Superpaige's Pad

The Trials of a Busy Mom

Category: Church (page 1 of 5)

Wonderful Surprises

This week we had a chance to feed the missionaries in our area. Since we are in Utah and one set of missionaries is responsible for 2 stakes, they aren’t at church with us very often. And we don’t get the opportunity to feed them more than 2-3 times a year, so when it’s our week, we try to volunteer.

As we were getting food ready, the kids were all enlisted to help, since the missionaries only have an hour to eat, usually between 5 and 6 pm so they can get to their evening appointments. Kate, our exchange student from Russia, said, “How do we even know the missionaries, anyway?” So we explained how these missionaries don’t get to choose where they are sent, but they turn in their papers and then go where they are assigned.
“Maybe there’s a missionary from Russia!” she said.
I hated to dampen her enthusiasm, but I told her that there were probably not missionaries from Russia coming to Utah. There probably aren’t that many LDS members in Russia, and out of those members, therefore not a huge amount of missionaries, and why would they send a Russian missionary to UTAH, of all places?

So, we finished our meal prep, making waffles, scrambling eggs, and cooking bacon.

At 5:00, the Elders arrived. Right on time, what a surprise! We answered the door and welcomed them in. As they were taking off their coats, we asked, “Where are you from, Elders,” Elder Kentish is from Nashville, and Elder Fairbanks said, “I’m from Russia.”

NO WAY!! Kate’s face (all our faces, really) had the expression of total shock.
“You aren’t really, are you?” I said.
“Well, I was born in Russia,” he said, “I was adopted by an American family when I was 4.” But he could still speak Russian, and Kate was completely floored when he asked her how she was doing in Russian. As we asked more questions, we discovered that his parents had adopted 12 children, and he and two siblings were from the same orphanage in Russia. When we asked where in Russia he was from (Russia is such an amazingly huge country) he said Vladivostock. That could NOT possibly be true. Kate and I both let out little screams of shock. That’s where SHE is from! That’s not exactly her town, but that is the closest big city to where she lives. That’s also not exactly his town, but that is the city closest to where he is from that people might recognize. Kind of like saying that we are from Salt Lake City, even though we don’t live in Salt Lake City, but to people who are not from Utah, it’s close enough.

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What an amazing experience! We felt like we had an instant connection to this Elder. I even felt a little bit bad because we were asking him so many questions, so we had to ask equal questions of his companion.

I know this was not a coincidence. Our ward mission leader hosted these same Elders earlier in the week, and knew we had a Russian exchange student. He even mentioned it to these Elders, so they came knowing that much about our family. But for us, it was such a blessing. For Kate to meet someone from her part of the world, so far away from home, was amazing. She got to speak Russian and learn that the there are even Mormons in Russia.

The Lord knows us. He watches out for us, whether we are members of this church or not. He loves us.
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missionaries

Fun for Easter weekend

Easter Weekend!

Both Cole and Megan have birthdays around Easter, so it’s a lot of celebrating in a short time. Saturday, between mowing the lawn, celebrating Cole’s birthday, and getting the suburban water pump fixed, Ryan and I drove down to Snow College for a quick visit with this girl.

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This is her standing in front of their puzzle wall in her apartment. Pretty cool, don’t you think?
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Megan and Sarah were heading down to St. George for their spring break to work at the Tuacahn theater. They get to spend the week working stage crew. I’m sure it will be a great experience for them. But I couldn’t let them NOT celebrate Easter, so we took a couple of Easter baskets for them.

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I also got to try out my new little camera. It’s a Nikon Coolpix s7000, similar to what we’ve used before. But so far I’m impressed. I took this picture while driving on the I-15.
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Here’s our driving selfie.

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And another random house.
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When we got back home we got out the eggs and dye for the coloring of the eggs.
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I think they got tired of just coloring, so they brought in a friend. This is one of the 6 week old chicks we have in the garage. She’s the calm mellow one.

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But when they brought in Speckle, things got a little crazy.
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We had chicks on the counter, running, flapping, and soon one was on the floor. We managed to contain the mess and put them back into their cage in the garage.

After cleaning up the eggs, it was time for dinner, then celebrating Cole’s 22 birthday! He didn’t really have a lot going on for his day, although he and Emily went to lunch. Dinner was casual and we had a cake, and he had a few friends come over for games.
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He and Emily had too much fun popping the bubble wrap.

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Easter Sunday was busy as well. We were singing in our sacrament meeting in the choir, so there was a choir practice, then run home and grab a few things and head right over to the church to get a half hour of practice in at the church with the organ. The program went beautifully.

Ryan and I skipped out on Sunday school, however, to put the ham in the oven and assemble the potato casserole.

Then after church we had an Easter dinner with family. We ate delicious food, then had the traditional egg hunt, and some games.

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It was really a wonderful day.

(Sorry for the picture dump)

Leaving the comfort zone

Even though I’m an outgoing person, I don’t really enjoy going to visit people I have never met. Especially older, somewhat crotchety people who might be mean to me. (Crotchety? Is that even a word? I don’t mean people who crochet, but grumpy people). But because of my calling, I have to step out of my comfort zone and go and visit people sometimes. And it’s hard. I really have to psych myself up and do a little pep talk each time I make a visit. Today was no exception. We had cute little favors for each of the women in the ward for a little Christmas gift from the Relief Society. We handed them out on Sunday after our special Christmas lesson. But there were many who were not there that day, and we had to deliver them. I took 5. Three of them were easy. I had a nice chat with a friend I don’t see often enough when I delivered hers, another one wasn’t available when I went by, but I gave it to her son, and a third, I knew I would not catch her at home, so I put it in the mailbox (that’s not a cop-out, really!). But now it’s Wednesday, and I should have delivered the last two by now. One is a sister I have never met. I don’t think her husband is member, and she’s recently had some healthy problems. I really SHOULD have met her by now. But I was scared. The other is a new sister, and even though I’ve met her already, I knew she wouldn’t be home during the day, and I won’t have time to go by tonight, so I just left it at her house for her.

There is the bag with the little packages in the front seat of my car, so that every time I get in the car, I see them. And I feel guilty that I haven’t already gone and delivered.

Today, after another visit, I thought, “I need to go and deliver that package to Sister F.” I was right there, it’s day time (you can’t go visit old people at night), and I had no excuse.
Buck up!
I pulled into the driveway, went up to the door, still afraid of what they would say. No doorbell. That’s not a good sign. So I knocked. Mr. F came to the door. I don’t remember what I said, but he let me in to see his wife, and we talked a little bit. They were both nice, although not super friendly. But who can blame them, I am am literally a stranger coming into their house. I was blessed with courage to talk to them, and after asking about her health I noticed a case of trophy belt buckles. Wow! This old guy used to Rodeo and has won a TON of belt buckles. Who knew? We were able to talk about that for a minute and I realized that these are fascinating people and I would probably really enjoy learning more about them. I left them with the offer of help, and it was genuine.

As I was leaving, I was proud of myself. I had done it, and it wasn’t scary. No one yelled at me to “get off their lawn”, and no one was rude to me. I need to keep this feeling of courage for the next time I have to do this. And I’m sure there will be a next time.

Treasures hidden in the freezer

There aren’t THAT many perks of being the Relief Society President. Unless you really like meetings and worrying about people, and planning things, and rearranging your schedule and making visiting teaching changes… then it’s GREAT.

But today, as I was looking for something to throw in the crockpot for dinner tonight, I discovered a hidden gem. Tucked away under the frozen lemon juice (not to be confused with pineapple juice–yes, there’s a story there) I found this little beauty.

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Mother’s day fudge.

Yes, I will admit it. I took the extras home with me. I handed a few out to people that I knew weren’t at church that day. And I stuck one in the freezer for when I thought of someone who I should give it to.

Seems I forgot.

And today, when I saw that fudge, it was like a little tender mercy to me reminding me that even though I may not be getting warm fuzzies every day from doing my job, it’s important, and I matter.

Temple Week

It’s our Stake Temple Week this week. It seems to always be the busiest week, and this one was no exception. I had plans to spend time in the temple, but my calling as the Relief Society President got in the way.

With a death in the ward, that meant a viewing on Tuesday, and a funeral on Wednesday. I didn’t have much to do with the viewing on Tuesday, except open up the church and make sure the flowers got there. On Wednesday, though, I spent almost the whole day at the church with set up, the funeral (I got to lead the music), and the luncheon. I came home and crashed for an hour and literally told the kids they could watch tv if they got their homework done, because I just needed a one hour nap before I went to bells rehearsal that night.

Thursday I did manage to make it to the temple. I was there almost two hours doing initiatory. But I really wanted to take the kids to do baptisms. John just turned 12 and so we could ALL go. I called to make an appointment, and they had an appointment available for Friday night. No way! I scheduled us. But I said we would have family names to do, and I wasn’t sure if we actually would have family names. I knew Natalie knew how to find names, but she was gone to a debate tournament, so I had to try it for myself. Thanks to the hopechest program and lds.org family search, I was able to find family names! I found 8 women and 4 men (Natalie had already found 10 men, so we had 14). I was worried that I didn’t have enough names, but they were fine with it.

On Friday, we had a scary situation when a dear friend and neighbor got lost in the canyon Thursday night and stayed up there all night. Friday was a day of lots of prayer until we found that she had been discovered, and that she was fine. She had just gotten lost, and when it got dark, she just stayed put. She had her dog with her, but couldn’t get cell service. Her husband and the authorities looked for her that night when she didn’t come home, and they found her car, but finally had to stop looking. They were looking again in the morning. Another couple of hikers found her and she was able to call her husband and they brought her home. Big sigh of relief. You can read the story here.

Friday night, it was only Jenna and John who were able to come to the temple with us, but it was such a great experience. Ryan got to baptize us (and a young man from another family). They let me do baptisms, too. I haven’t done that in 20 years, and it was really wonderful. Especially to have Ryan there with me. I loved it. I can’t wait to go again with all the kids.

So, even though I didn’t get to spend as much time in the temple as I had originally planned, I did actually go twice this week, and got my family to go. Big success!

The funny thing, though, was afterward. Jenna said that after a temple trip, the youth usually got ice cream or shakes or something, and even though I’m trying to do a healthy challenge, I agreed. We have to make going to the temple fun (for all of us). I texted Natalie and asked if she was home yet. While waiting for her reply, we decided we would go to arctic circle for shakes. Natalie was done with the debate thing, but she and her friend Maggie had gone to Arctic Circle. As we were pulling up to the drive through, Jenna said, “I just saw Cole go in!” What? Cole and his date had gone to play laser tag or something, and I guess they went to eat afterward. As we pulled around, we could indeed see Natalie and her friend inside, and Cole and his date up to the counter to order. SO FUNNY! It was like a family night at Arctic Circle (and we seriously never go there!). I had to text both Cole and Natalie and let them know that we weren’t stalking them, but we were right outside!

I’m going to count it as a successful week!

Time to serve

The phone rang this morning and it was the bishop. We talked about a few people and as I hung up I knew that my plan for the day was out the window. Today I would be working on the sisters in the ward. I started by making bread and texting one lady in the ward to see if I could come over and talk with her for a bit. I knew she wasn’t an early riser, so I figured I could have some bread done before I went to go and see her.

While the bread had been cooking and I thought about the large amounts of beans that were in the fridge, I contemplated asking my visiting teacher to come and help me snap them. We could get in a good chat, and get my “visit” out of the way. I texted her and asked if she was home, and she said she was, and let’s go to lunch. Lunch? Did I really have time for lunch? Ok. I told her I could meet her at about 1:00, which would be between the appointed visit with the other sister and my carpool pick up. I could just make it.

I got it JUST out of the oven before I went to visit. I grabbed a couple loaves and some squash. She was thrilled with the bread and the squash from my in-laws (they gave me enough to share).

I left a few minutes late, but got to the lunch place before my friend had ordered. We talked about her recent trip, and about how hard it is to deal with the death of her husband. She was agonizing over how to pick a headstone. I always have like the benches, and told her so, and she mentioned that she really liked a certain bench, but some of the family didn’t think a bench was dignified. “He’s your husband, and it’s your headstone, too, right? Pick out what you like.”
“I’ll get it, and tell them my Relief Society President told me that the bench was the best.” Ok.

After picking up the Jr. High kids, we had a little bit of time before John’s piano lesson, and I enlisted the help of the kids to snap some beans.

As I left to take John to piano, I grabbed two more loaves of bread, and looked up another sister’s phone number. We had been talking about her yesterday at a RS board meeting, and I knew it was time to see how she was getting along. He husband has Alzheimers. I dropped John off and called her to see if I could stop by. She was waiting for a nurse to come, but had a minute or two. When I arrived, I gave her bread, and told her that I thought it was time she let us help her a little. I said, “We are going to be bringing in dinner at least one night a week, and I’m not taking no for an answer this time. What night would be good for you.” I didn’t really want to bully her like that, but she’s going through such a difficult time, and if there is anything we can do in this delicate situation to help her, then we are going to do it. She agreed to dinner once a week. She didn’t have much of a choice, now did she?

Since the half hour wasn’t quite up, I ran over to another sister’s house to check on her. She’s been seriously sick in the first trimester of her pregnancy, and I just wanted to see how she was. She was up and looked good. Thankful for fresh bread, too. We chatted for only a few minutes, but it was good to see how she was doing, and let her know that we cared.

I was only a FEW minutes late to get John.

Home to the beans. Hooray! Most of them had been snapped!

The rest of the afternoon consisted of pressure cooking these beans. Man, it takes a long time!

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As I look back at the day, it was definitely not the day I had envisioned. The laundry did not get touched, nothing got cleaned (except the wheat that spilled on the floor got swept up), I didn’t even make dinner. But I do not regret the service I have given today, and I know that I was guided in my actions today. I got a lot more done in one day than I normally would get done in one day (possibly two) and I know my family will not suffer or begrudge the fact that I didn’t take care of them today.

For FHE at night, I even had my family participate in the service day. They delivered bread, squash and beans to some more people.

I’m thankful that I was able to be flexible in my plans and take the time to serve.

Kind of a roller coaster

This week was hard for me. Monday, especially. Monday and Tuesday were auditions for a summer show at the Sera theater. I’ve always loved “Joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamboat”,even before Donny made it his own. Even though there aren’t really any parts for women, I wanted to audition. But when I accepted this relief society calling, I told Ryan that I would probably have to give up community theater for a bit. I didn’t say forever. When I looked at the dates for that play (and two others) and looked at my rehearsal schedule for bells (every Wed night, three Saturday mornings and a couple other nights thrown in before our concert in June) and the other things the family has already scheduled, I realized that no one would cast me in a show that opens July 2, even if I did audition. But it made me sad, still.

I couldn’t find my favorite chicken again. She doesn’t like to go into the house at night, and we usually have to pick her up and put her inside. When I went to put them away one night, I couldn’t find her anywhere. Couldn’t find her again the next day. She did this once before, and after disappearing for a day, she magically came back. I figured she was just on another walk-about. But, as I was out in the orchard area of the yard, spraying weeds, I found her. Or bits of her. Only her feet and a wing were there. Something had come into our yard and eaten her. Sadness enveloped me as I cleaned up what was left of my favorite chicken. A thought came to me that if I cared this much about a chicken, imagine the sorrow that a parent, or our Heavenly Father, feels when a child is lost. It put things into perspective a bit, but I was still so very sad.

On Tuesday, I read on the freecycle email that someone had two Americauna Chickens to give away. The same kind as I had lost, they lay green eggs, and are very friendly. Tuesday night I went to go pick them up. Even though I only lost one, I picked up those two and brought them home to our flock. I hope they adjust well soon. So, that was good.

Wed I got to sub in Kindergarten. First time I’ve had a little one throw up in the classroom, and let me tell you, I don’t need to experience that again…ever.

Bells rehearsal was a lot of fun. LeAnna was gone and Larry was a little bit more casual and fun. Since we had just had a BIG long day on Friday, it was nice to take it a little bit easy and have the pressure off.

The deadline to get Natalie registered for the National Debate competition has been looming. While we want her to have a good experience, this trip just doesn’t seem to be working out. Only 3 kids from Lone Peak Qualified, and there were no chaperones, except the one boy’s mom, from what I could tell. We as parents got NO communication from the school or the debate coach, even though I emailed and asked questions. Natalie’s friend is her duo partner, and I kept asking her mom if she knew anything. Last week I realized we would have to do all the arrangements ourselves, and I called to see if we could reserve a room at the hotel where the competition is being held. I thought if I went with them, that would put me at ease. Sold out. Wait list. Looked at flights, not terrible, but still, we would want to book those soon.

I’ve had this unsettled feeling about the competition. How would these girls find anything? Where would they stay? Take a taxi? What 16 year old knows how to do that? I’m not a seasoned traveler, so these things make me nervous, maybe I was projecting that feeling onto this situation.

I heard in a meeting the other day, that if you have a little feeling and you wonder if that’s from the spirit trying to tell you something of if it’s a thought you had in your own mind, 99% of the time, it’s the spirit trying to tell you something. I’m trying to live closer to the spirit since my RS calling, and I just couldn’t get this nagging annoying feeling to go away. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to please help me figure out what to do. Then I messaged Natalie’s debate partner’s mom and just told her what I thought. She said she would not hold it against us if we decided to pull Natalie from the competition, even if that meant her daughter wouldn’t be able to attend. It would simplify their lives as well (she would be missing half of a family vacation).

When Natalie came home, I braced myself for some drama, but as I explained how I felt and what we were thinking, she was very calm and I think she understands. I told her how much we love her and that we want her to be happy and successful, but we don’t think this is the competition for her. She called her friend, who already knew what we moms were thinking, and they told the coach to put the alternates in, that they wouldn’t be going. (Sure, SHE can reach him, but he won’t answer my email? Whatever)

I feel a bit more peaceful now that the decision has been made.

I had kept today and tomorrow open because my friend Robin had wanted to fly here from AZ and go to women’s conference with me, but she decided at the last minute that she’d better not. Even though she feels pretty good at home, her white count is down, and who knows how the altitude and the flight might affect her (she’s undergoing cancer treatments). So, while I could have gone to Women’s conference, I spent the day doing Relief Society things instead. I made muffins and went to visit two older sisters in our ward. They are both primary care takers for husbands suffering with Alzheimer’s. It was good to visit with them for a few minutes and let them know that we care and we are available to help, if they want that. I also worked on my lesson for Sunday a little bit.

So, you can see, the week is full of ups and downs. That’s how life is. Ups and Downs, highs and lows. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have…….I’ll stop now.

First Funeral

Saturday we had a funeral. Our first as a RS presidency. Thankfully, we have Kristen, an amazing lady who is our compassionate service funeral team leader. She was so organized, so it made the day go quite smoothly.

I got a call on Friday from the daughter, who was helping coordinate the funeral for her dad. She said they wanted to have donuts to pass out after the funeral. Her dad lived on Coke and donuts, and all the grandkids knew that if they stayed over with their Grandparents, they would have coke and donuts for breakfast.

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So, on Saturday, one of the brothers brought in about 400 donuts from Lehi bakery.

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Once the funeral started, we set these up on both sides of the chapel, so that people could pick up a donut on the way out. It was just a fun reminder of Gary, a way of remembering a great man.

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And boy were they yummy donuts! I didn’t eat a donut, but I did in fact have several donut holes.

I’m thankful that things went smoothly that day. It was a long day, and hard work, but we were happy to serve.

I would have been fine to be the runner up

I’ve never been the president of anything. In high school I ran for Senior Class Vice president (I think it was VP), but I lost. To Mike Crosland. The Football player. Not that I’m bitter or anything, but I still think I would have done a way better job.

Moving on.

I was also secretary of the Drama Club. I know, right? I’m kind of a big deal.

In my adult life, I’ve had a few “presidency” callings. I’ve been in a YW presidency, a Primary Presidency, and even a Relief Society presidency, but I’ve always been a counselor, and the jobs didn’t turn out to be terribly hard.

Well, now I get the opportunity to be in a presidency again. Only this time, I’ll be the president. (eek) Say hello to the new RS pres of my ward (double eek).

I’ve known about this for a few weeks, actually, but it wasn’t official until yesterday. At first I didn’t think I could do this job because I already have a hefty calling with the Bells on Temple Square. But after talking with my director and the president of the choir (and a LOT of praying), we have come to the conclusion that it is possible to do both. I have to let a couple things go, and my counselors will have to take over when I can’t be to certain ward things because I have bell things. I guess the bishop knew I would need some convincing before I could feel calm, so I’ve had quite a bit of time to work this out. And I did feel calm, alternating with panic. Then I would shove that panic down, and feel calm again.

Yesterday, as I was sitting in church, working on my personal progress (SO close, people!), I read this scripture in John 14:26-27. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

I need to recite that scripture every single morning, I guess.

Yesterday was kind of an exhausting day, anyway. I got to play in a bell quartet in my friend Linda’s ward in Spanish fork at 9:00. Left there and came right to our ward at 11:00. After church we were set apart and that was really a wonderful experience. It was almost 3:00 by the time we ate anything. Then I had a little nap. Woke up at 5:00, got ready, and then went to Provo where I played two bell numbers in a wonderful Easter fireside. I realized about halfway through that I was really hungry again. Thank goodness they had refreshments after the fireside. Long day. Great day, but long.

Well, anyway, I’ve been RS president for 24 whole hours and nothing terrible has happened, so I guess that’s good. We have a presidency meeting tomorrow and I honestly have no idea what we will talk about. Hmmmm. But, I spent about an hour looking through the RS president’s binder, spoke with the RS secretary for about an hour, and questioned the previous RS president for over an hour, so really I should have some clue. Not really.

But honestly, I am humbled and….well, humbled to have this calling. I will do my best.

Funeral

Today was a funeral for a wonderful young man. The family used to be in our ward, but they haven’t been for 5 years or so. We still see them at school things and stake things. This boy was a senior at Lone Peak. A star student, great artist, talented pianist, and friend to all. Not the kind of person you would think would take his own life. A few of the sisters from our ward signed up to help with clean up after the funeral. It’s not much, but it’s a service I could do.

I wasn’t planning on going to the funeral.

But at 11:10, I got a text from a friend who said, “do you know anyone who could come and watch the two little siblings during the funeral.” They had planned on having people in the nursery during the meal, but hadn’t thought about during the funeral. Even though I wasn’t dressed in church clothes, I texted back that I could be there in a few minutes. I hurried and changed my clothes and got over there as quickly as I could.

As I walked into the nursery, a little voice said, “Hi Mrs. E!” Yes, of course. His little sister is in the kindergarten class that I frequently substitute. She and her two year old brother seemed to be ok with me there. Of course, little brother didn’t want his diaper changed, but we got it taken care of. I feel like I was meant to be there to play with them. I could hear the talks from the chapel, but I wasn’t listening too intently, since I was playing with the kids. There weren’t a lot of toys in the nursery, since the toys were all locked in each wards closets, but we did have the kitchen, a few people and cars, and a rocking horse. They really loved getting snow from outside and playing with it in the kitchen.

I was glad I was there. The talks were so touching, and it was nice to be able to listen while playing with the kids.

About 12:40 someone else came to take over the watching of the kids, when the funeral was over, and I went home to make some lunch. Then I came back at 2:30 to help with the funeral luncheon clean up. What a sweet thing it is to be able to work with other sisters, some of them I know, some I don’t, and to offer service at this difficult time.

The other ward hasn’t had as many funerals as we have, and our current Relief Society President is pretty much a pro. She can pull off a funeral, a wedding, a party, probably in her sleep. She knows all the tricks. She brought over the styrafoam take out boxes to load up extra food to take to other families in the ward. She knows where the tablecloths come from, knows about the individually wrapped butters at Sams club, where to buy the best rolls, etc.

As I was leaving, I heard, “Bye, Mrs. E!”
“Bye, sweetie!” I called back.

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