Sunday, March 29, 2015

#Because of Him

#Because of Him

March 29, 2015

       On a late Wednesday afternoon this week, I was working in my office when I heard a group of elders came in the front door. I could tell by the noise that they were in my elder's office. After a bit, a newer elder poked his head around my door and more to himself than to me he whispered, "oh, you're Sister Seaman." I jumped up and reintroduced myself to him telling him that I knew him from his file. After a bit of small talk, he sheepishly told me he wanted to see the real Sister Seaman because there was a guy next door with that nametag on. We went over there together and, sure enough, my Elder Seaman was wearing my extra nametag. Now, notice I told you this was in the afternoon. My elder had been out and about Independence buying mission supplies in stores and lunch at Buffalo Burgers (who knows).
     So goes the life of Senior Missionaries. I live with the guy. I know who he is. There are several office missionaries and none of us caught it. My elder and I just have to come home some evenings and play the Glad Game. We have to find silly things to laugh at. This seems to have been a long week as we have both been fighting colds. The weather has been fickle. Our little apartment has seemed extra small. The work has been slow.
     This week, the church came out with the new Easter video #BecauseofHim. I can't quit watching it. It is so simple, yet so profound. The phrase that has been going over and over in my head this weekend is........"Because of Him we can start over again and again." I love that. I believe that. My cold will go away. We will keep our eyes open for silly things to laugh about. Salt Lake will send a new batch of missionaries' names out on Tuesday morning and I will start over again. Occasionally, when I hear my elder come in the office door, I will get up to check his nametag to see if he is really who I know him to be. Here's to a new week.

Oh, my LOVE to all of you,
Sister Seaman

Bat Cave.....

     Here at the Mission Headquarters we have a storage space called the "Bat Cave."  The storage space is located beneath the Stake Center which is located just down the street from the Mission Office on sacred ground. It sits on a part of the site where the 24 temples that were laid out by Joseph Smith for the New Jerusalem. The Stake Center's design is the one that was popular in the late 60's and early 70's.  It is a large,  irregular shaped building with a full sized basketball court in the gym.  We have one of these in Show Low. They were built all over the place.  This one is peculiar in that it has a full basement under the entire structure.  It is huge.  Only about 25% of the basement is finished for classrooms, the rest is pretty much wide open.  Over the years, a Scout Room was created and some maintenance storage and the rest was divided up for the mission and the wards by 14' high fencing.  The mission has the majority of the open space.  I heard that in the original plans, the unfinished part of the basement was supposed to be back-filled.  It never was and is now known as the Bat Cave, of which I, the mission housing coordinator, am in charge.  We store furniture, washing machines, dryers, kitchen equipment, bedding, vacuum cleaners, etc.  Everything to furnish a missionaries apartment.  It is something.  It is dark and damp, hence the name "Bat Cave."  Just the other day, I talked the FM missionaries into borrowing their dump trailer and filling it up with years and years worth of trash from the Bat Cave.  It took two loads, with the FM folks smashing and flattening everything.  It sure looks better to me, but if you saw it you would wonder about me.  Anyway, Sister Seaman took some pictures of all who were involved.  It was kind of a big deal.           
    Anyway, it was a slow week for me.  The mission is starting to lose its complement of missionaries.  The swell of 18 year olds is waning and the Church wants the complements no bigger that 200.  We were at 280 (when we got here) and by this next transfer will be at 260.  If things don't change, we will be at 220 by August.  Remember that we have 2 visitor centers in our mission which adds about 40 sisters and senior missionaries to the regular complement, which would put us 180.  I am beginning to non-renew the leases on missionary apartments and empty them as the mission decreases in size which means all the good furniture coming out of them goes to the Bat Cave.  Good thing we have it.
    The name tag thing may be funny to some of you, but I wore the thing almost all day and nobody noticed.  I do remember some strange stares from the heathens, otherwise nobody cares what my name is.
     Richard, my brother, showed up at the apartment the other night.  He was doing his thing in Wichita and drove an hour plus just to see us for a few minutes.  He went way out of his way, it was good to see him.  It does make us homesick though.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
    
Elder Seaman at the entrance to the Bat Cave.


FM Director Mark and the Trash Trailer.


The Trash Crew. Notice the "Star Ship
Enterprise" in the background and I don't
mean the Other Temple.  See the mission van.




Notice the discreet difference.



Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Other Temple


The Other Temple

March 22, 2015

   Girls, I finally talked your dad into going to the Other Temple down the street from our office and across the street from our Visitor's Center. Do you remember that place? The Seashell building. Not much has changed there except it is even more empty. Ted (not your Uncle Ted) was our guide and he didn't make much eye contact as we moved from the meditation room up the path to the sanctuary. Since we visited there many years ago the name of the place has changed from the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple to the Community of Christ Temple. They also have added newer pictures of some of their apostles. I noticed a couple of ladies hanging up there with the gentlemen. There were only four guests on this tour, us being number three and four. As we came to the end of the tour and Ted was pointing out The Plaza for Peace out the window, I could hear this clip-clip-clop of high heel sandals walking across the floor. It was loud and echo-y. There was such a hollow sound to it. I looked over and it was the other lady that had been at the desk passing by. I do believe the four guests, us being number three and four, outnumbered the workers in the temple on Saturday, March 21, 2015. By the way, number one and two tourists were two other missionaries from our mission.
     Can you imagine our temples being run by a skeleton crew of workers who sat at the front desk just waiting and hoping a tour group would appear? Especially on a Saturday morning? Can you imagine a tour group even showing up at our temples and going on tours inside?  For that short while my elder and I got to work on Saturday morning in the Snowflake Temple before we came on our mission, that place was always hopping. Plus I could have never gone in there wearing my Pday green Converse and black  pants. Girls, our church is becoming more and more different from the world. It is so noticeable. I love that reverence and respect that is instilled in our people for sacred things.
     It rained here steady for two days and nights this week. What would we do with that much moisture in Arizona?  The weather is fickle. Oldtimers out here say if you don't like Missouri weather, wait five minutes and it will change. My heart, along with all of yours,  has been in Utah with Lorraine, Ted, and their family. I am so very thankful for the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ that has offered us and all the world Hope through Temples. Teach and Preach it to your kids. We are blessed with the true gospel. I have the dearest, fondest memories of my mom getting her temple bag ready to go to the Mesa Temple. She would lay it out and neatly refold it back up, I knew she loved that clothing. I knew that sometime during our trip to Grandma's house in Mesa, she  and Dad would go off early in the morning to the temple. I love when you send me pictures of any of you coming or going from the temple.  Keep it up! Make it a tradition, a way of life. When all is said and done, I have never heard anyone wish they hadn't spent so much time in the temple.

All my love,
Sister Seaman

  Old Rascals...

     Sister Seaman and I were just walking down the sidewalk over by the Mission Office and she said to come and look at something in the sidewalk.  Low and behold, there in the sidewalk is a brass plaque designating lot 131 as being the location of the Dishonorable Lillburn Bogg's house.  There is nothing there now but an empty grassy lot.  But it was the location where apparently somebody tried to assassinate him.  Boggs claimed it was Orrin Porter Rockwell and they tried him in this house.  Rockwell was not convicted.  This is the same Boggs that later became Governor of the State of Missouri and signed the extermination order on the Mormons.  I hope he can be forgiven for what he did.  I heard at a fireside at the VC recently that Governor Boggs has ancestors who have since joined the church.  He certainly was an old rascal.  On the other hand, we were in Liberty yesterday and visited Alexander Doniphan's grave site.  He was a great friend to the church and is attributed to saving the Prophet Joseph's life.  He is not a rascal, but he does have a large monolisk (sp).
     We attended Stake Conference today out in Warrensburg.  It is an hour's drive from Independence.  Some of you may wonder why we went to Warrensburg.  Because that is the Stake our ward is in, even though the ward meets here in Independence.  Kinda weird.  Anyway, I am sure it was like all of your stake conferences lately.  It was a good meeting.  I almost feel like doing more genealogy and missionary work.
     The trees are blossoming now.  It sure feels like spring. We walked across some grassy areas this afternoon and I wondered about the ticks and jiggers.  The Sam's Club RV park was bustling with motor homes and house trailers.  Kids were playing ball and smoking weed.
     The Other Temple was sooo weird.  I felt like it (and everything else the RLDS do) is a cheap imitation of the real thing.  They have no idea.  They are prouder of the fact that they now have women apostles and women can hold the priesthood than they are of their own church doctrine,which is becoming more diluted by the day.  But their trees sure are pretty.  I think their church is now led by rascals who make a lot of money.  Too bad.
     Sister Seaman and I are sure that you're tired of the same old stuff.  Our mission is pretty routine.  But we love you all and think of you often.  Stay the course.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
 
 
Can you believe these blooms?




Community of Christ Temple (The Other Temple). Spring is getting pretty.


Plaque in sidewalk.
Alexander Doniphan's gravesite.  This thing
is over 25' tall.

    


    




Sunday, March 15, 2015

Greetings from Independence



Greetings from Independence

March 15, 2015
      The windows are  opened this Sunday afternoon. Girls, remember when you were home and we had window, door, and light rules? Opened windows in daylight hours were a no-no. Wide open swinging doors were not allowed. Lights left on in empty rooms were unheard of in our house. Do you ever remember the cry that would go through the house when we saw your dad pull up? "Dad's home! Shut the door!"  He prided us on thriftiness and good common sense. Now, I wonder, how those window, door, and light rules have carried over into your homes?
    You girls know I have a thing for pulled back curtains, sunlit windows. How can a home be happy when it is dark inside? We went to the Community of Christ Church Friday night for a Book of Mormon symposium. Some professors from BYU and leaders of various branches of break-off groups out here were discussing the one and only aspect that still binds us together-The Book of Mormon. I was so excited to see inside this old beautiful church that Joseph Smith III  had laid the cornerstone for in 1888. The most beautiful thing were the stained glass windows. (see below). They were beautiful as the sun shone through them.
     The rest of the  symposium seemed a bit "flat" as far as I was concerned. Sorta like there was a big old elephant in the room. As you know, there are many break-off groups out here in the Independence area.  They all seem to break the rules like we did with windows, doors, and lights when your dad was not home. Priesthood? Sure, you can hold it if you get a degree. Baptism? Sure, I'll send my sister over soon to do it. Well, I'm exaggerating......but you get my drift. It's kind of like they are wandering around in dark rooms.
     If I know nothing else, Girls,  I know The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in its fullness to this earth. We can be beneficiaries of all the blessings of it. I love that we don't have to create new rules to satisfy the whims of man or woman. Study that Book of Mormon with your kids. Make sure they know and understand that it was written for our day. Teach them that we must be baptized by those in authority just as Jesus Christ was. Teach them to follow the rules. Also, tell them it's a good idea to keep doors and windows shut during warm daylight hours. It heats the place up.   

My love to you all,
Sister Seaman


Spring has Sprung...

     We have a picture in our apartment of the Sacred Grove in New York.  The words printed beneath the photograph read like this, "What happened here changed the world.  Let it change your life."  I have felt the same about Independence and surrounding areas in Missouri.  I have read everything I can get my hands on about what happened here.  The sacred ground we go to everyday to work looks like any other property in the Independence area, as do all the other historic sites.  What happened here has widened my understanding of the Lord's work.  It has given me perspective I would never have gotten had we not been called here.  It has strengthened my testimony and my admiration of those who came here and were driven out, but stayed true and loyal to the Lord.  And so I can say, "What happened here changed my life, let it change your life."
      Spring has sprung here. The trees are budding out, the bulbs are sprouting. There is something about this country that pulls at you.  I find myself starting to love the country side, but don't tell anyone.  I can understand a little better, why the saints liked it here.  But it is not my home, no, not yet. 
    Yesterday we went up to St Joe.  It was a good day with good temperature and sunshine.  St Joseph is about an hour northwest  of here.  We went to the Stetson Hat Outlet (They used to make them here but moved the factory to Texas a couple of years ago.  It was interesting though.  The Garret's were with us and they bought hats and dresses, etc. (They are big horse-cowboy fans.)  We also went to the Pony Express stable museum (see pictures.) That was real interesting. St. Joe was the eastern end and the beginning of the Express route west.  It was a good day.     By the way, I was a light and door Nazi.  I was a poor, broken man trying to provide for his family.  You feel for me don't you?  They make fun of me now for it.  I am sorry that my kids had to suffer and now my grandkids.  Maybe not anymore.  

  
Sincerely,
Elder Seaman 

Book of Mormon Symposium inside Stone
Church. Beautiful Stained Glass.



Original Pony Express Stables


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Book of Mormon Stories that my Teacher Tells to me....



Book of Mormon Stories that my Teacher Tells to me....

 March 8, 2015

     The Book of Mormon, a musical is coming to Kansas City. Some of you may have heard of it. Apparently, it has some catchy tunes in it. As always, when the Church is drawn into the spotlight in a derogatory way, our leaders issue kind, polite statements. I love that about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In January the whole KC area began a blitz to spread the word about the book, The Book of Mormon. There was a day of members going on splits with missionaries, followed by another push that was held yesterday. Members were encouraged to post on their facebook or Instagram account pictures of them with missionaries. You can see some of our missionaries at #KCMISSIONARYSPLIT.
     It worked out that I could go with the two young sisters who live across the hall from us and also, another young girl in our ward named Mariah Mullanazi.  Her whole family was baptized two weeks ago. McKenzie, she reminds me of you. She is a sophomore and she has a "smoky" voice like yours. I was so impressed to be hanging around with real missionaries that do real missionary work and this young teenage girl. Sister Prior and Sister Pistorius don't let any grass grow under their feet. We marched all around Hawthorne Heights knocking on doors. Now, this is a scary place. The sisters can only go to doors of names given to them by the elders or ward members and they can only go in daylight hours. We didn't have much luck as we waited to go see Daisy, a young single mom who they are teaching the discussions to. Daisy is poor. Her phone had been shut off due to nonpayment. She struggles to read. But she kept a clean little apartment and was wishing we all could have a cup of water or tea together.  The gospel concepts are so new to her. She has a long way to go but she kept saying she wanted "more" for her son.
     The whole day made me so thankful for bold, brave young sisters who leave the world to spread the good news of the gospel. Could I do it day in and day out? Could I answer when a young single mom says, "How do you pronounce that man's name, Ne fee?" It was Nephi. How about when I am asked, "I read about this Holy Ghost. What is his job?" Those young sisters covered it all so well. Mariah bore her testimony about the change the gospel has made in her life. I think her and her family will make it.
     So, my girls, keep telling and reading your kids those Book of Mormon stories. They will be their lifeline. It may save them some day to know that Jesus Christ visited the Americas because he loved those people and he loves them. The stories are real. They are true.

"The Book of Mormon, the musical, might entertain you for a night, but the Book of Mormon will change your life through Jesus Christ."
                                                     Our church's statement about this musical.

Love you all,
Sister Seaman

Do it now...

     Spring has sprung this week in Independence.  The high temperature the last three days has been in the high sixties.  Just a day or two before that, the high was 18.  Nothing is green yet, but at these temps it can't be long. The windows in our apartment are open as I write this blog.  It makes me homesick!
     For the last several months, in fact since we got here,  I have been very busy.  Driving and delivering furniture and stuff to missionaries.  I am now finally caught up.  But what now?  I really liked being busy.  The time went by real fast.  I was tired at night.  I am scared that things may change now.  Too much time to think is not good for me.
     We have a visiting General Authority this next week.  He is coming to do a mission tour.  We will have to be on our best behavior.   He wants to meet the mission office staff for 30 minutes.  I wonder what he will say to a bunch of old senior missionaries. "Thanks???"    Oh well.
     I want my children and grandchildren to know something.  You better be teaching the gospel in your homes and you better be doing it on a regular basis.  I am afraid that if you don't, you will be facing some heartbreaking times ahead.  Read them the scripture stories.  Bear your testimonies to them.  Do everything you can to give them strength, courage, and convictions of the truth.  Do not put it off anymore.  Do it now.
   

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
    
    
L to R.  Sisters Pistorius, Prior, Mariah, Seaman.
#KCmissionarysplit

Spring has sprung! The windows are open!
Spring on the Muddy Missouri

Sunday, March 1, 2015

"Good morning, this is Sister Seaman....Good afternoon, this is Sister Seaman"




March 1, 2015

      Seems I have been on the phone a lot this week. If you knew me in my civilian life, you knew the phone could ring at our house and I didn't pay much attention to it. I figured that is what my elder bought us an answering machine for. So, it has been quite a transition in my service here as mission secretary to pick that thing up EVERY time it starts ringing.
     This week, there was a man on the other end that spoke with such a Missouri accent that I could only understand every fourth or fifth word. After quite a bit of yelling back and forth to each other I realized he was looking for a mission. I explained we were one. He wanted to know what I was doing there. Now...that is a million dollar question....what the heck am I doing here??.....Without going into much of that detail, I told him I worked there. Then, he asked what everyone else was doing. So, here I am. So obedient and truthful. I stood up and looked through the window in my office and told him that I could see three other people sitting at their desks. Two looked like they were typing and, really, I could just see Elder Black's foot sticking out from his desk behind the wall. I couldn't promise he was really working. Then, he wanted to know if anyone there could help him. The only one not accounted for in my range of vision was Sister Arnold, our mission nurse, and he seemed like he may need medical attention. I passed him on to her. Then, shame on me, I went out in the hall to listen to see if he liked visiting with her more than me. Guess not because it was a short conversation. He asked her if we were street people and could he come help us. Poor guy thought we were helping out in a food kitchen or something. Little did he learn we had more to offer than soup.
      Another experience this week involved a brother who was calling to report that two missionaries were rude to him when he knocked on their door asking for clarification of some church doctrine. He didn't want to tattle but he wanted me to handle it. Well, that whole conversation went downhill after that. "Can you give me their names?" Nope. One was a very different name. "What would you like me to do?" Well, that was patronizing him and now, he knew the church couldn't be true.  I finally had to tell him thanks for calling and hang up. My elder could hear me yelling in my office to him. I get louder when I am nervous and some people might think I am yelling. I am just talking loud. It helps me understand better.
     I also had to get ahold of 15 missionaries and their  parents and tell them how sorry I was but their missionary release date had been extended a week so all bets were off on those flight plans they had received. I would have rather eaten rocks than do that job. It was so interesting to hear all the different responses. "Oh great! Just more blessings for us."........"Oh, my son will be so happy! He loves his mission!"...."Why? I am so disappointed. Can you tell me why?"..........
     The whole week makes me think of Obedience. Again and again. My elder and I talk about this principle every day. I am diligently trying to be obedient.  We are here for a purpose. I believe it is for me to learn to be humble and obedient. I watch from a distance as our families plug along living life in the gospel. Our Jordy took his bar exam. Our Lindsay chases Elijah and occasionally gets discouraged. My dear Sister-in-law, Lorraine, continues to valiantly fight cancer. Our Kyson continues to pitch balls in Arizona. Our world is at home is Show Low, AZ. But for now, I am so trying to be obedient and answer that phone.

All my love,
Sister Seaman

Mexican Food

     There is one thing that I have missed, living in Missouri, these past four months and that is MEXICAN FOOD.  I have, of course, missed other things, like kids and grandkids more, but, ah...the smells and tastes of good mexican food.  I cannot tell you how I have missed eating at Licano's and even La Casita.  The good old smell of hot oil and fry bread, beans and rice, chili and of course the diet pepsi. Wow! 
     Well, after visiting the WWI Liberty Memorial in downtown Kansas City yesterday, we found  "Manny's."  Manny's is a big mexican food restaurant right in the older part of downtown.  I am still savoring the taste and smells.  I have been saved.  I can now get it when I want it. The world is a little brighter today and all is right.
     Did I mention that we went to the WWI Liberty Memorial yesterday.  It was a very somber visit for me.  It is hard to believe that the entire world was as war, everybody taking sides.  There were 6000 lives lost per day durng that war.  If I remember right, there was something like 6,000,000 lives lost all together.  It was crazy.  War is crazy.  This war was fought hand to hand, with rifles and bayonets.  There is a huge granite pillar, and I mean huge, 270 feet tall, dedicated to the lives of the men who died and were from Kansas.  The memorial and museum is built around it's base.  They get huge crowds of people that come to see it, especially in the summer.  I understand that the view is spectacular from the top.  We have rain-check tickets to go and see it on a better day.  It was snowing when we were there yesterday and I think the top of the tower was in the clouds.  War is hell.  Literally.  It should be avoided at all costs.
     I continue to drive through the plains and rolling hills of Kansas and Missouri delivering stuff to missionaries.  I am beginning to love it except for the rage drivers and they can all go to Helen Waite.
     Anyway, viva Mexico!  I'll take a good ol' burrito anyday.
    
Sincerely,
Elder Seaman


Ah....Mexican Food

My favorite saying of late.

Dedication of the WWI Liberty Memorial in 1924