Thursday, March 27, 2014


I guess I painted a rather bleak picture in the last entry, but life has gone on in a very blessed way. I am absolutely loving what I do here at the ERC! I have become the “resume Queen”, according to Sister Splain (who would have guessed !!). I always pray every morning—and often during the day—that I might have the Spirit to be with me to guide me and help me in whatever I do, but especially when I help candidates with resumes (and with registration, to discern their needs and to help them feel His love). I mentioned previously that I have a gift for language and writing that I have seldom used, and He has helped me to use it in the very best way. It is hard to explain, but there is a kind of synergy that comes as I work with someone on their resume, accompanied by spiritual insight. When we get through and format it on Word, there is a confirmation that it is just right that comes to both of us. Often, he or she will say, “that's really me, isn't it”--probably the highest compliment that could be given. Yesterday, an older gentleman, who had amazing credentials in the nuclear fuel field and who had accomplished so many significant things, such as saving the taxpayers over $3million. His resumes, he had 19, were over 14 pages long and filled with titles, experiences, accomplishments. He merely wanted to go back to work somewhere using the knowledge and experiences he had in quality assurance to help a private company, because he just loved to work in his field. He didn't care about the money and would settle for a quarter of what he was worth. It was the hardest resume I have done to date and took over 6 hours of effort, but it was so much fun for both of us, the time just flew by. He was delighted with the result (at one point, he smiled and almost through tears said, “that is finally really me, isn't it?” and I felt the Holy Ghost like a wind pass by me, as I also felt tears of gratitude). Everyone (who had avoided working with him, because it was so scarey hard) was amazed, and I was praised by my co-workers and Ben, who I really look up to in this area. It was a really good day, and everyone (even the sisters) was so nice toward me. Sister Splain, who is the resident expert on resumes, said that I was the "Queen of Resumes." 

Sister Clark, my companion, went home the end of Feb. and I have felt quite liberated to be myself (though the other two sisters still don't feel I am an acceptable person, even while they congratulate me on all the work I am doing). Yet, it is a little lonely now that I am living alone. I'm not ever afraid, as I have felt very loved and protected by the Lord in my life, and I try to communicate with him often about my activities. I am steadily repenting of my many weaknesses, especially when I drive, and I am improving. I don't feel any bad feelings toward those who have persecuted me (and the negative comments and scrutiny have continued). I am excited about the future and going home, where I can continue to do what I am doing here to help people (or whatever the stake president has in mind). In the meantime, I am hoping for busy days and lots of resumes, and a chance to teach the career workshop a few more times. The Lord has blessed me to find lovely places to walk after work , and the trees are leafing out, the flowers are starting up in trees, on cacti, and and in gardens. It is starting to get hot already (it's still March!!!), but I have air conditioning inside, and the evenings are still good. Bobbie is coming to vacation here in April, so I will get to see her (and send my winter things home—and anything else I won't need). I can't wait to see her and Ashton, if only for a couple of days. There are now three newly called senior sisters coming, two in April and one in May, and I will be training them in what I know. I have spoken to one on the the phone and she is really lovely, and I can't wait to meet her.

I really look forward to helping with resumes, but they are done by appointment because they take so much time. Yesterday, I really enjoyed working with another candidate, Ryan, who has been looking for work for a very long time, even though he is talented and well-qualified in his field. He took the career workshop and then we worked to get his resume just right. He was so happy with it, and so was I. I also learned still more about how to format (some day I'll know it all!). The field was quite complicated and it took some time to find quantifiable information in simplified language, but it really looked good when we finished. He hugged me with joy because he now has a new hope of getting employment, and his testimony was strengthened.


Today the center is “dead” (which is why I am writing this now) with little or no activity ( I always hate it when no one comes, because I love the work and I love to be busy). I guess I should use this time, when it come, to write more about what has transpired here. However, when it is really busy, so much happens that I forget over days. There was a very nice man who came in to have help with his resume who was very talented in painting cars, and he had a portfolio of photos of some he has done. Because of the economy, he had been downsized, but he was very conscientious and knew how to do the job right, without compromise in quality (I wondered if that was why he was unemployed). We worked together and he was pleased and we looked for jobs he could pursue. Anyway, the next week, as I was trying to back out of the tiny parking places divided by poles, I brushed against the pole and really messed up the right front fender, including a dent. I was dismayed, but remembered Victor, the car painter, so I called him to look at it. It's amazing how much it costs to fix even a scratch. Elder Bunn, who has a lot of knowledge of lots of things, said that car paint costs at least $200 a gallon, and with the specialized pearlized paint, more. I learned that the estimate for my problem was around $2800!!  Could he do it for much less?  Victor said that the materials to fix it would be over $300, but possibly more. He said he would do the work for $500, the amount of my deductible, and very painlessly, as he would take my car when I went to the Center, and then bring it back before 5PM.. He also said he would completely detail it. He came back after the first day, and it looked gorgeous. Even the fender was only a little noticeable. The second day, he really did the body work, took out the dent, sanded, etc..and came back after work. It was like new. However, when I asked him if he came out all right financially, he said that he had to pay for color-matching because the paint didn't exactly match the car. He said he was all right about it, that “it was what it was”, but I was concerned he was underpaid. He said he only cleared $100 for the job, and I knew it was too little for that great job, so I paid he another $100, and he was grateful. I hope he finds a good place to work, where his work ethic is valued.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


I have enjoyed quite a few small triumphs, as I learned more about how to help people, especially with their resumes, and I now have helped to write many more resumes, and some very complicated ones. We have learned from our very knowledgeable Associate Manager, Ben Barclay, who was hired this year, that the most effective resumes need to be “measurable,”proving the competence and skills that are showcased in the resume.

Much has happened since I last wrote in this blog. No, my situation with the senior sisters has not changed very much, although my companion has gone home. Now, I can be myself at least away from the center—and feel like I am an acceptable person. However, I still feel a lot of judgment in the ERC where I can't seem to say or do the “ right” thing. But now it doesn't affect me as much—though the hours at the center (when the people looking for employment don't come in) seem very long. Early in February, the mission president asked me to come into his office to see him. He said that my “replacement” was coming in May. I didn't understand him at first and said that they must have made a mistake, because that had to be Sister Clark's replacement, as she was going home right away. I told him that I was, I thought, supposed to go home in October. He was very nice and said he would find out more. Then, only a week later, I was given a paper by the service missionary who is our coordinator, which came from the Missionary Department. It was an official notice of my release date. I was devastated: the date was May 30! I immediately asked if I could talk to the mission president again, but he was busy until  the next week. I felt that I had promised the Savior a whole year of service, and I would let Him down if I did less. I, again, spent the night in tears and prayer, but, in the morning, I felt such a warm reassurance as the Spirit whispered, “You are not being sent home as a “troublemaker” or they would have sent you home directly. It is an honorable release; you could extend, if you want to.” I felt so relieved and ressolved that I would ask my mission president how I could go about doing that. In the days before he could talk to me, I began to wonder if I had, after all,  received an answer to my secret prayer.  (Unknown to everybody, under all the duress, I had prayed daily, shortly after I realized what I had gotten into, that I would not run away, but stick it out and work and learn and do everything I could at least until May, and then, if things didn't improve, that I could, through some miracle orchestrated by Him, go home honorably and finish my mission there. I just didn't think I could endure all of the misery which made every day a challenge (with the exception of the wonderful blessings interspersed during each day—which were not inconsiderable) and also not be able to be outside in Nature to pray and meditate because of the terrible heat which would come in the summer. However, I realized that I loved the work in my mission and because I was doing this for Him, I was commited to stay out for the the year—until Oct. When I was able to talk to the mission president, I told him I had wanted to receive counsel about whether I should extend my mission, but he felt strongly that I should go along with the “plan” from Salt Lake and did not want to even discuss the possibility of my extending. After I left his office I wondered if I was being punished for being persecuted!. Frankly, I was getting tired of fighting it and felt that maybe I should pray again about what He wanted me to do. After all, I was serving this mission for Him. As I was praying, I felt a prompting that almost made me laugh. He knew exactly what I was going into way before I ever arrived here! It was all part of His plan for me, and it was exactly what He had for me to learn. It was not just a “bad fit” as my mission president expressed it, but, ironically, it was a perfect fit for my ongoing education and for His plan for me. For whatever reason this was done, my updated release date was also part of His plan for me. I felt this warm wonderful feeling that He was pleased with my sacrifice and accepted my service, despite my own feelings of failure. It was all right for me to go home the end of May, and it was an honorable release! Although it wasn't a year, but 8 months, it has felt like a lot longer time, as the time has dragged during the “down times” which were often the rule, not the exception Prior to my meeting with the mission president and after I had received the release paper, I noticed the phone number of my beloved stake president on the paper, and, in desperation, I called him. He was so supportive and kind and asked me to tell him everything I had experienced. I told him how much I loved the service part of the mission, but was so hurt and confused by the way I felt I had been treated. I had thought for a long time that it must be my fault or just my perception, but others, including some of the candidates and a few sweet friends I had made, had commented on it too. He said he felt that he would be happy to have me come home and that there were lots of opportunities for service there that he would love for me to do. He said it was not about how long I might serve, but how I served, and I knew in my heart I had given my best. So, I am going to do my best to work as hard as I can between now and May 30, and then, joyously return to my family. Now, I feel so differently about this mission. I do love it and all that I have learned from it. Because of this mission, I have learned to listen better and validate what others say to me. I am becoming much more more forthright, while also trying to be considerate and sensitive in my communication. I am learning how to be more meek and humble, and to be quiet and listen with more attention to what others have to say. I am also learning to be more precise and careful in whatever work I do. I have learned so much about the problems and trials in unemployment and the great resources the LDSEmployment Resource Center has to offer, how to use the computer and help people with their resumes. Most importantly, I have been shown the importance of communicating to others in a kind, loving and positive way, knowing how negative words and non-verbal cues can be weapons that are damaging and hurtful. I realize that if I had not tried to stay close to the Savior, who I have learned over many years has always been there for me, and for whom I wanted so much to serve, despite whatever opposition, I might have actually run away and maybe even become inactive in the only true Church. We have to endure many things in order to be more like the Savior, and I surely have had to endure very little in the way of pain compared to those heart-breaking trials He had to face, which would have destroyed me. Most of all, I have been able to share my love, my testimony, my hope with others who were receptive—to “impart to others the “reason for the hope that is in me.” I still am concerned about what some of my friends and family might think about my returning in May, though I know this smacks of the “fear of men”, but I hope I will find the love and acceptance I felt before I left. In any case, I know He will still be there for me and I can count on His great love to bear me up. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I have been having some more mountains to climb which have caused great pain and anxiety—almost as much as I felt during the first few weeks I was here. I have felt again that the other senior sisters harbor hostility and resentment toward me, which comes out in our conversations, work, etc. we do together, and when not working, an isolation as they gather together to talk while pointedly not inviting me to be there. If I comment or try to be part of the conversations, they either dismiss me or ignore anything I say. This isolation and loneliness has been a source of great unhappiness, and I have began to wonder if I can endure for a whole year in this situation. I have found that because of my anxiety and anger and upset, I haven't been able to sleep for days at a time. It all seemed to come to a head when we all went to have our mission president interviews which come once or twice a year. The three of them went first, and when I took my turn, I was severely chastised for not being a good companion, etc. When I tried to explain what I felt in our relationship, he insisted that the problems must have come from me and that I needed to repent and change. Then he went on to let me know that he still hadn't been able to get through the right channel to confirm my serving one year instead of 23 months. He went on to let me know that I was expected to serve the 23 months and that I was questioning whether my duration was prayed about by the Brethren. I was in shock, as I thought the issue was long settled. I reminded him of our first conversation and that, even when I applied online to become a missionary I had actually been prompted to mark the one year interval. I had prayed about serving one year and felt supported in this by the Spirit and by how he responded when I told him. At that moment, the thought of serving for 23 months under the current circumstances, was almost unthinkable. Knowing that I need some alone time to walk in environment (if not in the mountains), I had gotten permission to do that at the Spring Preserve and local parks. But he went on to chastise me for not always being with my companion (who had no desire to walk with me), and said that he thought all the missionaries were supposed to stay together. I said that I had been told by several people, including one in the senior mission office in Salt Lake that the rules were much less strict for the senior missionaries, so he said he would check to see what the rules really were for senior missionaries. By that time I was completely devastated and went back to the center in a fog. I felt like I was totally out of favor with the Lord and I might as well be done with it. I prayed about it, and , though I had received a witness that I was supposed to be here I wasn't sure I could even do one year under these circumstances. At this time, Keith was going through a lot of opposition and the elders told me that his baptism had been postponed. I have never felt so low—everything difficult I could imagine was simply crushing me. Could I stay with people who resented me 24/7? Stay in this situation for 23 months? Never get to walk again and commune privately with God for that time? I knew I couldn't, and I was becoming angry that I would be compelled to do these things if I stayed or go home in shame if I couldn't. I felt that because there were three witnesses against me and the President's chastisement, that I needed to repent and do what he told me to do—have an “inventory” with my compantion. When we got home that evening, I went to her in humility and asked her forgiveness for offending her and told her I wanted to spend more time together and have our compantionship study. I was in tears and felt that I needed to change some things, but the response was a harsh unloving half hour lecture—for my own good-- about the things I needed to change. As I reflected upon it, most of what she said was simply personal choice of activities and thoughts and no cause for repentence. Things like taking my vitamins, my “routine” breakfast, walking, etc. were not evil, but were an irritant to her. She was trying in a sincere but bullying way to have me become like her. I went to bed very sad and convinced that I would be coming home in shame. I talked to my friend in Reno about all of this and she was very supportive and offered some ideas. Then, when I was at my lowest ebb, Heavenly Father showed His love and support in a very loving and unique way. I got up really early (without much sleep) and decided to go to the Lone Mountain Park to walk and ponder what I should do. Two weeks earlier, I discovered I had lost my favorite and irreplaceable (I tried to find another) headband that kept my ears warm.. I had scoured the apt and, especially the car to no avail. I had found another I had brought just in case, and I left it on the passenger seat when I got out to walk. I started off to walk without it and felt the cold on my ears. I went back and opened the passenger door to get it, and when I looked into the seat there was my long lost ear cover laying next to the door like it was placed there for me to find! I, of course, had looked for it right there in past days, as I had the rest of the car. I was so profoundly moved by this sign of His love for me (who else would know or care about a beloved headband?). In that moment I felt so much love and support from the Savior warm me all over. This experience helped me have confidence to continue When I came home, the elders called and said that Keith was being baptised after all in the afternoon and could I give the talk on the Holy Ghost? I was filled with joy at this news and ressolved to work all of this through and stay the course I had set. When I told the other senior sisters about the baptism, I was amazed that they had no intention of foregoing their plans of going to a movie to be there. However, although it was a very small gathering, it was full of the Spirit.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


There have been some very difficult situations for me at the ERC—again. I think it has been because I have been so concerned about our “golden” investigator, Keith, that I prayed that I might have the opposition he might have to face to his conversion and baptism. In any case, because of his rough background, this sweet-spirited “gentle giant” with the formidable appearance and head-to-toe tatoos, there was some question whether he could be baptised. He was very depressed about this and felt that it was because he was so completely honest about his problems. However, the missionaries found out that he could be baptised after all (it was on again and off again!), but by the time they let him know, he was feeling very down and wasn't sure that he could do what he needed to do to qualify, which was to commit to change. So the missionaries called me and told me that his baptism was off indefinately until he would really commit to change, but that they would still stay in contact with him. I was convinced that if he put “off” baptism, Satan would intervene, and without the Holy Ghost, it would be hard for him to ever become a member, as he might become embittered with himself, the Church and Heavenly Father. I called and talked to him begging him to continue to do as he had been doing so far in learning about the truthfulness of the Gospel—pray in faith and wait for His answer. He had been sincerely praying about the Book of Mormon, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the truthfulness of the Church and had received total assurance that he couldn't deny. Please, I begged him, just make all of his concerns about worthiness and his ability to qualify a matter of his most fervant prayers and act on the answer he would get, which was to to commit in faith to the changes he needed to make. He did, and the next morning the elders called me that he had called them back and had a desire to make those committments—the baptism was scheduled for 2:30PM on Sat!! I was so excited for him, and so grateful for the answers to all of our prayers. They asked me to give the talk about the Holy Ghost, and I was honored. The Spirit prompted me to include some thoughts from Elder Bednar's “Patterns of Light” in this talk and I spoke directly to Keith. The baptism, of course was a super spiritual experience. Keith told me that he felt that all the bad thoughts and feelings were simply washed out of his head (like many who have suffered childhood abuse and/or are in addiction, he experiences racing negative thoughts most of the time). His head felt “empty” and he felt peace. The next morning, he was confirmed a member of the Church, and I thought about one of the first things he told me when he came into the Center. He has said, when I asked him his last name again (he speaks very quietly). He said it was Augustine, like the "Saint" (Catholic). When the beautiful blessing was given along with the gift of the Holy Ghost, I thought about Ephesians: “ more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the Saints and of the Household of God”. Keith, you are now surely a Saint in very deed, and will be of great service to your fellow saints, your brothers and sisters!






So many things have been happening since my last post that I haven't had time to write--too busy working and learning.  The time between Christmas and New Year's was almost dead time, and very few people came in.  I was able to register a lovely non-member, Tasha, and also, an electrical engineer, Jeff, who will probably do best through professional networking.  Then, on Jan 3, I registered a lovely Korean young lady, Helen, which seemed to make all the unbusy time more worthwhile.  She, like most of the candidates I have registered, signed up to take the career workshop the next week, and this is the first time I was able to teach this!  It was very exciting, exhausting, and completely involving and I loved it!  We always "team" teach these classes, and I was fortunate to be paired with Sister Splain, who is the most experienced (and best) teacher, and we worked together to set up the class schedule.  She entrusted me with most of the teaching for the first day, while she did more of the second day (which involved technical assistance).  I prepared the best I could--I was really concerned about doing it well, since lives and futures were on the line--and then I prayed very hard for His help.  He never lets me down!!  I felt the Spirit prompt me to really pay attention and emphasize the scriptures we use during the course, and I even wrote them down in big print to go over them in class.   Because of the condensed amount of time we have, although the scriptures are usually read, they are seldom discussed.  I actually spent a few minutes talking about the relevance they had and felt the Spirit as I taught. I felt the spirit in the whole class became much greater, and I was amazed that the members of this class seemed to understand the concepts I taught later much better that I had seen in other classes. I really loved the teaching although I was a bit nervous before I started. I prayed very hard to teach with the Spirit and I felt that Heavenly Father answered my prayers. I have helped so many new people, members and non-members register on the website and learn about our website, and I have talked about the Church with most of the humble non-members if I felt the Spirit witness that I could. There were two really special men, one older and one younger, who seemed to be so receptive, as well as a young married couple from Laos, so I referred them to the missionaries. I asked them if they "would be willing" to learn more about this great Church which provides so much help to people all over the world in the Lord's way. One of the men, Keith, the younger one, was really enthusiastic about the Church and wanted to join just from my descriptions!! He committed to baptism at the first discussion, which I was invited to come to, and the baptism was scheduled for Feb 1. I was so excited for him, as we had become friends when I wrote two resumes for him and learned about his very difficult life. The first thing he did after attending Church the first week was shave off his "dreds" (dreadlocks). He is such a special spirit and I felt the Spirit witness to me that he could be one of the great "protectors" of our people in the last days. He was an all-American football player for 7 years, a champion amateur boxer (with 42 wins, no losses, and 40 knock-outs!!), a cook, a coach, worked in a funeral home, and had as his greatest desire, helping and caring for others!! I also fell in love with some of the humble students in my classes (I have now been able to teach two workshops since I began writing this!). Teaching the classes is really exhausting and no "breaks," but rewarding. One precious young Korean-born lady, Helen, was such a loving Spirit and really brightened my day when I first registered her and throughout the career workshop. I still have so much to learn, but am doing the best I can. We are now working 9 hours (8AM to 5PM). Before the beginning of the year, we usually tried to be there by 8:15 for our spiritual thought, but the ERC opened at 9AM and closed at 4:30PM. This doesn't sound like a huge change, but we are all really feeling the extra hours and are more tired, especially since we seldom actually have lunch "breaks", but just grab a mouthful of food when it is quieter (if it gets quieter). But I much prefer it when we are busy, as I am still struggling with feeling comfortable with those with whom I work—would rather "lose" myself in the work with our candidates than feel the dislike/disdain of some of the others I work with. However, because of the long hours, when we aren't too busy, we are encouraged to take ½ hour breaks for “lunch.” This has given me the opportunity to drive to a very nearby park with real grass and walk for about 20 min!! This is a great blessing to me when I can do it. Of course, I often have candidates who need help, especially with their resumes that go over my break time. I don't know how many resumes I have helped with, but it is quite a few (maybe 20) so far!! I don't believe in doing it for them, which some of the others do, but take time to let them help plan, write, and even format (if they have the computer skills) their resumes, and I just offer suggestions and help with wording, placement and formating. I've gotten much better, and understand the importance of having separate resumes for each job application, if they are different jobs or in different fields.

Monday, December 30, 2013

It never fails!  Last night was a terrible night for sleep.  I slept from about 9:30 PM to 12:00 AM and could not get back to sleep the rest of the night.  I was so anxious--my anxiety level reached new heights!   I had had a wonderful weekend with Noelle and Dane coming down to be with me on Sat,  after which Noelle spent the night with me.  We got up early to drive up to St. George to go to the Maes' (Dane's grandparents) farewell, which was so great, and stayed for the whole block.  I was so glad we did, as the meetings were wonderful--their ward is filled with seasoned dedicated and strong members of the Church (I'm sure they all were, are now, or will be again, missionaries!).  After having lunch with the family, I drove back to Las Vegas.  Somehow, I felt a bit depressed after coming home, which hasn't happened before when family has left, and then, not a lot of sleep.  I was sure it would be a not-so-great day in the center, but was I ever wrong!.  There were some very special and well-loved children of our Heavenly Father who came in seeking employment and I got to meet and register some of them.  Shirley and Brittany were both non-members and I talked to them about some employment resources we encourage our clients to use before we help them register.  Because there were two of them, Sister Clark helped to register Shirley, while I worked with Brittany.  She was very thankful and she hugged me as she left.  I feel confident that she will come back in and I will have a chance to ask her if she "would be willing" to learn more about the Church, but it just wasn't the right timing.  Marcus, who seemed to have less than no knowledge about the computer (me at my worst!) was very nice and, also a non-member, expressed interest in the Church (again, he said he would be back and was grateful).  Brother Lamos, mentioned elsewhere in this blog as someone I helped find a good job (not really, but he gave me credit) came in for help with his daughter, Alessandra, who was a darling 18 year old looking for her first job.  The icing on the cake was a precious young woman, Kamikia, who I registered and had time to talk about the Church.  After helping her, I mentioned how everything there was from member donations, including us volunteers because of our love for the Savior.  She said she  really wanted to know more and even join the Church when she can.  When she left, she gave me the sweetest longest hug and we both felt the Spirit unto tears.  All I could think of was that she would have a great blessing of becoming a "fellow citizen with the Saints and of the household of God."  What an honor to be able to serve these great people in this small way!

Friday, December 27, 2013

This is the Thursday after Christmas, and I am back in the ERC after two days of no work here.  On Tues., Christmas Eve, my companion, Sister Clark, and I made everything ready for Christmas.  Our apartment was just decked out with lovely flowers (hers and mine from loving family) and Christmas decorations, even a small loaded tree!.  We prepared food for our party on Christmas afternoon and to bring to the Mills that evening.  I woke early and took a nice walk on the trails at the Spring Preserve (the closest thing to nature I have here), and we both talked to family.  I cleaned up my room and bathroom and vacuumed the house, etc.  We had re-arranged the furniture on Saturday for the party, and it all looked nice and homey.  I was able to talk to some of my children as well, which always is wonderful.  I even went out into our courtyard and got in their nice hot tub (pool, really).  I tried to put my feet in the pool, but it was really frigid and my toes were like ice in seconds.  Anyway, after a good day, we picked up Pam, our friend and neighbor, and went to the Mills" house for dinner. They were so gracious and welcoming and seemed genuinely happy to have us there.  She had made some wonderful clam chowder and turkey noodle soups and bread and salad (along with our salad which we brought).  I was chagrinned when I arrived at the door, because as I walking along the sidewalk, the bottle of dressing for the salad just slipped through my fingers and crashed on the cement.  They were so nice about it and Brother Mills helped me get it cleaned up.  Sister Mills is the early  morning seminary teacher and Brother Mills is the Stake Executive Secretary, and they are both dedicated and consecrated saints, always giving and helping where they can.  Their wonderful teenage daughter is such a great Church member and will be going on her mission when she turns 19 next spring, something she has been planning for all her young life.  Her brother is already in Korea on a mission, and the parents will be also going as soon as they are able (next summer after their daughter goes).  What a great family!!.    That experience and my reading of Scriptures the next morning, Christmas, gave me some pause for thought.  The Mills were comfortable, but by, no means,  well off.  Yet they never considered that they wouldn't give all they could in behalf of the Savior (just as they gave us the best of food and sent us home with a very nice gift as well).

It is now Fri., and Noelle and Dane are coming down to visit me tomorrow--and I will also get to go to St. George to attend the farewell of his grandparents.  These are two of the happiest and most fun, as well as the most consecrated, people I know personally.  They are in their 80s and have served four full-time missions (or this will be their fourth, I'm not sure, but you get the idea).  Because of the season and the admonition of our mission president, I have been reading the New Testament, and I was touched especially by the Spirit when I re-read the story of the rich young man who had kept the commandments from his youth.  As I read, I thought of the good people who give so much of themselves, consecrate their lives to serve the Savior and their fellow man.  I wonder if there was a type in the story of us as "good" members of the Church.  Most members try to keep the commandments  and live good lives, but how many are really ready to give all--all their time, talents, money, everything they have in possessions in His service?  I think of the prophets, old and today, and a few people I have met since I've come here (including the Ahlanders).  It is becoming clear to me that there is a whole level of commitment that He would have me want to reach.  It does, admittedly, make me a little uneasy.  I am coming to like my mission in many ways and I know that He wants me to be here, but, after I serve the best I can and try to be meek and put up with all the difficult things that seem to be ongoing, I was looking forward to finishing (with a sigh of relief) and returning to my former wonderful life with some added dedication and as a better person, still serving where I can, but not away from home 100% of the time.  I hope He doesn't want me to do that, but I am afraid to ask Him.  Yet, the people I love and admire most in history, including and especially the Savior (just reading the Gospels helped me realize how totally dedicated His life was and is to Heavenly Father's children--every day, every hour with no respite (except His time with Satan!))--all have spent not just years but many years immersed in His work.  Could I come home and go again on another mission, and another, and another, like some seem able to do?  Honestly, no, I am so afraid to disappoint Him, but right now, I could go home and never do this again.  Perhaps, I will feel differently in nine months or so, or maybe I will learn that that is not His will for me after all, but I will continue to pray to learn His will to be revealed to me in His time and as I am ready to receive it.