H3N2 Flu

H3N2 Flu

I haven’t been doing updates for 2 reasons.  Reason 1 is I have the H3N2 flu and it is keeping me flat on my back.  Reason 2 is there’s not much to say.  What would I write?  I spent the day in bed today?

Today is the first day my lungs aren’t making a rattle sound.  However, my breathing is weak and when I talk it demonstrates in my weak voice.

People at church have been helpful.  Sister Taylor brought us dinner the other night.  Sister Ward came and did the dishes and cleaned up in the kitchen.  Both acts greatly appreciated.


This flu is unprecedented.  As a child I had mumps, both forms of measles, and evidently chicken pox too.  While this flu isn’t as painful as mumps, it’s kept me down as long.

It’s almost as bad as pneumonia.  It’s like having pneumonia without all the gunk in your lungs.  There’s still some stuff that I cough up, but it’s not quite as yucky as pneumonia.

When I saw the doctor, she asked about muscle aches.  To my surprise, and her’s too, I did not at that time.  Well, it was only a matter of time.  A couple of days ago my legs and back felt like I had just played a major soccer match.

Right before that, the fever hit for a couple of nights in a row.  Fortunately, it wasn’t a very high fever, but it was enough that it drained me.

Today I’ve felt the best since seeing the doctor.  That’s not to say I’m 100% better, it simply means today is an improvement.  I won’t be going anywhere today, or tomorrow for that matter.  I just hope that comes Sunday I’ll feel well enough to go to church.

What’s Helped

I’m fortunate that I don’t have the vomiting that others have experienced.  My nausea has been constrained to just that — nausea.  That said, I thought I’d list somethings that have helped…

  • NyQuil – One dose at bedtime has helped me sleep soundly
  • Lots of water and juice
  • Chicken soup
  • Herb tea
  • Antibiotics the doctor prescribed – I think they have kept this from turning in to bacterial pneumonia.
  • Albuterol – This has helped those wheezing attacks
  • Vaporizer – the moisture in the air helps keep the phlegm moving
  • Guaifenesin – it also helps cough up the phlegm
  • LOTS of SLEEP – If you have this, all you’ll want to do is sleep.  Don’t fight it.  Sleep.

Church Here

Church Here

Church here in Jerusalem is always a delight.  It’s funny… I’m starting to see people I know when I go to church here!  Let’s see… Jeremy (formerly of Antioch), John Howell (from Rochester), Brent Top, Gerald Lund, Jr., Dan Rona… they are who I saw today.

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John and Linda Outside the BYU Jerusalem Center
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The Halls at the BYU Jerusalem Center

After church we ventured outside.  The rain has stopped and the clouds are dramatic.

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The View from the Mount of Olives (BYU)
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The Entire Group at BYU Jerusalem Center
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At the BYU Jerusalem Center

Caiaphas’ House

We are now going to Caiaphas’ house.  This is a church built over Caiaphas’ house.  Jesus was brought to Caiaphas, the chief priest, and there he was held in the basement, whipped and scourged.  As a result, this is a sobering location.

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Looking South from Jerusalem (at Caiaphas’ House)

Under this church are a series of stone rooms where they kept the sacrificial animals.  Little did they know the man they tied was the Lamb of God.  (Here’s a good video of what happened here:  https://youtu.be/4A6usoBnqNs )

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Where He Was Held
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Mural Depicting Jesus Being Mocked

Outside Peter denied Christ three times.  Jesus had warned Peter this would happen, however, Peter did not want to accept he could do such a thing.  When the cock crowed, it was then he recognized what he had just done.  As a result, “And he went out, and wept bitterly.”

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Peter Denying Christ

What happened here wasn’t good, but it is still sacred.  Prophecies were fulfilled.

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Mural at Caiaphas’ House

While one does not need to visit Jerusalem to get closer to God.  However, visiting Jerusalem and seeing these sites will change your life.

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The Church at Caiaphas’ House

Ending Shabbat

We learned that Shabbat ends after the first star can be seen in the sky.  Because it was about to end, we made our way towards the old City to see if we could find a place to eat once the Sabbath ends.

Pictures will tell the story of our walk…

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Linda Looking Around in the Market
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Fruit is Plentiful in Jerusalem
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Matt Finds the Key
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Fruit and Smoothies
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I Love Jerusalem
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Lightshow on the Walls
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A Men’s Clothing Shop

Four Hours

Four Hours

I got four hours of sleep last night.  I woke at 2am and I’ve been awake ever since.  So, I tried taking melatonin, twice, but it didn’t phase my insomnia.

Before I knew it, it was time to get up and get ready for church.  I was a zombie during my church meetings.  It’s funny, I’m sleepy, but not falling asleep.

So, after church I tried to take a nap.  I don’t think I dozed off, but the rest felt good.  Finally, I got up and fixed dinner.

Leftover Casserole

We didn’t have leftover casserole, but I made a casserole out of leftovers.  The bottom layer was stuffing.  Next, I put a layer of mashed potatoes and gravy which was topped with sliced turkey.  The final layer was stringbean casserole topped with french fried onions.

I had no idea how it would turn out, but it turned out quite well.  The sister missionaries liked it, and so did Elizabethe.  I think I’m onto something.

Sunday School

Sunday School was about the Whole Armor of God.  I realized something for the first time.  Perhaps fiery darts doesn’t mean they are on fire, but poisoned.  When the scriptures mention fiery serpents, it is talking about poisonous snakes.  Perhaps they are poisonous darts which makes even more sense when you think about it.


Pageant 2017 Choir

Pageant 2017 Choir

Our ward choir began practicing for pageant 2017.  We’re performing one number.  A ward choir normally sings one number, but many members are still accustomed to the old oratorio they used to perform two Sundays in a row.  (Personally, I’m glad they went away from that.  Sacrament meeting isn’t the place for a “performance”.)

Sacrament Meeting Today

Our sacrament meeting today was about adversity.  Brother David Huber talked about Job, and then Becca and Matt Baker talked.

We then had a Sunday School lesson by Matt Baker and a Priesthood Lesson by David Huber.  That’s not coincidental.

In Priesthood David said something that’s so true.  His words were to the effect, “You can’t be holy if you’re not attending church every week.”  (That is supported by D&C section 59.)

I’ve watched many people leave the church over my lifetime.  Some, in their inactivity from the church, claim they are still close to God.  They need to re-read section 59.

Doubt your doubts is one of the best things I’ve heard in this matter.  Elder Bednar told us when we have doubts, we should doubt them and their source.  I remember the Salamander Letter.  It raised some doubts, but overall, what had been revealed to me overroad my doubts.  In the end, all was good.


Cutting Grass

Cutting Grass

I am no stranger to cutting grass.  I’ve been doing it for over half a century now.  50 years and you’d think I’d be an expert.

Today the full time elders and I cut a sister’s lawn, and then returned to the house.  Here we cleaned up downed wood and shrub trimmings.  When I had enough, we built a fire in the fire pit and cooked foil dinners.

The Fire Pit

The fire pit was a gift a few years ago from Elizabethe and many friends and family members.  I swept it and got it looking nice for the summer.  I will start using it more.

She had the pit put in shortly before my accident.  Now that I’m trying to regain my strength and stamina, I plan to use it more.

It was fun sitting and talking to the missionaries while we waited for our dinners to cook.  We talked mostly about Scouting and the church.  (Recently the church announced it was going to drop  Varsity, Venturing and Explorers for the 14+ age young men, and only have Cub and Boy Scout units for the 8 to 13 year old boys.)

Wiped Out

I am wiped out.  From cutting grass to cutting wood, I have hit the wall.  The missionaries were a huge help today.  (And, I should have taken some photos.)

Pittsburg Visit

Pittsburg Visit

For my Pennsylvania friends, there is no H in Pittsburg, California.  My Pittsburg visit today included attending the my old ward and seeing many friends.

The absolute highlight of the day was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father.  They announced that Eric Wong is being made a High Priest.  Eric was one of my young men way back when.  I home taught his family for a while.  My eyes filled with tears when they announced this.

From there I went to Ben’s ward and saw a few old friends including Mark Hawkes.  After church, Rocky was ordained a teacher by his day.


Chuck Conover taught Gospel Doctrine.  He asked me to provide an update on my calling, where I live, and to tell a little about our house.  I shared the tie-in with the Smith Family, Abner Cole and George Beckwith.  Perhaps it will spark someone to come visit Palmyra.

Here’s just a partial list of people I saw today…

  • Bosen’s (visiting from Texas)
  • Moon’s (Tobin’s and Trenton’s families)
  • Al Fabela
  • Nieprosk’s
  • Stuart’s
  • Conover’s
  • Don Moore
  • Roxas’ (He’s bishop)
  • Dayne’s (Joe’s stake president)
  • Eric Wong
  • McKune’s
  • Humphrey’s

After Church

Then after church I headed back to the ranch.  We enjoyed a BBQ at Dorir and Dennis’ with all of Elizabethe’s sisters and their families.

Today was fun seeing all of those old friends.

Every Week

Every Week

I take my friend Tom to lunch every week.  We visit Subway so often they know us by name.  We walked through the door, there was a line of customers, and the people behind the counter yelled, “Hi, Tom!”

After our delicious sandwich, Tom went to use the men’s room.  While he was gone, the manager asked, “So, are you a relative of Tom’s?”

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My Cheese Steak Subway Sandwich

I told him, “No, we go to church together.”

He then asked, “Every week?”

“Yes, every week.  We see each other on Sunday at church, and then on Wednesday I pick up Tom to take him to lunch,” I responded.


He was obviously impressed.  The impression I have is he is impressed we go to church regularly.  I don’t know what it is like in his native country (India I’m guessing), but his response makes me think he doesn’t think most Americans go to church regularly.

Speaking of Sundays

I heard someone say one shouldn’t visit Wegman’s on a Sunday mid-day around the time people get out of church.  Because I choose to keep the Sabbath Day holy, I didn’t realize so many people don’t.

To all the Christians out there…

When did God invalidate the 4th Commandment?

There’s something in Exodus chapter 20 about not causing others to have to work.

“…in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:”

This goes right along with a radio show I heard a few weeks ago.  The man, a Christian radio evangelist, was railing against those Christians who pick and choose which commandments they live.  He said, “It’s not a cafeteria plan.”

Later that same day, on a different channel, and a different evangelist, this guy talked about “New Age Christians”.  He then said something to the effect that grace isn’t going to save you if you rebel against God and refuse to keep his commandments.

Imagine that… two in the same day.


The ease of keeping the Sabbath Day holy is pretty darn easy if you ask me.  In fact, it is probably one of the easiest commandments to keep.

Christmas Day 2016

Christmas Day 2016

It’s Christmas Day 2016 and I’m up early to fix breakfast for the full-time missionaries.  I’m creating a breakfast sandwich bar with eggs, sausage, bacon, ham, hash browns, 3 types of cheeses, various sauces, and 4 types of bread (including San Francisco Sour Dough).  No surprise, but the Elders were on time. (There’s food involved.)

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Missionaries: Elders Smith and Mills, Sisters Larson, Ingersoll, Crofts and Barrett

After breakfast we retired to the sitting room.  Each missionary was given a stocking full of goodies that missionaries can use (and not a bunch of candy.)  A hair comb, toothbrush, mittens, stocking cap, socks, hand sanitizer, and more filled their stockings.

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Sisters Crofts and Barrett ready to open their stockings


They moved church to 11am today because it is Christmas.  It was soooo noisy before church started I couldn’t hear the organ.  I guess it was all the Christmas excitement.

They choir sang and they had several special musical numbers.  Of course, the hymns all had to do with the birth of the Savior — including the Sacrament Hymn – Jesus Once of Humble Birth (my favorite sacrament hymn).

After Church

After church we came home and took a nap.  When we woke, Elizabethe and I exchanged presents.  I gave her her lap desk I made.  She was very excited about it.

Elizabeth gave me a tiny LED camera on the end of a 16 foot cord.  I plan to use it when doing repairs in hard to see places.  She also gave me a speed light for my Fujifilm cameras, however, it isn’t here yet so she gave me a picture of it.  In addition, she gave me some Cokin filters with wallets to hold them.


Another Turns 8

Another Turns 8

Another turns 8.  Today one of our granddaughters turned 8.  Eight is a big deal in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We call it the age of accountability.  We believe baptism isn’t necessary unless you are old enough to discern right from wrong.  Eight is the age of accountability in our church.

She’s excited about being baptized.


We had a little snow during the night.  I took the blower out again and cleaned off the driveway and sidewalks.  Now that I’m done, my back aches and so does my foot.

I’m sure there are snowblowers with steering, but you have to wrestle this thing to steer it.  It probably weighs a couple hundred pounds and it is very difficult to turn.  My ManPlow doesn’t have this problem.

I finished up with the ManPlow.  It seemed it would be easier to push the small amount missed by the blower than to attempt to steer the snowblower.

Now I realize I need to pick up another gas can to keep with the snowblower.


While I fully expected few guests at the temple (because of the weather), I am pleasantly surprised we had a few people brave the weather.

Despair Assignment

Despair Assignment

My job to day is a despair assignment.  How do you walk up to someone and ask them to look like they are in despair?

That’s why I get paid the big bucks, as they say.

My first subject is me.  I’m in despair because of this project.

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In Despair

One down, and four more to go.  If you think you can look like you are in despair or anguish, let me know.  I’ll take your picture.  Who knows, you might be famous.  (And, no, I’m not getting paid for this assignment.  It’s a church assignment.)

Winter is Coming

Winter is coming, and things are starting to cool down.  It rained all day today, but things are supposed to clear up on Monday.  That’s good because I need to mow the lawn.

The sister missionaries said they would like to help rake leaves when it is time.  Currently many of the trees still have leaves.  Even with the rain they are sticking to the limbs.