Week 59 – Elder Jones

Pday, Tracting and Zome conference

Monday:

P-day was amazing today. The whole Zone went to the Auburn 3rd
Ward mission leaders house. He has a massive house that’s really nice
with a lot of property. They had a ton of games set up. They had a
minute to win it thing and the Zone battled against each other with a
ton of things. Then we had a selfie scavenger hunt. That was a ton of
fun. There are some awesome pictures we got. Then we played games and
had brunch there. It was amazing. We played pirate dice and that got
intense. The ward mission leaders wife took pictures through the whole
thing, 500 pictures. I’ll send a couple.

Tuesday:

We went out with a different priest. He
graduated last year.  So with him it’s been hard
to get him to come out with us and been kinda touchy, but it seemed
like he had a good time. He was smiling more than I’ve ever have seen him smile. He seemed pretty comfortable and it was great. Then later at
night we had another little experienced.

Wednesday:

Really all we were able to do today was Zone Conference.
But it was the best Zone Conference we’ve every had. The Spirit was so
strong and I learned so much. President Ward is really funny. He
knows how to teach us so that we can understand, are really involved
and learn the best way. He’s amazing. I learned so much from the whole
meeting. I can’t even explain it. It was the best. It was also sad
because some of my friends are starting to go home. This was the last time I will see Elder Sarki and Elder Rawson. Elder Sarki was my companion for two transfers and Elder Rawson was for about a week. So it was really sad to see them go. I love them.
Also, I was companions with a sister for 45 minutes. Elder Kerby was
talking with President Ward and Sister Ward needed help. So we went on
exchanges and my companion was Sister Ward. We were out in the parking lot and in the halls and out doing stuff and Elder Kerby was in the
chapel the whole time. She was literally my companion for that time.
So I called myself Sister Jones for the time being. I had a female
companion. Haha. That was fun.

Thursday:

Exchanges today were great! We were very busy. Elder Woodcox
came here and we biked. It was my first day back on the bikes and it
felt amazing to be able to go out and be working. It was a little
rough after not biking for over a week. But it went well. We tracted a
lot because most of our lessons fell through. We need new
investigators and Elder Woodcox isn’t used to biking in Auburn so we
decided not to bike, but tract instead. It was good. Had a few
potentials. We had Pho for dinner at a restaurant. I haven’t had that
since Chico with the Hmong people. So it was so good to have some pho
again. It was a great day and I learned a lot. That’s the good thing
about exchanges. You learn a lot from being with someone new for a day
because they work differently. So it helped a lot.

Friday:

Daily planning today. Had a lesson with *****. It went
well. We helped explain how he can get answers and found out some
good information as to what might be holding him back. Then we weekly
planned. Then we went to the ********.  That went great. We only had
a little time but we explained about church and invited them. We
hunted their mom down and talked to her about it. They should be
getting more involved with actual church now and going to mutual. If a
Sunday opens up, they should be coming. Their mom was really
supportive because the kids are interested. So it went great.

Saturday:

Wow, what a long day. We tracted……all day. We got up,
and tracted an apartment complex and part of another one. We had lunch
then finished the second complex. Then we went to another complex and
tracted the entire thing. Then we had dinner and companionship study.
That’s all we did all day. And we didn’t even get any potential
investigators out of it. I guess today was about showing God that we
will work no matter what.

Sunday:

Today was great. Church was good and we finally had an
investigator come! They don’t live in our ward but it was good to have
them there. After church and studies, we went and did some contacting.
Then dinner. Then, we finally got ahold of *****. It was good. We made
some progress. He wasn’t as bashy and was even more understanding. We
helped him with some concerns and there’s a lot of complicated stuff
going on with him and it’s crazy. But the important thing is that
after this lesson, it looks like it’s headed in a good direction.
The temp has dropped a lot this week. It’s been pretty cold lately.
It’s in the 80s. I don’t like it. Too cold.
But yeah, this week was a ton of tracting and less teaching.
Also, I got your card. Thank you so much! I really, really appreciate it.
Luva!

 

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Parenting, Gorge Fires, 3rd Person, Kissy Faces, Stuffed Mouths, Steel Paint, Ed Sheeran and Father’s Blessings!

First day of school! Merritt’s a freshmen, Hadley is 7th grade, Royce is 4th grade and Dixon is 1st grade. Tess was off to CNA school and I never got a picture of her….

 

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:

Archer fire just over the hill from us.

The Gorge Eagle Creek and Archer Mountain fires!  When it started raining ash on Monday, September 4th, we knew things were getting bad.  By that evening the air felt so weird.  It reminded us of the feeling in the air right before a tornado hits.  Later that night, I opened the door to let the dog out and a rush of smokey, hot air blew in our house.  It was 11:30 pm and it felt like it was 95 degrees out.  It was the eeriest thing ever.  That night an ember blew across the Gorge and started a fire on our side of the river.  We spent Tuesday watching whether the evacuations would hit our street.  Thankfully it didn’t, but it was quite the experience to think about where we would go, what we would bring and how to prepare the house (I couldn’t decide whether I should throw all my books in the trailer or not). 🙂  Another odd part was to carry on with our normal life all week as we watched and waited.  A number of things were cancelled due to air quality.  We’ve spent the last two weeks with so much smoke that it burned our eyes, then switching to clear blue skies.  It’s finally raining for the first time in ages today!  Hopefully, that will clean the air and help control the fire on the Oregon side (our Archer Mountain Fire is out).  Thanks to all for the concerned texts and messages and offers to house our family, it warmed our hearts.  🙂

Realizing that one of the reasons I miss my little kids so much is because I can love them fully and fiercely, while teaching them things.  It’s one of my favorite things to work with little kids.  When they go from frustration to a lightbulb moment, as I show them how to do something or help a baby learn to not hit, etc.  It’s my favorite stage. As they get older, it’s different, but great in so many other ways.  Then they move out and the teaching is completely over.   There is a delicate balance (that I am learning and not doing a very good job at) between loving with all my heart and letting go.

The girls having a joke about when I talk in 3rd person.  I guess when I’m about to lose it, I start saying things like “Mommy is thinking you should…..” Or “Mom is walking out of room now….”  It’s hilarious when they catch me doing it.  I start laughing and all is well.  Love my girls!

Tess driving others….  In Washington there is a law that the first six months of your license you can only drive sibling, not other people.  There have been numerous inconveniences due to this.  I begged and pleaded with Tessa to please just drive the person so I don’t have to.  She won’t do it.  Do you see something wrong with this picture?  I don’t, but my girls keep saying “Mom, shouldn’t YOU be the one telling us to follow the laws?” “Mom, most parents….” Boy, I still have a long way to go, I’m all about getting things done, not being exact.  Thankfully, my kids are better than I am, despite my example….

Royce getting Tessa back…. It was hilarious!  Tess was asked to Homecoming (actually it was by texting, but the official ask is still coming).  She was all excited and happy.  Royce stole her phone and sent kissy faces to the boy (whom she only likes as a friend!).  She was freaking out and we weren’t quite sure what to think.  Then Royce starts saying louder and louder that it was because she had popped his balloon and he was getting her back.  Ha!  We all just stared at him…. Really Royce????  It was a special sword balloon from Spaghetti Factory, but popping it was an accident.  These kids keep us on our toes.

24 Hour Critical Challenge!  Kevin and Hadley gave a talk at church on using kind words.  Kevin talked about our family trying to go 24 hours not saying anything critical or unkind.  It sounds easy, but try it!  It’s not easy!  It’s amazing to see how critical we all are.  A little more kindness can go a long way in this world, starting with us!

Being asked to read a quote in church right after I stuffed a chocolate chip cookie in my mouth.  There was so much cookie in my mouth that I couldn’t even say “I can’t read right now.”  It was so funny!  Kevin had to say “Kelly can’t read because she just stuffed a cookie in her mouth.”  Nice huh?  I almost choked because I was laughing and eating at the same time.  I have been known to have people sit by me just to get my treats from my bag….. 🙂

Kevin helping me pick out paint at Lowe’s.  I brought the pillow I bought to help us pick out the color (please remember Kevin is extremely color blind).  I told Kev I wanted an “almost steel blue color”.  So he started showing the Lowe’s guy that we wanted the metallic (I mean literally metal) paints.  Kevin is so awesome!  The guy couldn’t figure out how that matched what I had already said to him.  Then we realized he was going on the “Words” I had said, not the color.  The guy was laughing saying he had never heard that one before.

Family Council fail….  We do “Calendar” during family council and it’s not especially fun.  It was actually going well this week, but alas, Hadley had too many late night babysitting jobs, mixed with early church and she was out (she was supposed to be filling out the big family calendar).

THINGS THAT WORKED:

Father’s Blessings the night before school starts.  This is one of our favorite traditions.  Kevin gives each of the kids and me a blessing.  Our home feels so sweet and peaceful as we think and listen to the blessings for each individual in our house.

He was cold!

Heading out to dinner while the fires burned.  Everything was canceled so we had an open evening with each other.  It had been such a crazy day thinking we might have to evacuate, so we didn’t get dinner done.  It was so much fun hanging with each other laughing and being crazy (I’m sure the other people in the restaurant didn’t appreciate us very much).  I love my little family so much, we only wish all our other kids could have been there too.  🙂

School starting!  I wasn’t sure whether to put this under something that works or doesn’t!  I decided it did actually work, so it is in this category.  😉 It was so fun to work individually with the kids again.  We decided to take a break from the Classical Conversations group we have attended here.  We are still doing the curriculum, but not meeting with the group.  It has been wonderful to choose what we want to do and have a ton more time to be more thorough in the areas we pick, namely reading great books!  A friend and I are still meeting with our little boys for a home school group day.  It is the perfect mix for us this year.  I’m so thankful for Erin Johansen and her boys!  🙂

Hearing the song Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran.  The girls played it for me as I was driving and I cried.  I LOVE THE WORDS AND TUNE!  When he says that he knows he shouldn’t be crying “But Mum, there’s a tear every time that I blink….”  Oh, how I love the description of that feeling.  “The heart that’s been broken is a heart that’s been loved.”  I love this!  I think this is what life is all about.  We love and are loved and because of this we hurt sometimes for multiple reasons, but it’s worth it to feel that much.  It’s all about the love.  As I listened to this, I felt such a fierce love for my kids and Kevin.  The death part is sad, but as long as it’s been a life well lived (that looks different for everyone), then it’s not too sad, right?  😉 . Then we’re taken back up to Heaven and He welcomes us home.  I know it’s not that simple, but I REALLY loved the song.

Jumping in the river after running along side it.  On the hot 90 degree days, I would put my flip flops by the side of the river, take off running and then come back, take my running shoes off and jump in.  It was elating to say the least!  Took my breath away.  That river is one of my favorite places.

Merritt deciding to join the Washougal Swim Team.  Our H.S. team is combined with the Camas High School team.  The daily driving to Camas is killing me, but Merritt is loving it.  It’s a great group of girls.

Hadley’s evening soccer game under the lights.  She played her first game at Ridgefield High School.  It was such a beautiful evening with my parents and the little boys.  She is on a great team with wonderful girls.

Soccer games that were supposed to be 71 degrees but ended up around 80 degrees and felt super hot.  I got sunburned (didn’t even think of the sun being hot).  Love me some soccer!  The kids were so hot that they made me let them jump in the river.

Dixon:  “Dad look, whenever the sun is out, my shadow is right next to me.  Like zero inches from my toes.”  🙂

Bryson getting to play BYU Ultimate Frisbee.  They started up some off-season tournaments.  I love these pictures of him.  Addy and David even got to go see him play.  I’m jealous! 

Temple dates alone and with other people.  We love getting to go to the temple!

Beautiful flowers make me so happy!

Kevin replacing our deck boards and resealing/painting all of it.  It looks sooooo much better.  It took us all summer to do it, but we’re glad to get it done before the rain starts again.

Oaks Amusement Park!  The kids earned cheap passes from their summer library reading program.   It was sooooo crowded, but the kids had a blast.  I got to go on the roller coaster and I couldn’t stop laughing.  🙂

 

 

 

 

Week 58 – Elder Jones

Smoke, Catfish and The longest Week Ever

This is what happens when you’re iPad gets stolen by missionaries…. 🙂

Reading the blog and crying some for Charlotte. I hadn’t seen some of
those pictures. It hurt.
I also love seeing Dixon in every few blogs, wearing the lifeguard
visor that I gave him and Royce. That really makes me happy to see
that either he likes it or remembers me.

Wednesday: I don’t even feel bad about missing yesterday. And that’s
because I didn’t leave the apartment once. Or my pajamas. I was really
really sick. It was horrible. Monday night, we finished dinner and
very soon after I started biking I just started feeling sick. It came
on fast. We kept going and got worse and worse so we came in early.
The next morning it was so bad I had to sleep in and I could hardly do
anything. My throat hurt so bad and my mind was really clouded which
turned into a headache and my nose was super clogged up and I was
sneezing a lot. Elder Kerby was completely fine. I called the Zone
leaders so see if they could go buy me some Sudafed. Turns out they
had some because one of them was sick with the same thing. And it was
the one I had gone on exchanges with a few days earlier. So we assumed
that we had picked something up from someone we had visited.  Then they came over and since his companions was fine as well, Elder Kerby and Elder Robbins went out and worked all day while Elder Christenson and I stayed in our apartment and died. I slept a lot. I thought I would
be able to get to sleep last night but I slept ok. So we just stayed
in all say and laid on the couches. It was horrible.
This morning when Elder Robbins and Elder Christenson came to pick us
up for District Meeting, they told us they had talked to their Ward
Mission Leader the day before. When they said they were sick their
ward mission leader told them what it was. He used to be a fire
fighter for the Forest fires in the area and knew quite a bit about
that stuff. He pointed out that it had been the smokiest it has been
all summer. We knew that but didn’t make the connection. We didn’t
realize how bad it was. What happened is that the Delta Breeze (a wind
current that runs up through the valley of California and up further)
has taken all the smoke from the forest fires that are going on in
Sacramento, Gridley, Oroville, Redding and everywhere else, even from
the fires in Canada, and basically pulled all of it into the Auburn
area. So it was a lot smokier than normal. As I write this, I’m
looking outside and the sky isn’t blue, it’s white. If you look off
into the distance, it looks like it’s overcast. But look straight up,
it’s white. So what happens is that the smoke makes everyone feel more
tired than usual, because if the bad air quality. Everyone in Auburn
is being warned in TV to stay indoors or in a car as much as possible.
Elder Kerby and Elder Robbins said they have felt a little more tired
than normal. But the reason why Elder Christenson and I got sick is
because we both breath through our mouths. I do this because my nose
is broken. I don’t remember why he does but the smoke just came in a
wrecked our lungs and made us horrendously sick. This morning I feel a
whole lot better after staying inside all day. But I can’t go outside
because I would be on a bike. I feel pretty good compared to yesterday
but if I went out and worked then I would get really sick again.
So we had to stay in most of the day. We did some administrative stuff
with lists but it’s hard not having any connection. At 5 a high priest
went out with us and we saw some people for an hour and a half. Then
we had dinner with the youth and they asked us questions about the
mission and about it. It was an awesome opportunity to help the youth
see that we are normal people and are just like them and that they can
reach their potential.  Yeah, but all of that was inside a car or building, where the air is better filtered. Tomorrow should be spent some inside and some doing what work we can with lessons.

Thursday: I did not sleep well last night. Yesterday there was this
huge wall of fog up north and I woke up this morning and it was here.
I was coughing all night last night. I had to go sleep on the couch to
stop the coughing. My throat feels like it has permanent damage. I’m
sure it doesn’t but it feels like it.
Well right now I’m not feeling the best. Physically I am.
Mentally and emotionally, nope. The upside to the day: An awesome
member of our ward that made the Panamanian dinner for Elder Kerby
made a southern meal for me this time. Fried catfish and grits. It was
amazing. I love her so much. And my favorite ice cream to top it off.
That was amazing. The down side: Everything else! It wasn’t a horrible
day, it’s just everything is building up. We started off the day with
a lesson with ****. It went horribly. The spirit wasn’t there at all
and he is not open to change or to new ideas which makes him
unteachable. He just wants to prove his points and not find answers. I
was trying to just focus on the spiritual part but Elder Kerby and I
ended up wanting to do different things in the lesson so we weren’t on
the same page. It just went horribly and nobody got anywhere. I got
very, very, very frustrated and had to leave the room (thankfully we meet
with him over the phone so **** didn’t know I left) and I was just
super stressed. I just sat there and solved the rubix cube a million
times. That sucked. Then we ended up going to a lesson for a older
lady who is awesome and it was good. She is a member that isn’t very
mobile. But after that we were stuck at the apartment all afternoon.
We ended up calling a ton of members to see if we could have people
come out with us over the next few days. But being stuck in the
apartment for three days when you normally work really hard is tough.
I don’t feel the best physically but I am losing all my motivation.
Elder Kerby is having a hard time too.  And I’m just sick
and tired of a lot of things. ****** and **** especially. I feel like we
are doing so much but not getting anywhere. Now we aren’t able to do
anything so we really can’t get anywhere. Right now I feel like nobody
is actually progressing. Neither Kerby nor I are doing well at this
very moment. We were both really…. I don’t even know the word.
Stressed maybe? Nothing is clear to me. It’s just hard. Hopefully I’ll
be fine in the morning.

Friday: It was a great day. We had an awesome lesson with Craig smith.
We just answer some questions he had and it went great. We did some
weekly planning. That was fun. Then we went around with a ward member.
This morning we tried biking to a lesson and it was really hard. It
got hard to breath. So I can’t bike yet. I can be outside, I just
can’t bike yet. But we went around with a ward member and got some
appointments set up with people. Then we went to a lesson. It went
amazing. It was probably the best Elder Kerby and I have taught
together yet we are teaching three kids and they love it and soak it
all in. The Spirit was really there which was amazing and what we
needed after the hard day yesterday. It was awesome. They comprehended
a lot of it as far as we could tell. And we taught it in a short time.
It was amazing. Such a good lesson. We went out to some restaurant
with members and in come another couple as sit down in the next booth,
and with them was the Zone Leaders. So that was really funny and
great. But it was a great day.

Saturday: We weren’t able to do much at all today. We had Brother
Baldridge take us out and drive us around so we could do some work.
Besides that we’re weren’t really able to do much. We filled out some
reports and stuff.  I realized how slowly the week has gone by.
It’s been sooooo slow.  The week hasn’t been way too torturous but I realized that it has been forever since the last Sunday. It seems like ages
ago.

Sunday: Today was the primary program. It was awesome. Love little kids!
We tried to drop *****’s tonight. It didn’t quite work. It was hard. But
we both feel we need to drop him. It was a complicated situation. But
we are going to drop him this upcoming week. That’s most of the day.
Elder Kerby and I got especially fat this week with no workout.

Luva!

Week 57 – Elder Jones

Interviews, Eric and Tired

Tuesday: Well, it was a great day! We started off the day with
interviews. It went very well. It’s the best interview I’ve ever had
with a mission president. It just went really well. We talked about
important things and we were both edified by the Spirit. He is such an
amazing mission president and cares so much to learn about us and our
investigators. He even prays for *****. If he does that, he must be
praying for a lot of people.
We found this cool new guy names C*****. We were going down a street
and some guy stopped us to ask if we were Mormons. We said yes and he
said he loves us because we always smile. We talked with him and he
went to church once in Lincoln and he is halfway through the Book of
Mormon. He reads it every once in a while. So we asked if we could
come by another time and talk with him about it and he hesitated then
it was almost as if the Spirit came up behind him with a rolled up
newspaper and smacked him upside the head with it, then he said:
“Actually I would like to meet with you.” And we scheduled something for
Friday. So that was cool. We met some other cool people today as well.
I hurt a lot today biking because I played really hard on Monday. We
played ultimate frisbee.
Update on E****: We called him this morning and he said that he didn’t
want to continue with us anymore, he had some excuses and stuff that
are concerns but not that big. We talked it over with him and he ended
up saying he will keep going with us. He is really, really stressed and
in a really horrible situation. We found out a lot and his situation
today and it’s really hard for him and Satan is attacking him hard.
Tonight we had a ward missionary that is amazing go and drop off a
plate of cookies. We are trying our best to help him.

Wednesday: Elder Kerby and I have been working in talking to everyone
we can. It’s still so hard to do, and no matter how long I am out or
anyone is out, it will still be hard. But we did a lot better today.
We contacted a lot and rode a lot. We had an awesome lesson with a
less active and his wife. They were especially friendly today even
thou we thought it would be a rough lesson because we brought a member
with us and they are in a touchy situation. So it went really well.
I love it when members that feed us have been on missions. I love
hearing Mission stories because they motivate me and make me happy.
That’s why I read a lot of missionary articles in magazines and ask
people about their missions. If you want to Dad, you could write up
some stories from your mission and send them to me. Or any cool
missionary stories that y’all or anyone finds, I would love to hear
them. Anytime during the week, just send me one if you find any.

Thursday: I’m exhausted. We biked a lot today and had so much
scheduled. We started out by biking up the mountain to go do an hour
and a half of service, mostly digging and such, then came back down.
We had a lesson with Jim, which actually went really well. We have
been able to talk less about deep doctrine and specific scriptures and
more on how we can feel the spirit testify to us. We got through a
third of the Restoration, but at least we started one of the lessons
with him. Then we rushed up another mountain to a lesson and then off
to another lesson. Then we biked along this road that goes up and down
half of the mountain like 4 times. It took us a half hour to get
there. That lesson cancelled and then we biked back where we came from
over the steep endless hills and to dinner. I had a lot of energy
during it all actually. It wasn’t bad. It was great. And it felt so
good outside.  My body has gotten way too adjusted to the heat. It’s
100 degrees out and we are biking up these massive hills and I think it’s the perfect temperature for biking. It’s going to be hard going home to
y’alls climate.
One of our lessons was with B****. He wanted to read the scriptures
where the Jaredite civilization gets wiped out. So we took him to
Ether 12 and it started out with faith. For some reason, all of our
lessons with him end up centered on that subject. He is starting to
get it and really wants to know if there is a higher power. So it is
all working well with him.

Saturday: Sorry for not writing yesterday. We started exchanges
yesterday and I didn’t have time to write. But exchanges were good. I
went to Auburn 2nd ward with my Zone Leader, Elder Christenson. It was
nice to have a car for a day. Elder Christenson is from Florida so we
had some awesome talks about the South. I was able to be a witness at
a baptism for the first time, and I wasn’t even in that ward. That was
cool. We went and talked to a lot of people. We did some tracting.
People didn’t like us this morning when we knocked on their door. Oh
well. I’m just really tired right now and I need sleep.

Sunday: Well what a day, for at least part of it. All after dinner.
We decided to stop by and see E****. We found out that he is going
through a really hard divorce and it’s not going well. He has been so
stressed. But we ended up just stopping by randomly to see him. He is
doing a little bit better stress wise. And he has been studying the
church just as intensely. But he got into anti stuff lately. So that
was a fun conversation. He still wants to meet with us and he is still
seeking to know if the church is true.  We are going to study and see what we can do to help him. He is still really understanding about it. So it’s shouldn’t be as hard as ****. Speaking
of ****, we had a lesson with him tonight, it went well, we taught some
more of the restoration and he had some sincere questions that weren’t
really attacky, but he is still stuck on the same Jehovah being
Heavenly Father thing, but he has a lot of scriptures to back him up.
We do too but we are avoiding going that way because we are trying to
teach by the spirit and not by proving. And I have been able to
understand him better. So I can help teach a whole lot more.
That’s about it.
Luva!

Sweet Charlotte, Summer Swimming, Pools, Neskowin Beach, Family, Cracked Windshields, Temples and Goodbyes!!!!

It’s been over two months since I last wrote our family blog.  As I looked back at the date I realized it was right before Addisen gave birth to Charlotte.  I guess that experience, combined with a crazy summer schedule, got me off track…..  I’m finally ready to catch up on a very shallow scale, then get back to my deeper weekly posts (weekly posts are always my goal, but it’s lofty, considering my life…).  🙂

 

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:

Dixon during a movie:  “Wow, my foot is bigger than my hand!”

Getting a cold in the middle of July!  I got so sick.  Uggghhh!

Dixon wearing himself out some days and falling asleep in random places.  This doesn’t work because then he doesn’t go to sleep at night.  

Minion Dixon.

Heading off for a week at the beach and our trailer getting a flat tire on I-5.  We had to unload coolers and bags to get to the jack!  Uggghhh!  Kevin saved the day though.  We were so lucky to have someone alert us on I-5 before it blew out.

Finishing a book that Addisen recommended to us.  I read it aloud to the kids and cried through the end of it.  I don’t know what was wrong with me, but I loved it.  The kids and I all want to be like Marty now.  🙂

Cracked windshields!!!  The weather was 105 degrees out and our windows had a lot of dust on them from our dirt road, so sweet Tessa thought she would hose the windshields off for us.  IT CRACKED!  The worst part of it was Bryson knew it happened and was so glad it didn’t happen to his car.  But later that day his car was parked in the shade, so he thought it would be ok. THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO HIS WINDSHIELD!  He threw his first tantrum, since he was little…..  He was not a happy camper! 

Realizing that almost every time things are going really well something big and bad happens.  I truly wish I could write the bad things that happen to us right here, but alas I can’t expose the circumstances.  I know everyone has weaknesses, but somedays I just get plan sick of having to work through them.  Alas, it gives up balance right?  Annnnd, I hope others will be forgiving of my weaknesses too.

Injuring my foot during a beach baseball game.  Someone’s heal slid on the top of my foot.  It was like sandpaper on my skin.  I may have injured something underneath considering the swelling.  It seems to be getting better each day though.

Almost two weeks later….

Bryson leaving for college.  I love that he gets to go and I know that it’s best, but I still HATE goodbyes.  A little piece of my heart hurts when my kids are far away.  I still miss my littles.

THINGS THAT WORKED:

Summer dinners with people outside on the deck.  As different people rolled through our home, my favorite memories are sitting out on the deck talking, eating, laughing and taking the view in.

Music guy at the library.  We love our local library and the cute summer events they do.  Small town is just our style.

Getting the “Clean The House Out” bug.  Too bad it took all summer.  That means by the time I finally get to the last rooms, all the beginning rooms are a disaster again.  Oh well, I know in my head that it was clean at some point during the last few months.

Charlotte being born on July 2, 2017.  I’m not going to go into too much detail here, minus to say that our week in Utah with Addisen and David was very special.  Addisen was 24 weeks and 4 days pregnant when Charlotte was born.  She had an 80% chance to live once she was stabilized.  We got four precious days of visiting her in the NICU world.  It was something none of us expected, but we can’t say enough about the wonderful people that work there.  We loved getting to see Charlotte respond to Addy each time she was there.  She recognized David when he spoke Armenian to her.  We got to feel of her strong, wise spirit.  It was truly such an amazing experience to see her pass to the other side of the veil.  Holding our sweet daughter as she experienced this was heartbreaking, but the Spirit was so strong and peaceful in the room.  We know where she is and can testify that the Plan of Salvation is real.  We could feel it happen right before us.  Family is the most important thing and Kevin and I are more focused than ever on this, after our experience with Charlotte, Addisen and David.  We love you!

Bountiful Temple with Kevin.  Pam Cheney and GG (David’s Grandmother) met us there.  It was such a beautiful, peaceful experience after a long week.

Driving home with Kevin from Utah.  We had an incredible drive as we knew things felt right at that point.  As we drove toward Washington, it was an incredible feeling to know our kids were all coming back home from Nana and Boppa’s, EFY and other places.  We were so excited to be back together and just hold each other.  When we pulled into the driveway, the kids literally climbed into the car and we just held each other while touching each other’s cheeks and faces.  I am so thankful for family and I’m grateful we get to be with each other forever .  They are my very favorite people. 

Feeling wonderfully overwhelmed by the love and support Kevin, Addisen, David and I received during Charlotte’s birth.  Every text, message, phone call, card, visit and service went deep into our hearts and we will forever hold onto the love.  We will also pay if forward as often as we can.  Thank you Maddox family for taking us in as one of your own, we love you.  Nana and Boppa taking the younger kids during week and keeping them busy doing fun things to take their mind off of what was happening, being there when we had to call and tell them the news.  We cherish you!

Meeting new people to love even when it’s a hard situation.  I’m so thankful for wonderful people that fill you up.  🙂

The wonderful Maddox family.

Dixon’s prayer for Charlotte on July 10th:  “Please bless Charlotte, that she will be OK in Heaven and Jesus will comfort her and love her and people will be nice to her.”

7/11 free Slurpees with the Johansens!!!!

Alderbrook Park!  Who would have known that such a great park exists right in Battleground. There were so many fun things to do in such a beautiful setting.  The Johansen’s and I had so much fun.  If you go as a group, the prices are fabulous.

Getting to meet up at the Portland Temple with the Cheney’s to do baptisms with our girls. Pam and I ended up getting to go to the temple together two weeks in a row. Once in Utah and once in Portland.

Royce getting to go to Cub Scout Camp.  He was truly in his element.

Dixon sleeping with his stuffed animals.  Oh how I love little people.  🙂

Getting to meet up with friends throughout the summer at parks and for walks.  Love my people and love the Pacific NW.

Tour D’Temple with the YSA.  Kevin and Bryson and a group of YSA rode bikes from East Vancouver to the Portland Temple.  I was the food support vehicle.  There is nothing like watching each person ride down the last rode to the temple with a huge smile on their face.  Love these YSA!

Building forts in the summer.  They played for hours in that thing.

Putting our swimming pool up.  Endless hours of fun with each other and friends.

Getting to go to Girl’s Camp for a week as a Stake Cook.  It was wonderful to be there with other great ladies and my three girls.

Church matching outfit day.

Outdoor movie projector nights.  So fun!

Our week at Neskowin Beach!!!!  It was so great to be with my parents.  This year it happen to be foggy the entire week until the last day.  This occurs when it’s super hot in Portland.  We still loved our time and relaxed a lot.  We loved our family baseball games, skimboarding, s’mores, climbing Proposal Rock, games nights, great food and snacks, walks on the beach and surfing. Extended family came and went and it was great to spend time with them.

Family pictures!  It is getting a little easier as the kids get older.  

Great hiking with the kids and friends.  🙂  The kids loved the water falls.

The girls are in that ride!

Skamania County Fair.  It was our first time there and it was so cute.  The kids had fun and I loved how simple it was.  😉

Soccer starting for Hadley, Royce and Dixon.  They all LOVE the teams they are on and are excited to play ball.  I love soccer season during Autumn.  🙂

Bryson and his friends doing the Spartan Race.

This was the precious, amazing hotel room that Kevin got me on my last night of Education Week. It was the perfect end to a great week. Alone and quiet time! 🙂

Getting to go to Education Week  at BYU-Provo!  It was amazing!  Like EFY for adults.  Erin Johansen and I had a wonderful time and I got to spend time with my friend from Alabama, Laura Cazier.  I also got to have dinner with the Maddox family (David’s family that I got to know when we were in Utah for Charlotte). I loved my time with Addisen and David too.  I even go to catch up with Bev and Nicole McCullough.  The things I learned from the incredible speakers filled my soul.  Now to try to apply what I learned.

Feeling filled up by good friends and family.  I can’t believe how many times I’ve been processing something that happened in the last few months and just the right person is placed before me, saying the right thing to help me get through it.  I’m truly so thankful for getting to live this life with wonderful people that act on their feelings.

Tyler Fernstrom showing up at our house!  Our kids grew up with the Fernstrom family across the greenway in Oregon.  Tyler isn’t little Tyler anymore.  He’s all grown up and amazing!  He and Bryson sat on the “Corbin Bench” that they both used to fit on when they were little.  So cute!

Kevin taking the kids to Madras, Oregon for the Eclipse.  They had such an incredible experience when it hit 100% coverage.  I need to say how incredible Kevin is.  Getting time with him as we drove back and forth to Utah was so fun.  Kevin still makes me laugh and smile throughout the day.  We just really get each other and I cherish him.  Kevin took care of the kids when I was at Girls Camp and at Education Week.  I came home to a perfectly clean house, cleaned out garage and kids that were so happy.  They loved getting time with him and he was so great with them.  I’m truly thankful for all that Kevin is and will become.  Love you my Indy!

Touring the new MTC in Provo during Education Week.  I was excited to see what it would look like because both my boys were previously there for a couple weeks at the beginning of their missions and my other five kids might be in that MTC.  Buuuut wow!!!  The Spirit was so strong it brought me to tears.  Watching all these incredible missionaries walk pass us, speaking in foreign languages. We were witnessing God’s army and it was such a sweet indescribable experience.

Temple date night with Kevin after a long time of traveling and separation.  We also got to visit a newborn baby!  🙂

Tessa, Merritt and Hadley getting to take care of the Newman girls for five days.  It was so fun for all of us to play with the girls and soak up little kiddies.  The baby even fell asleep on me.  🙂

Roosters pecking away on the side of the road by our house.  Love me some country.

Getting to watch Bryson and Royce play a Ultimate Frisbee right before Bryson left for College.  I loved it!

Watching family videos the night before Bryson left.  Seeing all the great memories reminds me of why we work so hard.  Love my little family!  🙂

 

Week 56 – Elder Jones

Sisters, PTSD and Blogs

Tuesday: Elder Leathers, my second companion, finished his mission
today. He’s home now. That’s my first companion to go home so far.
That’s weird. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been out that long. A ton of other missionaries I know went home too. So that’s weird.
We got sisters in the zone finally. They are actually in our complex.
I think they are the only sisters in the mission in a truck.
We went to contact someone today and this kid set up a lemonade stand
and he put a little piece of paper on it, I thought it was for price but
apparently he was selling “sandwiches”. He had put cream cheese all
over this piece of bread and cut it up to like 7 pieces and put an
olive or a pickle on it. Best dollar I ever spent. It was not tasty at
all but he was so cute and it made him so happy.
I have PTSD. We rode down this huge hill to contact someone and we go
and knock on the door and nobody answers. Elder Kerby and I start
talking quietly while we wait to see if someone would come. Elder
Kerby turned to me to say something. That’s about when I see through
the glass of the front door, a door on the inside of the house off of
the living room and a teenage girl comes….. all she
had on was a bra. I walked to my bike and ran away. It was horrible.
But does it end there, you may ask? Oh no, this is missionary life. Of
course it doesn’t end there. After we go back up the hill to contact
someone else, who ended up not living there, a car drives by asking if
the church could give them gas money. We told them no and they said ok
and kept driving. At the end of the street I see the car stop so I
look up. A girl gets out if the back seat and walks around the car.
And her pants were about 9 inches too low. Then she bent over to check
the wheel or something and then they were definitely too low. It was a
very surprising day and I have PTSD.

Wednesday: We had a good district meeting today. Elder Kerby is
district leader now and that’s good. We also have sisters in our
district. That helps control things a little, when it’s all guy.  With our last district leader, it could get a little out of hand but
thankfully it’s better now. We had a meeting with the Zone Leaders
today. Elder Kerby and I plan very differently and have different
opinions on weekly planning and how it should be done. We have
differing opinions mostly because of our mission experiences. Neither
of us are wrong, we just needed to find a solution. This is about the
only thing that we don’t agree on in missionary work so we asked the
Zone Leaders to help us with that. It’s not a problem that causes us not get along, it is just something we needed help with. So all is
good. We contacted a lot today, we ended up going out pretty far
trying to find someone but the house had a gate so we couldn’t get in.
We had a high priest take us out and drive us to some people that we
can’t bike to. I’m super,tired right now.

Thursday: Today was a pretty solidish day. We did some service in the
morning and then went to a lesson at a less active’s house. We are
trying to get him to church but he never seems to be able to make it.
His name is C*****. We have some suits that a member gave us that
are too big for us so we said we would bring them by and see if they
fit. Later, we did and they didn’t fit. But he seemed excited about it.
So we will see if we can get him one that fits. Maybe that will help.
We are probably dropping A******. We don’t think he is
accountable and he just isn’t progressing anyway. So that’s sucks. But
we might keep him. We will talk about it tomorrow.
We had a good lesson with B*****. He always kinda seemed like he
doesn’t want us to be there at the beginning but he is very into it at
the end. He seems like he can make some good progress. He needs to
gain a little more desire and he can really progress.

Friday: Today was awesome! It was just a spiritual day. Especially by
the end. I got this awesome article from Elder Robbins about becoming
a consecrated missionary.  Man did that talk humble me. The spirit
just kept calling me out and saying to work on everything. There’s so much I have that I can do to be better. I can be so much better. I am
really not as good at everything as I wish I was. I want to get there.
Such a cool talk.
We had an awesome service this morning. We went to the local airport
and helped clear out a hanger of stuff and move it to another hangar.
There were some awesome planes there. A lot of them were from like he
40’s and 50’s and are restored. There were some really cool planes.
Apparently the guy, I don’t remember his name right now, that broke
the sound barker lives really close to here. Right over in Grass
Valley, in our stake. So that’s cool.
We did a lot of planning and organized today.
We had a good lesson with a less active member about enduring to the
end and it was great. I think that the best part of he day though, was
companion study. It was just awesome. After such an amazing personal study, Elder Kerby and I got into a really awesome
deep conversation and it just edified me. It was so cool. And Elder
Kerby is funny. We were in the middle of a super deep spiritual
conversation and the Spirit was there and we were super deep into it and
suddenly he freaks out at his bike sitting on there other side of the
room. It had a flat tire hat he had just fixed twice and went flat
again. But he just freaked out while I’m the middle of this.   He has ADHD so it was funny. But that ended it, which is good because we went over
time anyways. But it was really funny.  It was such an awesome day.

Saturday: Going back and reading old blogs in my downtime this morning
was so much fun. Y’all are so funny. I just sit there and laugh and
Elder Kerby looks at me weird.
Went to a ward baptism this morning. It was cool. We got to
give a talk in it. We did a lot of administrative stuff today. Elder
Kerby and I had a frisbee war in our apartment using Tupperware lids.
It was fun. Then he started acting like a pirate because he put some rag
looking thing on his head. He looks like a real Hispanic pirate.

Sunday: We had an awesome sacrament meeting. It was all youth. 5
speakers. It was awesome. All of them were told to choose a topic from
the For Strength of Youth. They did such an awesome job.
We kept trying to see people throughout the rest if the day. Had some
good conversations.

Monday: This morning was awesome. We went disc golfing as usual. But I
got a brand new disc. And it’s such a good disc that most of the holes
I overshoot in the first throw. On the last hole I overshot on my
first throw my a hundred feet. It’s amazing.
I also was just informed a few minutes ago that we are going to be
getting Facebook in the mission. I don’t have details but it’s
officially happening.

Week 55 – Elder Corbin Jones

Exchanges, Priests and Eclipse Golf

This is all I have this week. Yesterday, we taught a six year old class for a few minutes. And they made this for us to say thank you. I have no idea what it is but it made my day and I couldn’t stop smiling.

 

 

 

I found this on lds.org. I looks just like the docks at washougal
where everyone is always fishing. What do y’all think? The description
says it’s the Columbia river.

Tuesday: We had a priest from the ward come out with us today. It was
awesome. He went to EFY a few weeks ago and got back and bore his
testimony that Sunday and his words were “I NEED to go on a mission.”
He came out with us and we were only out for an hour and a half. But
he hadn’t touched a bike in 8 years. So he had to relearn. In Auburn
he did great.  He was really wobbly but he made it halfway up each of
the hills we had to go up. He drank a lot of water. He pushed through
so well. I’m so proud of him. But he loved it. It was so cool.

Wednesday: We biked way out into the middle of nowhere to contact
someone that wasn’t home. Then we went to a service at an elderly
people’s home. That’s pretty much all that happened today. I’m
leaving on exchanges in a few minutes. I’ll tell you about those
tomorrow after they happen.

Thursday: Exchanges went well. It was nice to be in a car for the day.
I went north to Alta Sierra. We spent the first half of the day moving
a family. We went to a lesson after that and they had questions that I
thought I had answers to. They wanted a few more specifics and I dug
deeper and realized my original answer was wrong. It was a good
learning experience.  I learned more about the subject. The
exchanges were good overall. I missed out on seeing E**** today though.
I won’t see him until Sunday. But oh well. My companion did and that’s
what’s important. One cool and not so cool thing that happened was
that we became chew toys. This dog at a members house liked fetch. And
we found some horse shoes and started throwing them. And the dog would grab them and bring them back. Metal horse shoes. It was amazing. But when you didn’t throw them, it would attack your shoes and try to play with your feet. I didn’t mind much because both of my pairs of shoes
are falling apart. But it did hurt a good amount. It wasn’t
comfortable.  I’m exhausted right now so I’ll wrap it up here.

Saturday: Sorry I didn’t do yesterday. I completely spaced it. We
mostly just planned and contacted yesterday. We did have a lesson with
a less active member that hasn’t been progressing and said he wants to
make a better connection it’s God and is thinking about coming back to
church. That was good. Hopefully he does.
Today was rough. We had a lesson with J**** over the phone and it’s
getting harder and harder. He knows the scriptures so well, better
than I thought anyone ever could. It’s really hard. Elder Duseigneur
called tonight because he is having a really hard time.  But we asked
him for help and he gave us some stuff to use. The scriptures you sent
last week helped a lot but he’s taking a different route this time. We
had two lessons with him.
Besides that, we contacted all day. And not a single person was home.
We ended stopping by some active members homes to see if we cold
have water and eventually we found one that was home. That was the only
person all day that was home. So it was not a productive day.

Sunday: We taught the lesson for a family home evening tonight. A day
early yes. But it was fun. I love that family.
Transfer boards came in and both Elder Kerby and I are staying here.
So that’s amazing. There are a lot of changes that happened but our
zone finally got sisters again. They are in our complex. There goes
our rides. Oh well. Maybe we can use that to get a car? Not sure yet.

Today: I finished my Bible reading today. I wanted to read all the
gospels of the New Testament and the acts of the apostles. I started
in my last area and just finished acts today. It was really good. The
Bible is so cool. I think one of the greatest lessons I can learn from
it as a missionary is about being bold. All the apostles and Jesus
were all very, very bold in teaching and in action. Reading all that
helps me to see that I can do the same and fear no man.
We got the transfer email last night and it said not to participate in
the eclipse. We were going to watch it through a telescope at a
members but now we couldn’t. All of us went disc golfing under the eclipse. It was cool. A few of them had glasses. We had 80% coverage here. It got a littler darker and we were throwing frisbees. What a better way to spend it.
That’s about it y’all.
Luva!