AnnMarie and family and Shawn and family were watching conference when their lives changed forever during one announcement. How exciting! Dane is the oldest of the three but will still not graduate until June. Kyle will also graduate then. Alyssa is eligible, this month, to go on a mission. Of course, Brigitta is now old enough but does not think that she wants to go. Alyssa will put in her papers right away and is thinking that she will get a call this spring. Kyle said he will likely be ready to leave in August. Then I will have five of you all serving missions at the same time. That should certainly be seen as a great blessing. I will consider it that--a great blessing for our entire family.
The strange thing is that at the temple on Friday, some of the workers were saying that we should all expect a big announcement during conference. I didn't believe them and said, "Oh, sure. Like that's going to happen." So guess who had egg on their face? That's right, I did.
We spent the last three days at Julie's. David came up, with family, and he, Jim and Grandpa went elk hunting. Bree, Julie the grandchildren and I all hung out together. The first day, Thursday, Bree and her three stayed here with me and we played with Megan, Matthew and Rachel because they were on fall break. Yesterday, we came back and went to church here. Eric came down after his church and we had dinner. Everyone then left.
Gramps had some really big pumpkins this year. We also had watermelons. I cannot believe how big they all grew. The corn didn't do quite so well but everything else grew big and produced a lot of crops. The apples are also really well this year. They are big and juicy. YUM!
David and Bree have quit smoking. That is great good news for me. They should be able to save a few dollars now because smoking is not only unhealthy, it is expensive. Now if they would just become spiritual. That will be some years coming and will need a miracle. David told me this weekend that his kids really didn't like going to church with Gramps and I. He didn't want us to force them into going. We will have to see what comes of that. Erin, Donovin and Caydin all went with us yesterday. They said they had a good time. Donovin was the one who said he didn't always want to go but he did sometimes. Part of it, I think, is that he doesn't have friends there but he is going to Scouts in his ward in St. George. That is good.
The big news here is that the church announced Friday afternoon that it is pulling back from its plan to build a new nine-story building on the Missionary Training Center campus in Provo. They did say that the church would need to do something to expand the facilities there but that they would now need to decide what they could do to expand the facility because it badly needed to be enlarged.
What do you think of the new curriculum for Young Men, Young Women and youth Sunday School classes? It sounds exciting to me. It was announced as a shift from stand-and-deliver gospel teaching to gospel-centered conversations between youth and leaders. Training for the new curriculum will be conducted by priesthood leaders, from General Authorities to stake presidents to stake and ward councils. The resources are available online and that makes it possible for parents can keep up on what their children are learning at church. Youth need to be prepared to teach and preach the gospel and, I think, this is an excellent way to do that.
Gramps and I are enjoying the news from our two missionary grandsons. We are proud of you and of the work that you are doing. I keep praying that some young missionaries, like you two, may have an influence on David and Bree so that they can enjoy the peace of the gospel in their lives. At this point, it would be easier to convert Bree than David.
I told Erin yesterday, when she commented that it was easier not to go to church, and wondered if she could still go to Heaven even if she did not go o church that, most likely she would go to Heaven. I am certain that we all receive our reward for living a good life. She said that going to church just made everyone feel guilty because everyone there mostly taught about repentance for sins. We talked about mistakes Vs sins. She really didn't get it. You can understand why. My stand is, that even you live the best life possible, do good things and serve others, why would you not want to have a close relationship with Heavenly Father and with your Savior? Why would you shut yourself off from all that love? Why would you want to stumble through life just doing your best without taking advantage of the times when you could be speaking with your Father in Heaven? I think that I did not really impress her with the idea that Heavenly Father is there for us. She is 12. She is not baptized. She can be influenced by the Holy Ghost but she cannot have the daily gift.
I love my Elders. I think of you and of the work that you prepared yourselves to do all of your lives. That makes me proud and happy. Carry on!
Lots of love, Grammy and Gramps