Monday, July 11, 2011

We're back in the saddle again!!

Yesterday, Sunday, July 10th, we "got the run-around" from our bishop and stake president about our service mission. LOL We received a letter from SLC telling us we were "official" and that our BISHOP would set us apart for the service mission. So Bishop Gorup pulled us out of Sunday School class to set us apart. We no sooner got seated in his office than his phone went of. It was President Richards telling him not to set us apart; that he needed to see us at 3:15 so he could issue us THE OFFICIAL CALLING. Okeedokee!

We had invited a family from the ward to dinner, found them and begged for a later time so we could go meet Pres. Richards.

President Richards - such a good man!! - confessed that they had never dealt with a service mission call before and was learning the routine. Anyway, interestingly enough, it IS the bishop who sets service missionaries apart. We'll go a bit early tonight to Bishop Gorup's home before the monthly ward FHE so that he can set us apart for this service mission.

In case you can't read the letter - we'll be serving in the Career Center in North Las Vegas. This is perfect for Don who has 30 years experience in Human Resource. So we're excited!! Let the fun begin!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Don, the dearest man on earth!

Don is so much fun. He makes me smile and often giggle at the things he says. He's such a good sport. I think this is such a good picture of him.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Little Darlings

Hinckley and Gracie climb the BigToy at the Exploration Peak Park near Grandma Carter's home. They are both excellent climbers and enjoy the fun things to do at the park.

Chandler Shumway Carter - our little redhead with a touch of spunk. He's a cuddle-bun and love bug.
(almost 1 1/2 years)

Hinckley Joseph - a handsome boy! I think his smile tells it all. So precious!! (4 years 9 months)

Baby Kate with Bubby. She is so loving and happy. We enjoy her more and more as she is growing. (5 mo.)

Gracie with her styling hat her Aunt Pamela made and with her twinkling smile!! She is a joy!!
I have to remind myself that she is only TWO - she seems so much older in so many ways.
(2 years 7 mo.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

God is in the Details of Our LIves

Here's a story that is too good not to share. And because those who do read my blog are people of faith, I am not hesitant to do so.

When Don got sick in Mongolia, it was instantly and completely - literally "over night." We had "turned a corner" and found ourselves in the Twilight Zone! Don was in a antiquated hospital in a country half way around the world from our home and I was staying with him every minute I could. There wasn't a cafeteria in the hospital, nor was there any place nearby I could buy anything to eat. Even water was difficult to get. My own health was somewhat put in jeopardy by the circumstances. Senior missionaries brought me food and water which sustained me. Food, of course, was off limits to Don so his pancreas could begin to heal.

The hospital was strange. We were on the top floor. Stepping off the elevator onto the sixth floor was like stepping into an abandoned building. There was a nurses' station but there was not so much as a piece a of paper on the counter and it was kept dark. I actually took the chair at the desk and brought it into Don's room to use as a side table for him. The few times I did leave or go into the hall, I never saw another person in that hallway.

Additionally, sleeping was haphazard, on-and-off day after day for me. The table I slept on had no padding and being hard, made my bones ache. When I did sleep it was from pure exhaustion.

Don was so sick and in such excruciating pain. He kept as sedated as he could keep himself with percocet which we actually got from the mission doctor. There was nothing given for pain by doctors and nurses.

To pass the time, I tried reading a book aloud to Don. We have enjoyed reading books to each other several times in the past. But one chapter was all he could get through. Listening to me read was like nails scratching a chalkboard for Don. He was giving his entire existence to coping with pain. I read the entire book in about three days. This had to be a record for me and is evidence of my wanting to escape from this nightmare I was living.

After taking a percocet, which he did every 3 1/2 hours, he could find about an hour that he could sleep. He certainly did not want to "visit" or listen blissfully to a reading. Other than a toothache, this man had never experienced anything close to this in his life before. I have never felt so helpless as I watched my sweetheart in this condition hour after hour, day after day.

After a day, maybe two, I walked the mile or so back to our apartment for a shower. I did this twice that I can remember. Once, there was no hot water and I had to shower in cold water. I picked up our camera and laptop. A time or two I stopped by the church office building to connect with the Internet so I could communicate with our children who were desperate for some information about their dad.

Don had been given a cell phone by the mission. The senior couples were good to call for updates. But I felt totally alone.
The Lord knew we needed to be reassured that He was aware of us.

Here’s where my intended story begins: We loved the other senior couples we met in the MTC. After eight days in training together, we felt bonded with Elder and Sister Lucas from Utah on their way to Paraguay. We met them first in the MTC. In addition to the Preach My Gospel training, we had special training with the Lucases for the Perpetual Education Fund. Our friendship was instantaneous.

Nearing the end of Don's stay in the hospital in Mongolia we received an email from Sister Lucas who was in Argentina but bound for Paraguay where they’d set up the PEF program there. She had heard about our plight in the Dallas airport! We have never lived in Dallas and don’t know anyone who lives in Dallas. While waiting for her flight back to South America, Sister Lucas was approached by an LDS couple who recognized her missionary name badge. As they visited Sister Lucas discovered that this was my sister-in-law, Carol! This was no chance meeting. The Lord put Sister Lucas and my sister-in-law together in the Dallas airport for me.

She wrote how sorry to she was to hear about our situation and then went on to tell us what had been going on with them. Because she is an RN, the mission president asked her to accompany a very sick elder back to Salt Lake City. She left Elder Lucas in South America and flew back to the States with the sick elder. While in Salt Lake City their son who lived in Salt Lake had a severe heart attack. Sister Lucas just happened to be there to help out with the grandchildren and support her son and daughter-in-law. She returned to her mission after a couple of weeks. It was on her trip back from Salt Lake that she met my sister-in-law in the airport.

She no sooner got back than her husband received a phone call that his father had passed away. So Elder Lucas had to return to the States to help his mother and settle things there. I am glad to report that Elder and Sister Lucas are still in Paraguay setting up the Perpetual Education Fund there among the Latter-day Saints and fulfilling their missionary duties.

When I heard from Sister Lucas about how she’d gotten word about us and about their own set of trials and tragedies, I knew the Lord had moved and managed Sister Lucas and my sister-in-law so precisely to let me know He was aware of Don and me. It brought me great peace and comfort. Knowing that others were enduring trials seemed to validate mine. How miraculous this seemed to me. As time passes, I feel the miracle of this even more. I know that we are personally known by our Heavenly Father. He knows our names and he knows how to succor us - to run to us when we are about to fall, to sustain us in or hour of need. I will treasure this experience for the rest of my life.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Service - A Principle of Salvation

First, let me say that I am so surprised at the replies to my last blog and strengthened by the words of confidence and encouragement and thank you sincerely.

Since my last blog more blessings have come from my Heavenly Father. I realized that I needed to get out and serve. Opportunities to serve have come. We were asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting later in January. The invitation was given on the very day I wrote my last blog and was feeling so downhearted. Topic: adversity! It was as though the Lord said to me, "I know you, Kathy, and I think YOU may be able to give some encouragement to some folks in a couple of weeks."

The next week, which was last Monday, January 10th, we went to a Ward Family Home Evening at the bishop's home. I was given a calling to teach Sunday School. I love, LOVE! teaching the gospel!! The day before we attended Gospel Doctrine class and it was "the bomb!!" We had a great teacher (discussion leader) and there were so many contributions and the lesson just came alive for me. I felt the Lord whisper to me again, "I'll help you do something you love doing that will help you as you try to help others."

I signed up to have the Family History couple in the ward come visit us to answer questions and get us started on our genealogical work. They actually came a day earlier than our agreed appointment. I hadn't pulled out our records and wasn't prepared. But they stayed and we opened the computer to a whole new world!! Besides the NewFamilySearch website, the Jasters showed me four other websites which provided names on Don's family line he hadn't found before!! I felt the Lord telling me, "I have things for you to do and here's where you start."

Our Heavenly Father IS in the details of our lives. As for adversity, well, it is our blessing, isn't it! It is through adversity that we get out of comfort zones and search for Divine direction. The best antidote for discouragement, depression and disappointment is service - a principle of salvation. I'm thankful for the capacity to serve.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

First Fast Sunday of 2011

Wow! Life does throw curve balls. This quiet Sunday morning finds me struggling a little. I feel so letdown that things aren't turning out quite how I had envisioned. We do have a lot of blessings and that is what I need to concentrate on today in order to bury disappointment and perplexing events. The holidays are gone and a new year lies ahead. It will be what I make it to be. I am retired and have time to do things which have been put on the back burner. The first on my list is to edit my old missionary journals from 1976 to 1978. Writing was a therapy for me as a young woman in the mission field. Maybe I can discover why missions have to be almost impossibly difficult.

I do believe that God is in the details of our lives. I also believe He respects our agency and won't interfere unless we give Him some sort of entrance - a prayer, a thought, a desire, a hope. I recently read, "The Lord is voting for me, and Lucifer is voting against me, but it is my vote that counts." With a heart heavy with discouragement, I am determined to find a way to be useful doing, hopefully, what the Lord might desire of me. There are so many things - family research, studying, volunteering, serving.

And since no one ever reads this blog, I think I am safe in writing, for therapeutic purposes, what's on my mind and in my heart. But I will try to pretend that someone IS reading and think of something uplifting I might say or express to encourage and uplift another's heavy heart.