We learn to love our ward sisters. Sister Schiess (r) and Sister Peterson are also the Visitor center Leaders. Sister Peterson just transferred out to another adventure. We can see some of our granddaughters doing this in the future. This picture was taken downstairs at the VC.
Sunday, January 31, 2016
To My Girls
January 31, 2016To My Girls......the Old Guard in the mission office will make a complete change this week. Our
mission nurse friend, Sister Arnold will be forging a new life in North Dakota by the week's end. We will be the last ones standing. Oh, of course, we can testify by experience that it doesn't matter to the Lord who runs the place, as long as they are willing and able. The Schlager's replaced the Black's without a glitch. The Fuller's have replaced the Crow's with not one word of complaint. A new couple has already been called and will replace us in April. And soon.....our names and faces will be forgotten by busy missionaries.
That's the plan. The way it is supposed to work. Who was this mission for? Elder and Sister Seaman. And you and your families. I am asking once more, have you felt the blessings? Have you seen the growth in your mom and dad? Are we all better for this experience? I think we are. I know I am. And I have learned to love it.
When this last bunch of departing missionaries were getting ready to go home, Sisters Pistorius and Hansen and I were talking about going back into the real world where their first name is no longer Sister. Sister Pistorius seemed very comfortable to be called Sydnie soon. As for Sister Hansen, she seemed at a genuine loss. "I don't know what I want to be called. Abigail? Abby? I don't know." I have thought a lot about that. Now, just to ease your minds, she settled on Abby. I know it because I saw it on Facebook. I understand how Sister Hansen, aka Abby, was feeling. Your dad and I can see that happening with us. So, where do we go for answers? To our patriarchal blessings.
It was a beautiful late summer morning on August 21, 1967 when my mom drove me to Snowflake, AZ to get my patriarchal blessing from Patriarch David A. Butler. I was going to be a freshman in high school and my parents felt I was "age worthy" to appreciate the experience. The Butler's had a beautiful yard. Sister Butler wrote in beautiful handwriting as her husband pronounced that blessing on my head. The windows were open and a cool breeze blew through the air.They were so kind and so old. Isn't that a funny memory? Maybe they were a few years older than I am now.
I tell you this little memory and encourage you to go again to your patriarchal blessings. It seems the older a person gets, the more treasured some lines can become. And they may not even be lines that were treasured the last time it was read by your eyes.
As the office staff changes, it makes missionaries more aware that surely, sometime, Elder Seaman and I will hit the road ourselves. Then, they ask, "What are you going to do?" Well, this is all we know for now. We have three months to finish strong out here. Lots can happen in three months. We are willing. And then the rest of our lives, we are wide open for more good adventures. We just want to be left standing worthy when we meet the Lord. We want to be standing there with all of you. Keep up the good work in your own homes. It's worth it. And, just a reminder, you are all choice spirits and love and cooperation abides in our family. I know that because my patriarchal blessing says so.
I so love you Mauriah, Kirsten, Jessica, Lindsay, Addie, and Caitlin!
Mom.....aka Sister Seaman
The Outer LimitsRemember the old TV show called the Outer Limits. It was popular back in the 1960's when we only had black and white TV. What? Oh, maybe that was the Twilight Zone, its been so long I forget. Anyway, it was kind of scary at the time. My grandkids will not believe that the TV was only in black and white and came to us by the use of an antennae (sometimes with foil on them). Lots of static and rolling lines. Hard to believe technology has come so far. The mission has outer limits too. I was in two of them this week.
Most of the missionaries feel that they have been sent to Siberia, when they receive the assignment to spend time in these kind of places. They wonder if they have done something wrong and are being punished for something they did. That is simply not the case. Show Low may qualify as an outer limit, but I know that the missionaries there love to get that assignment.
As near as I can tell, there were two places where missionaries reside that I had not been to in the previous 15 months. One of them is called Maryville and the other is called Marshall, both in Missouri but at nearly opposite ends. Maryville is 1 hour and 45 minutes north of Independence and Marshall is 1 hour and 15 minutes East Northeast. Both towns are about the size of Show Low (10,000+/-) and both are rural and remote. One has a small struggling ward in it, the other has a struggling branch. Definitely not the same as Show Low.
It was kind of quirky that both places, that I had never been before, needed something from me in the same week. I believe that I have now been in 100% of the 110 or so apartments in the mission. Most of them I can drive to without the GPS now because I have been to them enough times. It must be time to go home.
I know that if the missionaries assigned to these outer limit places are hard workers and get the confidence of the members, they are loved and appreciated and the work goes forward and they have a great experience. If they don't work hard, and goof-off a lot, they have a tough experience and bad memories. It is a lot like life. When we work hard and gain the confidence of the people we work with things go well and we are happy. If not, not so good. The outer limits provide an even greater testing ground and also greater blessings.
Work hard my grandkids, even if you get the tough assignments. Blessings will flow.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
A COLD TRANSFER
January 24, 2016The Lord was busy in Missouri Independence Mission this week. I have come to love and dread Transfers at the same time. Love because I get to see the excitement that change brings. Dread because we "lose" some of our friends for a short while. Five of our friends were released to go home. Eleven new missionaries arrived. On the Thursday morning when missionaries meet and greet their new companions is when the fun begins. Our new car czar, Elder Fuller, is giving driving tests to new drivers as quickly as he can. His wife, Sister Fuller, is collecting and dispensing phones to new companionships if needed. Elder Schlager is answering money questions while his wife is checking mail and baptism referrals. Sister Arnold, our nurse, is holed up in the back calmly listening to missionaries medical problems while her phone is ringing off the hook from doctors' offices scheduling appointments for everything from skin rashes to headaches. My elder is usually down at the Batcave handing out bedding, spatulas, blenders, and bikes. Or he is on the road delivering beds to those apartments that need an extra mattress after an emergency transfer has been made at the last minute. As for me....I try to stay in my designated office and act busy.
I could write a book about the things I hear in there....."I'm up for this.....I can go to the end of nowhere and open a new area"......"I've been praying for a transfer!"......."My companion has been praying for a transfer"......."I am not ready to go home!"......"It's time. I'm ready to go home and get on with Life."....."Will you take a picture and send to my mom so she doesn't freak out when she doesn't hear from me this week?"....."Can I schedule a appointment with President Vest?"....."President Vest wants me to schedule an appointment so He can see me."......."WHERE is your husband? I need .......and I can't find him."......."Sister Seaman, I can't find Elder Seaman anywhere and I just want to thank him for all he has done for me."
I have learned that my elder tries to stay clear of the office because he does not like Good-byes. He will return to find all kinds of sticky notes plastered on his desk for requests and, also, little handwritten Thank You notes.
So, to Elders Stallings, Cluster, Sanger and Sisters Pistorius and Hansen. See you around the bend. There are eleven new ones right on your tail. They will adjust to missionary life and the Lord will turn them into wonderful missionaries just like all of you have been. My grandkids....did you read this? When you go on your missions there will be lots of people out there supporting you. More importantly, The Lord will be on your side. You will learn to love and dread Transfers just like this old sister missionary does.
My Love to my grandkids,
Sister Seaman....aka Grams to Cash, Sailor, Avy, Max, Zane, Macy, Noah, Ezra, Mikael, Elijah, Kyson, Brookie, Teag, Ellie, Livi, Chloe, Mattie, Kenzie, Jett, Ethan, Kortney AND Cody....
DittoSister Seaman and I were just saying that it must be time to go home because there is nothing new to talk about. It is becoming harder and harder to come up with something new to write about. Our duties here in the mission field have been the same for 15 months now. The missionaries come and go every 6 weeks. The successes and trials are much the same. I can say ditto to what my companion has written above. Heart-ache and joy. Heart-ache and joy. Repeat.
Every now and then I find myself slipping into the self-pity mode and wonder why I was called to deliver the furniture and the beds and the vacuum cleaners. Other senior missionaries seem to have better assignments (ie, visitor center, FM, etc.) My assignment seems rather low on the totem pole. I find myself wanting to shirk my duties. Weird, huh?
But then something happens and everything changes, again. The mission opened up a new area to elders down in Chanute, KS. A two hour drive from the mission office. I drove down there 3 times this month. Once to find an apartment, once to sign the lease for the apartment and then to deliver the furniture for the new apartment. These are some long days by myself. As I drive, I find myself whistling or singing to the music (often Piano Guys, or Celtic Women or Enya.) I watch the scenery around me change from rolling hills to straight-out flat. But even in winter there is something very beautiful about this country. I love it.
On the last trip to Chanute, I have two missionaries with me to help unload the heavy furniture items. The apartment is upstairs. I am so glad to have them with me. On the way back, the missionaries are asking me some life questions. One of them asks me what I thought he ought to say in his homecoming report (he went home this week.) What would be the most important thing he could say. He had been thinking about it, and couldn't find anything to say. He said that he really wasn't sure why he came out and wondered whether it was worth it. This young man was a great missionary. He had been a Zone leader, District Leader, and Trainer. I thought about it for a few seconds and told him that no matter what he thought of his success as a missionary, he should remember that the Lord will love him forever because of his sacrifice. Because no matter what else happens, he did what he was ask to do with no thought of reward, he was obedient and he gave his all to the work for two years. I told him that at some point in the near future, the Lord would let him know how much that sacrifice meant. And that he should never forget what the Lord thought of him.
My cup was running over at the conclusion of that conversation. He left me a note as he went home that said thanks. I say you are the one that needs to hear it from me. Thanks Elder Stallings, thanks for being a very good young man and a friend forever.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Where is Irma?
January 17, 2016Today, my mind is reliving the birth of our youngest daughter 30 years ago. Where did the time go? How can she even think to be that old? Caitlin has grown into a beautiful wife and mother with three way above average children living in her home. It has been a real adventure to birth, know, like, and love her this many years.
Speaking of time......we had two of our elders come in the office on Monday with a referral. They had met and taught a lesson to a lady from Mexico. She was going back there, but wanted to continue with her teaching, and had actually committed to a baptism date on February 28, 2016. She wrote her name and address for the missionaries, and when they deciphered it back into English, the Church Referral system would not take it. It stated it needed a clearer address. She did not leave a phone number for them. She did tell them she knew she lived close to the Mexico City Temple and had seen it.
So, on a whim, Sister Schlager, our new referral secretary, sent the following address down to the mission office that the Mexico Guadalajara Temple is in:
Irma ________ ___________
5036 Federico Ibariea Zapopan Jalisco Infonauit Elocolli Muniai Guadalajara Mexico
She stated "Please try to find her--and it may take a miracle, but we believe in them, right?"
The next day she received this reply: " We have received your email and it is actually in our area. We have located her address and will contact her as soon as possible. Thanks, Elder Fuentes"
So, hopefully, by now Irma has at least one more lesson down. You may credit this to good timing; good map skills; etc. I say Elders Beyeler and Papworth are obedient young missionaries that are trying their best to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They reported back to us that they had enlisted their whole district in praying for the missionaries to find Irma. Isn't this a sweet little miracle? My grandchildren, remember this little story. There are Irmas out there waiting for you to find them
My tender love to all my family,
Sister Seaman .....aka Grandma and Mom
ChangeToday our Bishop Talimatasi was released after serving for 6 years and 1 month. He has been a great Bishop to his people. He was so well trained I could hardly believe what I was hearing some of the time. He was bold to the point of hurting feelings. He was loving to the point of excess.
He spoke a very broken English. His native tongue being Samoan. He was always saying how very much appreciated everything was. I just love the man and his wife. They have been so kind to us. They like the senior and junior missionaries in their ward. There are two senior couples, one set of sisters and one set of elders. They throw special parties to honor them. They ask them to eat first at ward parties. It is a little embarrassing but you do feel appreciated. So Bishop, I say thanks for your loyalty to the Lord and your great service to his people.
Bishop Taviuni was called as the new Bishop. He was the High Councilman to the Blue Mills Ward. I am sure he is also a good man.
Change is always with us. What a great thing it is to be able to have the confidence in the changing of a Bishop, that everything will be essentially the same. Especially the doctrine.
It was a busy week this week for me and I am tired. I have slept about 11 hours out of the last 24. We either moved or loaded 3 apartments this week. One of the Apartments was in Chanute, Kansas, about two hours south on the southern border of the mission. I have prepared 4 apartments for the upcoming transfer this next week. We will have 12 new missionaries coming in on Wednesday and 5 going home on Friday. More change.
Change will always be with us, but the gospel will always be the same. I am grateful for that principal. Stay the course. I love you all.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Back in the Saddle
January 10, 2016
We are back in the saddle again. The transition was easy to make. We flew into town Tuesday afternoon and drove straight to the office. When it was quitting time, we headed home to see that our little apartment had been "doored" while we were away. (see picture above) It was a Welcome sight. A missionary or two must have missed us. Not one of the locals will take responsibility for it.
In the time we were away, two emergency transfers took place due to illnesses. I am always in awe that these young missionaries seem to be so flexible. When a call comes from President
Vest, they can pack their bags and be out the door to a new area in nothing flat, as long as they have a ride. They wake up in new surroundings and immediately get to work. I love that about them. And always, they seem to be so happy and thankful. For everything. I want to be more like that. So, this year, I want to say.....
"It is not happy people who are thankful.....
It is thankful people who are happy...."
I have been working on the mission history in order to send it in to Salt Lake. I was ordering the New Arrival pictures for the year late Thursday afternoon when a herd of missionaries came stomping into the office. The monthly Mission Leadership Council was over. They had been in training all day with President Vest. In my mind, I was reviewing pictures of young elders and sisters who had arrived in the mission in the course of this past year and now, some of them are here and they are part of the leadership. Sister Baggett, a newly called Sister Training Leader, exclaimed to me how much she had loved her day. She threw out her arms and said, "How could I not love it? Sitting in that room with such good people who are all united to the same cause?"
That is how I have to sum up my simple week. Nothing earth shattering or even newsworthy. Oh wait, I take that back. I am here to report that I am happy. I am thankful to be out here patting these missionaries on the back. We are all united in the same cause. That is to help spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Isn't that the most happy thing anyone can think of?
My Love to my Darling Grandchildren!
Stay in the SaddleIt must be "Saddle Sunday." Both Sister Seaman and I have saddles on our minds. When we were home last week, we saw President Williams, Show Low Arizona Stake President. For some reason he ask me to think about any advice that I might give him. It was a very open-ended assignment. I thought about it a couple of times trying to figure out what he wanted from me. I got to see him before we left to go home and he ask me again what I thought. The only thing that came to my mind was to say "Stay in the saddle."
I had thought how lame that little bit of old western advise was. But I thought about it all the way home on the plane and I now think maybe it wasn't so lame.
The saying, "Stay in the Saddle," means exactly that. It was and is a term to express to the rider of a horse that it is safer to stay in the saddle than to be thrown off. Being thrown off can bring on some excruciating pain. So no matter what the horse is doing (i.e., bucking, running out of control, jumping fences, etc.) it is safer to stay in the saddle if at all possible. I have known some cowboys who have not stayed in the saddle (one Quinn Smith) and have been broken up, scraped up and stepped on.
So President, Stay in the Saddle, even when the going gets tough and the interviews pile up, and the Saints don't do right, and you're wondering how it will all get done, just Stay in the Saddle. In fact, we pray that you will stay in the saddle until the Lord releases you and then you can swing down from the horse you've been riding and say, whew! I'm glad that ride is over.
To the my children and friends, I also say Stay in the Saddle. Don't get bucked off and land on your head and go off crazy. Don't leave the God that loves you, don't get hurt feelings, don't leave your testimony on the horse, listen to the Prophet's voice, read your scriptures, say your prayers, teach your kids the gospel, have family home evening. Do your calling. Make some sacrifices.
So when you hear me say, Stay in the Saddle, you know what I mean. Stay safe.
I love you all.
Sunday, January 3, 2016
We Worked Hard. We Partied Hard.
January 3, 2016
Our week Home in Show Low, AZ is ending. We have worked hard. We have partied hard. It has been a week we will never forget. How can we be old enough to have a married granddaughter? It seems so surreal. She was a beautiful bride. Cody was a handsome, worthy groom that hit the jackpot.
So many dear friends and relatives came to wish them well at their reception. The decorations and food were outstanding. All of our children and grandchildren looked topnotch. And, can they all cut a rug......It has been pure joy.
Certainly, the highlight was Tuesday morning in the Snowflake Temple as our old bishop, LaVell Owens, sealed this young couple for all eternity, depending on their worthiness. We woke that morning to gentle snow falling down outside our window. The forest around our little house in Sierra Pines was still. It was as if Heavenly Father was blessing the day and sending word from the heavens that this marriage was approved. Did he know of each person's feelings involved in this marriage? Did He understand the bittersweet thoughts of Jerry and Mauriah? Dave and Gaye Tenney? The happy feelings of Kortney's two brothers, Ethan and Jett? And, of course, the thoughts of the bride and groom, Kortney and Cody?
I have faith that He did and He does. I have faith that He approved of two old missionaries leaving their line of work to return Home to celebrate for a short while. It was an occasion to remember. We are both so thankful to have been here. But now the time has come to say "So Long" for a few more short months, get back on that plane, and get back where we belong. In the Independence Missouri Mission office. Hope they left the lights on for us.
"God has infinite attention, infinite time to spare for each of us. He doesn't have to take us in line. You're as much alone with Him as if you were the only thing He'd ever created."
C. S. Lewis
How Could this Happen to us???Just a note tonight to express my gratitude to Heavenly Father, family, friends and especially Mauriah and Jerry Walker and Dave and Gay Tenney. Maybe Cody and Kortney came good but often times it is what the parents and everyone else, that had an influence on these two, put in to it. Thank you. The week could not have been better. We are so grateful that we were given permission to come home. We couldn't be happier.
Just one thing. This event could make us GREAT-GRANDPARENTS within the next year. How could that happen to us so soon. Time marches on.
Now back to work. We have felt a little weird being here in Show Low as full-time missionaries and not doing our assignments. We will try to catch up starting Tuesday. See you back in Show Low in 3.5 months.
Love you all,