One Year Older and Wiser too....Happy Birthday to usOctober 11, 2015
I am 61 years old as of yesterday. My elder is 63 as of September 30. Aren't we blessed to be celebrating such a wonderful occasion here in Missouri Independence Mission? For some reason, my elder does not get all worked up about his birthday like I do. He accuses me of celebrating mine before his even arrives. I admit, a birthday has been a thing of great joy to me since 2004. That was the year I turned 50. Many of you know why. If you don't know and are kind of curious, read on.
My mom died of cancer when she was 49, so I figure I had been "gifted" any years after that age. My dad passed away when he was 60 so.....this is a big one for me. I have officially outlived them both. My patriarchal blessing tells me I chose them in the spirit world. I believe it. I loved them both. More importantly, I liked them.
With the coming of celebrating this birthday on our mission I have pondered some of the things I have learned this past year. Can I just tell you a few of them?
* Our lives and time are so fleeting and fragile. Our family experienced that again with the passing of our beautiful Lorraine. I think we all thought that if anyone could beat cancer it would be her. She was too brave, too loved by Ted, too strong, too beautiful....."Time flies on wings of lightning, we cannot call it back"
* The Lord knows each of us. He knows our strengths and weaknesses. He blesses us with what we need and want. We will all bury dreams along the way. But the trick is to keep walking. Our immediate Seaman family have watched as little Elijah's mom, Lindsay, has rearranged her thinking and household to bless his life. What a blessing he has been and will be to all of us. "When you cannot do what you've always done - then you only do what matters most" Robert D. Hales
* We can get this right. We are given every opportunity to repent and change through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I have learned so much from these young missionaries out here that are so boldly preaching that message to Missouri. "As we worthily partake of the sacrament it renews everything about us." L. Tom Perry
This is the final entry in my dad, Elbert J. Lewis ', journal. It was written on his birthday.
July 14, 1992. 60 years old today. A few aches and pains but pretty good shape considering the miles on me. I sure would like to know how many heartbeats are left, or maybe I wouldn't. Knowledge like that may drive me more crazy than I am." He died on September 2 of that year.
So, I will move on. Grateful to be here in Independence. Grateful for my life. Grateful to serve a while longer with my dearest junior companion. Looking forward to 2 more years before Medicare kicks in for Elder Seaman. Think of all that money we will save on insurance.
Seize the day, My Loved Ones,
Sister Seaman...aka Grandma and Mom
The Assignment...Not long after we arrived in Independence, we were meeting in our Monday meeting with President Vest and the other "office" senior missionaries. I did not know at the time that he rarely gave instructions about how we ought to dress, but on this occasion he was doing exactly that. I felt that he was addressing me in the cover of a meeting, so after the meeting I lingered and ask him if I was the problem. He was kind but he said he wanted his senior missionaries to dress in a suit, white shirt and tie. Regular missionary attire, right? At the time, I was wearing dockers and a sport jacket everyday because that was what the guy I was replacing was wearing. And in my training situation, he and I were working in the very dusty, dirty environment of the bat-cave (storage for missionary furniture under the stake center) all most every day, where you get very dirty very quickly. I also had not brought suits with me, only one or two, because our original assignment was with the FM and I had brought Levis for that assignment.
With the new assignment came the need to dress up. New suits were purchased. 5 suits are rotated on a daily basis and dry cleaned quite often. The old, used dirty furniture is loaded and unloaded in a suit regardless of the temperature or weather. So when the temperature was 90 degrees and so was the humidity, the suits were often wrinkled and poor looking. The pockets rip out as does the seat. It is not easy but it is what the assignment requires.
The missionaries often ask me why I wear a suit to do the dirty work, when I am totally soaked in sweat. I tell them that it is an assignment from President Vest. He wants me to set an example to them of what to be wearing. I hope that it has been worth it.
I got a nice new suit for my birthday from my daughters. Too nice to work in. So I went to the Men's Wearhouse for new suits this weekend as I have worn out several suits of late. I am still struggling with the sticker shock. Suits were just not made for old, fat guys to work hard in and the good-fitting new ones are really expensive. But I will continue to do it just as exactly as I can because I was asked by my priesthood leader to do it that way.
I pray that the small sacrifice on my part will somehow be seen by the missionaries as how it is supposed to be done, even though it is not pretty. That they will dress the part they play and be seen as the Lord wants them seen. Handsome, clean-cut, dressed well, well behaved, sincere, honest and truthful bearers of the Lord's message. That they may teach the world the truth.