Sunday, November 30, 2014



Life Goes On....

     We have been here almost a month now. I am so surprised today that life goes on everywhere! I woke up to Chaz's birthday today. Our family carried on at Thanksgiving just fine without us. The month will change tomorrow. Christmas lights are appearing on the street corners. See.....life goes on.
     And the mission here carries on also. We took two Visa Waiters to the airport on Monday to catch a plane to Brazil. They have been here waiting for a couple for months for their visas. Well, I should say working here, not just waiting. It was a testimony to me that The Lord is so mindful of his missionaries. Who sends two little ol' 19 year old kids to Brazil with layovers in Atlanta, and then, they wake up to a new day, a new language, a whole new world in Brazil? What kind of mother does a thing like that? That next day, nineteen elders and sisters were dropped off at that same airport to fly to their various homes across the world after serving their time as missionaries. On Wednesday evening, we went to the Mission president's home to greet the new bunch that had arrived that morning from the MTC. There were seventeen of them. Ten little boys and seven little girls. I say that with huge respect. Again, I think, their mothers would be so proud! Not one had a tear in their eye as they stood and introduced themselves and told why they chose to come on a mission. Why did they come?....."I always knew I would"....."I saw the change it made in my brother"......."My family is inactive. I wanted to show them the joy the gospel can bring"....."I was going nowhere. I fasted for answers and here I am".....I wanted to kiss and hug every one of them! How can they be so brave? So bold?
    My elder moved in the new doctor yesterday. He will service several missions from his home here in Independence for the next year. A new couple appeared yesterday across the hall. They will serve in the two visitor's centers here with all those beautiful young sisters. We hauled bunk beds to a threesome out in Higginsville yesterday. As my elder talked to them on the phone and realized they may be short a bed the young elder told him not to hurry. They were taking turn sleeping in the recliner. He will be going home in three weeks and could do it. So....you see....mission life goes on also. I realize I am but a speck in this work and life will go on whether we chose to serve or not. But, I am so amazed at all these young people and old people who come out here to try to do some good. Our sacrament meeting today was again, a missionary's farewell. He is going to Mexico to the MTC to learn Spanish and then, back to Long Beach, CA to serve. He told all the young people to serve only if they have pure intents and pure desires.  Need I say more about my life these days? It goes on in a different way, in a different state but, man oh man, I'm so thankful there are good mothers across the world teaching their children the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are brave and bold and can do hard things. I want to live my life like them.

      "I know that the work I have been called to do is the work of God or I would not stay here one minute, no, I would not have left home. But I know that our happiness is dependent upon my faithfulness while I am here. I am in the hands of our Heavenly Father and he will watch over me and protect me if I do his will. And he will be with you while I am away and watch over you and protect you in all things."      

     President Joseph Fielding Smith to his wife, Louie, when he was serving in England. I bet they wished they could have gone together like My elder and me.
 

The Rolling Hills of Missouri...


     Never ending miles and miles of rolling hills covered with mowed grass or cultivated farmland broken only with wooded areas, ponds, rivers and streams. Scattered little towns or homes every now and then.  It is beautiful.  The geese are everywhere.  The buildings are mostly older, probably built 30 to 100 years ago.  The soil is black.  There is no need for irrigation.  Everything grows on its own. I can understand why Adam and Eve liked it here.

Speaking of Adam and Eve, there is some misconception about where the Garden was.  The Garden of Eden was in Independence, literally. Right at 517 W Walnut Street. (This is also the site of the prophesied temples to be built in the last days.  24 of them to be exact, right on this site.) I am probably writing this blog from the east side of the garden.  When Eve decided to change things, they were sent out of the garden and ended up at a place called Adam-Ondi-Amen (Man and God.)  It is about 50 miles from here. There are great things going to happen in both places. Our mission surrounds the mission of Adam-Ondi-Amen.  The church owns thousands of acres of farmland there.  President Monson presides, personally over this mission.  It will be the place that all the Prophets down through the ages including Adam will hand back the keys of their dispensations to the Savior.  It is a meeting scheduled a few years in the future and will be by invitation only.  Our mission is referred to as the "Alpha and Omega", the beginning and end.  It all started here, it will all end here.  This place is so full of history it is hard to believe.

And so we try to learn our duties and responsibilities, so that this mission will be as successful as possible.  That includes taking care of young and old missionaries.  We love them. 

You will remember that there are a few break-offs of the Church here.  They politely call the break-off a "separation." The main break-off was the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (RLDS). They stayed when the Saints left for Salt Lake City.  They have had nothing but trouble in the last few years. A few years ago they had about 1.5 million members. After disavowing the Book of Mormon, allowing women apostles, gay marriage and a few other things, they are now down to approximately 250,000 members and out of money.  When they started changing things some of them left and started the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  One of those guys left them and joined our church a few years ago.  He is now the Stake President of the Independence Stake.  President Cato is his name.  He seems like a real good man.  And he is very focused. It is so interesting here.  Our perspective is changing somewhat. 

Oh well.  Good night from the Alpha and Omega Mission.



This is a BIG Samoan missionary leaving for the MTC in Mexico tomorrow.

Sunday, November 23, 2014



Saturdays

November 22, 2014

     We have spent three Saturdays in Missouri. All three of those Saturdays have been spent moving Stuff to help missionaries be more comfortable. Whether it was moving Stuff from estate sales to the mission's Batcave (basement in the stake center where all the missionaries' "stuff" is stored) or moving sets of missionaries' stuff to new apartments. This moving business has been a highlight of my week. I like Elder Seaman's mission call. It takes me back to my roots. I grew up in the back of an old yellow Chevy truck that was always on the move looking for good stuff to buy, sell, or trade.
     The picture below shows my Elder helping two sweet missionaries get settled in a new place yesterday. Everytime I am around elders in these situations, I am in awe of their goodness, commitment, and happiness. This is Elder Kolama.....lu ...ha....something. My Elder told me after the move that this elder is on a football scholarship to University of Utah. He was a 330 lb. defensive tackle. When he leaves his mission, he is taking all his stuff straight to Utah to the football field. Then, my Elder told me this young missionary has lost 70 lbs. since he came out on his mission due to missionary work. Now, mind you, this young elder did not tell me any of this. He was just so grateful for the new little twin bed and a blender.
     After our move yesterday we went to visit Temple Lot owned by The Church of Christ. A very kind old gentleman gave us a short history of his religion, the Hedrickites. That is their "Nickname", named after their leader, a Mr. Hedrick. These good people were members of our church until their leader got a revelation in 1864 telling them to return to Missouri in 1867 and live in that consecrated land in Jackson County, Missouri.  I kinda think Mr. Hedricks decided he didn;t like Brigham Young so he went it alone. Anyways, these people got all their Stuff together, moved back and bought Temple Lot. Now, this little tour guide gets to meet every Mormon who visits Independence, Mo. Just like our young, robust missionaries, he believes in his cause. As we listened to his story yesterday I got the feeling Heavenly Father really, really loves him. Just like he loves these young missionaries we get to move around the mission. That little Hedrickite man's Saturday was well spent. That's the joy of this mission. There is a church on every corner and, on Saturdays, when we finish hauling stuff around, we can pop in get a history lesson from good people owning part of the Truth. These young elders and sisters, like Elder Kola...something, know it all. They will proclaim it to anybody. That is why I will get in the truck on any Saturday and help move their stuff.

Love, Sister Seaman

Travels, Graveyards and Church

        In my travels this week, I was within 4 miles of Adam-ondi-Amen (Adam walks with God), 7 miles of Hauns Mill (where the Saints didn't listen and there was a massacre) and 7 miles from Far West where the Saints temporarily stopped and dedicated a temple site (there is absolutely nothing there today but a little church (CC or RLDS)  and a fenced lot with the 4 cornerstones.) We make this run every so often to  deliver furniture, bikes or whatever to the missionaries living there.  In this case, two of the companionships were Senior Sisters.  I feel for the Senior Sisters.  They are way out there, living in little tiny towns, where their work is to support (MLS, member leadership support) the Branch or Ward (visiting the less active and helping out in certain callings.) I know they get involved and love the people but it seems lonely. I also know that they are successful. This trip went northeast 80 miles or so in a big circle ( 160 mile round trip) with 3 stops.  Two stops in Chillecothe and one in Trenton. I came back with a loaf of homemade bread (it was so good), satisfied that they were doing OK out there. I don't remember if I told you that the mission pays about $ 58,000 a month for rent on all the apartments I manage.  We closed one apartment in Blue Springs and opened one in Olathe this week taking the furniture from one to the other. It is busy and I do get to see lots of country.

     Sister Seaman and I live next to a BIG, OLD graveyard.  One of the more interesting residents is that of William E McLellin (see photo). He was one of the original 12 apostles of the church. He apostatized  and left the church and never came back.  He lived in Independence the rest of his life as a doctor.  The other more interesting residents are a few Generals from the Civil War.  They are Confederate Soldiers.  It is so weird to see the grave markers.  There was a huge battle fought near here.  Jim Bridger, the Frontier Scout is buried down the street.  Joseph Smith III is buried in the RLDS cemetery a few blocks from here.  Lilburn Boggs is buried here (Governor of Missouri that signed an extermination order on the Mormons.)  Parts of this area have great and sacred history.

I continue to be amazed at church by the Samoan Element.  They are really good people.  The choir sang a song in Samoan today.  They can sing.  The older Samoans speak with very heavy accents and don't do that well in English, so parts of the meetings are in Samoan.  The young men and women are very strong spiritually and really know the gospel.  They continue to be friendly and loving to us.

We are settling in for the duration, but there are still times I get homesick as does Sister Seaman. We are busy and the time does pass swiftly, at least for me. 
Moving Elders
Temple Lot Marker


Large Crypt in Old Cemetary

Head stones in Old Cemetary

Beautiful resting place
We love you all.

Sincerely,

Elder Seaman



 

Sunday, November 16, 2014



HOME

November 16, 2014

     This is a picture of Bob on his van. He is the first thing I see when I open the blinds of our little apartment each morning. I have never seen Bob leave his spot. I have wondered all week if he never got calls to warm peoples' homes or do what ever he says he will do on his van. My Elder Seaman did tell me this morning that, yes, he has seen Bob go out and about. He must get home early each day.

     Yesterday on Pandora one of our favorite songs came on, HOME by Michael Buble. I told my Elder he had to turn it off. Well, he did and when he turned it back on there he was again...."feel like I'm livin' someone else's life"...We turned to each other and kinda laughed when we both said at the same time, "That's us!" The absolute best thing about this mission is my companion. He is diligently and kindly making Independence our new HOME. He told me this week that he misses our home ward. Our dear Bishop Kai. His high priest friends. So do I. But we are making new friends in our home ward here. We all thought Bishop Kahau Kai had an unusual name.....our new bishop is Bishop Tuuaga Talimatasi. He speaks with a deep Samoan accent and told us from the pulpit today "We are good to see you." We already feel blessed by his leadership. His dear wife sits on the front row so he can see her. So, for now, Blue Mills Ward is our HOME. Like ol Bob, we all can leave our safe spots on our sidewalk and go out into the world and be at Home because the Gospel of Jesus Christ does that for us.

My love to all of our friends, Sister Seaman
    
Church 

     I could not get a picture of him, but in our ward today, there was a non-farewell sacrament meeting for a huge Samoan kid leaving for Auckland, New Zealand to serve a 2 year mission.  Maybe I should describe him before I go on.  He was probably 6 foot 4 inches tall and weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. Black (and I mean black) hair, very dark skin and a built-in scowl that made him almost scary. (I believe he was a football player if that helps you get him in your mind.)  He wore a black suit (almost all of the young men in this ward wear black suits) white shirt and black tie.  Around his neck was the most beautiful flower and leaf lei.  It was huge.  Someone really loved this kid to have made that lei for this occasion.  When it was his turn to talk he stood and delivered the greatest talk I think I have heard an 18 year-old give. He was so kind, had a tremendous testimony of the gospel, loved the Savior and honored and revered his parents.  Wow!  There was not a dry eye in the place. 

I have been in lots of sacrament meetings, in lots of different wards, and there have not been many that equaled this one.  The members love to sing and they belt out the hymns.  (I have always thought that you can tell the spiritual temperature of a ward by how they sing.)  They have welcomed us, they hug us, they have Samoan names that I will probably never be able to pronounce. They have 2 gospel doctrine classes, one in English and one in Samoan.  However, the closing prayer today was in Spanish I think. I was literally reduced to tears by just being there.  It was the high-lite of my week.

I should mention that these Samoan people came here years ago to build the temple that was prophesied  to be built in the last days.  It hasn't happened yet.  Can you imagine how they feel now after so many generations.  In the mean time they have built their families.  It is one of the neatest things I have seen.  They have such respect and honor for their families.

My senior companion is acclimating slowly but surely.  She doesn't cry as much anymore. She is certainly a great companion (maybe a little bossy) and I love sleeping with her.  In fact, all we do is sleep eat, work, eat sleep, work, etc.

The Church has so many break-off factions here that it is hard to keep track of.  The Stake President in the Independence Stake is a convert after he started the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after leaving the Reorganized Church (RLDS).  He has a reputation of being on fire.  Crazy huh?

Love you all,
Elder Seaman
This picture was Friday.

This picture was today.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Arriving in the mission field:

Elder Seaman's version:
   
     We already knew where the Mission Office was, we were here about 20 years ago.  So we drove there in the shadow of the RLDS or Community of Christ Church's Temple across the street.  It is Sunday night and we check in at the Visitors Center.  The Senior missionaries are having a fireside where new converts are bearing their testimonies and President Vest is speaking. We stay and meet everyone.  ANXIETY!  We are told that we have our initial interview with President Vest on Monday at 11:00.  We show up and so does he.  First thing out of his mouth is that he wants to change our assignments.  He wants Sister Seaman to be the Mission Secretary and me to be the Housing Coordinator for the mission which is the largest mission in the world personnel wise.  It has 280 missionaries (lots of sisters for the 2 Visitor Centers and lots of senior couples.)  So much for planting flowers!

Sister Seaman:

     I am sure any of you taking the time to read this stuff already knows that this change is asking the next to impossible of an old gal who cannot even Copy or Cut OR Paste. It is true. I would do ANYTHING or call ANYBODY to help me with computer work. As for phones......I figure the Lord made answering machines so people like me don't have to ever talk on them. It has been a week of tears, prayers, and even fasting by my dear family at home. I feel the Lord has a sense of humor. I also know He is a God of miracles and I am daily asking for them. After a day of working with missionaries on a service clean-out/move on Saturday, I can see that I love all young missionaries - elders and sisters. They are so bold, happy, energetic. I want to be like them.
    Along with switching hats from FM workers to office workers our thoughts were at home with our dear Hatch family. We were so concerned about little Avy. Oh, she was a sick baby! I kept remembering a promise in my blessing from President Williams about our family being blessed.  I knew the Lord was in charge of our lives and clung to the faith that all would be well. It was such a long week.  I felt like we left Show Low back in 1998 or so. As the weekend progressed Avy just flat "got better" on Sunday! She was diagnosed, finally, with Entrovirus. We read about it and truly see what a blessing it has been that she did not end up with some serious after-effects. Now I call that a miracle. How about you?


The MTC

Sister Seaman's version:

  The day finally arrived! We were set apart by our dear President Williams before we left Show Low. I found even before we hit the front door I was clinging to some of those special promises that the Lord made through him. I was one homesick little girl even with my dear companion six inches away
at all times. I was in awe of ALL those sweet young elders and sisters busily going about their work. It was especially thrilling to be at the Tuesday night devotional where Sister Rosemary Wixom, the Primary President, and her husband, spoke. The Senior couples get to sit up front in padded chairs and the young elders and sisters fill in all the way to the top of the auditorium. To look up there and see a wave a beautiful young girls just a bit older than my Kortney and McKenzie left behind in Show Low, and then, a sea of white shirts behind them was so empowering! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is such a gift to this world. I was determined to go do my part in INDEPENDENCE, MO. I knew those flower beds were waiting for fall work to be done. This was truly a highlight of that long week.
     You all may wonder what was my first highlight? Well, one of my kindest, sweetest first graders from many years past was entering the MTC three days after we were there. Sister Lexi Nikolaus will be serving in the Los Angeles Temple Visitor's Center. On the day I knew she would arrive, my Elder Seaman humored me by letting us follow new arriving little groups of young sisters to their apartment building. No Lexi. I wandered the aisles of the cafeteria that evening looking at every dark haired sister I could find. No Lexi. To make a long story short, I asked Heavenly Father if  I could please see that sweet girl. I was so homesick! She was a heartbeat away from all that I had left in Show Low. She was Home.
     After spying again the next morning on all those young dark haired sisters, we began to eat our breakfast. As we were visiting with an couple that seemed even older than us, I looked up and walking towards me with tears in her eyes was Sister Nikolaus! We hung on to each other and cried. She will never know what strength she gave me that morning. That beautiful young thing! If she can leave all she loves to serve the Lord, so can I. I even get to choose my companion for the next 18 months, my dear Elder Seaman.  Thank you, Sister Nikolaus. -------------Sister Seaman    
Sweet Sister Nikolaus


MTC October 27, 2014
Elder Seaman's version:

      The day came all too quickly.  Where did the summer go?  I am not ready, but said our good-byes,  packed up our stuff, turned off the house and locked it up, got in the truck and drove off and did not look back.  Felt a little like the what I imagined the Saints leaving Nauvoo may have felt like.  Drove into the MTC with a truck piled high with "stuff," and began to learn how to teach the gospel.  The four days were filled with high stress role playing, learning the teaching principles and eating at the Cafeteria with about 400+/- other missionaries.  There were 40 other Senior Couples there with us headed to places all over the world.  It is amazing to think that so many give up family, friends, jobs, retirement, and just go because they can and want to, knowing the Lord needs them.  This happens every week!  For me the MTC experience rocked.  It was filled with so many amazing spiritual experiences that I did not want to leave and enter back into the world.  It felt spiritually safe there.  I liked it and especially to be there with my companion, even though she was sooo homesick.

     I think the high-lite of the MTC for me was the moment I came to realize that even I could teach the gospel if called upon to do it and to do it boldly.  I am sure this will wear off as we plant flowers in Missouri but I will not forget the experience.  I also came to realize that no matter what we do on our mission we will be needed and appreciated by the Saviour.  I pray that we will be successful, even though I am not sure that I understand what that means today.



    

 


  

Sunday, November 9, 2014



The Call came.......

        On Friday, May 16, 2014 we came home from  school to a brown envelope from Salt Lake City, Utah. We looked at each other and cried. What do we do? Who do we tell? We finally settled on opening it on Saturday night at Walker's. home. All the girls came but Caitlin who was in Hawaii.  It was so fun, sweet, emotional......Each person put their guess on our big map. We had a two dollar bill  riding on the lucky winner. This was more exciting than childbirth. Probably because all the children from birth were there but our Caitlin. Then.....INDEPENDENCE MISSOURI MISSION working as Facilities Management Specialists. Cash won the 2 dollar bill by guessing Kansas!

*A quote from my journal: "Now, don't get me wrong-----but what the heck is this? Janitors? Jobs they assign people that they don't know what else to do with? Honestly, I am so confused. I just have to move forward with a positive attitude like my Mikie and know it will work. We have made covenants........."



                                 McKenzie's Instagram  announcing our call to our friends along with that official call signed by President Monson.