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Monday, November 14, 2016

P.S. to yesterday's letter - Correspondence from Elder Oaks

November 14, 2016

I forgot to include something in my letter yesterday.  My Mom received some correspondence from Elder Oaks.  I want to include it in my letter because it reflects the good character of my parents and I want my children to know how wonderful their grandparents are.  The excerpts below are from my Mom’s weekly letters explaining the letters she received.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

I was very comforted this week when I went to work on my regular shift at the Temple, when Bro. Ray West handed me a card from Elder Dallin Oaks.  He was told to give it to me by way of a Bro. Sperry who had come to check things out at the “Church Ranch” in Taylor.  I learned that this ranch is one of the very few who still run cattle in the same way most people do here in this mountain area.  Anyway, I received the card and then in the middle of the night, I awoke and had to write a letter of “Thanks” to Elder Oaks.  I guess he still thinks of Jake Flake when he thinks of this area, because he was the one who called and set him apart as the Stake President a long time ago.  I have to admit that I didn’t get a lot of sleep that night, but it was okay.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

I had another nice experience happen to me this week.  I got a letter in the mail from Dallin H. Oaks.  I told you that I awoke in the middle of the night after receiving his business card in the “round-about” way that it came, and had to write a letter of “thanks” to him.  His reply stated, 
“Dear Sister Flake, Thank you for your gracious letter of Oct. 27th, received when I returned from a trip to Central America.  I chuckled at the round-about way it reached you, but I am very pleased that it did.
I remember you and Jake with great fondness, and congratulate you on your wonderful expanding family.
Sincerely your brother, signature and printed, Dallin H. Oaks”

Sunday, November 13, 2016

letter - trials, average of the people you associate with, Find Light

November 13, 2016

Dear loved ones,

The last few weeks have had some hard emotional trials for me.  The first trial was a cancer scare.  Friday Oct. 21st I noticed a lump on my breast.  I have had pain on and off in it for a few years.  It would come and go with my menstrual cycle.  The pain has gotten worse over the last few months.  I was able to get in to see the doctor on Tuesday, Nov. 1st to see what was going on.  I was very scared.  I couldn’t sleep well because I would wake up worried about it.  I emailed Chad’s and my parents and siblings for prayers so I could feel peace and so the doctors could correctly diagnose what was causing the pain and the lump.    

The prayers were answered and I felt comforted by them. At my appointment on Nov. 1st the doctor noticed the lump and did an ultrasound on it. He could see on the ultrasound that it is a fluid filled cyst. He said those are almost always benign and it should go away on its own. He told me to pay attention to it and let him know if it gets worse. As long as it stays the same we will just keep an eye on it at my yearly exams. No further steps need to be taken.  I am very relieved.

I have gained a greater appreciation of having people to help bear my burdens. I was so worried before I sent out the email to my family asking for prayers that I was crying on and off all day long for several days. After the email I got a call from my sister letting me know she has had similar lumps and they weren't cancerous. I felt much better after her call and I also felt comforted that so many loved ones were praying for me.  I didn’t cried about it after that.  I'm very lucky to have so much love and support.

The second emotional trial happened Friday.  On our neighborhood Facebook page a neighbor posted a picture that was inappropriate.  I love to be a part of the neighborhood page, and I felt that if no one said anything about that picture it would get worse.  So I respectfully asked that we keep the neighborhood page more PG.  I received lots of backlash.  People, mostly men, ridiculed me, made fun of me, posted more inappropriate pictures, started posting pictures of garments (not sure how that all came about), said I was attacking them, etc..  It was so hard for me.  I had several friends stick up for me and agree with me, but it was to no avail.  I left it up for as long as I did because I felt my stance was important and I would take the beating if it meant things would change.  However, I ended up deleting the whole post when I found out they were posting pictures of garments (I had quit reading comments on it because the comments made me cry) and I unsubscribed from that neighborhood group page.  Several friends have texted me or reached out to me to let me know they support me and that they left the neighborhood page too.  Yesterday I woke up scared that those neighbors would seek out my home and start taping those pictures on my door or dropping dirty magazines in my backyard or something.  I’m still feeling a bit bruised by it all, but I’ll be ok.  I’m sad not to be able to know when people in the neighborhood need help, but really there wasn’t that much good on that page anyway.  Comments have gotten meaner over the last few months.  It is sad that Facebook can create a mob mentality so quickly since people don’t have to look at those who they are hurting.  I think Facebook can do a lot of good though too.  I lost a few hours of sleep for two nights over the whole ordeal and I cried a lot of tears, but it has made me stronger and I will continue to be kind and stand up for what is right.  I won’t be victimized into changing who I am. 

Today I thought of things that have built my courage over the years.  Growing up on the ranch helped me build a lot of courage.  When I was little I was pretty much always scared to go riding, the horses were so big and sometimes jumpy.  The cows and bulls scared me when we had to cut calves or bulls out of the heard.  Playing the piano has helped me build courage too.  Accompanying for the first time in young women’s, performing piano solos, accompanying in concerts or in church used to be terrifying.  I’ve gotten less scared over the years, but still feel pretty nervous if a song is challenging.  What has built your courage?

I’ll close with a few thoughts.  My friend Frank Sanderson shared a video with this quote.  "You slowly become the average of the five people you associate with the most” (Jim Rohn).  I thought a lot about that quote after watching his video and I realized it can apply to many other things in life. You become the average of the five things you read the most, watch the most, eat the most, listen to the most, and most importantly DO the most. 

The last thought I’ll shared is from our gospel doctrine lesson on the brother of Jared.  It was pointed out in the lesson that the Lord told the brother of Jared how to get air in the barges he built, but he asked the brother of Jared to come up with his own plan to get light.  I’ve felt that means the Lord will help magnify our plans and ideas to fulfil our callings and that there is more than one right way to further the Lord’s work.  My friend Angie Randall shared the thought that the Lord will give us air and things we need to live like a body, the earth, etc., but he wants us to use our agency to search out light and truth on our own.  He will not force us to find light.  It is beautifully symbolic.

I hope you are all happy, healthy and that you have people who will pray for you and who will also stand up for you and defend you.