Sunday, March 27, 2016
Christ, the Lord is Risen Today
March 27, 2016A joyous Happy Easter to you! Isn't it amazing? After visiting the spirit world and proclaiming the good news of the gospel, the Savior rose from the dead and appeared again to His beloved friends and followers. Because of Him I, too, can be with my elder and all our family forever. Hallelujah!
It is gently raining this Easter morning in Independence. Many trees are blossoming and it looks like Spring! I absolutely love this time of year out here. I am so thankful we have gotten to experience two springs on this mission.
It has been a week of change for me. I walked to the post office on Friday to hand deliver our release letters to Bishop Kai and President Williams. It is protocol in this mission to send those letters out to departing missionaries' ecclesiastical leaders a month before the return home. I assume it is that way in all missions. It was somewhat of a ceremonial walk for me. All by myself. Reliving so many walks I have had here in Independence. I believe, at first, those walks may have saved me. Over the past 17 months, my head and I had many conversations with each other; I studied the landscape that changed with the seasons; I read and reread every historical marker I passed; and I talked to my girls on the blessed phone many times along the way. Sometimes we laughed and sometimes we cried. It has reaffirmed to me that a body needs some fresh air and sunlight everyday in order to thrive.
I have started "training" my replacement, Sister Schlager, this week. I'm telling you, it's a piece of cake. She has secretarial skills. She can type and talk at the same time. She can copy and paste. She doesn't need her husband to come in and fix her mistakes like I still do. All she needs is for me to get out of the way. We have new office replacements coming in from the MTC on April 1 so she will, in turn, train her replacement before she moves in my office. One of the jobs we did this week was clean up the All Mission Directory. This entailed deleting the names of all those that none of our current missionaries would know or remember. It was sobering to me to see how quickly the names come and go. Give us a year and our names will have disappeared off that list. All that will be left will be our file in the cabinet. And then, give that one more year, and we will be history.
The one thing I have learned as seasons have come and gone while we served here is that we are not indispensable. Others that are more capable will come. The work will continue to move forward. The one that will be blessed because of my piddly bit of service will be Me. I have felt the Lord's tender care in my behalf many times these past months. I love the good news of the Gospel! I love my Savior. Thanks, Independence, for refining me just a bit more.
In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion
I have been sitting in a recliner napping and reading. The recliner is up next to the window in our bedroom and I have noticed that it has been snowing and raining this morning. Last week it was in the 70's, today it is in the 40's. You know what they say about Missouri weather, "If you don't like the weather now, wait 5 minutes and it will change." That statement is so true. I think that March has come in like a lamb and leaving like a lion. But Missouri is beautiful in the spring. I will miss it so much.
I have been thinking about my mom this morning. She will be 88 on April 17th. How is it that she can be that old. My dad died 20 years ago and she has been alone since that time. That is also hard to believe. I cannot comprehend the loneliness. Mom is now staying in a fulltime nursing facility in Clearfield Utah. She has pretty much lost her mind, pretty much stays in bed with her eyes closed and she has been that way or in a similar condition for a long time. I have wondered about why she should have to stay on the earth in that condition. I hadn't been able to find a good answer until recently. We have been told that we can find answers to our questions by attending the temple. At a recent temple session, as I was sitting in the celestial room waiting for Sister Seaman to finish up, I remembered to ask the Lord that specific question. Before I could even get the entire question put to the Lord the answer was coming to my mind. It was a simple answer. She has to endure. I am satisfied with the answer as I know that is part of our life experience. I am also confident that He knows all about her and her condition and blesses her in ways we cannot see or understand. From my point if view, I hope she can be through pretty soon. I try to envision the reunion between my dad and her, I can hardly wait for her to go.
I know that #Because of Him she will be with dad forever and we happen to be a family that has been sealed together for time and all eternity. And #Because of Him my mother will be resurrected to a perfect and eternal being. All of us have this same opportunity. # Hallelujah!
I love you all. Remember, Oh Remember!
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Eli and Sarah Ozment, who were you?
March 20, 2016Eli and Sarah? Who were you? What made you happy? Each other? What were your fears, your
joys, your sorrows? Were your successes grounded in the birthing and raising of five sons and four daughters in Tennessee in the mid 1800's? Or were they considered a commodity needed to scrape out a living from the ground and surrounding woods? Sarah, I know you were twenty years younger than Eli. Did you love him? Was he good to you?
I hope someday to meet this family. I hope the work we are beginning to do in the temple is "taking" on the other side of the veil. I admit I have a narrow view of marriage. And that view is that all marriages can be blessed and happy. That is because I live in a good marriage. I so want this family to have experienced happiness in their mortal existence!
Ever since we found Sarah Elizabeth Williams in my family lines and completed her work, I have had an itch to find more "Temple Ready" names. After telling my elder again this week that that was my desire, he got on line and found Eli and Sarah. It was too good to be true. It wasn't true. She was too young. He was too old. Could it be true?
A dear, sweet, elderly sister missionary on the helpline helped my elder work through the process to verify the work. Seems we had struck gold. Let the work begin.....I was baptized and confirmed for Sarah and her daughters - Susan, Clementine, Amanda, and Luvany. My elder did the work for Watson, James, McDonald, Greenberry, and John. We will go back and work through the process for this family.
This was a good, good week. Our young missionaries are busy, busy spreading the good news of the gospel and, hopefully, we have been busy building bridges and sealing deals on the other side of the veil for Eli and Sarah and their children because of the good news of that same gospel.
Aren't we all so blessed?? My love,
A Hard ThingAs this mission thing winds down, it is getting harder and harder to write about something new. As a matter of fact, it is getting down-right boring, it must be especially to the reader of this blog. Sister Seaman and I do the same things everyday, day-in and day-out. On top of that, February and March have been real slow for some reason. It seems like I have been running my tail off for the last 15 months and now, nothing. I would like to think that it is because we have fixed all the problems (I don't think there were any,) but its not that. We are finding time to do family search, look at facebook and instagram and read.
I think I have said this before, though. I truly love this mission. I love the missionaries and their varied personalities. I love the work that we are engaged in. I love Missouri, except for the traffic lights (they are possessed.) I love my family, especially my senior companion. I love the Savior. Leaving the mission field appears to be a hard thing.
On a different note, I have wondered when the time comes for the Savior's return, if Independence will look like it does now. The old part of Independence is tired and run-down. There are cancerous spots where nothing but drugs and alcohol live. There is only a handful of areas that have been renovated. Right around the Temple site, within a few blocks, there are dozens of churches. All are old and dying, including The Community of Christ (RLDS.) I wonder if the Lord will want all the old stuff, the churches and the odd-looking (sea-shell) temple near his Temple. If I were to guess, and it is purely a guess, I would say that somehow its all going to be cleaned up. I wouldn't want to be here when that happens. It will be a hard thing for those still here.
Hard things are going to happen. Be ready my friends. Be ready. I love you all.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Where are we, Really?
March 13, 2016Today, I look out the window at the fog and think of our weekend. Where are we, really? Some island? Some exotic vacation spot? It gently rained most of the day yesterday blessing this land with moisture. It seemed like Heavenly Father was aware of the special day of March 12 in Independence and was cleansing the land. Where do I begin? Can I just give you a few highlights:
*Elders Stevenson, Anderson, and Deschler preached to all of us yesterday morning in a mission conference. When they arrived, we all immediately stood in a wave and they walked into a silent chapel filled with beautiful, beautiful young people (and some older missionaries).
*Right after he entered the chapel Elder Stevenson asked all missionaries to come by, shake his hand, and tell him where they were from. So, my elder and I got a ten second interview with him. How sweet!
*Elder Anderton, one of our young missionary's, whispered, "Doesn't this remind you of 3rd Nephi?" Yes, it certainly did, Elder Anderton. It certainly did.What a place to be!
*After the conference, we went to Matalili and Jordan Jolly's wedding reception. It was a full-blown Samoan affair. We may as well have been at the Polynesian Cultural Center with the floorshows, food, gift presentations, and dancing.
*This day can only be summed up as one of the highlights of our mission. We will never forget the kindness of the good people of the Blue Mills Ward in Independence, MO. We will never forget the sweetness and goodness of these young missionaries we see so often.
*This mission will always be "part of our DNA" as Elder Stevenson said.
*The Lord's work is the same everywhere but it is different everywhere also. I just want to be a part of that work. And more than that, I want to be a part of that work with my elder, our children, and our grandchildren. I want our grandchildren to feel what we felt yesterday in a meeting with a living prophet. Someday, in a distant land, a living prophet will visit their mission, and they will stand in reverence and respect and be reminded again that as a young missionary, they are truly about the Lord's work. If they only convert themselves, that will be enough.
My love to all,
The TruthThe pundits on Fox News are talking away about nothing and everything and I can't get the feeling out of my head that what they are talking about may not be the truth or at least only partly true. How can that be? The other channels are far worse. In my life time, the news has gone from strict truth to hardly true. The prophecy has certainly come to pass that evil men are calling evil, good and good, evil and that it is hard to tell the difference. Perceptions are becoming reality. How are we to tell what is the truth in these days of turmoil and uncertainty? Is there a way to tell?
Yesterday, our mission had the privilege of hearing a prophet's voice. Elder Gary Stephenson, a new apostle, spoke in our mission conference and taught us a few things. One of the things that I thought was most important and timely was his teaching on the Holy Ghost. He said that through obedience with exactness and hard work (I took this to mean that through our worthiness, study of the scriptures and fulfilling our callings with all diligence) that we would have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost who testifies to the truthfulness of all things. As I consider the current state of the world, I believe that living the way the prophets are directing us is the only way we will find our way.
I am also aware that our children and grandchildren are coming more prepared than ever before and they will be ready to assume the leadership of the church in the coming days. But they need to be taught and prepared for their future roles. They will especially need the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I think that they will have times in their lives when they will yearn for sacred direction.
"The standard of truth has been erected, no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." Joseph Smith in the Wentworth Letter
Nothing will stop the work from progressing. Have faith and not fear. It will not be easy but all will turnout alright. Teach your kids the gospel and to be obedient to the commandments and the promises they make with God. Teach them how to repent. Teach them respect for priesthood authority and how to pray. Teach them how to find the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. They will find the truth. Everything depends on how you do these things. We pray for your success.
Sunday, March 6, 2016
I Love to see the temple
March 6, 2016The weather was fine. The temple was filled. Delores went through for her first time yesterday morning. She has been in our temple prep class for many months as she has prepared herself all on her own to do this. She has a complicated background with an almost ex-husband and grown children from another man. Her children are not interested in living the gospel at this time.
Our little temple prep class has a personality all its own. We have a core group of sisters who like to come and stay even after they have received their endowments. They stand as a symbol to the others that, yes.....it is possible to go to the temple. Yes, the temple is for everyone. Yes, it takes some hard work on each of their part's to get there. Help is available through a kind bishop and the atonement of Jesus Christ.
I have learned many things from all of these sisters. The most important thing has been how they have taught me to move forward with a simple faith that all will be well. One of our sisters, Matalili, is going back to the temple this week to be married, and then, move away to UT to live with her husband's family. She has never been away from her mother's side. She and her husband met at the Special Olympics. She is moving forward with a simple faith.
Our friend, Delores, continually talks of having a relationship with a man who loves and treats her with respect. She so badly wants that in her life so, now, she is moving forward with a simple faith that it will be possible for her someday. On the other hand, another one of our star student's, Simone, claims she is not one bit interested in living with a priesthood holder. But, she is interested in going to the temple for her endowments. All of our sisters have a story. Such a unique bunch here in Independence, MO and we get to play a teensy, tinsy part in getting them to the temple.
My girls, I tell you this, because I hope you don't take the temple for granted. Each of us in the Seaman family lives close enough to a temple to make it a part of our routine. It can be done. I was pleased to get a text from Connie Lewis this week reporting she saw you, Lindsay, with our dear Noah, at the temple for his first time to do baptisms. Those kind of reports from home mean more to me than you all can guess.
"I believe that the busy person....can solve problems better and more quickly in the house of the Lord than any where else. At the most unexpected moments, in or out of the temple will come, as a
revelation, the solution to the problems that vex our lives." John A. Widstoe
How about it? That promise sounds grand to me. Let's do it, Girls.
Sister Seaman...aka Mom to Caitlin, Addie, Lindsay, Jessica, Kirsten, and Mauriah
Mixed FeelingsThe count down has started for me. I am officially "trunky!" We will experience one more transfer (saying goodbye to a few and hello to a few), we will attend one more senior dinner (where we will have to cry and bear our testimonies), we will attend one more stake conference in Warrensburg, MO, and we will attend one more Mission Conference next weekend and Elder Stephenson, the new Apostle is coming. I will deliver a few more pieces of furniture, move a few more missionaries and then it will be time to go home. I hope I can talk about something else besides going home in the next 7 blog reports. There is officially only 53 more days left in this mission experience. Home. Home.
Independence, Missouri, on the other hand, will remain locked in my heart forever. I will
remember the grassy, rolling hills, with trees and ponds and that everything is so green it brings tears to my eyes. I will remember the sacred spirit of the sacred places. I will remember all of the hundreds of break-off churches surrounding the temple lot. I will remember the funny-looking sea-shell temple across the street from the temple lot that feels literally so empty. I will remember the Kansas City Temple in all its glorious beauty and spirit. I will especially remember the missionaries who have come and gone over the last 16 months. It has been hard to have such great young friends only to see them leave for home. I think we will see many of them again through the years. I will remember the small part we played in at least 6 peoples lives as they went to the temple for the first time here. I will remember the Samoans and their loving nature. I will remember Missouri.
As you can tell, I have very mixed feelings. Show Low is home but Missouri certainly has a big place in my heart. The Lord has been so good to us as we have labored here. The blessings cannot be counted. I will probably not talk about this again. Ha Ha.
Love you all,