Thursday, January 31, 2008

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Forty Years Ago........

We recently received an invitation in the mail to participate in the 50th Anniversary of the Monterey Bay Stake in California. It was created in 1958. We joined the church in 1960 and I don’t think we realized at the time that it was a new stake. Of course we were not familiar with the workings and changes in the geography of the church in relation to the growth of the membership. We joined the end of October and in December there was a Stake Conference in Seaside. I remember being very impressed with the number of “Mormons” who were packed into the gymnasium of the Seaside building, which was at the time in a building program to enlarge the building. Having been in the church just a few weeks, I only knew a few of the members of the Salinas Ward which was meeting in the old church on Iverson Street. Seeing the members fill up the gym was quite impressive. Jim Wallace was the Stake President, and Varon Jensen was our Bishop. I was a young mom with three little children, who were not feeling good, so Dad and I took turns attending the meetings. I went to the morning session and was greeted by our Missionaries. Their enthusiasm and love made me feel welcomed and comfortable. I took a seat just a few rows from the front. The stage area was also filled with many men, but I only recognized President Wallace and my missionaries, Elder Olavesen of Idaho and Elder Day of Salt Lake City who continued to smile at me. A visitor from Salt Lake City was introduced and spoke about missionary work and how the Lord could work with two young men, a potato farmer from Idaho and a city slicker from Utah who could teach the gospel and change the lives of people. It took my attention, as he must be talking about my missionaries. He went on with his talk and asked how many in the congregation were converts to the church. I proudly put my hand up with the rest and was surprised to see how many others were also converts. He then asked how many had been in the church, 5 years, 1 year, 6 months and eventually it got down to just a few of us. The speaker then pointed to me and said, “Sister would you please come up here and bear your testimony?” I felt like my body had turned to jelly. If I hadn’t seen those two smiling faces, I would never have made it up the steps to the stage. I remember telling the Elders when I said I would be baptized, that I would never be able to get up and talk or give my testimony, and there I was. I found some friendly faces in the audience which gave me courage. I have no idea today what I said, but I will never forget that life changing experience or the hand shake that I had with the visiting man from Salt Lake City, Gordon B. Hinckley.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

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♪♪♪ Genealogy, I am doing it ♪♪

What a blessing it has been to be part of the New Family Search Pilot Program. It has not been easy, but certainly worth it. Each time I open the program, there is President Hinckley looking right at me saying "From the very beginning of this church, it's members have been under strong religious obligation to identify their ancestors." How blessed we are to have that privilege. No other church has that obligation. I have felt that obligation from the day the missionaries taught us of temples. I have had a love for this work even before we joined the church I am so grateful for the promises I made to my fathers and mothers before I came to this earth, and the loyalty I feel to them now. I often think of those times and those promises and even the promises we have made to those in our earthly family. I hope we are just as loyal. I am thankful for a "mother heart" that guides me and helps me to find these families. I do not remember them. I don't know what they looked like or what kind of life they lived or if they were good or bad or made mistakes, but none of that matters, I can do something for them which they need to progress, and I love them. I have had wonderful "through the veil" experiences that I am so thankful for. It keeps me going, I just hope I have the time left to do all that I have started. I am working with records that was started some 30 years ago in the SLC Family History Library. Now that I have the Swedish records on line, I am putting these families together. One of you had better be planning on taking this over, as there is no end in sight of families that we have made those promises to. As I work in a parish, I get used to the handwriting, and to the families who stayed in that parish all their lives. Just yesterday while searching birth records for one family, I found a child born out of wedlock to a young girl whose work I though I had already finished who married and had a large family. What joy to find this little Gustaf and be able to seal him to his mother. Melissa's family have been doing baptisms to help which is a blessing to me. Now she is getting her own feelings about who wants their work done, which is also a blessing. I am getting far behind in doing the endowments. (that is a hint) Much of what I am doing is for the Nyström family. I knew them through my father talking about them and I do have pictures, so know what they look like, but I never met them. They stayed in Sweden. I am now in touch with a first cousin in Sweden, a genealogist, whose father's grandmother is a sister to my grandmother. He is sending me information faster than I can type it into the program. So this is my father's family. In the first picture: His parents Hugo and Hildegard Nyström. My fathers picture is on the table between them. Uncle Hugo is seated on the right. Uncle Holger is standing on the left, and Aunt Hildegard is standing on the right. The white round structure behind them is a Swedish stove. Picture #2 My FarMor Picture #3 FarFar and FarMor. Picture #4 is my FarMor sewing. It is not a clear picture of her but one of my favorites. Till next time..................remember your promises

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Thought to Ponder

A couple of months ago, I came across an old used book in the Far West Country Store.
It was a compilation of inspiring thoughts. A little story on each page. Just little stories to uplift us, or advise us. I was just leafing through and reading at random. One title caught my attention "When a Boy Knocks At Your Door", I want to share it with you.
"A boy is the most interesting, hopeful and ofttimes baffling study in the category of the world's problems. It is hard to tell where time will take him. Right now he is on his way somewhere. The future is his. He will inherit your world. All your work will be judged by him. Tomorrow he will take your seat in Congress, own your business, run your town, write the laws, preach the sermons, direct the university and shape the thinking of the world. The only way you can affect the future is through him. He is the avenue through which you can best move the world forward. Your influence upon his life will be measured by the contribution which he makes to his time.
When a boy knocks at your door you do not know who is calling on you. He may be the future mayor of your city, or the bank president who will show you where to sign your name, or the doctor into whose hands you commit your life. He is the man of tomorrow. Be patient with him."

I thought this was good advise, and thought of the youth of the church who we probably pass in the hall each week and maybe neglect to make notice of them.
I continued reading a few more, then closed the book and looked more carefully at the
cover and title. It was compiled and written by Bryant S. Hinckley, remember, it is an old book, and yes he is the father of our Prophet. Now read it again with that in mind, kind of reminds me of 'Bryant' Did You Know?