Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Week Extravaganza

Denis and I had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving week! Some of my family came to visit us in Ohio. We also took a trip up to Detroit to visit some families that Mike taught on his mission. Be prepared for a lot of pictures.

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Denis and I started our Thanksgiving poster a week before Thanksgiving. It really helped us to appreciate everything and was a great way to count our blessings. I think we’ll make this a tradition.

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We played in the ward Turkey bowl that morning

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Hanging out before our big Thanksgiving dinner that we could barely eat because we snacked so much before. haha

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Denis had to run an errand so Mike got to carve the turkey. The first  turkey Denis and I have cooked and it was a success!

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Our Thanksgiving table, now we just need some food!

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One last thing before we “dig in”. Opening our Thankful boxes. The week before Thanksgiving I had all of us write “thankful thoughts” about each other. Denis got a little surprise because I got “thankful thoughts” from his parents too.

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FOOD!!! Also got a picture of Dad eating with his “little fork” that Steph put by his plate for a joke. You should seen his face when he saw it. Good times.

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(Come on babe put your back into it! Don’t worry, Denis got him off after a couple good pushes.)

Our “after giant Thanksgiving dinner” walk. Girl’s had fun swinging. Boys had fun playing “king of the bouncy thingy”.

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Next day we went to visit the flower shop where I work. This is Steph petting the shop’s cat Steph.

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Cheesecake factory for lunch! Yum!

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Bowling after a couple hours of Black Friday shopping. Guess what?! I almost beat my Dad! It was so close! I think I ended with a 120’s score and my Dad was 140. It’s the closest I’ve ever been.

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Our visit to Detroit was so fast, but I’m so glad we went. The first two pictures are just a couple of pictures we got of some burnt out houses. I thought that Mike was sort of exaggerating when he would tell us how bad Detroit was…he wasn’t at all. I felt like I walked into a different country.  Mike spent 18 months of his mission in one area so he knew the people there like family. The family in the picture above was so humble, generous, kind, and full of the Gospel.

One thing that I noticed while I was there is how bad the neighborhoods were, the houses, etc. but then you would walk into an LDS home and they were always so well taken care of inside and had pictures of Christ and the temples on every wall. I know what it means to “make your home feel like a temple”. Those people did it. The Spirit was in their homes and it was a stark contrast to what was going on outside the walls of their homes. Their homes are little temples all over Detroit.

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The last thing we did was spend the day at the National Air Force Museum. This place is incredible, even if you’re not into planes. we got to sit in cockpits of two of the jets, that was really cool. Mike and my Dad did a jet simulator where they flew a jet and shot down enemy planes. The simulator rotated 360, meaning they went upside down whenever they steered the jet upside down. We also got to go see an amazing movie about he Hubble telescope on an IMAX screen. That movie literally blows your mind, it’s incredible. And lastly, we visited some past Air Force One planes from past Presidents. Good stuff!

And of course there were many a games played into the wee hours of the morn. This being one of my favorites.

 

As you can see we had a packed week, but we still didn’t even scratch the surface of fun things to do in Ohio! There are so many other things we would have loved to take them to see and do, but there just wasn’t time! I guess that means we’ll just have to have more visitors soon! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

How our Savior would act…

Yesterday, Denis and I shook the hand of one of the twelve apostles of the Savior on the earth today. When I shook Elder Nelson’s hand, he looked me right in the eyes and smiled so kindly. I knew that the man before me loved the Savior and Heavenly Father so loyally, I could see that in the lines of his face and I felt it so deeply in my heart as we exchanged smiles. It was a hand shake that I will never forget…a man I will never forget, who reminded me to never forget my Savior and to live my life everyday to become more like the Savior.

Today, when one of the counselor's in our Stake Presidency finished addressing our stake and sat down in his chair, I watched Elder Nelson immediately put his arm around the counselor and lean in to whisper in his ear, something I imagine like, “Thank you. You did a wonderful job. I appreciate your message.”  As as the meeting proceeded Elder Nelson’s arm stayed around that brother’s shoulder's as naturally as a father would hold his son. Even in such small ways, in such a small act, Elder Nelson emulated how the Savior would act.

Later in the conference, Elder Nelson stood as the concluding speaker and the very first thing he said was something like, “You know I’ve had the privilege to meet so many of the mother’s, father’s, and some of the youth in your stake, but do you know who I have yet to meet? The children. Where are you Primary children? Please stand up, stand on the benches, stand tall and let me see your beautiful faces.”

And as the children stood tall, as they were instructed to do, Elder Nelson spotted one little boy, way in the back of the congregation, who was waving his arms as big as he could to Elder Nelson. The little boy’s excitement to greet an apostle was so simple, childlike, and so very touching. Elder Nelson responded to the little boy’s greeting and the rest of the children by lifting his arms way above his head and as big as he could waved them back and forth until all the children in the congregation were waving arms wide back to him. Elder Nelson’s actions of remembering the children was exactly what the Savior would have done.

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“5 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.

6 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.

7 Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

8 For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.

9 And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.

10 And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.

11 And it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought.

12 So they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him, and Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto him.”

Elder Nelson didn’t stop there, he asked all the children to sing a song for him, “I Am a Child of God”, and as they sang the room filled with love. I was sitting in the choir seats, with a good view of the entire congregation and could see almost every adult and youth…young and old, man and woman, eyes filling with tears. It was such a special and beautiful moment inspired by a man of God. Elder Nelson was again acting as the Savior would have acted.

After the meeting finished with the closing prayer, the children surrounded Elder Nelson, each one hugging him as tightly as they could around his waist and knees. It was so sweet.

This was a stake conference I will never forget. It has been impressed upon my heart by the Holy Ghost forever. And with that impression my testimony grew of the divinity of our Savior. I know He lives. I know that Elder Nelson has been called by the Savior Himself to spread the Savior's Gospel to all the world. Elder Nelson is a special witness of Christ, an apostle on the earth along with eleven other equally as wonderful men that serve faithfully with him in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The apostles and the rest of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are led by a living Prophet, President Monson and his two inspired counselor’s.

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