Monday, June 24, 2013

Wow! (My letter to my missionaries.)

I am sending the same letter to both of you this week. I am hoping that you were all part of the the church's largest missionary training conference. I imagined both of you sitting there, in a gathering in your particular mission, and learning from the experience. I saw your beloved faces, in mind's eye.

I did not even recognize the Marriott Center at BYU with all of the missionaries in attendance there. I was so impressed with the conference. In our stake, all members ages 18 and older were invited. A few parents brought youth approaching that age with them. There were not as many in attendance at our location as I would have hoped. I think there were something like 220 present. We were counted, as were the members of ward and stake councils present, so the number could be reported to Salt Lake.

“To all the full-time missionaries sharing in this broadcast around the world, we say never again in your entire life are you going to be part of a zone conference this large!” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum the Twelve as he conducted the meeting. “To the many members of the church gathered in innumerable locations, we affirm that ward and stake councils can no longer say of this great army of missionaries, ‘There they go.’ No, the hour is upon us in which we must now say, ‘Here they come.’ All of us must plan for and use this heaven-sent resource in the most productive way possible.”

Of course, in my "Tears At All Times and in All Places" stage of life, I did shed quite a few. I now know why my grandmother always told me that a lady carried a cloth handkerchief. I borrowed LHT's hanky. I need to invest in some of my own--cloth ones--so that I will be prepared for the floods of my own making.

LHT said that when he went into the mission field there were approximately 5,000 missionaries world-wide. Now there are 70,174.

Our ward met for Sacrament meeting only so that we would be out in plenty of time to get to the stake center. We are the late session and we do not end until the 4 p.m. hour. LHT and I had the distinction, at 3:15 p.m., of being the first in attendance. We certainly had our pick of seats.

LHT (Gramps/Dad) and I have been wondering about our neighborhood. Perhaps we can be of service among our neighbors. The older homes around us are being purchased by good young people but none of them are active. Some of them are, likely, not members. It does take courage to invite. The fellowship part is the easy part. It has always been easy for us to be good neighbors. That is particularly true of LHT who, at the drop of a hat, is off to shovel snow, lend himself and his tools, and be of general good service.

I cried when the missionaries sang. How powerful that was and how it made me think of the two missionary grandsons I have serving and of another about to serve. My little mission of working to provide Sacrament services for the assisted living center seemed so small in comparison with what our missionaries are doing in the field. LHT does most of the organizing and I do most of the "just showing up to love." I offer a lot of prayers, closing or opening, as needed. And I cry. As we receive the weekly letters, our testimonies are strengthened. How blessed we are, as a family, by the missionary service of our stalwart two.

I also was touched by the segment dealing with teaching and the one on repentance. I learned from them answers I had been seeking.

The story of Sister Neill F. Marriott, who, at the age of 22, was converted and baptized into the Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, was toucing. One year later she married David C. Marriott in the Salt Lake Temple, one of those who helped introduce her to the church. They are the parents of 11 children.

We love you. We are proud of your work. We are touched by your testimonies. How thankful we are that you are part of our family.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Some Random Memories

We didn't have a freezer when I was young. We had a tiny little box at the top of our fridge that was just big enough for a coupe of ice cube trays and we thought it was great. Sometimes you could even store a bit of ice cream in the little cubicle. If it was left too long, the container filled with ice crystals and became dreadful tasting. It was better, however, than the fridge that I remember from my three-year old life. That was a literal ice box. It had a chamber for keeping things cold and another for the ice. A man would come every few days and sell us some dry ice to put in the top of the box which kept things cold for a bit. That was during Word War II. 

My grandmother would be at school teaching and I would be home at the apartment we shared with my beloved Aunt Renee and Uncle Max. The ice man would come and I would be fascinated by the whole procedure. He would carry the ice into the house with a pair of large ice tongs. Aunt Renee said that if he touched the dry ice it would be so cold that it would burn his hands.

I also remember that we walked a lot. We walked to the small grocery to get needed items. There was a little corner grocery and we would just ask for what we wanted. The grocer would fill the order by giving you the item you wanted. Forget asking for a brand at that small store. You got what he had. Of course, we shopped once a week at the larger grocery store where you went around with a cart and picked out what you wanted. At the corner grocery, a child could be sent with a few dollars and come home with the item in a brown paper bag and some change. When I was tiny, of course, I just went with an adult. When I got older I was allowed to walk there and back. Usually, I was allowed a few pennies for a treat because I had run the errand. You know, had I kept walking everywhere, like I did back then, I would be in a lot better shape than I am. Now I have taken up daily walking for my health. Then I just did it because everyone else did. :)

When we moved to Carbon Avenue, there was Mabbitt's Market just a block away. When my cousins and I would be sent there for a can of tuna, for example, we were given a nickel to buy a treat. I liked to use it all on a Three Musketeers Bar because he actually had three chocolate sections and we could each have one. However, we usually got something else like all-day suckers. Sometimes we would buy popsicles which we all liked but which made a mess of the fronts of our outfits before we got the block back home.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I refuse to correct letters to the editor.

I really hate to disappoint you but I have been thinking over what you asked me to do. I appreciate that all writers like to get feedback from other writers. I do not think that I am the person to help you, however. I am really leery of reading and helping with letters-to-the editor.
I had a person, whom I thought of as a friendly school-mate of a couple of my children, who made all sorts of trouble for me a year ago. He brought a letter to me to have me correct (grammar and punctuation). I had him sign the copy I then printed off for him signifying that it was his work and not mine. I dated the copy and he turned it in to the newspaper. It was printed in our local paper. He was taken to court for what the authorities thought was the threatening nature of the letter. I was called to court, under oath, to bear witness as to what had happened with that letter. He tried to claim that I had changed the letter after it was printed. I had not, could not and would not. Luckily the jury considered my long newsprint reputation. He was found guilty and served jail time. I became a lot more concerned about what I help others with. The disclaimer that is printed on every opinion page was saving for the newspaper but Allan and I determined that we would not be so helpful in the future. At our local newspaper, we are mostly interested in local issues and are not interested in national issues or topics that the state papers cover.

There are many others in the community who would be willing to assist you with your need for a good critic.  Snow College has many classes of many types that are taught in Nephi via interactive computer instruction at the Juab School District office. Of course, for those there is a fee.

In Provo, there are writer's groups that you could join. I belonged to one such group for awhile and a chapter was even started here. We Juab County members all became too busy and closed the local chapter.

I hope that you understand. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

More from Myrna's Soapbox

To Barbara: The grandchildren we share are confused about the Latter-day Saint church because they get conflicting information. They hear little about the church that is really true. They do not attend meetings, except once a year with us, where they have an opportunity to hear what we really do believe. At Scouts, they do not talk about the gospel. They talk about scouting. The same happens at the week day meetings of Young Women. Sunday meetings are the only ones where they really talk about beliefs. Erin said that at Sunday School with the youth, she has no idea what they are talking about. Why would she? She hears one idea from you, another from her parents and another from us. She is not mature enough  to study on her own and really learn doctrine. We don't spend hours of time studying while they are here. We go places and visit family so that they will know who their cousins and aunts and uncles who live near are. Besides, we learn precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. It takes a lifetime of devotion to know truth of any kind.

Erin talked about Mountain Meadows Massacre with Julie and I was on the edge of the discussion. The only one of us who knew about it, really, was Leonard because he taught about it in Utah History. I told her to talk to him. Jim gave her good advice. He told her that she, if she REALLY wanted to know, should read about it on her own. He told her to go to the source nearest the actual happening. Historians can be biased but the people who lived the happening can best understand it. Our ancestor opposed the killings. He tried to get help to prevent them. He testified against the perpetrators. Those writings are available.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Grandpa Ray, the storekeeper

Did you know that my (Myrna's) Grandpa Ray Smith was the bookkeeper and the storekeeper at a CCC camp. That happened years after the Mexican/American War. In fact, that was after he had owned his own butcher shop in Huntington. He became ill, they later discovered that he had terminal lung cancer, and decided that he would train as a bookkeeper. He stayed with Fred and Pearle Smith, his brother and sister-in-law, in Springville, for a time and went to school. When he finished, he went to work as the bookkeeper at a CCC camp. He could add, so I was told, a long list of figures by moving his finger down the line arriving at the total, in his mind, when he reached the bottom of the line. He would then move up the line in the same way, checking his accuracy of the first time. He figures always resulted in the same total. 


From: Barbara Anderson
RE: Gramps and His Owie

I am so sorry Myrna.  I hardly ever check my email.  I didn't even know to ask to find out how he was today.  I want you to know the kids love you guys very much.  They are a little confused about church, but David, Bree and I will support them in whatever they decide.  We are not actively discouraging them.  I really want you to know that.  I am honest with Erin about how I feel, but now in what I want her to do. 

I also want you to know I consider you my friend.  Im not much of a friend.  My life keeps me in a dither, but I feel like things have calmed down this last couple of years.  I was not taught how to be a friend.  I isolate very well. 

But, we love you.  I love you.  You are one of the best people I have ever met.  If you need anything, and this is from the bottom of my heart, just let me know.  I have a car now.  Until I go back to work, Im pretty much open.  Im only going to work 25-30 hours per week. 

So, let me know, or just get in touch. 

I really didn't expect any kind of answer to the information about LHT's injury. It is healing well, from what I can tell from the outside. There is no pain. I think that is a good sign. We are to leave it alone for the full 10 days and then the doctor will look at it again.

I think of you as a friend also. We both want the best for the grandchildren we share in common. What wonderful children they are. 

I am not trying to be humble when I say this. It comes across that way but it is not meant that way. I do not think of myself as a good person. I think of myself as someone who is trying to improve each day. As I told them in Relief Society on Sunday, where Erin was with me, that I keep working on me. I keep trying not to be selfish and not to lose my temper. I work on being a better person every day. Sometimes I do well and sometimes I fail. The lesson was on turning our shortcomings (or failures) into successes.

Erin decided to go to Relief Society with me. It was her choice because when I found out that she did not want to be with the Young Women in our ward I tearfully offered to go home with her but she said she likes the older women in our ward because they "are kind" and treat her as one of them. 

Unfortunately, I have turned into a person who can shed tears at the drop of a handkerchief and I don't know what to do about it. My goodness, I am going to cry the rest of my life away. I wear my heart on my sleeve all of the time. I told Melanie that I thought it might be due to diabetes and she just laughed. She said that I had always been tearful. She reminded me that I cry during sad television commercials.

I worry about every grandchild of mine. I like them to be at church because, USUALLY, not always, there are good friends there. I like Girl's Camp because I loved it. I was (feel free to giggle) very shy as a girl but I liked being with people who were honest and upright and could still have a good time. Oh, the crafts I made. I believe in Boy Scouts. I think a young man who attains the rank of Eagle, has really done something to be proud of for his entire life. Leonard is not an Eagle. He is Wood Badge trained--a national training for leaders.

I am also frank about my feelings. If you ask me a question, I will not tell you what I think you want to hear. I will tell you what I really think, what I really believe. 

I have a couple of grandchildren who have decided, using their free-agency, to not follow in line with what I would, given the same choice, have selected. They are all still loved. I am in all of this for the long haul. I want my family to be happy. I want them to live as honest, loving people who enrich the lives of those around them. I like the church (an organization of people), aside from the gospel (the doctrine). Our ward, for example, is filled with loving and compassionate people who do their best to serve others and to make certain that there are no hungry and uncared for among us. The women I work with have watched me cry and are still understanding. You, of course, are that kind of person also. Scratch you and you also bleed. We are not so different after all.

My girls and I all tend to spend more time with family and less time on socializing. That may make us more difficult to know. I sense you feel that way about yourself. I include you as family and I truly do love you. You are always welcome in my life.

Leonard has a more compassionate heart than I do. He always thinks of the nice thing to do. Sometimes you actually have to remind me to be thoughtful. You have no idea how many snowy walks he shovels each winter. He is old enough that someone should be shoveling his. :) 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

From Gordon

Hi Myrna,

I was reading your email about eating Jell-O powder.  We did that as children.  It brings back fond memories.  It tasted good!

One part of your email where you described eating permanent wave powder reminded me of a story I read.  A quote from your story is below, and my story is below that.

“After we consumed the Jell-O, we all found out that what we had really eaten was permanent wave powder. My goodness! We all had excited adults at that point.”

The story tells of a man and his wife on a trip.  They accidently hit a rabbit while driving.  They stopped to see if the rabbit was ok.  The rabbit appeared dead.  Just then a lady stopped to see if they needed help.  When they explained what had happened, the lady went to her car and came back with a package.  She opened it and placed some of the contents on the rabbit.  The rabbit jumped up and hopped toward the woods.  After a few feet it turned around and waved at them.  It  would then hop a few feet and turn to  wave again.  It did this all the way to the woods.  They asked the lady what she had used to heal the rabbit.  She handed them the package.  On the package was written, “New shampoo formula.  This new shampoo will bring life back to any hair, and your hair will have a permanent wave.”

Oh well, you and Leonard needed something to laugh about after his “Humpty Dumpty” experience.

Lots of love,


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Gramps' Owie

Dad/Gramps really opened a wound on his right arm yesterday. I tease him that he still thinks that he is age 16. We took the visiting grandchildren--Erin, Donovin, Caydin, Matthew, and Rachel--to the Nebo View Elementary playground (the one on 100 North) and LHT was going to help the grandkids have fun by going on a "spinner" with them. It is a device that has bent upright bars forming a loose cage-like spot for a person to stand or sit and spin around. He was going to demonstrate and was on the device alone. For some reason, LHT's foot slipped off the base and he fell out opening a 6-inch long 2-inch wide cut on his right arm as he hit some part of the equipment as he fell. 

We brought the grandkids to our house, about three blocks away, and LHT thought that I could pull the skin back in place using a pair of tweezers. I thought otherwise. AnnMarie arrived to pick up her two after a day at court (Matthew and Rachel). I had texted her telling her to com to the playground since she was due to arrive at 3 p.m and we went there at 2:30. So I had had Matthew text her to tell her that we were at the house instead. I had stamped my foot and said, "Leonard, we need to go to the doctor's." She, calmly, as befits her profession said, "Dad, there is too much tissue missing." She had to leave to get to Provo for an appointment. Erin, who is now 13, took over with her younger brothers and we headed to the doctor's office. Unknown to us at the time, was that there had been five ambulance runs come into the connected Central Valley Medical Center hospital, also staffed by the doctors at Central Valley Medical Clinic.

When he saw it, Dr. James M. Besendorfer, M.D., called it a "laceration." (I thought it just looked horrible and Dad/Gramps, as usual, thought that I, Myrna, could just fix it. Honestly.) After I watched the doctor take care of it, I likely could have. However, I lacked the prior knowledge and I am happy that we went to the doctor's office. Luckily, they were seeing patents. This happened at about 3 p.m., so the doctor's office was open. It must have been just another "laceration" for the day because the nurse commented that the doctor had "another" one. 

It is a good thing that the doctor and LHT are old friends who have worked on scouting projects together because he just smiled when he heard what had happened. He also knows that LHT is still just age 16 inside. At any rate, he was able to close the wound by carefully pulling the wounded (and purple-hued) skin back over the gapping area where the flesh had been exposed. He did it with a small pair of surgical tweezers, the type with the fine point, and only a small jag along the edge will be left to create a small scar. He sent over to physical therapy and obtained a foam dressing to use which the nurse applied after cleaning the area with saline solution.

The doctor said that the foam dressing is made from polyurethane. The polyurethane contains variably sized small open cells that pull exudate away from the wound bed. The dressing is absorbent and doesn't lint. It will be left in place for 10 days. The doctor will then remove it and see what it looks like. He said that he liked this way of dealing with lacerations. He had removed these types of bandages and found that they were healed. "It is just remarkable," he said. It was a new way of dealing with lacerations and was very successful.

So there you have it, LHT will keep the site dry and will return to the doctor in 10 days. After all that, his blood pressure was still low. I didn't even want them to check mine, though the nurse offered. I was afraid that all the excitement would have had such an effect on me that they would send LHT home and keep me. (Smile.)

We came home, and the kids and I went to order pizza and rent a movie. We had planned to go swimming or go to a movie last night but we stayed home instead. We are so exciting that it scares me. (Of course, you can see that we are not. I am surprised, as boring as we are, that any of the grandkids will even stay with us. As they get to be teens, they usually get to be too busy and those visits slow or stop.) Usually, we take the David Trauntvein kids places like Provo to go shopping or to Lagoon or camping or SOMETHING. This visit, we are just being boring. We have been to Provo and to Brick Oven. Of course, there is a always the appeal of the four-wheeler, the lawn-mower, and the great-outdoors in Nephi. (Hehehe.) 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mrs. Richards' Treasured Cookies

Mrs. Richards’ Butter Cookies
*3/4 pound butter (three sticks)
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk (or fruit juice)
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 cups all-purpose flour (or enough to make a stiff dough)
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs, milk and
vanilla and beat together. Then add flour and baking powder. Mix well together. THE DOUGH WILL BE SOFT. Let sit for one-half hour. Roll on a lightly floured board to about one-half inch thick. Cut and place on ungreased baking sheet. (I usually cover the baking sheet with parchment paper first.) Bake at 375- to 400-degrees for 5 to 7 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from baking sheets to wire racks or cloth-covered table-top. Cool slightly. Then frost.
*Three sticks of butter is equal to 1 1/2 cups butter that is not precut. I melt the butter then add the sugar and mix well.
Frosting for Cookies
1 stick butter
1 small package powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Few drops food coloring
Melt the butter and pour over powdered sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add milk, vanilla and food coloring. Beat until smooth. More milk may be needed but be cautious because it doesn’t take much to make it runny. Spread on cookies and decorate as desired. (Candy hearts for Valentine’s Day, etc.)

Story behind the cookies: My Grandmother Vivian Smith, a teacher, and her parents, the owners of a pharmacy and drug store in Huntington, Utah, were kind and generous to the Mrs. Richards who was the possessor of this recipe during a difficult time in her life. The one thing that she treasured was the recipe for these cookies. Everyone loved them when she made them but she did not share the recipe with any. Community legend had it that her family had baked them for the king before they found themselves as converts to the LDS Church and in Utah. One day, Mrs. Richards came to my Grandmother and told her that she had little to treasure but this recipe. She gave a copy to my grandmother who was allowed to share it with her parents. Mrs. Richards told my grandmother that she could share it with family. Since all are dead now, I do not feel a need to keep it as secret and have shared it a bit more. Grandmother did share it with her sisters-in-law and, through Aunt Pearle Smith, Russ Farrer, her grandson, who baked at Brick Oven in Provo, Utah, for awhile, made these cookies for sale while he was employed there. When he left, he kept the recipe.
Myrna Great-Grandmother Mina Ericksen Pritchett, her daughter Vivian Pritchett Smith, my mother, Elaine Smith Pitts and her sister, Renee Smith Childs, and I have all made these cookies and received countless compliments for them. My children have the recipe. It is still treasured.
I began making these cookies as a child with my grandmother who always made them for Christmas and for Valentine’s Day, as well as for most major holidays, and “just because.”

Monday, June 3, 2013


While I ended up sick on Memorial Day itself, the Sunday afternoon that we decorated graves for the Smith grandparents, my mom, a Childs family ancestor, and the Smith aunts and uncles in the Evergreen Cemetery, was a good day. (Jim also has an ancestor buried nearby.)

Many hands made short work of the weeding and clean-up. Shawn had brought some gas-run garden tools which helped. The plots looked lovely when we were done.

We ended up having a tailgate picnic at roadside where my Smith family is buried. 

Toren warned us that we should not eat at the cemetery. He said it was just not a good idea so he sat in the car after the decorating was done. 

However, the other members of his family did join in. They had not received the memo that there would be a picnic so they mostly had dessert. The Jones and Howards did eat and they all remained well and healthy in spite of Toren's warning. There were others there who also had  picnics near other plots. I don't know how they fared. Shawn ended up being ill. I did fine until the next day when the bladder infection I had got much worse. 

Your dad's father (Henry) always told him to never take anything away from a cemetery because it was not good to do so. LHT and I had quite a discussion about the time I brought some sod pieces I had dug up and put them on the north side of our house. No one ever told me not to eat there. I think, however, that my relatives would not have an objection. They all liked picnics, to the best of my recollection. We certainly had enough of them as I was growing up.

When we used to decorate graves when I was a child, we would always end up at Uncle Fred and Aunt Pearle's house. There we would have a backyard picnic, if the weather was good. They had a wonderful backyard--green lawns and wonderful bushes. We would always have a wonderful time.

I give you all permission to have a picnic near my grave when I have joined the Smiths in that spot.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

To the Elders

This morning, at the assisted living center, where we have been assigned to a one-year mission to provide a sacrament service for the residents there, we had another spiritual experience. Some of the residents are lucid and some are not. Some are in and out of reality. I am always impressed that they can sing the hymns with such gusto, remembering the words, when we have to go from person to person helping them to find the page. A few can find the hymn number on their own but most cannot.

Norma Sherwood is 103-years-old. She has outlived her two daughters and two husbands. Her son-in-law is in terrible health. Her grandkids are good to come and visit from time to time but she really has no one left to care for her. We usually have our pianist choose the hymns for the service, simply because, that way, they will be able to play well. This morning, a young mother in our ward, Rachel Olsen, selected, as the closing hymn, "Nearer My God to Thee." Norma leads the music each Sunday. She sits up front in the room and she does a wonderful job. One nurse tried to tell her that she didn't need to do more than a simple form of leading but Norma would have none of it. She was trained to do it right and she was going to do it right. At any rate, she asked the pianist to wait a minute before beginning to play. She said she wanted to talk about the music for a minute. 

She then told us all of the night the Titanic sunk. The people who were left on board, after the life boats had all been used, knew they were going to die. "They knew that in a few minutes they would all drown, that they were going to die." It would do no good to throw themselves into the ocean because the tow of the sinking ship would draw them under. So they stayed on board on the deck. "Some of them hugged one another. Then they all sang, 'Nearer My God to Thee.' They knew that they were going to die but they sang."  She got a bit teary-eyed telling of that. "When I heard about that, I just cried. I still cry every time I think about those people who knew they were going to die and who sang a hymn."

We then sang the hymn. I had a hard time singing because she had painted such a vivid picture for us all. In fact, while she spoke all of the residents listened and paid attention to all she said. 

Colleen Bender and her husband Russ Bender, who was one of the bishops I served under when I was Relief Society President, were there to assist. Russ was in charge of conducting. Colleen gave the poem from conference that Elder Boyd Packer gave. "In 1992, having served nine years as an Assistant to the Twelve and 22 years as a member of the Twelve, I reached the age of 68. I felt impressed to start what I called an 'Unfinished Composition.'" he said. The residents really enjoyed the poem and laughed in all the right spots. I was impressed.

Colleen, like me, found that she had very tender feelings for the people who are there. These are people in our community who have worked with both Colleen and I in many church callings and in community service over the years. One was a nurse at the hospital, another the county treasurer, another was a county commissioner. One cut my hair many, many years ago. Each one of them is living at the home were they can be assisted with medications and meals. They have formed something of a family and like to be together. It doesn't matter that some do not remember the name of their friend. They take hands and they just enjoy being together.

I was so impressed with the graduations we attended for Dane, last week, and Kyle, on Thursday. I talked about Dane's graduation last week. Kyle was in the symphonic band and in the acappella choir. So he played the opening music in the band and then walked to the other side of the stage to sing. Kyle did well and was in the top 10 percent of his class. the speakers at both events were quite good. Last year, the school board member who spoke at Kyle's school had droned on and on. The speaker this year must have decided that he could win the next election more easily if he gave a short address and got on with it.

Dane's class was about 100 and Kyle's was about 500. Just marching that many people across the stage and saying something about them while the are introduced takes enough time so that no one wants to listen to a school board member go on and on about the greatness of the educational system in Utah. Both graduations were held at UVU. Dane's in the grand ballroom and Kyle's in the basketball arena.

 Erin, Donovin and Caydin will be with us for a week. They will be coming tomorrow. David and Bree are going to serve and best man and matron of honor for two of their friends who are getting married. Julie is bringing her kids over on Wednesday for Stephanie to celebrate her birthday. Siovhan's and Michael's are all within a few days of each. 

This morning, at stake general priesthood meeting, they introduced 14 young men who had just graduated from high school and who have received their mission calls. They then had them all sing a hymn. Gramps said it was a wonderful experience.

Well, we love our missionary grandson. (Well we do have two and will soon have three.) You know that we pray for you and that I keep your name on the temple prayer roll. Both Gramps and I are so proud of the great work that you are doing. We are thankful for the many tender mercies that our Father in Heaven is showing to you (and to your cousin). We are so thankful for you.

Special to Michael: We hope that your birthday card arrived on time and in good shape. We hope that the birthday is one of the best ever.