig’s favorite is “you can lead a horse to water, but it is very hard to drown it.” Now, why is that funny? Don’t ask me its significance, maybe you already know. Anyway, he’s always coming up with something his daddy said. He obviously admires his dad a lot. He mentioned another saying that I’ve heard before, but it struck me again and I’ll paraphrase it here, “Good timber does not grow with ease, the stronger the timber, the stronger the breeze.” I know I’ve heard it in a Conference talk, and it strikes the truth within us. Our testimonies do not grow without opposition. A mission is the hardest thing we ever learn to love. Opposition is not to pull us down, but to lift us up and to strengthen our testimony in Jesus Christ.

Our Scripture this month is D&C 82:10:  “I, the Lord, am bound when you do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”  What is that promise, eternal life with one another and Father in Heaven. What else is important? Nothing in this life is worth losing eternal life with our families.

At our District Meeting, I learned a couple of other things that stood out: Our commitment to the Gospel is important. If we keep the pedal to the metal and continue to move forward, if we are climbing a hill and we go as far as we can, as fast as we can, and as hard as we can, the Atonement will take us over.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

How often do we offer nickel prayers and expect dollar answers? We need to up the ante!

Keep up the good works. Try hard in keeping your commitments to Father in Heaven, and trust Him. He will direct your paths.

We love you all.


  1. I'll happily help with the nativity...sounds like an awesome christmas present for you! :)

  2. I remember talking to you about helping out that lady and restoring her faith in the LDS church's participation. It is too bad what certain decisions and/or attitudes can do for public opinion of us...And BTW, your schedule makes me tired!