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  K'Lyn : February 7th, 2007 @ 4:14 pm     comments (7)  

Just Wonderin'

I was just wondering if anyone every reads my blogs?
  K'Lyn : January 29th, 2007 @ 5:49 am     comments (28126)  

Some Thoughts on Discipline

Ya I know, I haven't blogged for forever, so hit me with a wet noodle.

Joseph has a friend who got into a fight with his parents, and the dad lost his control and hit the boy. The boy put his dad in a head lock and the dad reacted by hitting him again. Anyway the end result was that the mom called the police and the dad is no longer in the home. Apparently this dad has a history of "incidents" and this was the last straw for the mom. The boy is staying home from school for a week because his face was pretty battered. His oldest brother who is 18 will be a father soon, and his next oldest brother who is 17 is struggling with the church and with life in general.

So I just wanted to put down some thoughts about discipline.

I think when children are very young there needs to be boundaries of some kind, a "time-out", or some other way, etc. I have seen both extremes of discipline. I have seen children who have no boundaries, who run wild and have no respect for adults or other children. The parents talk softly and try to explain everything and let the children do whatever they want to, and then have the excuse that they tried to discipline. Then the other extreme where the parents regulate every action, right down to the time when they go poop in the toilet. (Really, I have seen this!) Neither one is right or good for the children. I think back to a story I heard about a woman who was on the RS General Board and brought her youngest son with her to the meetings. He sat respectfully with his arms folded, waiting for the meeting to get over. The comment was made that as an adult he is still sitting respectfully waiting for others to make any decisions or do anything. So, whatever method you use to discipline, be consistent, but not too rigid. As always, MODERATION is always the best.

I do believe in respect for adults and control of your temper. I also know that frustration can contribute to losing control. No matter what happens or what type of discipline you use, be in control.

As children get older, physical discipline is replaced with physical involvement. Be involved in every school class, coach the athletic teams, make your home a place where kids want to gather, with lots of food and things to do and a calm mother who doesn't worry about spots on the carpet or music that is a little loud. Always be there to talk whenever the mood strikes. It isn't always convenient, but is very necessary to maintain a relationship. No one can take the place of a mother in the home who is there before, during, and after school and and a Dad who is around to play ball or work in the garden. We must be FOCUSED on our families, and let nothing, no committee, no computer, no community cause, no gym class, no friends group, etc., take away our focus.

Even when you do the best you know how, a teenager will know how to push all the buttons. I strongly recommend PATIENCE. I have come to the conclusion that most kids are going to turn out OK, if we just have patience when they are seeing how far they can go, and by being a presence in their life. Even with that, the right to choose is so strong, that some children will still choose other paths. It is SO important just to BE THERE, even when a child doesn't want you to. Hopefully we as parents will be able to say, "I have no regrets" about how we have disciplined.

I believe that we will make mistakes and will learn what works best for the particular child and the particular parent and the particular situation. Each one (child, parent, and situation) is different and no one "method" works best all the time. Books are great, but more important is the right to receive inspiration as a parent in every situation. I believe in it, and I have experienced it. No one else can tell you how to raise your family. We, as parents, are entitled to that revelation.

Just a note. I have also decided that as a grandparent, I will not discipline the grandkids. If I am tending them, and a situation comes, I guess I will have to do something, but otherwise, I will let the parents have the responsibility and duty. I also know that as the grandkids get older, they will tend to talk to someone other than the parents, and I hope I am able to be in the loop and can have a listening ear.

There are a thousand different ways and methods to discipline, and every one thinks that theirs is the right one. I recommend doing what you think is right and then praying and hoping for God's help.

What happened to Joseph's friend is a real tragedy and will have far reaching consequences. I am proud of the way Joseph is handling it. He's a fine young man. I am proud of all "the boys" (including Bryan) as I see them change diapers and help their wives with their children. I am proud of all the girls, as I see them deal with every day difficulties and decisions. Life just doesn't get any better than this.
  K'Lyn : January 9th, 2007 @ 8:29 pm     comments (0)  

Busy week

NOTE: This is the letter that I sent to Ben this week:

well this has been a busy week! On Friday I flew to Florida to be with Marie for a week. There was lots of thunderstorms around Atlanta, so we were late landing by half an hour and then all the flights were delayed about 2 hours. My flight to Gainesville was 3 hour late, but I got here!

Saturday we got up and Bryan and Marie took me around Gainesville. We went into the college bookstore and I bought a Florida shirt to wear on game day. Everyone in town is wearing blue and orange. Then Marie and Bryan went to a basketball game and I tended Bowen. Marie wanted to go shopping, so we went to the mall for a while. I figured with all the walking and stuff we did, surely she would have a baby.

Sunday, church was early, and then Bowen took a nap. After he woke up we went to a park and walked on a long trail to a swamp. All this time Marie was having contractions, but they were pretty light. Their friends who had come before us said they counted 99 alligators. We saw about 20. Some were swimming and others were laying on the banks. It was king of freaky because there wasn't anything between them and us. We watched the sides of the trail pretty carefully. There actually were lots of people doing the same thing we were doing.

About 8:00, they took Bowen to some friends of theirs to stay the nightand they visited for awhile, and then we went into the hospital. It is kind of a smaller hospital, and older with lots of construction to update it. We went in at 10:30 and Bryson was born at 11:40. I thought for sure that Bryson and Bridger would be born on the same day. There wasn't time to get any pain medication and we were all shocked by that. Towards the end Marie said that she wanted to adopt kids from now on! Bryson weighs 7 lbs 5 oz and is pretty cute. He swallowed some mucous, so he was coughing that up most of the next day. I finally came home at 3 am.

Monday I went in to see her and the baby and stayed most of the day. The hospital is pretty interesting because they have lots of security. You can't get to any rooms and have to be let in the doors to each area. The baby has a thing on his leg that sounds an alarm if he is near the elevators or exit doors. That morning Bryan went to some classes because the semester started. That night Florida played Ohio for the National Football Championship. The whole town goes crazy. Florida won and they were the underdog. Bryan has watched every interview, and ESPN show there is about the game.

Today we thought we would get Marie and the baby home, but they wanted to keep the baby 48 hours because he was born so fast he didn't get enough antibiotics through Marie and she has a strep B virus in her system. And because of Marie's insurance she can't stay another night, so she is home now and the baby will come home tomorrow morning. It's hard to come home without a baby, but has to be done.

I guess you heard about Mark and Amy and Bridger. That makes 9 neices and nephews for you. I guess they are doing well and will come home on Thursday. I get to fly home on Saturday and then Jill (Bryans mom) is coming for a while.

In other news, Libbey swallowed some Tylenol, so Sadie had to take her to the emergency room, but she hadn't swallowed enough to hurt her. All the kids have had earaches because of the cold. I don't think kids get earaches in Florida.

Soooo hows the new assignment? What are your duties? Whatever they are, do them well and even better than well. Have you had any real cold weather yet? Describe the town. How is it different from where you have been so far? How about the members? HOw about your new companion? See, lots of questions.

Well, I'm only 6 hours behind you here in Florida, so I'm actually closer to you. Just know that even Bowen prays for Uncle Ben and his Uncle Jeff Bernhardt. He will grow up knowing what missionaries are.

Hang in there and do your best. Listen and follow your intuition and try new things. That may be just what is needed in this new area. Ask yourself the question, "What would I do if I wasn't afraid?" Then go do it. What have you got to loose? and you have lots to gain.

We love you and pray for you always,

Love MOM
  K'Lyn : December 4th, 2006 @ 4:52 am     comments (2)  

Cruising the Caribbean

(note: These are the emails that I sent home)

Monday, November 27, 2006
We are having a great time. The cruise today was kind of rough and we had some rain, but we watched lots of movies on the big outside screen.
Tonight we had great entertainment. All in all, it's been very relaxing and enjoyable.
Ben, how are you doing? I look forward to reading your email tomorrow.
Keep your chin up. I met a girl in the buffet today from Odessa, Ukraine. She was surprised that I knew where Dnepr was. She said it was very beautiful there.
Daniel and Joseph, if it snows shovel for Sadie. Hows the lighting business going? Uncle Jace is quite intrigued by it. Mindy says Travis might be interested in doing the same thing in Rexburg area.
Well I guess that's all for now. We love you all, Thanks Eddie and Sadie for taking care of home. Happy Birthday Marie and Sadie!
Love MOM

Tuesday, 11/28/2006
We are here in the middle of a huge bathtub it seems. Today the weather was cloudy and the sea was kind of rough. I took a long nap in the afternoon and now it's time to play Bingo. it's such a rough life . . . .
Tomorrow we are in St. Maarten, and we have nothing planned, so we may just go into town and do whatever seems to grab us. We thought we would go fishing, but the weather doesn't look promising to be on a small boat on the ocean. I don't relish getting seasick.
So Daniel, what happened and who did it happen to?
Joseph, hows school? Keeping up with homework?
Eddie, how do you like living at home again?
Sadie, did you get the printer to work? HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SADIE!
There was a Sushi bar today and I thought of Mark . . .
Also they have a Princess Cruise Survivor and I thought we could of had our own team, although I don't know who we would have voted off.
Love MOM

Thursday 11/30/06
We are in St. thomas, one of those green specks in the ocean. We spent today at a beach called Coki Beach. It was great just floating around and then sitting in the sun drinking a drink called the 7 fruit blast. aunt Mindy, Uncle Jody, Aunt Pam and Uncle Jace and Dad and I went. Grandpa just wanted to wander around town and then go back to the ship. Grandma and her friend Lola went on a tour of the island. One of the highlights was the ride back with our taxi driver named Elvis. It was better than the Wild Mouse Ride at LaGoon! (and they drive on the wrong side of the road!)
Yesterday we spent the day at St. Maartens, which is an island that the Dutch own half and the French own the other half. It was pretty rainy, so we just got a tour of the island and then wandered around the town rather than go to a beach. The best thing is to come back and shower and eat a great meal and then have great entertainment and then go to sleep with the boat rocking. The entertainment last night wasnt very good, it was a hypnotist who had men breastfeeding babies and other marginal things, so we didn't go. We also had a comic that we thought would be good, but he had a lot of bathroom humor which we didn't think was very funny, so we ended up leaving that one also.
Tomorrow we are all day at sea, and then Saturday we are at a private island. Life doesn't get much better than this.
We are having a great time. The cruise today was kind of rough and we had some rain, but we watched lots of movies on the big outside screen.
Tonight we had great entertainment. All in all, it's been very relaxing and enjoyable.
I met a girl in the buffet today from Odessa, Ukraine. She was surprised that I knew where Dnepr was. She said it was very beautiful there.
Hows the lighting business going? Uncle Jace is quite intrigued by it. Mindy says Travis might be interested in doing the same thing in Rexburg area.
Well I guess that's all for now. We love you all, Thanks Eddie and Sadie for taking care of home. Happy Birthday Marie and Sadie!

Saturday, 12/2/06
Well it's almost over, let me describe the last day for you:
We spent the day on Princess Cays, the private island that Princess Cruises owns. We went over by small boat (tender) at about 9:30 am and got deck chairs and floats. aunt Mindy, Aunt Pam and I went out on our floats and let the sun beat down on us. The water was very clear aqua blue and a slight breeze was blowing. After about an hour we came into dry off and then went shopping at the local stores there. There was lots of coral jewelry, baskets and other trinkets. Then we ate hamburgers, chicken, ribs, and hot dogs prepared by the ship. Aunt Pam and I went back into the ocean to float around and then we came back to the ship. It doesn't get better than this.
I am living Mark's blog!
We fly home tomorrow. I can't even remember which day it is. Everyhting has been so perfect and wonderful. By the way, Dad won 400.00 at Bingo, and last night Uncle Jody won the 400.00, and the first day Uncle Jace on 75.00. As it stands right now we are ahead of the money we have spent on Bingo. Of course it all goes back to Grandpa, as he bought all the cards.
Well, we will come back to the cold weather, just when I was getting used to 80 degrees all the time.
Love MOM

  K'Lyn : October 3rd, 2006 @ 9:43 pm     comments (31782)  

Busy but boring

Dear Ben,
So, how did you like Conference? Wasn’t Pres. Hinckley magnificent? Did many church members get to watch conference? How did you watch it? As the Conference closed, I felt a real outpouring of love for a prophet and for a life spent in service. I loved all the talks, but one of the first ones I am going to read is Elder Bednar’s on taking offense. I thought that was a great talk. Of course I like all of them, but his just seems to stand out.

Mark and Amy and family and Eddie and Sadie and family were here. It was kind of noisy, but we still watched conference. We had lots and lots of food to eat, like jigglers, cheese ball, cookie salad, turkey, cinnamon rolls, rice krispy squares, and on and on. We played lots of badminton games. Poor Amy was sick with the flu, so we doctored her and as of today she is feeling better.

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to play the organ in the Assembly Hall for the General Relief Society workshops. I left the house at 7:15 which gave me an hour to get there, get parked, and make my way there. BUT there were 3 separate accidents, involving 10 cars, and the freeway was very slow. I finally got there at 8:45 and ran in and started playing. It was kind of stressful. I’m glad I got to do it though.

I’ve been thinking a lot about you as we’ve been reading in Alma about Ammon and his brethren. Ammon got to go to King Lamoni’s people. He had a hard time, but eventual success. His brethren went to a “more hardened people” and they did not have success, but they were faithful and let the Spirit lead them in all the missionary duties. Eventually they did meet up with Ammon and continued preaching and teaching in other places. Then when they all met up with Alma, they were happy to see each other, because they had kept the faith and endured to the end. They shared the bond of obedience and integrity in their labors.

I think the people of the Ukraine are somewhat a “more hardened people”. You must rely on the Spirit to guide you in all you do and say. It is critical to “endure to the end”, and even more important is your faithfulness, even in the face of unrelenting opposition.

Well, enough preaching. . . . Mikkel Moulton is getting married in 3 weeks. We are going to Disneyland in 2 weeks. Marie is coming here this Sunday. It’s Brett’s birthday tomorrow. He will be 27. Steve Gould was married last week. Eddie went to the wedding. I can’t think of anything else that is different than normal. Sometimes we are busy, but boring.

Well, I’ll sign off for now. Life really is good and enjoyable. We pray for you every time we pray, so expect blessings to come your way.

Love MOM
  K'Lyn : September 11th, 2006 @ 4:26 pm     comments (6)  


This is for all those parents who have such wonderful children who always behave and never talk back or do anything wrong:
Life is very serene and calm, except when a teenager is around, then everything is a crisis and life must revolve around a 14 year old who thinks they know all the answers and are in charge of their life and yours also. All of a sudden everything is your (the adults) fault, and they want it fixed RIGHT NOW, and by the way do my wash, fix my breakfast, and take me everywhere, and pay for my ski pass, lunches, new clothes, school fees and materials, cell phone, and anything and everything else that I happen to want.
Its a sad commentary that I am exhausted after only a few hours of dealing with rejection, depression, peer pressure, homework, "Why didn't you wash my sheets?", and being late to everything. AND IT'S ALL MY FAULT!
The light at the end of the tunnel is that time marches on and I just need to survive the next few years and teenagers eventually turn into REAL PEOPLE!
  K'Lyn : September 6th, 2006 @ 5:08 am     comments (1)  

Time Is Moving FAST

Hi Ben,

Well another week has gone by and boy does it seem to go fast. It seems like you just barely left and already I am talking Christmas for you! It dawned on me that you will only have one Christmas in the Ukraine, unless the transfers are such that you stay the next Christmas also.

We did by another little white car. Daniel is driving the White Corolla around. He also has a bullet bike. . . . (I just cross my fingers and pray every time he rides it.) He says he is going to sell it this fall. We’ll see if that really happens.

We sure had a great weekend! Marie flew in on Wednesday and we played and shopped and she got her hair done and all those “girlie” things that are fun to do. Bowen has really grown up. He wasn’t sure of me at first, but after 5 minutes he knew who I was and where he was. It was great having them here. Saturday, Mark and Amy and family came out and we played badmitten until late. They had plans to go to the Childrens Museum in SLC, but when they got there, it was closed. Who would close on Labor Day weekend? Anyway, since they were that far they just came on up. We got out the little swimming pool and ate, and ate some more. Jeff Patane came over and played badmitten with us.

On Sunday everyone came out and I think we did it all, badmitten, cards, toys, Barbies, wash cars, eat Marie’s huge cinnamon rolls, eat 7 layer Dip, and fresh peach torte, and Rice Krispy squares, the girls even went shopping for awhile on Monday. It was great and everyone got along very well, except Joseph who gets mad whenever he loses a game! So now everyone is gone, Marie flew back today, so the house is quiet and I am having my windows cleaned.

I’m attaching a few biographies of your ancestors. I’ll attach a few each time, because you have many ancestors to look forward to meeting. So for now, this will have to do.

This week everyone is heading back to college. Danielle Cox just came back from BYU Hawaii and is heading to BYUIdaho. Rachel Gardner is headed there also. I always see Kristen Gomm working at Bowmans. To my knowledge, none of the girls you knew are married.

Well, it’s been a good week here, and I hope it is a good week for you also. I give gratitude for those members and others who are kind to you. Always return the gift with more.

Remember your mother loves you and so does the rest of the family. We are proud of your missionary service and pray you will be honorable. Keep your chin up and just keep on working. Take care of yourself. Keep your apartment clean, eat as healthily as you can, and keep the mission rules. Always pray and listen for answers. I know the Lord will take care of you.

Love MOM
  K'Lyn : September 1st, 2006 @ 2:59 pm     comments (1)  

Generations Are Watching

Hi Ben,

How are things in Dnepr? Last week Daniel went on a double date and these kids showed up at the house. One boy was an Elder Leonard that was in his mission. He went to Davis and played in the band when you were a sophomore. The other boy was the drum major that year that you went to the Rose Parade, I can’t remember his name. His date was a girl who went to Kiev Ukraine on a mission. She said that Mariupol was probably one of the hardest cities to be in. She spoke both Russian and Ukrainian, That morning Dad and I had gone to the temple and guess who should walk in as we were walking out? YUP you’re right. Nicole, your old flame. She has now been married for 2 years and has one more year to finish her schooling. They don’t have any kids. Her husband wasn’t with her on this trip. Anyway it was an eventful day.

We went to the Davis game on Friday and had an enjoyable time. The weather was perfect.

The Violin Ladies are practicing again, we are playing at the Ward Campout this Friday..

Marie comes in tomorrow afternoon. I can hardly wait. I’ll bet Bowen has grown a foot! We are having a party this weekend with everyone. We now have the badmitten net up, so I’m sure we will have tournaments.

Today I forgot that it was my turn for carpool, so Joseph and buds had to wait for 20 min. It was my fault, so I treated them all to Slurpees.

You talked in your last letter about running in the mornings, how is that going? I applaud anyone who does that and admire them. It’s good exercise.

How’s the contacting 10 people a day going? It wouldn’t be hard if people were friendly, but sometimes people just don’t want to talk or make eye contact. Perhaps they just don’t have the time. Good Luck!

It is hard to be active when the culture doesn’t support going to church. You said you might be working more with inactives. Sometimes that’s harder than converting someone because you have to convert them all over again.

Don’t worry about sending anything for Christmas. I want you to concentrate on being a missionary. Letters are always good!

News of the family:

Mark and Amy were here on Sunday and we played lots of badmitten and the kids were so great! Crystal started kindergarten on Monday.

Eddie and Sadie and family are doing good. Maddey is going to pre-school. She fell and cut her head in Las Vegas, and had to have a few stitches. Libbey is the darling of the family, and Ryder just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Brett and Carrie and into school again.

Bryan is back in school and Marie comes here tomorrow. The first hurricane of the season is scheduled to go over Florida while she is here.

Daniel has started school and is still working at putting windows and doors in.

Joseph likes girls! He spends lots of time in front of the mirror fixing his hair.

Dad got a new car, a white 97 Honda Civic. It’s in really good condition and is pretty peppy. I like it. We also got a new garage door in, if I forgot to tell you in the last email.

Other than that, the fires are still burning, and life keeps going on day by day. Just as it does for you also!

Remember that we love you and are praying for you. Remember who you are and where you come from. Generations are watching you, so make us proud!

Love MOM
  K'Lyn : August 22nd, 2006 @ 8:18 am     comments (2)  


Dear Ben,
School starts tomorrow! Joseph is pretty excited. We went yesterday to get him some levi’s and we spent about an hour in Mervyns trying to find his size, and didn’t succeed and they just didn’t look right for him. So I thought that we could go to Penney’s or someplace and dig through the pants again, or I could just give up and take him to Buckle and get some REAL levi’s. I gave up and we went to Buckle and they waited on us hand and foot and we got the right size. He tried on about 10 different pairs of pants and chose 3 of them that he liked. They were each about 60.00! Kind of expensive, but they fit and look good. That night he wore them over to the Millers to play “night games” and made the mistake of telling them how much they were, and I guess they gave him a pretty bad time. Lesson to be learned, if you buy expensive clothes, don’t let anyone know. He is ready for school though. It’s been a summer of air-softing, night games, PS2 and X-Box, lawn mowing, moving sprinkler pipe and sleeping late and going to bed late. It may be hard to get back on schedule.
Last night we went to Daniel’s indoor soccer game. He is on a team with some of his old buddies: Peter Summerkorn, Chris Toronto, Daniel Vettori, Breton Jeppeson, and some others. Boy do they play hard! It was pretty aggressive and physical and very fast. When they kicked the ball at a goal, it was like a rocket. They won 4-2 in a hard fought game. It was very fun to watch! Sunday we just hung out here and Rachel came over, and then after she left Daniel went to Kelli’s place. So, who knows what is in his mind? He starts school on Thursday.
I spent the weekend tending Eddie’s kids while he went to his 10 year class reunion. I guess he saw a lot of people that he hung out with. Friday night they had a picnic at Barnes Park and then afterward they brought the kids home and Eddie went back to hang out a little more. Saturday Sadie and I went shopping and had a great time. Little Ryder is a cute kid. If you get a chance to check out his pictures, take a look.
Mark and Amy and kids went to Oak City Days with Dad. I guess everyone had a good time. Right now they have 2 fires going in the hills. One was caused by lightning, and the other by a bull dozer that they were using to make a fire line. Actually the locals think the firefighters don’t really know what they are doing. Aunt Lisa says it looks the middle of a volcano with ash all over the city.
Marie and Bryan are in Ione for Bryan’s brothers wedding and then afterward, Marie is going to fly here for a week. It will be good to see her and Bowen.
News of the ward: Bishop Taylor had an accident with his horse and banged up his leg pretty good, but is recovering. Tanya Heywood fell off a ladder while painting, but is doing good now. Lots of new people moving in. I guess the Gardners got permission from the city to do a development behind their house. Some say that there will be 40 – 60 homes. Rumors are that the Butchers have sold their orchard also. Other than that, everyone seems to be about the same.
Other news of the family: Travis Robison has bought a big lawn mower and plans on doing a landscaping business next spring. He is getting set up with a trailer and other tools. He has some difficulty with anxiety, so he may not go on a mission. Amanda Robison will be a senior this year. I guess Kelsey is growing even more and is about your size, only heavier. Joseph is still about my heighth. Brodie Mortensen bought his first car this year. Weston is playing football.
Let’s see on the other side of the family: Jacob and Fran have 2 very cute little girls. I think they bought a home in St. George. Eli and Lacey are about the same. She is about the graduate from beauty school and Eli works for us. Kjersti still has the same boyfriend, so they may get married sometime. I guess there is no rush. Cody sure seems to be doing well on his mission, as do the other Elder Lyman’s.
I love to read your letters. I love to hear about the members. I have gained an appreciation for what you are going through by what my old seminary teacher went through in Mongolia. The church is in it’s very beginning in the Ukraine and other areas. I guess we have to be patient, and find those the Lord has prepared to help the church grow. Bro. Gibbons said that the hard thing is that there are no priesthood members there, and the moral standards are very hard to deal with, even for the women. Even with that, there are wonderful people to get to know and to teach the gospel to. Don’t get discouraged and just plug along and do your duty. Just be faithful, every minute of every day, one day at a time. Spectacular conversion stories are fun to tell, but the Lord wants a faithful missionary who will just do his duty quietly with no fanfare, and perhaps with no results. BE FAITHFUL AND YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL!
Remember that we love you and pray for you. We specifically pray that you will understand and be understood as you teach the gospel.
The Lord loves His missionaries and He loves you!
Love MOM
  K'Lyn : August 16th, 2006 @ 7:17 am     comments (0)  

Keep the Faith and the Rules

Hi Ben,
Well . . . . We don’t go to Disneyland until October, so we shoulder all the blame for you not getting any mail this week. I had my days mixed up and was one day behind. Dad went to a golf tournament with his lawyers, and the rest of the family are just negligent. Well anyway you should get 2 letters from me this week.

And yes, we are getting excited for Disneyland. Last week we brought Rooker and Crystal home with us to stay one night and one the way we put in a Disney CD and played “Name That Tune”. I was surprised at how many they knew! Almost all of music, they knew the song and the movie! That was fun.

In one paragraph of your letter you say that you have been super obedient, and then in the next you say that your companion has been listening to music that he shouldn’t. Keep your feet on the floor and your eye single. Set a good example. Talk to him about it, but remember that it is his choice. Everyone makes good and bad choices, and you will too, but everyone also has the choice to change. Be patient.

It was interesting about the “mafia” story. “from the cat” huh? You never know, it may come in handy . . .

That’s great that you have someone come to church for 2 Sundays. Keep hoping and working with him. This Sunday we went to my old seminary teachers mission report. They went to Mongolia. He was a counselor in the mission presidency. Anyway he talked about “the culture of Christ”. He said that being on a mission in Mongolia is very different than Brazil or Mexico. He said usually it may take 4-5 months to get someone converted. He said a big hurdle is convincing them of the “culture of Christ” because the whole idea of a Savior is so foreign to them. He also said that because of their culture, they don’t have a Sabbath. Even the return missionaries eventually go inactive because they must work and the whole country works 7 days a week. He had some heart rending stories about people there and the morals and Word of Wisdom things. I know that you are running into that. Never compare your mission with someone else’s. You are in the Ukraine and that is very different than anywhere else. Just love the people and understand the difficult situation they are in.

You mentioned the little things that really do matter. ( your companion listening to music, but on the other hand working hard) It’s the same in life. Most people are very good people, go to church, hold callings, etc. Their lives usually reflect that they are doing pretty good. They seem to have lots of money and their families are doing pretty good. Then something happens, maybe a child gets mad and moves out, or a change of job happens, or a sickness. Then we find out what kind of faith they really have. Sometimes the faith isn’t there because the little things have slipped. Little things like being completely honest, and paying a full tithing, saying prayers, reading the scriptures. Etc. All these contribute to faith and when we need it and its not there, it’s a tragedy. Complete obedience is the thing on a mission and throughout your life.

I guess I should report about all we did this week. Joseph went to soccer camp all week. He has a great trainer who is from Ireland. I love to hear him talk. He is very good with the kids and knows his soccer. Joseph hs been working with the Taylors moving sprinkler pipe and that is a pretty hard job. He is making good money though. This week he bought a DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) for his x-box.

We went to the Zoo on Wednesday, Mark and family, Sadie and kids and Joseph and I. We went in the afternoon and all the animals were asleep or lying down because it was so hot. The little kids seemed to enjoy it though. The best part was the sno-cones. I brought Crystal home to stay for a few nights. She starts kindergarten this year and we went shopping. We got some black boots and she loves those boots. She almost slept with them.

On Thursday we went to the baseball game and met Mark and family and Daniel there. It was a beautiful warm evening and we had lots of fun. We brought Crystal and Rooker home with us. They are so much fun to have here. Amy came out the next day and then Mark came home from work. We all went to a movie in Kaysville called “Over The Hedge”. It was pretty good and the kids liked it.

Saturday Mark and Amy went to the temple and after they came home, Amy Crystal and I went shopping. We had fun and had smoothies afterward. After Mark and Amy went home, Dad and I went to Brooke Andrus’s wedding reception. We visited with a lot of people that we knew.

On Sunday we renewed our temple recommends. Monday was Dad’s birthday and he stayed home from work and we just puttered all day. We are getting a new garage door this week, so I guess that is his birthday present. Actually I got him the Perry Mason DVD’s and a new shirt.

Last night, Tuesday and priests came over for banana splits. Grandma Mortensen was here for a few hours because she rode down and back with Uncle Steve Bunnell. She is doing well.

I read the missionary letter from your buddies. I was surprised at Eric Gunn’s letter. I guess he is home dealing with depression and anxiety. WOW that must be difficult. So for you, work on keeping your feet on the ground and having common sense and realistic expectations. In your letters to them, I think you should tell it like it REALLY is.

Well that’s all for this week. School starts next week, and maybe life will settle down somewhat.

We love you, even if we are slow at writing. Keep the faith and the rules.

Love MOM