Sunday, February 22, 2015

Call me the Quarter Sister

Call me the Quarter Sister

February 22, 2015

     There has been an energy in the mission this week. It was New Arrival Day on Wednesday, transfers on Thursday, and Departures on Friday. We have been here through three transfers and as we get to know more missionaries, it pulls at my heart to see some of my friends leave the area. We have been blessed to have two sets of sisters across the hall from us in our apartment building. We got really attached to them. They all were transferred to other areas. Before they left, they wanted me to promise that THEY would always be my Quarter Sisters. Now, I try not to do lots of baking and I can't quote scripture BUT I do have quarters. Our six apartments  that share the washer and dryer must have quarters on hand at all times. I loved to give them quarters to do their laundry because I always like the smell of clean clothes. I consider it a pretty cheap way to serve.  (Check out the picture below of Sisters Reeves and Jex).
     We went to a lecture on Oliver Cowdrey Friday night at the Visitor's Center. Sister Reeves, one of our Quarter sisters was playing the piano. My elder leaned over to me and whispered, "I didn't know Maddie could play the piano". I quietly reminded him she is Sister Reeves to him, not Maddie. She is the tall blonde below who so reminds us of our own quiet, funny Mattie at home. So, our dear Mattie.....if you choose to serve a mission someday, there may be an old senior couple serving with you who will learn to love you and cry when you get transferred.
     Our FM Friends invited us to a dutch oven cookout and bonfire on Saturday night. Now, this was a special invite I want you to know. We drove for over an hour and ended up in a hollow where few people have been before. The whole evening was so surreal. I felt like I reading a script or watching a segment of Moonshiners. Please tell me there is a show like that on The Discovery Channel. Folks who live "out" in Missouri truly live "out". I felt like we went back at least twenty years in time. Mark works for the FM Group and drives into town each day. He hauls old missionary mattress', broken chairs, etc out to his property and has a riproaring bonfire three or four times a year. Now, my Arizona grandkids.....this is against the law where you live. Do not try this at home. He pours gas on that thing and it explodes. The weird thing is that there is a forest of trees right next to the fire. Our whole state would burn down if we tried that in our back yard.
     Our two AP's invited us to their mini-MTC Saturday morning for the Independence Stake YM/YW. As part of the presentation, the youth were shown the Youtube blip of one of our sisters that is serving here in the Independence Visitor Centers. She is the first sister we met who took us on our tour of the Visitor's  Center when we got in town on that Sunday evening in early November. Sister Krause's story is well worth seeing. She still takes rests in the Sickroom each day to maintain her energy. We continue to see missionaries like her come and go after three transfers. My elder makes sure they all have a decent bed to sleep on. I make sure I have their mother's current phone number in case of an emergency. I also make sure I have a roll of quarters in the desk drawer.

Kilee Krause Story

All my love,
Sister Seaman

Zion...The Center place

     I have heard that Zion will be in the center place.  Did you know that Independence, Missouri is said to be almost exactly half-way between the east coast and the west coast.  I thought that might interest you. 
     We had a couple at church today visiting from West Jordan, Utah.  He introduced himself as "Brother Zion."  He said that he is known by that title in his home ward because he is so knowledgeable about "Zion."  He came for the weekend to see the historic sites and is going home today.   I worry about people like that.  I hope he is not aiming "beyond the mark," so to speak. I am pretty sure he wants to be in on "it" when "it" happens though.
     As near as I can tell, we, as a church, are a long way from making this place Zion.   A good portion of Independence is old and dilapidated.  The people who live in Independence are old and dilapidated and are slowly dying off or they are young and uneducated, all are seem to be poor.  The neighborhoods are old and run down (the majority appear to have been built in the 1940's or 50's, some earlier , some later.)  The poor are living in the old homes so they are not  being kept up or renovated. Lots of boarded up windows and doors. The locals say Independence has lots of drug problems.  We don't see that much though.  Anyway, something big has got to happen, in my opinion,  before this place will be ready to be called Zion.
     In my own studies, I think the prophecies about Independence will come to pass.  It will, someday, be Zion in the Center place.  It began here, it will end here. 
     As you might guess, I am not doing well on this post.  I am running out of things to talk about.  I am also weary of the work the accompanies transfer week and after.  I have lots to do and it is repetitive and boring.  It does keep me very busy though for which I am grateful.  I do see small miracles almost everyday, believe it or not.  The mission received a new 12 passenger van a couple of weeks ago.  I have put over 3000 miles on it already.  It looks like the Starship Enterprise, especially when it is pulling a 14' enclosed cargo trailer.  I'll post a picture sometime.
     Anyway, so long from Zion, the Center Place.

Elder Seaman
Love Letters from our departing Sisters

Bon Fire in the Woods

Sisters (Mattie) Reeves and Jex

My Elder and Mark, the FM guy


Sunday, February 15, 2015

There's nothing better than cake but more cake

February 15, 2015

     It's a balmy 17 degrees out there. It has really warmed up today. It began at 1 degree windchill when we went to church this morning. I understand why AZ is bombarded with Snowbirds each year. This is nothing compared to the northeastern part of the United States. They are getting blasted! We wanted to stay warm yesterday so we went to the Truman Library. We got there just in time for a presentation on President Truman's letters to his "Bessie" through the years. He called her that til she told him she hated it. There are more than 1,300 documented letters to her through the years. She was much more private and wished to burn all hers that she wrote to him. The museum workers are still finding memorbilia in the old Truman house as late as 2012.
     He claims to have loved her since he met her in Sunday School at age 6 and she was 5. See the beautiful church below. She was his "beautiful golden haired girl with blue eyes". Through the years she didn't think much of him. It took many years to earn her love. They were both in their 30's when they married.
     President Truman is famous for lots of things but I now admire him most for his love of his wife. His library is loaded with so much  history but I was struck by Bess's white leather wedding shoes. Man, her feet looked little. I don't know how she could have stood around and smiled all day because they were n-a-r-r-o-w.  The pictures taken the wedding day looked like a pretty good time, though.
     The whole fieldtrip reminded me again that when it is all over but the crying, nothing will count as much as our relationships. Again, I say we are here serving a mission to set the example to our dearest family at home. That is how we show our love at this time. We pray everyday that the Lord will accept our pitiful offering. AND....You all know how I feel about my elder......Bess Truman doesn't have a thing on me. She got a president. I got an elder. Too bad for her.

Good Harry Truman quotes....

"There's nothing better than cake but more cake"   (Right, Seaman girls?)

"Once a decision was made, I didn't worry about it afterward"

"Never kick a fresh turd on a warm day"

My LOVE, love to you all,

Sister Seaman

The Complaint Department

     Many years ago, when Sister Seaman's father was alive, he (Elbert Lewis) operated a Junk Store.  It was the Junk store of all Junk Stores.  It was so big and such a maze of rooms and hallways that he placed water and rations for those who were lost.  It was beyond belief.  The rooms were packed with antiques and used furniture and junk. He had lots of old sayings and signs.  One of the sayings he was fond of, and was always telling me, was that "you couldn't sell anything out of an empty wagon." Hence, the acres of junk.  He used to put signs up too.  One of them became one of my favorites.  It hung near his office window and it went something like this, "Complaint Department, Go to Helen Waite."  For those of you who don't get it, just keep saying it to yourself out loud.  It will come to you. 
     The missionaries here in Missouri try to make me the complaint department sometimes.  On almost every occasion, I want to tell to them to go to Helen Waite, but I don't.  But I remember and smile to myself.  They call me often about their mattresses being worn out or that their boxsprings are broke.  (I don't know how you break a boxsprings unless you are jumping on the bed.)  They want a new vacuum cleaner because theirs doesn't work anymore.  (It is usually just plugged so full of hair and crap that it won't suck up anything anymore.)  I gently suggest that cleaning the filter and the hose may help.  It usually works.  Lately, I have had a couple of calls about marijuana smoke filtering in to their apartments and loud noises coming from nextdoor neighbors.  I tell them that I will write a letter to the Landlord.  It usually works. It is a little embarrassing.
     The other day I was in the office and received a noise complaint and so I called the apartment manager.  SHE listened to me go on about it for a while, mainly because I wasn't sure how to tell her about it, and then she told me, "Oh honey, I've been in the manager business for years and I have heard it all."  She told me that she would tell the noisy neighbors to knock it off after 10:00PM. Well, OK.  I can't imagine they will keep quiet.  Anyway, during the time I was on the phone to her, my office companion, the car czar, who is about 75 and his wife, are listening to my end of the conversation.  He is looking at me just smiling a big ol wicked smile and she has her back to me, head bent down. I laughed about it later with my Sister.  Complaints?  Go to Helen Waite.


Elder Seaman


New bird's nest from the
Kansas City Temple Grounds courtesy of
our FM friends. The puff is from the cottonwood trees.

Church where Pres. Truman met Bess. 
Picture was taken a couple of months ago.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Homemade Bread

February 8, 2015

     I miss Kirsten's homemade bread. I crave a shrimp taco and cheese enchilada with green sauce from Licano's. Yesterday, Sister Jensen guided us out to Haun's Mill again and, returning, we found some homemade bread in Jamesport. The Mennonites run a bakery there. Kirsten, it was almost as good as yours. Man, I was happy about it. As for tacos out here....I'm still on the lookout for a good one.
      It's funny how little things can make us happy. I am seeing that in serving as the mission secretary. It's just little things I do BUT I am still following directions from the secretary manual. Computer Talk is not comfortable to me. It may never be but I can be happy in the trying. Any time my elder comes in the office I have a question or a problem for him to fix. He was gone on Friday and BOOM! I deleted all the saved Documents. They were gone. No matter what I did or what I tried. All I could do was ask Heavenly Father again for help. It seems that is what I do most alone in that office-pray, pray, pray.... After what seemed like an eternity, I found them! So small to a real secretary. So BIG to a pretend secretary like me. I cannot deny Heavenly Father's tender care in my behalf as I continue to stretch and grow with each project. If I don't EVER learn computer skills I can't help but know that my Heavenly Father knows my name and my needs. That makes me so happy. 
      President Vest has directed the missionaries to quit "hanging around" the office. (my words.......sure his were more formal) That has taken a bit of zest from the place. I do understand the reasoning but now it seems like a lawyer's office without the elevator music. Kind of serious and solemn.  Now, the minute a set of missionaries tiptoe in  to drop off an important document I jump up and creep over to quietly shake their hands so I do not disturb the work of others. That makes me so happy.
     Our Sailor turned six and our Noah will be 11 this week. Our Jordy continues to study each day for the bar exam which he will take close to the end of the month. The Hatch turtle passed away this week and our Kortney went house hunting up to NAU for next fall while Jett made the winning basket at his game. Life in our Seaman family goes on and on and on....These are still and will be our happy highlights as we serve out here. We see our family being blessed  in their various endeavors. As for me, I am finding joy in a good piece of homemade bread, a finished job in the office, or an outing with my elder and whoever else we can fit in the truck. 

All my love,
Sister Seaman

Finding Joy

     I continue to move missionaries all over the mission.  I will be in Albany on Tuesday moving a set of Sister missionaries from a members home to an old beat up apartment (because there isn't anything better) in the middle of a real small, old town. Albany is in the far north reaches of our mission. It must be a little lonely for them.  Everything is old there. The work must be hard for them, but I think they like it.  I am getting to know the freeways, highways and roads etc. here in Missouri.  I like it.  I even find myself whistling now and laughing at myself out loud because I am funny when I am alone. I wonder if I am finding joy?
     Speaking of joy.  We went up to Jamesport yesterday.  It is an Amish community with the horse and buggies and plain clothes.  The tourists like to see them and buy their stuff. There are a few antique/junk stores there also.  A senior sister in our building ask to go there.  We took the Garretts with us too.  John Garrett  and his wife, Trixey (sp).  They are the ones that were serving a mission in Oregon and got in a real bad car accident.  A logging truck lost its brakes above them on some switchbacks, lost control, turned over and the logs rolled down and crushed their car.  John got the worst of it. A log fell on the roof of their car and landed right between them. Kinda.  John got hit on the back of the head and shoulder and hand. And it crushed some things inside.  He died several times on the way to the hospital.  He was in a coma for several weeks.  He had two strokes in that time. They didn't think he would live, but he did.  They didn't think he would walk or talk again but he did.  He had to learn to do everything all over again. He doesn't have any skull  bone in the back of his head.  His left shoulder is re-built and still doesn't work well.  He shuffles a little when he walks.  His thought and speech processes are a little different than yours or mine.  They came back to finish their mission.   (Remind when I get home to tell you the whole story.) He has taught himself to be a story-teller. He is teaching himself Spanish (because they are serving in a Spanish branch.)  It is fascinating.   He is one of the happiest people I know.  He has found joy.  I am drawn to him. There seems to be a big connection between REAL sacrifice/service and being happy.
     Haun's Mill has been a real question in my mind.  With Sister Jensen's help we found it yesterday (I didn't find it the first time.)  It is in a lonely place and it was real muddy.  I took a picture of the post that identifies the place and a plaque.  The church owns it now.  It is a vacant grassy meadow about the size of a football field. The grass is mowed.  It is in the bottom land on Shoal Creek.  Nothing else.  Nothing to describe the horror that occurred there.  There is a rumor that the church recently brought in cadaver dogs to try to find the grave sites and the well which apparently had several bodies thrown it.  Nobody knows the results if there really are any.  This must of been a real trial for the saints.  Stay the course and live with joy.

Elder Seaman

There are 2 bald eagles in this picture.  There were 4 but 2 flew off when I pulled up.

Identifying post at Haun's Mill

1949 Plaque at Haun's Mill

Homemade Bread from the Amish Bakery and a note from the young
sisters across the hall.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

What Kind of a Boy or Girl Are You?

February 1, 2015

     On my lunchtime jaunts around the neighborhood, I walked past this small bronze sidewalk marker many times. (below) Upon the advice of my old friend, Elder Carlson, I read it on Friday. This was the site of the Jones H. Flournoy home. This is the man that Edward Partridge bought the Temple Lot from for the Saints. When  Joseph Smith, along with his brother and the other men, were arrested and were being paraded through two counties before they ended up in Liberty Jail, General Moses Wilson invited them to dine in this home. He was living there with his wife at the time.
General Wilson later said of Joseph, "He was a very remarkable man. I carried him into my house, a prisoner in chains,and in less than two hours my wife loved him better than she did me."
     Yesterday, we finally got to do the full blown tour of Liberty Jail. One of the things that struck me most was when the prisoners were being unloaded from the wagon and each making their way up the steps into that dungeon, many curious townspeople had gathered to get a look at these strange Mormons. Joseph Smith was the last man up the steps. He turned partly around, and with a slow and dignified movement looked upon the crowd. Then, turning to the guards, he lifted his hat and clearly said, "Good afternoon, gentlemen". He turned and made his way into that jail.
    Just a block down the street from the jail, another man made history in Liberty, MO. Jesse James pulled off the first daylight bank heist in the history of  the United States. Old tourists like my elder and I are willing to pay six bucks a pop to walk in that bank and look around. My elder feels like he got ripped off but I kinda liked it. Some people think of Jesse James as a moral paradox. He was a good family man and even religious in his own way. Did he give away some of his earnings to the poor? Some think he may have. As for me, the jury is still out.
     Both of these men began their lives of "Fame" at an young age. Jesse was 16 when they walked out of that bank  and Joseph was 14 when he walked out of that grove. Both of these men ended up dying in their 30's  from bullet wounds. Jesse in an angry gang member  and Joseph in ILL. by an angry mob.  That is about their only similarity in life. I always marvel at the stories I hear or read about the kindness and graciousness of the prophet Joseph. I want to be like him. Not only was he a prophet of God, he loved people. All people. So, my grandkids, what kind of a boy or girl do you want to be?

Love to all of you,
Sister Seaman

To Tell the Truth and nothing but the Truth....

     I testified at a trial several years ago.  The defendant was accused of 1st degree murder. He had shot and killed a classmate out at Fool Hollow after being beat up by the classmate.  There was no question that he did it, it was a question of whether it was pre-meditated or not.  I have always believed that my testimony helped him go free.  Completely off.  I have wondered at times if I was as honest as I could be.  I know I was.  But was it the right thing to do?  It was.  I have always felt like a man had to be honest no matter what.  Well, I have a confession to make here and it is about being honest. 
     Sometimes we hear things and take them for the absolute truth.  Maybe the source was somebody you thought you should believe.  Maybe you heard wrong. Maybe you wanted to believe what you heard.  It's like the Internet.  Everything you see and read and hear on the Internet is true isn't it?  I have learned to be very careful about the Internet.  I have not learned, as well as I should, about checking the source to verify what some people say. 
    When Sister Seaman and I  first came out on our mission, we were trained by a couple who were on their way home.  They were great.  The training was awesome.  On one of my trips through the Kansas City area one day, as we passed the the Kansas City Temple (just off the 435), it was mentioned that the Kansas City Temple was located within the confines of Jackson County Missouri.  I thought to myself, wow, can that be?  I was always under the impression the Jackson County temple would be in Independence.  Anyway because of the source, I have been telling people that same untruth.  I had not verified it, and did not take the time to check it out.  It turns out that the Temple is in Clay County by a couple of miles.  The northern border of Jackson County is the Missouri River.  so when you cross the river going north, you are in Clay County.  The temple is on the north side of the river.  I stand corrected.  Forgive me. 
     I have often heard that obedience is better than sacrifice.  After  reading a couple of books about the story of the LDS church in the Independence, MO area in the earliest of days, I think maybe obedience and sacrifice go more hand-in-hand.  What good is your obedience if you're not willing to sacrifice.  What good is your sacrifice if you can't be obedient.  I think the Lord likes to see both in us.  He likes to see us obedient. And maybe being completely obedient is a sacrifice.
     For instance the Zion's Camp march.  Joseph ask for 500 men to march to Missouri to save the land the members had purchased there and had been driven off of.  Joseph got less than a 100.  During the trip some men quarreled, whined, caused trouble and rebelled.  The Lord warned them, that if they didn't start doing things right he would curse them.  They didn't do it.  The cholera struck them.  All were sick, the good and the bad, some died.  The march ended in failure.  So why did the Lord ask them to go.  Out of the ones that remained faithful and were willing to sacrifice their very lives for the Saints, came the men that were later called to leadership positions in the Church, which scripturally was called "laying the foundation." The Saints had to be tried and tested.  The ones that couldn't do it were driven away. It was sacrifice and obedience that laid the foundation of what we enjoy in the Church today.  I pray that when trials come, that my children and their children will not come up empty.  Their ancestors paid a very dear price for them.

Elder Seaman

Inside of Liberty Jail
You need 6 bucks to get in the door!


Plaque in sidewalk on my walk.