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.

Update

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?”

copyright 2017 db walton
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.

Impressed

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.

Ease

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.)

copyright 2016 db walton
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.

copyright 2016 db walton
Sisters Crofts and Barrett ready to open their stockings

Church

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.

Snow

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.

Temple

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.

copyright 2016 db walton - Despair Assignment
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.

Fathers Day 2016

Fathers Day 2016

It’s Fathers Day 2016 and like most Sundays, we start our Sundays by going to church.  The talks were about fathers today, and the speaker’s chosen expertly.  (Or, I should say by the Spirit.)

Immediately after church, we took the sacrament to one of my home teaching families, and then headed home.  After mowing the lawn yesterday, I was beat and so I settled down for a nap.

My nap didn’t last long before I got up and started making dinner.  (Elizabethe says I am making Father’s Day dinner because I always make dinner.)  Steak, corn-on-the-cob, broccoli, baked potatoes and a chunk salad is what we are having for dinner.  I even cooked a chicken breast for Elizabethe because steak is completely wasted on her.  (She does not like beef… at all.)

I managed to squeeze and episode of Chopped Junior in.  It was funny.  They had a guest judge who looked very much like Sister Edmonds.  When she came for dinner we joked about how we saw her on Chopped.

The missionaries also brought a lovely note from Sister Van Kampen who served in our ward.  We have many missionaries who pass through town.  We feed them all, and it is nice to hear from those who have served in Palmyra.

Later Than Usual

Later Than Usual

Reservations are rolling in later than usual.  I think part of the reason was a malfunction at a linking website to our site.  However, they got it fixed and now we’re receiving traffic and phone calls.

I say this every year…

If you are planning to come to Hill Cumorah Pageant, make your reservations early.  The earlier, the better.  We start for the next year as soon as pageant is over.  Others may start taking reservations 6 months in advance.  Whatever the case may be, start early making your reservations for lodging.

Tip 2

Plan to spend ample time here.  Trying to see the church sites in this area is best done over a few days.  Also, keep in mind that this is a culture-rich area, as well as the geographic features of the area.  Within short drives from Palmyra we have waterfalls (lots of them), museums and art galleries, amusement parks and waterslides, and more.  There’s no need to rush through town.  Make your vacation all about Palmyra!

Tip 3

Eat and shop in the village (and when you go to Pageant, at the Pageant itself).  These business largely exist for your pleasure.  When visitors to pageant don’t eat and shop here, those businesses may not be able to stay open.   Since I’ve been here, I’ve see a few LDS tourist oriented businesses close because of a lack of patronage.

Tip 4

Be prepared.  Bring an umbrella (because it rains a lot), and insect repellant (the result of all the rain we get).  Getting caught in a flash shower, or being eaten alive by mosquitos, can make your vacation unpleasant.  Plan accordingly.

copyright 2015 db walton
Hill Cumorah Pageant Performance

Tip 5

Westerners, bring your GPS.  We don’t have tall mountains by which you can get your bearings.  We’re surrounded by tall trees and sometimes you can’t even tell where the sun is because you’re in a deep canyon of trees.   If the car you are driving has a compass, trust it even if your instincts are telling you different.  We’d hate for you to get lost.