Sunday, May 31, 2015

Moving Up in the Mission

 

Moving Up in the Mission

May 31, 2015

     My elder and I relived a memory of 7 months ago when we moved into a little apartment and set up house like newlyweds. We have moved again. We have given up this sweet little set-up and the living right across the hall from the young sisters for another bathroom. This means any of my dear blog readers are now officially welcome to come visit Independence because we can now offer you a bathroom. Come see the sights!
     If you check out the picture below you will see my elder in the batcave. This week I had the chance to sneak over there from the office and pick out a "new" couch and dining table. We needed to replace both of these for space in our new apartment. Every time I go in that I place I am a kid again at Cash and Carry Furniture in Show Low, AZ. Many of my childhood days were spent roaming the cool, dark basement of my dad's store. The Mission batcave is full of lots of goods but I have to say most of it is vintage-missionary style. I felt a little guilty getting my pick of couches as all missionaries just get what they get in their little apartments. Again, this is a testament to me that the gospel of Jesus Christ is worth leaving the comforts of the world and preaching the good news of it. Most of these missionaries do not enjoy much in the way of nice furnishings while they are out in Missouri. I believe that is now called being a little weird while living in the telestial world (members will continue to be weirder and weirder as compared to the world.)
     We had an All Mission Conference on Thursday to train missionaries on using their new IPads and really, all of social media for the rest of their lives. The major speaker sent from Salt Lake was Elder Don Clark of the Seventy. He was outstanding. One bit of advise was to love being weird in the Telestial World. That is what it is totally coming to. Our leaders know young missionaries need NO training on how to use a IPad. They need fortification for the rest of their lives on how to not be consumed with gadgets and the things you get from the internet.
     At this conference, my mind was on our Ethan who was being promoted and Kortney who was graduating at home in Show Low that night. Elder Clark asked all Senior missionaries to stand up. He read to us from D&C 100:1-3 and promised us that "all would be well with our families." It was such a reminder again to me that my elder and I are blessed to be here to serve this mission. We may not be preaching daily but we are doing our best to help those young missionaries, that do the preaching, get that opportunity. So, my friends and family, I say, keep on being weird. It will bring you the greatest joy when all is said and done.

            Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my friends, (Elder and Sister Seaman,)
        your families are well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as
        seemeth good: for in me there is all power.      D&C 100:1

All my love,
Sister Seaman

Till we meet again...

Adios Paco! That means goodbye Frank in Spanish.  That is what I called Elder Garrett because he was learning Spanish while he was here.  I heard him bear his testimony in Spanish at their ward last Sunday in his farewell talk.  Remember, this is the guy that was is the terrible car accident that I have talked  so much about. 
     Well, Trixie and John Garrett are now home and have been released and it feels like they died.  We have moped around here all week wondering what we are going to do for a good time.  I am sure we will get over it, but man did we have a good time while they were here.  The fishing and the bike riding, eating out, going places. It won't be the same.
     John is the guy that called me Miley instead of Mikey.  This is the guy that told everybody I graduated from the University of Circle K.  This is the guy that loved to beat me at the fishing games. This is the guy that went to the movies with the us on "guys night out" and yelled out loud at the action.  He sat in the chair on his knees and yelled "Oh Wow" and telling everyone within earshot how much he liked that scene.  He said I had a bulls-eye on my back (easy to make fun of.)  It sounds like he was kinda mean.  He was not.  I could not perceive any kind of guile in this man.  He did it to make you smile and we did smile and laugh a lot.  I think if he had thought he had hurt my feelings it would have crushed him.  He liked to play "name that tune" a lot.  He really liked it when I lost and he would proclaim to all that would listen that my wife was the champion and I was the LOSER.  He was so stinkin funny.
     I will be looking for John and Trixie Garrett when we get home.  I hope he never loses his sense of humor.  Trixie on the other hand is my hero.  I don't think I have seen many people who would give up there life (literally) for their spouse.  She did.  I don't think I ever told her how I felt about that.  She prefers to stay in the background and let him get all the attention.  I don't know many women who can out-work me physically.  I think she can.  She is not afraid of anything.  The first time she jumped up in the back of my truck to unload the bikes, I thought good grief, I can't do that anymore.  She did it every time we went.  I tried to beat her but never did.
     Sister Seaman and I got the chance of a lifetime to meet these people.  We loved them and I think they loved us. It has and will continue to make our mission great and their influence will change us for the rest of our lives.
     Till we meet again John and Trixie Garrett!

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman

This is the old Independence Fire Station.
It is now a really cool bike shop.

Elder Seaman in the Bat Cave.
Goodbye Sea Avenue.

 


Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Good Time

 

A Good Time

May 24, 2015

   
      I heard the news when the AP's called my elder to tell him to come pick up all the luggage. I dreaded the next phone call. It came. "Sister Seaman, President Vest here. Our 14 missionaries flight home was cancelled. I'm going to give you this number and I want you to see what you can do from that end. It is chaotic here and we can't seem to get any information".  My mind raced.......does this man truly know me? Does he know I have NEVER talked to a Helpline of any sort for anything because I have a phobia of talking to strangers on the phone plus no patience to be put on hold? All I could think to do was to ask for Heavenly Father's help and, then, get to work.
      The initial United flight was planning on carrying our 14 missionaries to Denver and, from there, they would all depart to their various homes. It had developed engine trouble. I wondered if their engine trouble could be because the workers can't understand each other? I spoke with four different people and they all had deep accents that were not from Arizona. My favorite friend was George. Now let me tell you, it took quite some time before I got his name right. I kept asking him and he kept telling me. I would yell at him for him to tell it to me again. "Mumble....mumble...." Finally, I got smart and told him to spell it to me. "G as in green goose....E as in elephant....."  ....George!
George was from Mexico and by the time we got through with each other we were fast friends. Don't tell my president but I had a good time while he was stuck in lines at the KC airport. He would call my cell phone and George would patiently wait while I gave him a name of a missionary that could head to a new flight. I could feel George smiling through the phone and even my president's tone got lighter as the afternoon wore on.  All the while this process was unfolding I was in awe of my Heavenly Father. Who else could have helped me through this new adventure? No one, I say; no one. We ended with 14 missionaries heading home to see their mothers and me asking George if he knew what Mormons were. He told me he used to play soccer as a small child in Mexico with Mormons. I advised him to look them up again because we know more than just how to play soccer. "Seester, you have made my day" were his final words.
     My grandchildren, I tell you this. Heavenly Father will help you if you only ask. He is aware of us. He knows what we need. The key word is Need, not want. Your old grams is living proof of that. I am sure there have been other "coincidences" or things that worked out and I thought, "Man, I was lucky" that were truly taken care of  by the Lord. Say your prayers. Every morning and night and throughout the day as you feel the need. Not just prayers of asking. Throw in prayers of thankfulness. You are blessed children. We are a blessed family. Any one of us that was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ are a blessed people.
     My last conversation ended with President Vest thanking me for getting it done. I told him that it was Heavenly Father that did it and, also, I had been wanting to ask for a raise. He tripled my salary right on the spot. My family, look for those blessings! They will now be coming down in triple time. Hurray, hurray, Hurray!

All my love,
Sister Seaman

Special Places

     One of the things that I have enjoyed doing is taking P-Day outings with the Senior Missionaries.  We go fishing or sight-seeing or bike riding.  Yesterday we planned a trip to Adam-ondi-Ahmen.  We took 25 senior missionaries and one young departing missionary whose Mom and sister had come to pick her up.  The 12 couple missionaries at Adam-ondi-Ahmen can not conduct tours because they do not have time to get off their mowers this time of year, and so if you get lucky the local patriarch, Brother Bonnet and his friend Brother Bunker will take you.  They can take you into a few "restricted access" places.  Brother Bonnet gives the lecture and has a handout for all of us.
   We start with a prayer and I am overcome with emotion as I begin to feel the significance of the things that happened there and will happen there.  It is a beautiful, overcast, misty day.  Everything is so green and beautiful.  Brother Bonnet talks about the beauty of the place and how there is not a temple or chapel here but that it feels like an open air temple.  It does. The 12 missionary couples ensure that it is just as the Brethren want it.  Brother Bonnet continues on about the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahmen and what we know about it.  It is a large valley bordered on one side by the Grand River.  It is farmland now and has been planted in corn and soy beans.  Literally thousands of acres of farmland.  And get this Arizona people, it is not irrigated, although Brother Bonnet pointed out the nine big wells out in the fields that are not used at present except for drinking water for the couple missionaries and the public restrooms.  Adam and Eve and their posterity lived here.  Not hard to imagine except for the fact that all the other Christian denominations believe it was somewhere else.  This place is mostly one big secret to the world.
     Preacher's Rock is next.  Stories have it that this is a place where the Prophet Joseph Smith preached from.  It is a large rock (and there aren't many of them) set into the side of a hill known as Tower Hill.  Down from the rock is a grove of pecan trees.  Somehow it works as a amphi-theatre and you can hear a man talk in a normal voice from a distance of about 100-150 yards. Amazing. 
     Next is the top of Tower Hill.  This is the place where, rumor has it, that stone alters and towers were built by Adam and the Nephites.  There is nothing there now.  There is something about the place though.  You can feel it.
     Brother Bonnet points out the dedicated temple site location on Spring Hill and the tour ends.  It has been 2 1/2 hours.  Where did the time go?
   The big thing though is what is going to happen here.  We know that the ending scenes of all the dispensations of time will begin here sometime soon.  Maybe some of you will be invited.  The world will not know that you attended nor will most of the church.  What an incredible meeting it will be.  Especially so because of who will be there.  Stay worthy my friends and never give up.  Hope to see you there.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
    
Spring Flowers at Far West Temple
 Site.

Everly Cemetery at A-o-A where some
of the folks who ran the Mormons off
are buried. The Church takes care of
this cemetery.






Elder Carlson brings stale bakery
goods for the Missionaries every
 day. This will have to serve as
B-day cake for Addie who is 32 and
Kirsten who is 38 this week.
We are so thankful for our girls.
Elder and Sister Seaman on Preacher's Rock (Elder Garret Photo Bombs)

Pecan Trees below Preacher's Rock



 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

"Can You Understand Me?"

"Can you Understand me?"

May 17, 2017

    
     We have a young sister serving in the VC from Mexico. She came into my office this week, sat down, and said,"Seester Seaman, where ees your husband?" I gave her my memorized line that he was out and about serving the Lord. That is because I cannot keep up with his travels. All these towns are spelled one way, but in Missouri, these people say them the way they want to.  Sister Gonzalez wondered if he had a pancake in the Batcave. Remember, the Batcave is the basement where he stores all the mission goods. A pancake in the Batcave.....My mind went into its reflex mode when I try to speak my version of Spanish to Spanish people. I loudly and slowly repeated to her, "You want a pancake?" She nodded and away we went. After lots of hand gestures with the word "banana" thrown in, I figured out she really wanted a small loaf pan to make banana bread. Oh, that was fun! I just had to laugh and laugh. I even think she thought it was a pretty good time by the end of the conversation.
     I've been trying to figure out something else this week. We have become old bike riding missionaries after work. My bum is so dang sore. I rode bikes all the time when I was younger and I never had that complaint. My elder bought me a padded seat that he said looked a like a lounge chair but that wasn't the fix. We advanced to Jel seats. No good, either. I have learned to run a computer in Missouri. I WILL learn to ride a bike comfortably again also. When I get to coast and stand up for awhile, I am in awe of the GREEN. So beautiful.
     I was thinking of my brother, Eben, last night when we were coasting along. It was his birthday yesterday and I remembered borrowing his bike years ago to ride up the hill to play with Claire Peterson. They lived in the Overson house in the summer years ago. The chain broke on me so I thought I would just get on and coast back home. The trouble was I was coasting down the hill right across from Show Low's now famous Sonic. I "coasted" about 90 MPH down and off the hill, rounded the road, and ran into a boat parked in front of Cash and Carry, all the while yelling for Eben. He ran to the crash sight but it was my dad that carried me in to the store past all the summer customers to his office. I have had some pretty good times with Eben. He is my brother and my friend.
     My old friend, Elder Carlson, keeps my desk stocked with fresh flowers from his yard or the cemetery by his house. Peonies are everywhere right now. I bet when this was the Garden of Eden, they bloomed all the time, not just a short couple of weeks. I feel a little small about him getting them from the cemetery but he claims they are all over the place so I just enjoy their smell and beauty. My mom loved flowers and I have tried to honor her memory by buying the grocery store variety for my table once a week like she did. Only she bought hers from Show Low Flower Shop from Myrtle every Saturday after we got groceries at Nick's Market.
     The rains continue to fall. I have decided Missouri's monsoon season is year round. The work continues on - it is New Arrivals and Departure week coming up. That is exciting and sad at the same time. I am finding my niche in the office. Isn't any work we are asked to do all for the building up of the kingdom of God? Every single day when I walk I think of my darlings in AZ and Colorado. I pray for Ted and his family. I pray for Gaye who continues to fight illness and old age. I pray I can learn to sit on a bike without whining and that I can understand little Sister Gonzalez.

All my love,
Sister Seaman

Laughing Out Loud

They are literally racing us down the hill to the pond.  By the time we get there, they have their poles out, hooks baited and casting out into the water. The contest is that there are four winners.  The first to catch, the biggest catch, the most caught, and the last.  These men become champions.  There were only 5 of us so that means someone is a loser.  I had to pick up Elder Garret and so the other truck got the jump on us.  The first pond was at Far West.  You know, the place where the temple site is dedicated and the corner stones are set, and a fence and restroom and nothing else.  It use to be a town of several thousand people.  When the Saints left, it was torn down and plowed under and in a matter of a few short years virtually wiped clean.  Even the grave yard was plowed under.  Missouri did not like Mormons.  It was very clear.  Anyway, I digress.  The fishing competition was in full swing.  It was one of those beautiful Missouri mornings where the mist was hanging low, it is quiet but the birds can't keep still. Everything is wet from a torrential rain on Friday. It is beautiful.  The first truck is stuck in the field because they did not want to walk in. And wonder of wonders, the fish are biting.
     We are catching mostly Blue Gill.  Big ones. We are using live worms for bait.  Someone caught the first fish on the first cast and after that it was a free-for-all.  We had Elder Toronto with us.  He is the Director of the Visitor Centers here and at the Historic Liberty Jail.  It was his first time with us.  He was excited to be there. There was also Elder Carlson (the fishing guru), Elder Garret, Elder Black and me.
     Now, down to the crux of the matter.  After a while, things started slowing down and the patience game started.  I am not patient and that is why I have not fished much in my lifetime.  However, Elder Garret is very patient.  He was so patient that he, and only he, caught 3 large-mouth bass, the largest weighing at least 2.5 lbs.  He also caught a large croppy.  Nobody else caught anything but blue gill.  When Elder Garret caught the first big fish, he started exclaiming at the top of his lungs, "Oh my gosh" repeated several times.  He was so excited he had the rest of us laughing out loud.  Each and every time he caught a big one, it was the same process. Laughter. 
     Elder Garret had his fish on a stick in the water.  After a while, he noticed that the stick and fish were moving away from the edge and out into the pond.  He made a diving catch and caught hold of the stick and noticed that a large snapping turtle was dragging the fish away and proceeded to have a tug-o-war with the turtle. He is yelling and jumping around and we are laughing.  I can still hear it and it makes me smile.  The rest of us would also laugh, out loud, and with delight, whenever we caught something. 
     It is a wonderful thing to hear grown men laugh with pure delight.  It makes you young again. It boosts your spirit. It was a truly memorable day at Far West and Adam-Ondi-Ahmen. We caught over a hundred fish yesterday and did not want to quit.  The laughter never stopped.  I'll bet I am at least 5 years younger.  Remember to laugh.  Your world will look better and brighter to you. 
     By the way, I was the loser, if you must know.  But I got a nap.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
    
   
    

    

Cemetery flowers from Elder Carlson.
That's his dear wife working in the
background.
Elder Garret - The Champion



Mother's Day from my girls.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Having the Greatest Time

Mother's Day Ramblings

May 10, 2015

     When we went to church today all the older Samoan sisters were wearing white dresses. In Sunday School I complimented and asked a new member of our ward from Hawaii why they were all in white. She told me in her culture and she assumed in the Samoan culture that it was tradition for a woman to wear white on Mother's Day if her own mother had passed away. I love that. What a tribute to our own mothers. I say today to my own dearest Mom that I have finally become a believer in the Mother's Day holiday.  I am over those Mother's Day feelings that creep in all women's hearts on occasion. Guilt for not really being "That Mom". Mad at Mike because his own dear mother is still alive. More guilt. Some of you may know the routine.....I am here today to say Hallelujah! I have a mother I dearly love and I love to be a mother and grandmother. Besides the Gospel of Jesus Christ and my elder, it is my greatest joy.
     On a whirlwind of a trip on our P Day yesterday, we walked the quiet streets of Nauvoo. We admired the beautiful walls of our temple. We sat in the room in Carthage Jail where the young Prophet Joseph and Hyrum were murdered. I felt again great love for those two men and their families. We will go back before we leave this country. We will stay longer and visit the temple. When we stood at Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith's grave looking over the Mississippi, I felt gratitude to them for raising two good boys. Not all moms have to experience the heartache that Lucy Mack Smith went through. But we each, in our own time will experience our own losses. Can we do it Sisters? Can we rise to our own personal occasions of greatness? I say Yes. Time and The Savior will heal all wounds.
     Our grandsons, Teag and Zane, have both had recent birthdays. They are both such good boys. They are being taught well by good parents. I can't stress enough, Jessica and Addie.....Do not let those boys go on missions until the practice of making their bed and cleaning the toilet becomes second nature to them.  Nauvoo became The City Beautiful because of good, good men and women who worked hard. While the men went on missions, the women and their children were in charge of draining the swampy land down by the river. And this they did. With no shower or Maytag to go home to each evening to clean the day's toil off so they could start again the next day.
     The rains continue to fall here in Independence. So foreign to me. I will continue to plead to the Lord for Ted and his family as they begin to develop a new life without their beautiful wife and mother. I continue to watch from here as our own daughters in their respective homes work at being a Mom. We celebrate each family's accomplishments. This week it is Jordy's passing of the Bar in AZ. and our Kenz taking 2nd place in state Track. Way to go! Don't forget, my darlings. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It is worth it to stay the course. Happy Mother's Day.

All my love,
Sister Seaman

Two Guys on Horseback

     I was standing on the crest of a hill overlooking the Mississippi River yesterday.  It was so beautiful I could hardly contain my emotions.  It is GREEN here in the Midwest right now.  As I was looking out at the view, my eyes focused on a larger than life bronze statue out in front of me.  It was a large casting of Joseph and Hyrum Smith on horseback.  They were stopped and in the action of talking to each other.  Their backs were to Nauvoo, Illinois  and  facing the Temple.  I don't remember exactly what the inscription was, but it was something like, "Leaving Nauvoo for the Last Time."   I could be dreaming.  It looked so real.  I was barely keeping myself from breaking into a full fledged sob.  The spirit of that sacred place came flooding back to me. 
     I have written in this blog at times about sacrifice.  I am writing about it again and probably will again several times.  Almost every time you visit a church historical sight here in the Missouri and Illinois, you gain a little more understanding of what it means to sacrifice. You remember how great the sacrifice of the Mormon people was.  I have often quoted great church leaders that said "obedience is greater than sacrifice."  I am still a believer but I am learning that obedience is very often sacrifice and as you learn to bend your will to His, sacrifice in some form is required.  Sacrifice also brings the blessings of Heaven.
     I drove some of the Visitor Center Sister Missionaries to Adam-ondi-Ahman on Thursday for a tour of the place.  It was great.  I stood on Preacher's Rock where Joseph Smith delivered sermons.  I stood down in the grove of trees and listened to a man's voice as he talked from Preacher's Rock in a very low voice and heard every word. I stood where Lyman Wight's house was located just a few yards up the hill from Preacher's Rock.  I stood where it is believed that there were ancient altars of Nephites and Adam and Eve.  I saw the place on the ridge of Spring Hill where Joseph Smith dedicated a temple site (there were no corner stones laid here.) I felt the very quiet spirit of that place which is also so sacred.  There aren't any beautiful structures here, but the church spends a lot of money and 12 couples sacrifice a lot of time to keep the thousands of acres as beautiful as temple grounds.  It is amazing.  It will be real amazing when the place will be used for it's intended purpose some day soon.
     We continue our mission in Independence.  It doesn't change much from day to day but we are loving it.  We are having the greatest time serving.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
    
Nauvoo Temple

Joseph and Hyrum

Carthage Jail



    

Sunday, May 3, 2015

HOME



HOME

May 3, 2015

Last two entries in my journal:

        April 25, 2015 - Lorraine died. Seems so surreal. How will Ted do? I am sick,
        sick, sick for him.

       April 28, 2015 - On our way to Utah. We spotted mountains in Wyoming this
       morning. I cried. I still can't fathom Lorraine has died. We are heading west. Ponderosa
       pines dot the hills. We are closer to Home.


It was truly Home this week with all our family but the 3 Walker grands and little Elijah. Like we had never left. What a bittersweet time. Such a contrast for all of us to be saying Hello in one breath and Good-bye in another breath to our Lorraine. My heart cries for them. I am counting on the Savior to
aid and comfort them. I know He will.
     Lorraine had so many friends. She lived her life with beauty, graciousness, and class. I want to
be that way.
     As we were getting ready to leave Caitlin stopped Mikael and wanted to know how much she loved her. Now, Mikael Baum did not want to be bothered. She had been busy for two days chasing her cousins around so she could tell them what to do. Caitlin kept after her until finally, in frustration, Mikael stomped her foot and said, "OOoo.....super much."  That is how I felt. Like I loved them all super much.
     We are home again in the saddle. It felt good to get back to our responsibilities for now. We both realized that Missouri is our Home for now. We are happy, willing, and grateful to serve. We are Home.

All my Love,
Sister Seaman
      

Jamison, Missouri and a Bike Ride...

     There is a guy in our mission office that is over the mission cars. 90 of them.  He is the "Car Czar."  His name is Fred Carlson.  He and his wife are serving a church service mission here.  They live here, in Raytown, and have for the last 9 years.  He is 74.  This is his 3rd mission here and he is as dedicated as they come.  He is pretty much deaf and he talks in a high squeaky voice.  But he is the Lord's man.  I have come to love this old guy and his wife.  His wife by the way, is as pure and kind and soft spoken as they come.  She is already headed to the Celestial Kingdom.
     Elder Carlson owns a "farm" up in Jamison, which is within throwing distance of Adam-Ondi-Ahmen.  Literally.  His little farm isn't much; a couple of acres, a house, small shop, garden and grass, but it is beautiful.The town has gravel roads and is in the throws of death.  It is old and no one is wanting to come back.  About 100 people live there.  Most
of them live in abject poverty.
   Elder Carlson has been telling me about his "farm" for a while now.  He invited Kim and I up to see it yesterday.  He said he was going to till up his garden and plant some corn and them go fishing over on the ponds at Adam-Ondi-Ahmen.  We went.  It rained on us most of the day though and we didn't get to go fishing, but I did get to drive the tractor and till up some black Missouri soil.  We did stop in at the Whipple's and ask to go fishing.  That would be Terry Whipple and wife (Malapai Meat Packing in Taylor, AZ) who are the directors of the mission at Adam-Ondi-Ahmen.  He looks a lot like Delsa (as in Delsa Frost) and his brother Larry.  If you like farming and ranching and lots of hard work, that would be a great mission to be on. You have to know somebody to get on that one.  They only have 12 couples and the Mission President is Thomas Monson.
     After we got back from Jamison, we went bike riding with our friends.  The trail is about 18 miles long of essentially a flat 6' wide, hard-packed trail.  It was great and so beautiful.  No houses, no people, no nothing except green grass and trees and the Little Blue River which you cross several times on wooden bridges.  It is dream like.  I am hooked.  We will be doing that some more. 
     By the way, Layton, Utah is a long way from here (1000 miles).  The trip was so bittersweet. Saying good-bye to Lorraine and hello to our kids and grandkids and my Mom. It was good to be back in the saddle.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman




Kim and brothers at the Luncheon
L to R: Eben, Kim, Jared, Ted and Charlie



The "1980's" before and the after the funeral cousins.
Elder and Sister Seaman under the R&R trestle.