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Monday, March 21, 2016

Letter - March 20, 2016 - Use of Talents Means More Than Size of Talent Inventories

March 20, 2016

It’s been a few weeks since I have written.  We’ve been good.  We are in the middle of our two week spring break. 

Monday evening we went swimming at the power ranch pool.  It is heated, but it was still too cold for me.  We noticed they put new, really cool play structures at the park there.  Tuesday the kids went back to the power ranch park for Grammy days.
In case you're wondering, soccer balls and tv's don't mix. The child responsible for the accident feels terrible, I'm glad I kept my cool so I didn't add to their pain. Kids are more important than tv's. ‪#‎springbreakcasualty‬ ‪#‎dontkickballsinthehouse‬

Tilly's fudgesicle beard
Last week Wednesday - Saturday Spencer got to go to Mountain Man Rendezvous.  Chad took Friday off work so he was able to join Spencer a the event on Thursday evening.  Spencer has been looking forward to this activity for a long time.  He came home yesterday very happy and with lots of items that he traded for, lots of good stories and lots fond memories.  He has very good Teacher’s quorum leaders and an amazing group of young men in his teacher’s quorum. 

Here is a fun video of Spencer and his troop members at Mountain Man Rendezvous. They had to get each member of the troop over the 15 ft. wall. Spencer is the last scout to get over. Cole Lambrigger is the strong arm that grabs him.

Since Chad and Spencer were going to be gone Chad suggested that we go up to Snowflake.  I’m sure glad he did.  We left Wednesday afternoon and got back yesterday.  We had such a wonderful time.  My kids had cousins to play with pretty much all day and night each day we were there.  Thursday we went with several cousins to the skate park in town to ride scooters.  I didn’t even know Snowflake had a skate park.  I’m glad the kids asked at the last minute if they could take their scooters.  Friday an even bigger group of cousins and my siblings went to see Zootopia at the Show Low Theaters.  It was a good movie for older kids and adults, but Marlee and Tilly were pretty scared.  I read one of my Mom’s good books each evening while I was there.  I love to read.  Amy and I got to meet our new cute great-niece Rory, my niece Kari’s baby.  The kids and I got to hold Jewel’s new baby chicks.  We got to see Amy’s amazing new house.  I went to the new Walmart in Taylor.  It was just an all-around good trip.  

Marlee and her cousin Mary have matching gap toothed smiles. They both turn 7 this month. Their birthdays are 6 days apart. It was so fun to have these babies born close together and it's still fun watching them grow up together.
Terry Sue "Princess" and Tilly
Most of our group at the skate park

Lot being brave!
Cute Rory

I love that Bryant was wearing his how to pick up chicks shirt when we went to hold Jewel's chicks.
My back has been hurting a lot for the last week or two.  I had several huge knots that are so painful.  I went to the chiropractor last Monday and got a half hour massage and an adjustment but that didn’t bring me any relief.  It’s starting to feel a little better from doing my stretches, but it is not back to 100%.

Things have been going well with the new ladies that I get to work with in Young Women’s.  I’m excited for the opportunity to make new close friends and for the opportunity for the Young Women to learn from these new virtuous women.

I’m looking forward to this week.  Chad took Monday – Wednesday off work to be able to spend time with the kids during spring break.  Tomorrow we are going to Tucson for a few days.  We are going to Kartchner Caverns, the Reid Park Zoo, and Old Tucson Studios.

We've had a nice late, lazy Sunday night since no one has work or school tomorrow.  I love to see Chad so relaxed.
My quote for this week is, “I know the celestial criteria measure service, not status; the use of our talents, not the relative size of our talent inventories.  I know that Church membership is not passive security but continuing opportunity” (Elder Maxwell, April 1974).


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Personal Progress – Integrity Value Experience #2

March 7-8, 2016

Personal Progress – Integrity Value Experience #2
Conduct a self-assessment of your personal integrity. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I avoid gossip, inappropriate jokes, swearing and profanity, and being light-minded about sacred subjects? Am I completely truthful, morally clean, honest, dependable, and trustworthy in my schoolwork and other activities? Pray daily for strength and for the guidance of the Holy Ghost to help you live with integrity. Write in your journal the things you can do to improve your personal integrity and at least one new habit you want to develop.

To improve my personal integrity if I hear gossip I can stand up for that person and/or change the subject.  I will improve my integrity by not texting or checking email while driving.  I know this is dangerous.  I will also do better to be on time to appointments and things.  I know that when you are late it is as if you’re saying that your time is more valuable than another’s time.   The new habits I want to develop are to be a little early to appointments and things instead of always running late and to not text or check email while driving. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Personal Progress – Integrity Value Experience #1

Started February 18, 2016
Finished March 3, 2016

Personal Progress – Integrity Value Experience #1
Integrity is the willingness and desire to live by our beliefs and standards. Read Moroni 10:30–33 and think about what it means to “deny yourselves of all ungodliness.” Read the pamphlet For the Strength of Youth. Reflect on how the Lord’s standards differ from the world’s standards. Record in your journal appropriate standards for behavior, dress, and conversation, as well as literature, movies, television, Internet, music, cell phones, and other media. Also write your plan to stay morally clean and worthy to attend the temple. After keeping your standards for at least one month, record your feelings in your journal and continue to keep your commitment.

Think about what it means to “deny yourselves of all ungodliness.”

I think “deny yourselves of all ungodliness” means that in all areas of our lives we try to do that which is good and holy.  We seek good entertainment, friends, books, music, environments, language, etc.  We will not be able to do this all at once.  Little by little we get better each day.  Today we are better than we were yesterday; tomorrow we will be better than we were today.  As we do this we develop integrity, the moral courage to make our actions consistent with our knowledge of right and wrong.  Until eventually, by the grace of God we become holy, without spot. (Moroni 10:30-33)

Reflect on how the Lord’s standards differ from the world’s standards.

The world doesn’t seem to have any set standards anymore.  It is more of an anything goes, do what feels good at the moment type of mentality.  There is rarely any teaching to develop self-control.  I know that I am a daughter of God and that he has standards for my happiness.  I know that I was created by Him in His image and that He knows who I am and what my mind and body needs to be happy and to help others be happy.  I know that wickedness never was happiness so I need to stay away from wickedness if I want to be happy.

Appropriate standards for:
  • Behavior – Modest Behavior, avoid being extreme or inappropriately casual in behavior.
  • Dress – It is important to dress in such a way that shows you know how precious your body is, to also show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and that you love Him.  Be well groomed--neat and clean and avoid being extreme or inappropriately casual in clothing, hairstyle and behavior.  Do not use special occasions as an excuse to be immodest.  Immodest clothing is any clothing that is tight, sheer, or revealing in any other manner.  Short shorts and skirts, shirts that do not cover the stomach and clothing that does not cover the shoulders or is low-cut in the front or the back should be avoided.
  • Conversation—Use clean and intelligent language  for it is evidence of a bright and wholesome mind. Use Good language that uplifts, encourages, and compliments others invites the Spirit to be with you.  Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith, hope, and charity.  Choose friends who use good language. Help others improve their language by your example. Be willing to politely walk away or change the subject when those around you use inappropriate language.  Speak kindly and positively about others. Choose not to insult others or put them down, even in joking. Avoid gossip of any kind, and avoid speaking in anger. When you are tempted to say harsh or hurtful things, leave them unsaid.  Always use the names of God and Jesus Christ with reverence and respect. Do not use profane, vulgar, or crude language or gestures, and do not tell jokes or stories about immoral actions.  Remember that these standards for your use of language apply to all forms of communication, including texting on a cell phone or communicating on the Internet.  If you have developed the habit of using language that is not in keeping with these standards—such as swearing, mocking, gossiping, or speaking in anger to others—you can change. Pray for help. Ask your family and friends to support you in your desire to use good language.
  • Literature, Movies, Television, Internet, Music, Cell phones and Other Media -- Select only media that uplifts you.  Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable.  Do not watch, listen to or read media that portrays what is wrong and evil to be normal, humorous, or exciting. Do not spend long periods of time using the Internet or a mobile device, playing video games, or watching television or other media because that can keep you from valuable interactions with other people. Be careful that your use of social media does not replace spending time with your family and friends.  Guard your safety and the safety of others by taking great care about what personal information and images you share through technology. Do not communicate anything over the Internet or through texting that would be inappropriate to share in person. Obey the laws that govern sharing music, movies, and other copyrighted items.

Also write your plan to stay morally clean and worthy to attend the temple.

I plan to stay morally clean by living the standards in the strength of youth pamphlet.  I also will do my best to keep my relationship with Chad strong and healthy and to be a good help meet for him. 

After keeping your standards for at least one month, record your feelings in your journal and continue to keep your commitment.

When I live with integrity–keeping my actions in harmony with my knowledge of right and wrong—I am happier, I have peace, I recognize the prompting of the Holy Ghost.