Sunday, August 30, 2015

Where Am I?

Where Am I?

August 30, 2015


     One of our newer elders came into the office this week with his companion to pick up supplies. He was telling me about his first few weeks in the mission and how he was adjusting.  The first day he got picked up by his new companion and driving out to his area he fell asleep in the car.  His trainer helped him get settled and they went to work. Three days later at a dinner appointment the family asked him how he liked Kansas so far. That woke him up. Kansas? He thought he was on a mission in Missouri.  Little did he know he had crossed over into Kansas on his first day in the field.
    We have a couple, Elder and Sister Phillips, serving here from Pima, Az.  They have been here on a six month mission working in Facilities Management.  It is now time for them to go home.  But before they packed up, they got a mission call. They will be serving at Cove Fort beginning in March 2016 for another six month mission. They are going to head home to get ready to go again. 
     I tell you these two stories to remind myself that it doesn't matter much where we serve as long as we do it willingly.  I got to go on an all day jaunt yesterday with my elder and two willing and able young elders down to the end of the mission and back up to the northern tip. My elder was moving two senior sisters who have been reassigned to different areas. After almost a year in one place, one of the sisters was really hating to leave her branch and friends.  But she loaded up her little convertible and hit the road.  She did comment several times on our various stops that "Elder Seaman sure has a heavy foot and she could barely keep up with him".  I do know by the time we got her to Albany and unloaded, she wondered where in the world she was and what the Lord had in store for her there. I am confident she will figure it out.
     So, to my family, keep on serving.  It doesn't matter what your calling is. Just do it.  Nothing brings me greater joy than knowing our grandkids are growing up in the gospel. We are raising missionaries, aren't we girls?  You can do it.  One of them may be called to serve in Missouri Independence Mission someday.  Let's just hope he or she will not get lost in Kansas.

I so love you all,
Sister Seaman.....aka grams..

Things Change

     Sister Seaman's post today reminded me of a time, many years ago, when I was probably a 6 year-old boy.  We lived in Beaver, Utah, where my Dad was working as the Forest Ranger.  We lived in between both sets of Grandparents.  One set lived in Cedar City and the other in Venice (Richfield.)  I can remember driving with my parents to visit the Grandparents in Venice (my Mom's folks) on so many weekends that I can not count them.  On the way from Venice to Beaver, the road came to a stop sign and you had to go right or left.  When stopped at the stop sign, looking straight ahead, you were looking at Cove Fort.  It was not 50 yards from the stop sign.  The old gates were hanging by one hinge, the dust was often blowing in and around it, the tumbleweeds were piled up high against the south wall, anything that was made out of wood was rotten or gone.  It looked as if it had been abandoned 100's of years ago. 
     Sister Seaman and I had the opportunity to see it again after it had been restored several years ago.  I could not believe what I was seeing.  It was beautiful and so real. I am so thankful to President Hinkley for restoring that old fort.  You ought to go some time.  It is a good reminder of how things change.
     Often times, as was I serving as a Stake President, the members of the Seventy would come to our stake to give us training.  One of the ways they started their trainings was to ask what kept me up at night.  In other words, what was I worried about concerning the stake.  In reality, nothing much kept me awake.  I sleep pretty sound most of the time, but I knew they wanted an answer, so I would try to say what they wanted to hear so the training could go forward.  I said the wrong thing most of the time.  I often think about that process though.  What are my most troubling fears? At this stage of my life, it is spouse, kids and grandkids.  How are they all doing?  Are they doing the things that will make them happy eternally?  It is so easy to get lost in the world we live in.  A poor decision can certainly lead to heartache and disappointment.  But, things can change and do change.  Things can be right and beautiful again.  Just like Cove Fort.  Stay the course and keep your eyes on the Prophet, he will not lead you astray.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
    
    

Sunday, August 23, 2015

8:45 A.M.


8:45 A.M

August 23, 2015

     The gathering begins around 8:42 every morning Monday through Friday in the mission office. If we are late we know to head directly to President's office where they will be quietly waiting. "They" means the rest of the office staff. Some mornings it is quiet as a tomb. Some mornings there is back and forth talk about mission business. We begin with business of the day at 8:45 and then, turn the time over to a designated thought giver for the week. A thought is presented and then, someone is invited to offer a prayer to begin the day in the office.  Now, how many of these little meetings have all of us attended in our lives as church members? Lots and lots.
      We have been told there was an additional Article of Faith written.  Number 14. It begins like this:   
   "We believe in meetings. We believe that there were always meetings, always will be meetings, and in the future, many more meetings will be planned....."   

     These little morning devotionals are truly a blessing to us in the office. It is a reminder that we are about something bigger than office work. It is a time to reflect as the designated thought giver covers any and all things from families to Lectures on Faith.
     After our three hour block of Sunday meetings today the weather was fine so we drove to the old cemetery where Joseph and Emma's oldest son, Joseph III, was buried. It is in a beautiful spot under an old, spacious tree. It is so easy to soberly think and ponder the meaning of life in a old cemetery. What was the reason for this family to have to suffer so much for the gospel of Jesus Christ to move forward? Why did Emma really pull out? What lessons do we need to learn in our life trials? I guess we just don't quit. Never will my life be as hard as Joseph and Emma's. I pray my kids and grandkids stay the course,  If any of you are expected to be at a meeting pertaining to a calling or pertaining to your own salvation (sacrament) get there.
My love, Sister Seaman

Eddie and Harry

     Yesterday was P-day for us.  It is always Saturday.  It is the day we do our shopping and errands, our visits to historical sites, fishing trips, etc.  You get the idea.  It is a day that sends Sister Seaman a little bit crazy as she can not just sit around in our dark and dreary (I kind of like it) apartment and do nothing, as she puts it.  I on the other hand have learned how to vegetate. Going into a passive mode is something that I can feel good about, at least for a while.
     Sister Seaman generally wins on what we should be doing on these days and I am generally ok with it.  Yesterday, after a we get ready for the day, she decides we need to do the tour of the Bingham-Wagner Estate.  It is a large old house situated on about 20 acres of beautiful grounds. The original part was built in the mid1800's and added onto and remodeled in the early 1900's.  It has been beautifully restored with original colors, original furniture (in most instances) and is a truly beautiful old home.  It speaks of money in a time when there wasn't much money in Independence.  The owners in the first half of the 19th century, built and operated a large flour mill, some of which is still standing, just north of the house.  The flour mill today is part the of Trails West Museum.  The original Santa Fe Trail runs right up the east fence of the estate property.  The staging area for the wagons headed west is on the south part of the property and you can still see the ruts of the wagon wheels in the limestone.
     After we  looked the estate over, we decided to do the covered wagon tour of Independence.  We were only able to get a 20 minute tour, because it was Saturday.  Eddie and Harry were the Missouri Red Mules pulling the wagon.  To me, they were far more interesting than the tour itself.  The one named Harry had a full name of Harry A. Truman.  The "A" stands for the kind of animal it is half like.  Harry's father was a monster "jack" as they are known.  Apparently, when you cross breed a mare and a monster jack, you get a sterile, stubborn, hard working, smart animal known as a mule.  They were the animals that were relied on to pull thousands of pounds of freight across the American Frontier. It is hard to believe how much weight those mules can pull mile after mile.
     I can't remember what Eddie's last name was.  It could have been Murphy.  Anyway,  we had a good day and learned a lot about mules and olden times.  Sister Seaman wins again.  I sure love that gal.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
    

    

Harry and Eddie, Missouri Redmules

Joseph Smith lll resting spot

The first president of the RLDS church. Joseph and Emma's oldest son.

Mission Friends

Guess which one is SISTER Hafoka....She is going home to Tonga in October and wanted to make sure she had a picture. Her hair, her laugh, her smile.....! These other three are perfect also. L-r SISTERs Hixon:Texas; Hafoka; Moss:ID; Day:UT.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Seasons


Seasons

August 16, 2015

     The summer visitor season in Independence seems to be waning. The sisters walk down to the office to get the mail and tell us business is slowing down at the Visitor Center. We pass school buses on our way to work. I walked through the local Farmer's Market yesterday morning while my elder was out picking up goods with a young set of missionaries. I heard a seller tell a customer that this would be the last week of the season for his glorious watermelon. How many of these seasons have I lived through? How many more will I have?

     Since we came to Independence I have watched Winter come in with a beautiful Spring right behind it, and now, a hot Summer embraces us all as we step outside. Each season has brought with it some beautiful days. Some not so beautiful. Some downright lousy. Isn't that how our lives can be? I have watched as each of our daughters has gone through different trials and "life" experiences while we have been away. Some have been harder than others. Some just come with the territory. What can I do from this end? Not much. Encourage. Pray. Trust in God. It will all work out.

    I am thinking of my oldest this week....Mauriah. Her oldest, Kortney, is leaving for college. NAU - where I met my elder.  How could that have happened? I still remember what my Mikie was wearing when I met him at that Saturday night dance at the LDS Institute. Neither one of these darlings were even a thought back in 1972. I remember when Mauriah left our home for marriage to Jerry. I remember when Kirsten, Jessica, Lindsay, Addie, and Caitlin left us when good men came to claim them. It's such a bittersweet transition. But it must happen. It was what all of us were born to do. Live a happy childhood and live a productive life as an adult in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. I know from experience my Mauriah will cry some hot, heartbroken tears. Kortney has always been her dearest friend. Her home dynamics will change with three men in the house now. BUT she will live. She will thrive. And so will Kortney. Besides, she will be back next week-end to visit.....

     I feel so blessed to have lived through these seasons here with my elder. I will never see another summer in Independence, thank goodness. But, I wouldn't trade it. I say to my girls.....don't squander your time with a house full of children. It will pass all too quickly. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy your life. It's can be  pretty darn interesting even in each of our own little worlds.

Embrace the season of life you are in whether it is a season
of rain or a season of sunshine. God is using it to shape you
and prepare you for the future.

 
 
I am sure whoever said this got lots of credit. They should have. MY LOVE TO ALL of you,
Sister Seaman.....Grandma...Mom

Taking Care of the Elderly

      Most of the people that will read this blog may never have heard of the Beltone man. The Beltone man, back in the seventies, was the salesman that sold hearing aids to the almost deaf.  Meaning, selling hearing aids to all the old people who couldn't hear anymore.
     As sometimes happened back in the seventies, when the phones were all hooked together in the house, it was easy to eavesdrop on another person's telephone conversation.  One day, back in the seventies, and as luck would have it, the phone in the old Cash and Carry Antique Store was picked up by Eb (Sister Seaman's father).  He was going to make a call, but as he put the phone up to his ear, he could hear a very animated conversation already taking place.  The conversation was going something like this. 
     A person on the other end of the line says, "Raleigh (an elderly employee of the store), this is so-and-so, the Beltone man." Raleigh says, "Who?" Other end, "So-and-so, the Beltone man."  "Who? Speak up!"  Louder, "The Beltone man." Almost screaming, "Who is this, I can't hear you?"
   It's a little ironic that Raleigh couldn't hear the hearing aid salesman.  Sister Seaman's father and the family had many a good laugh about that conversation.  We have called one another "Beltone" for many years when we weren't being heard properly.
     Sister Seaman and I are now officially old.  It happened one day when we weren't looking.  It is very disappointing.  Can't see, can't hear, can't walk right, feet hurt, various aches and pains, etc. Sick and almost dead. Not funny anymore.
     I am glad we have family that like us.  Maybe they will take care of us in the days ahead.  I am grateful that I got the opportunity to take care of my mom for a while.  It endeared her to me, but she should have had some girls and not just boys.  The girls seem to do better at taking care.  We have all girls and I am hoping it will be great.
    The Samoan people take care of their elderly in their homes.  They believe that they have an obligation to do it.  It is heart-warming to hear them talk about their traditions. 
     Anyway, for now, we are still operating under our own power.  The infection in my leg is retreating and I am feeling better.  We will continue to serve another day and we are loving it.
     Please stay the course, stay on track, stay on the train, and the boat, or whatever it is and hold on.  The ride is going to be crazy.  Bear your testimony often.  Read the Book of Mormon everyday.  Say your prayers.  Attend the temple. We love you and pray for you.  You too can be old someday.  Don't turn around and don't blink.
 
Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
 
*PS....Sister Seaman read this and she begs to differ on her aging process. She says she feels like a spring chicken, most days.  Maybe she will take care of me...
    
    
    

 



Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Good Week

We made a killing at the mailbox this week! Our loved ones showered us with cards, letters, pictures, etc. It sure does good for the soul.

Does any one care?

Looks like Eb Lewis has been in the MIM office. He had a sign up like this for years at Cash and Carry. If you didn't like the service or wanted credit extended, go to Helen Wait. Not sure anyone has noticed this in Elder Seaman's office yet. He must need more assignments, you think?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Long, but Blessed Week

A Long, but Blessed Week

August 9, 2015

     We had an elder that had to go through Customs at the border to get to the Mexico MTC. This was his first experience away from the home. The border agent took his papers, studied them, and asked the young elder if he had anything to declare. The elder thought a minute and said, "The gospel is true." Needless to say, this was the wrong answer and that young elder is lucky he is still not sitting in a Mexican jail trying to get ahold of his congressman for help..

     That just shows that the Lord's work goes forth boldy, nobly, and independently until it has swept every country and sounded in every ear, in spite of all us missionaries. I also learned very clearly this week that the two Seaman missionaries are here for their own growth and blessings, not anyone else. The Lord will call a new mission secretary and new Housing Coordinator to be here next April and this mission will continue on. The Lord truly takes those who are called to serve Him and despite their weakness', the work gets done. We had new AP's who had not done a transfer and a laid-up Housing Coordinator who normally does all the grunt work for transfers MIA. My junior companion has been down all week with cellulitis. It has been a long week for me and the whole mission. I will leave his story for him to tell. After all, it is his story. But, can I say I am so thankful he is getting back on his feet, literally?  I would also like to report that 26 new missionaries were all well and accounted for by Wednesday night, transfers throughout the mission were done on Thursday, and by Friday night 29 missionaries had departed the mission to various parts of the world; the closest was Elder Brasseaux going home to Columbia, MO and Sister Taylor traveling the greatest distance to Santiago, Chile.

     These mission times are always so bittersweet. Our friends leave us. But we can rest assured we will make new friends as mission life goes on. Our time clock will be ticking in a few months and all we can hope and pray is that we did not squander this precious time to serve the Lord. The Standard of Truth has truly been erected. NO unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. I saw that this week in the Missouri Independence Mission. MY girls, get those children of yours ready. Teach them to live and love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some mission throughout the world will be waiting for them. It will truly be the BEST gift you can give your little families.

I love, love all of you.
Sister Seaman....aka Grandma

My leg hurts...


A couple of years ago, I had a bout of cellulitis in my right calf and ankle.  I was in the hospital for a week getting high-end antibiotics.  Wasn't sure how that event was going to turn out.  But I lived to fight another day. 
    Last Sunday evening, after the President's Fireside, Sister Seaman and I were walking out to the truck and I suddenly felt very ill.  By the next morning I was delirious.  The Mission Doctor and Elder Carlson came and gave me a blessing and some high-end antibiotics.  I have cellulitis in my left ankle and calf.  I have been laid-up all week, mostly in bed with my foot elevated above my heart.  I was not admitted to the hospital but it has been a long, lonely week as Sister Seaman was not able to tend me, as it was transfer week and a big one at that.  I have felt the prayers of missionaries, friends and family in my behalf for which I am very grateful.  The Lord has blessed me again. The redness and the soreness have almost gone and I will return to duty to tomorrow, at least part-time.  I have cheated death again and will live to fight another day.
     I have also been humbled this week in the knowledge that I was not missed all that much.  We all like to think that we are important, even in the mission field, and that our contribution is irreplaceable.  It's not.  The transfer came and went without me and everybody got home and the new missionaries arrived safely. Oh well.  Maybe I should try harder.  Or maybe this is the Lord's work and it will come to pass the way he wants it to regardless of what he has to work with.
     One other thing about the transfer.  I wanted to say good-bye to my missionary friends as they left the mission field.  I did not get to do that.  You become close to the people you serve.  I am in a position to serve the missionaries directly and I have loved them.  They won't remember me as well as I will remember them.  We lost some really good missionaries on this transfer and I am thankful for just knowing them, of their goodness and strength in the gospel and their love of the Savior. Good-bye my friends, until we meet again.
     Remember, my dear family, that sacrifice and obedience go hand-in-hand.  Sometimes your obedience comes at great personal sacrifice.  I know that the Lord is grateful and will bless you for all that you do to build the kingdom.  I know that He loves His missionaries for that reason. Prepare now to serve someday.  It is the greatest.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
    
    
    

 

 

End of 4 Missions

Elder and Sister Carlson completed their fourth mission on Friday. We had a little farewell open house for them. These are good, good folks. We want to be like them.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Turquoise

Guess which one is our new AP and is 6'6"? Elder Dixon, by me, will stay with him. Elder Taylor is so excited to be back in the field training a new elder for the short time he has left before going home. They were so excited to see Sister Crow and I in turquoise along with them that they wanted a picture. Wonderful elders. Like the rest of them.

Get a Load of these Two Lewis'

Lamell and Connie dropped off to Independence to see us. Whoa, they had a load! But continued to get more good stuff here. So sweet to have them.

Fast Sunday

Fast Sunday

August 2, 2015

     Happy Birthday to our Jett! It is such a good day to turn eight years old. It is Fast Sunday. Now, when you get baptized later this month you can begin to learn to fast. That is a hard principle to master, but with plenty of blessings attached. Like we asked Max in June, can we count you as one of our converts? We want to! We always pray for you and hope you will want to serve a mission for the Lord someday. We know it is a big week for you and your Show Low cousins with school starting. Just think this year in second grade, you will have the Holy Ghost on your side now. You are a blessed boy.
     We have had a fun week with Lamell and Connie coming over this way to see us. We took them to Liberty Jail and Far West just like we took your family. We also went to Haun's Mill. It was bare, quiet, and muddy but it is so cool to get to see where many lessons were learned after many hardships took place. Jett, I especially love the story of young Alma Smith who got his hip blown away from a gunshot from the mob. His heartbroken mother had gone to Lord to ask in prayer if the Lord would help her to help poor Alma who was in so much pain. She had already lost Alma's father and his older brother on that dreadful day when the mob rode into the clearing and began shooting. The Lord directed Alma's mother and Alma had faith enough to do as his mother asked him to do. He knew the Lord could heal him. After five weeks of laying on his stomach with his mother applying poultices made first from ash, then bark from a tree, he was healed. That is a beautiful story of a young boy like you who was obedient to his mother and who also had faith in the Lord.
     We always love, love to see any familiar face from Home out here. It makes it seem not really that far away. And it's not. We met a visitor from Holbrook at sacrament today. She was so happy to see us. I think she thought we were celebrities or something. It sure is funny what a nametag of the Lord's means to some members of the church. We look forward to seeing you, Ethan, Kyson, Noah, Cash, Zane, Max, Ezra, Teag, and Elijah wearing one with honor someday. So Jett, have a happy, happy day. More importantly, have a happy year being eight. It's the beginning of your walk back to Heavenly Father when you get to be baptized. Now, one last thing.....tell your mom and your aunts that Lamell and Connie will be back in business Monday morning. Tell them I got to go with them on some of their stops. Tell them that truck is loaded with some real treasures and they better get in the car before they are all gone.

My Love, love, love
Sister Seaman....aka Grandma

Doing the Hard Thing...

     Today in Fast and Testimony meeting, the priest who was saying the sacrament prayer on the bread, had to say it over several times.  He kept adding the infamous "it" to the prayer. After a couple of tries, the counselor in the Stake Presidency, who was on the stand today, got up, went over to the priest, knelt down with him and showed him what he was doing wrong.  It was touching to me to see a priesthood leader handle it so well.  It was also touching to see the priest get it right after several tries.  It was definitely the hard thing to do, but it was the right thing to do.  The priest was probably embarrassed and may have been thinking that he would never say the blessing again.  He will.
     Having had a similar experience in my young life, I am always empathetic with those who have to live through this experience.  My experience was so similar in many respects.  There was a General Authority on the stand of a tri-ward sacrament meeting when it happened to me.  After three tries I got it right somehow.  These kinds of hard experiences stay with you.  They also teach you, if you can live through them.  Caution becomes your by-word. 
     The sacrament part of the meeting today was as quiet and reverent as any I have ever been to.  The Aaronic Priesthood handled it as well as any I have ever seen.  I have written about them in this blog before.  All dressed in their dark suits, all doing it just right.  The congregation was so quiet.  I know that when we go home, it may not be like it is here.  We may never see it like this again and I will really miss it.  I think the Lord is very appreciative of this ward for the way they reverence the sacrament.
     Taking the sacrament worthily renews our covenants.  To take the sacrament, with people who believe as you do, and do everything they can to make the experience a sacred one, is a great and valuable blessing.  So, even when there is a mistake in the sacrament prayer and it has to be repeated several times, and even when the presiding authority has to come to the priest's aid, we know that doing the right thing, even though it is the hard thing, blesses the lives of many and strengthens our testimony of the Savior and His atonement.  I know it and so do you.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman