Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Last Dance

The Last Dance

April 24, 2016

     This will be our last post from this computer here in our little apartment in Independence, Mo. What should I say? What CAN I say that doesn't sound all sappy? I asked my elder and we both decided that, really, this blog has been for us. If there have been one or two readers along the way, we hope they have felt the spirit of Independence. The spirit of these young missionaries that we love. Maybe even the desire to serve one of these Senior missions someday.
    So...back to what should I say? I want to make a note to myself how I felt as we completed our 18 months here in Missouri. When I read this in ten years will I remember those feelings of sadness, excitement, nervousness for what can take place next, happiness.....See, what are these feelings??
My mind is racing with something profound to write to end this, our last dance. There have been too many dear missionaries that have passed through our lives, too many Senior missionaries, too many good people in the Blue Mills Ward. I can't point to one defining moment, so I will end with a little experience I had this week.
     I have never been down to the parking lot at the stake center where the Mission Transfers take place every six weeks. I have always been up in the office doing the Lord's work there. Since I am no longer needed in that spot, I went down to say Good-bye to our friends. What a bittersweet time that was! There was such an energy there. These young "kids" are called and set apart as servants of the Lord.  The lot was buzzing with all these white shirts. All these pretty young girls. One of my friends, Elder Bradley, from UT was getting ready to head out to now be a Zone Leader in Lenexa, KS. Before he hopped in the car he took my hand and with a formal bow, he said, "Sister Seaman". With that he bent down and softly kissed my hand. Now, isn't that tender gesture something? He will never know how that could sum up my time here in the MIM. (Missouri Independence Mission)
     Can I end with that? Can I end by telling any of you who are thinking of serving to just go, do it. Can I end by reminding any of you (and ME) that we had written on our missionary forms that "Sister Seaman will serve anywhere but in an office with a computer". Can I end once more by saying that the Lord knows us. He knows Me. He knew I needed to learn to cry out to Him in prayer. I needed to stretch and grow. I needed to learn over and over again that my junior companion is my one true love and my Life. I needed to have the experience of watching and loving all these young missionaries that came through the door. So....so long, Independence. So long, Elder Bradley. May you tear 'em up out in Lenexa, KS with your new companion.

My Love,
Sister Seaman

Call the Dogs and Put out the Fire

     On Wednesday morning, Sister Seaman and I will fire up the Ol' Toyota and looking something like the Jed Clampet and family (The Beverly Hillbillies for those who can remember,) we will start our journey home via Salt Lake.  We are going to try following the Mormon Trail from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Salt lake and we will stop wherever Sister Seaman says. 
    It is with a heavy heart that we leave Missouri.  All the new friends, the historic sites, the rolling hills, green, green grass and trees, the ponds and streams everywhere will be truly missed but not forgotten.  Missouri is now part of us.  The Mission is part of us.  The missionaries, the members of the Blue Mills Ward, Independence, Far West, Hawn's Mill, Adam-Ondi-Ahmen will forever be with us (my favorite is Far West, I don't know why.)  All of the off-shoots of the LDS Church, the Restoration Branches, the Community of Christ Church (Old RLDS),  all are part of the mystery of Zion in Missouri. 
     I have simply loved it.  It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.  To serve the missionaries on a daily basis has been so fulfilling.  I have loved those missionaries.  Their capacity to teach the gospel, with courage, boldness and love is beyond explanation. 
     I have had the greatest of companions in the mission field.  And even though I was not extended the opportunity to serve as the senior companion until the last couple of weeks, I would not trade her for anything or anyone.  She has been the greatest.  I love her her so much.
     So until we meet again, may the Lord bless and keep you and may he give you all the confidence you need to serve a mission and know, in small part, what it means to sacrifice.  If you want the truth, I would not call our mission a sacrifice.  It was just a great blessing to us and our family to be here. I know the Lord loves us all.  The gospel is true.  We led by latter-day prophets.  The Book of Mormon is the truest of all books.  #HE LIVES.  #BECAUSE OF HIM.  Stay the course, don't ever give up.

Love you,
Elder Seaman



It's Over

The parking lot has emptied. Missionaries are on their way with their new companions. Except these two.....Elders Walker from UT and Fili from Tonga. Waiting on a ride. These two are wonderful!  As for me (Sister Seaman) I have ride. And it is heading West real soon.

Transfers!

Posted on the van window. Reminds me of jr. High sports try-outs. My first and only time to watch it. In the past, I'm up at the office. So fun to see all our friends!

So, Long Elders

Our last transfer. Aren't they something?

Our Last Transfer

Some of our dear Sister friends. It was a bittersweet morning.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Elder Monroe liked my elder's tie

So he gave it to him. I missed the write-up in the handbook about the tie passing business that goes on in a mission. Elders Greenburg (l) and Monroe are just two of many, many good elders.

We are not Samoans

I just have to post this. Our friends in the ward gave us the get -up. We are in the privacy of our little apartment looking in our mission issued mirror. Don't think they like us best-----these people love ALL missionaries.

Tulips at Far West

My elder looking out over Adam-ondi-Ahman valley

Millstone from Haun's Mill

Haun's Mill on a quiet Spring Day

Oh Missouri, Missouri

Riding the Country Roads

April 17, 2016

     Yesterday, my elder led a group of 21 other Senior missionaries down the country roads of Missouri for another tour of Adam-ondi-Ahman, Far West, and Haun's Mill. As we were riding along, it hit me that we were the two "old ones". None of these missionaries were here last spring when we did the same route. None. And it is even hard for me to remember all of those who traveled along the country roads with us then. But they are our friends.
    That's the way it's supposed to be. Mission life moves on. The thing I will remember is the feel of the places we have visited here in Missouri. Seems a group of old Senior missionaries can get together and some will want to add their bit of knowledge to a story of the place we are visiting. I get a little confused in my mind on some details, but, I will never forget the feelings I have felt as we have visited these sacred spots.
     I dare not count how many years of service were driving in our caravan down the roads yesterday. At least two couples had served over 5 missions. Some of the couples were not spring chickens. One elder napped the afternoon away in the front seat of the van. I was happy for him because he is almost 80. One couple had served three different times in New York City doing three different assignments. I love to hear other Senior missionary's stories. Why are they here? Are they going again? We had a hodgepodge group of old people all doing different things in the Missouri Independence Mission from all over the country. Some love ice cream. Some don't. Some want to take a picture of every flower on the roadside. Some could care less. We may not have been best friends in our former lives, but while we are here, we have a common goal. That is to serve the Lord.
     It was a good day.

All my Love,
Sister Seaman

Oh Missouri, Missouri

     How can I keep the love alive.  Actual countdown has begun - 10 days left.  There are so many things that I have just loved while being here.  Maybe if I record them in some kind of order or no real order, I can at least look at this record and remember them.
     1.  Spring time and the most wonderful colors of nature.  Mostly green.  Real green. But there reds and pinks and whites and yellows.
     2.  The rivers and ponds all over the place.  I have never seen such water all over the landscape.
     3.  All of the different varieties of trees and bushes mostly running along the water courses.
     4.  All of the farm land.  The pastures, corn fields, bean fields and no state or federal land to speak of.
     5. All of the land, except for a mighty few places, grows grass or crops naturally.  There is not any irrigation to speak of.  Unlike the west where almost everything is irrigated and we fight over water rights, Missouri has abundant water and rain.
     6.  Riding mowers everywhere.
     7.  The rolling hills and valleys.  Especially north of Independence and all the way to Adam-Ondi-Ahman.
     8.The sacred and historical sites of the Church.  Especially the sacred sites.  Each site has its own spirit.  For instance, The temple site in Independence for its future importance,  the Far West Temple site (my favorite) which the Lord called sacred before the temple site was dedicated maybe because of some great event that happened way in the past, Haun's Mill has a great spirit of solemnity and peace there, probably because it is the resting place for those 17 men and boys who died there who were totally innocent) and finally Adam-Ondi-Ahman. This place has the feel of an open air temple.  The spirit whispers to you here of the importance of things that happened in the past and the great things that will happen here in the future.  You can not deny that it is a sacred place as you view the great valley and hills where Adam and Eve raised their family.
     9.  The missionaries we have been so privileged to serve with and to have served.  They are fun, courageous, smart,  dedicated to the Lord and doing His work.  We have made so many friends among these young Elders and Sisters.  I will truly miss them.  I love them all.
     10.  The Blue Mills Ward.  Bishop and Sister Talimatasi. The Samoan members and their Aaronic Priesthood holders who have shown me more how to respect and reverence the Sacrament.  The dear sisters and brothers who attended our temple prep classes.  The love this ward has for the Savior and his teachings.  We could not have been in a better place.
     These are just a few of the thoughts I have had today.  I am sure I could continue to sit here and write about hundreds of more.  This mission has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.  I pray that I can always remember how I felt here in Missouri.
     I love you all.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ as it has been revealed to Joseph Smith and the other Prophets of this dispensation is the only living and true church upon the earth.  Stay the course.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman

    
    

   

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kirtland Temple Production at the Remnant Church

Farewell, McCuiston's

They have been Historical Records Preservationists. They headed east to VA. Soon, we will head west to AZ.

A sweet time at Target

Guess what I bought with my last bit of my Christmas gift card from the girls? Pants. We are going home and sadly, I have outgrown all my old ones.

So Long Target

So Long, Target

April 10, 2016

     My daughters gave me a gift certificate to Target for Christmas. There happens to be a Target close by our apartment here in Independence. Since we do not have one of these stores in our small town in AZ, it is somewhat of  a novelty for me to go browse the aisles and look at things I don't need.
     Yesterday, after the Christmas spirit has come and gone and the seasons have changed, I announced to my girls that I have finally spent the last dollar on that glorious gift card. I had to add $11.68 of my own cash to make it come out even.
     Now, you may think, "So what".....but this is the deal. Here I live in the Mansion Apartments on Lee Summit Road and Target had no idea I was running a warehouse out of my bedroom in their honor. I would go to their store, buy an item, bring it home, try it on, study it, take a picture of it for the girls with a note of thanks to them, study it some more, decide it was not for me, and return it on our next Pday. Then, the process would be repeated again....and again. Is it a sickness or was I just having a good time stretching and streeeeetching that gift card? Who knows. But it's over. I gave one big final thanks to my girls yesterday.
    On another note, we attended a production put on by the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ this week. It was in honor of the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. By the way, I was wearing a top I got at Target. I spoke to some ladies sitting behind us and found out they were members of the Community of Christ (formerly Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). They came because they love the Kirtland Temple too. The longer we have served here, the more confused I am about these break-off churches. And I am sure that feeling is likewise from some of them. The true gospel of Jesus Christ, led by President Thomas S. Monson, has so much to offer all of mankind. Can they not see it? In the intermission of this little play, the plates were passed to the organist playing rather loudly, "The Spirit of God".  My elder slept through most of the play and I didn't even disturb him.
    Our days are numbered. Yesterday we drove down the road crying as we listened to "Homeward Bound". How can a person cry because they are excited to go home and cry at the same time because they have to go Home. It's a strange thing.

My Love to all of you,
Sister Seaman 

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

     My wife is the greatest.  But everybody is "odd at times, even thee." Consequently, I have noted an unusual behavior on her part, on several occasions through out the years.  I have wondered if it is genetic or learned, and have debated it with myself on those same many occasions.  I know that Sister Seaman's father was very kind to her during her growing up years.  He would peel some cash off the wad he always had in his pocket and give her whatever she needed or wanted (my perspective.)  Unfortunately, I have never had a big wad of cash in my pocket that I could give her.  Anyway, she likes lots of clothes and small pretty things (what woman doesn't.) (This is not meant to be a negative comment so don't take it like it was meant that way.) Men generally like big things, but women like small pretty things. Lots of them.  An estate sale here in Missouri is like a good dream to Sister Seaman.  She will always find something she cannot live without.
     Now, it appears that we have stumbled onto a very inexpensive way to keep the demon in check and that is a "Gift Card."  The process of "buying and returning" has been taken to new heights.  It has lasted almost 4 months now. Sister Seaman has been as happy as I have seen her, and according to her perspective above, it is working quite well. She has been so excited each P-Day to bring something new home and then take it back the next week. We have laughed a good deal about this lately. I am happy if she if happy.
     Happiness is an elusive thing.  Everybody with any wisdom says we have to choose to be happy.  That may be so, but I have found that when you find yourself happy it is generally because of something you did that had good consequences.  For yourself or someone else.  Most of the time for someone else.  On a couple of occasions here in the mission field, I have seen real happiness.  I have seen a family accept the gospel and then be baptized and then a year later go to the temple and be sealed for time and eternity.  I have seen them soak it up like a sponge. There is nothing like that kind of happiness and joy.  What is it that brings that kind of happiness, it is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and watching the Holy ghost testify of the truth of it and then see the good things that happen.
     Sister Seaman and I are not good proselytizers, but we are firm in our testimonies of the Savior and are good at the supporting roles of missionary work.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the "Gift that keeps on giving" and it is the only real way to eternal happiness and joy.  So whether you are the buy and return type of person and/or a missionary you may find real happiness.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman




    

Sunday, April 3, 2016

This is what happens when I leave my office open

Man, we will miss these missionaries!

Red Buds in front of our office

Sing We Now at parting

Sing We Now at Parting

April 3, 2016

     Sing we now at parting
     One more strain of praise
     To our Heav'nly Father
     Sweetest songs we'll raise
     For his loving kindness
     For his tender care,
     Let our songs of gladness
     Fill this Sabbath air.


This closing song in the final session of the 186th General Conference brought back so many thoughts and feelings. Of course, as we holed up here in our little apartment in Independence for this, our final conference while we are on this mission, I had lots of thoughts and feelings. I feel pretty much like not bothering all of you with any of my discussion of what a great conference it was. You all had your own impressions and I'm quite sure they are a lot loftier than mine.

Three thoughts:
*I was nine years old in 1963 when President Monson began his service to the Lord. There were TWELVE temples on the earth. I could have recognized any of them from a picture held up in Primary. Today, there are 150 temples dotting the land. Our new grandson, Cody Tenney, is thrilled that President Monson announced one to be built in Zimbabwe. He wrote, "There are so many good people there who deserve the blessings of the Lord's house".
*What in the world did all of us do in the Spirit World to deserve to be here on the earth at this time when the gospel of Jesus Christ is so empowering, fills us with Hope, and blesses every aspect of our lives?
*Finally, did any of you see some little girls singing in the Tabernacle Choir? Was it my eyes? Or is that choir growing younger as I grow older? The music for EVERY session was absolutely grand.

So, my dear family back in Arizona....."Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever". Jeffrey R. Holland

Grandma, Grams, Mom, Sister Seaman 

 Refugees

     All of you know that the times we live in are perilous and dangerous.  As I have watched the TV lately and heard about the refugees from Syria and Turkey, I found myself agreeing with some pundits that they just might be dangerous to our health should we let them in our country.  They might be Jihadists.  They want to kill Christians.  They are radicalized to the point of self-extermination in order to exterminate us.
    Today all that changed for me.  As I listened to Elder Kearon's talk in General Conference, I felt a strong impression to pay attention.  I found myself hanging on his every word.  It was reality and it was talked about in a General Conference talk.  Elder Kearon had witnessed the plight of those refugees first hand.  He had looked into their eyes and seen the horror and fear of their desperate situations.
     I vowed to myself that if the opportunity presents itself, I will be in there helping them anyway I can.   These are also Heavenly Father's children.  We can do better.  We can serve them if it comes to it.  I cannot imagine how I would feel if I, or especially, my wife and children were in that situation.  I will not worry about the refugees being dangerous and unless I feel prompted to run, I will serve.
     I know that my own ancestors were refugees.  Some, not all, were kind to them.  They made it.  Maybe in some sense we are all refugees.  Lost and trying to find our way home (meaning Heaven.)  We can help each other find our home.    
     I hope that my kids find themselves being charitable and serving wherever they are called or needed all their lives.  Sacrificing comforts for those around them.  It will be worth it.  It is expected of those who have made covenants.  I am ready to serve.  Tell me where to go. Love you all.  See you in a few.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman