Monday, May 30, 2011

Our Branch in the Baptistry

Saturday morning our little branch came to the temple to do baptisms with the youth.  The same day there was a Priest/Laurel conference in Brockport, but we still had 6 kids and 5 adults.  It was a very good experience.  There were also 2 small families.  So we had a total of about 14 people being baptized and confirmed.  We had about 8 adults helping. 

It is always such a delight working with small groups.  Especially families.  You can get to know them and share in the experiences they are enjoying.  These two families were from the Salt Lake area. 

Things went very smoothly and our testimonies were confirmed concerning the validity and power of the work we do for our loved ones in the temple.  We also appreciated the great experiences the youth have as their testimonies are built up by performing these ordinances and feeling the spirit.

We bear testimony that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and this great work is very real and true.  We hope our children are taking advantage of every opportunity to get our grandchildren to the temple as they become of age.  We hope also they see their parents going on a regular basis and bringing the spirit and power of the temple into each of their homes. 

God bless you all, we love you

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An Elect Lady

Dorthy Kidman on a mission?  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!... No

Last Wednesday, in the temple, President Sherwood asked us how Dorthy was doing.  We responded she was doing very well and was enjoying life.  He suddenly suggested, why doesn't she come out here on a mission.  As we talked about it we and he saw the great potential of that opportunity.  He felt there was a low probability of her being accepted through the Church missionary application because of her age.  He did feel that he could call her as a local temple missionary if her records were sent out to Palmyra.  Wel left excited with the prospect.
We went home, prayed about it and called Bishop Neff the next morning.  he is ours and Dorthy's Bishop.  We asked him if he thought we were crazy or if this was a good idea.  He also became excited about the prospect of Dorthy being able to go on a mission.
Sunday he talked to her and she became very excited and accepted the call.  All of us as a family got excited about the possibilities.  She began planning how soon she could come out and how to make the details work.
Monday evening, President Sherwood recognized that a recent directive from the temple department changed the policy and a temple president could not longer call a local member to a temple mission.  All temple mission calls needed to come through the mission department.  We then needed to call home and let mom know that it couldn't work the way we thought.  That was one of the hardest calls we have made in our lives.  It felt so cruel.  We as humans had made a mistake and let her down.

Our family has gone from the highest of highs to the depths of lows in 5 days.   But we have learned something about Dorthy.  She is an Elect Lady.  She accepted the call with her whole heart and soul.  She was willing to do whatever it took to fullfill her responsibility.  Her first act after hearing from the Bishop was to find her Preach My Gospel book so she could begin studying.  What an example of being willing to do what the Lord asks.

When we called with the bad news, she graciously accepted the explanation with a great deal of disappointment but no hard feelings against anyone.  She said "At least the Lord knows I was willing".  What an example of humility, trust, and faith.
Abraham 3
25.  And we will aprove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

Was this all just a test?  If so it seemed like a very cruel test.  But as we thought that, another thought immediately came to mind.  Abraham's test was a cruel test as well.  He passed his test with flying colors and so did Mom.  Not only her willingness to serve, but her meekness in not being able to serve.  She passed them both. 

We all receive calls.  Do we accept them with our whole hearts like she did and go forth immediately to serve?  We need to.  We all receive disappointments in our lives, some of which are very hard to take.  Are we willing to accept whatevery the Lord asks of us, humbly and meekly, and continue on, trusting that it is for our good.  Knowing that the Lord loves us and is preparing us to come home to Him. 

Thank you Mom for your wonderful example.  We desire to grow up just like you.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Asparagus Soup

Our Landlords spoil us rotten!  We have asperagus growing in front of our apartment which Brother Adams cuts every other day and always shares with us.  It has been almost more than we can eat, but it is so good and fresh, that I haven't been able to turn it down.  So on Mother's Day weekend, we took a large bunch down to Fredonia with us and gave it to the Burkes, with whom we stay on Saturday nights while we are working with the Branch.  President Burke immediately invited us to have dinner with them on Mother's Day and said he wanted to make us Asperagus Soup.  So after church on Sunday I watched him make the most delicious asperagus soup I have ever tasted. I tried making it the next day after we got home and it wasn't as good as President Burkes but still very good.  Sister Adams popped in while I was making it  and demanded the recipe.  They have been raving about it ever since so I've decided to put it on the blog.   Here is the recipe as best as I remember it.

Asparagus  Soup

Peel and dice two medium potatoes and one small onion.  Put in a medium sauce pan, and cover with chicken stock.  Cook until potatoes are just barely tender.  Remove the potatoes and onions from the stock with a slotted spoon, saving the stock to cook the asparagus.

While the potatoes are cooking, make a white sauce.  Melt 1/3 stick of butter in a frying pan and add 2 rounded tbsp. flour.  Stir until well mixed and remove from heat.  Add about 2 cups of milk and whisk until butter and flour are dissolved.  (He used half and half instead of milk)  Return to heat and cook on medium until it boils, stirring constantly until it has thickened.  Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover to prevent a skim from forming.  Add the potatoes and onions and continue simmering.

Prepare one big bunch of asparagus by washing and snapping off the ends.  Discard ends.  Cut the asparagus into 2 inch lengths, setting aside the tips.  Cook the asparagus (except the tips) in the potato water/stock sprinkling 1/4 tsp of Italian Seasoning over the top.  Cook until the asparagus is well done.  Cool.  Pour asparagus and stock into a blender and puree until smooth.

Transfer the white sauce, potatoes and onions into a large pot and add the pureed asparagus.  Rinse the blender with a little water and add to the soup.  Let simmer covered, until ready to serve.  Just before serving, cover the tips with water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer and pour the tips and water into the soup.  Stir and serve. (Serves 4)
If you like it spicy, try adding a little hot sauce or red pepper flakes along with the Italian seasoning.
Enjoy!   If you all think it is good, JoDee, will you copy it to the recipe blog for me?
Note from Elder Sherwood:  I can't believe that anyone would think this picture of soup looks good.  But it does taste very good.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

3rd Discussion

This weekend we shared with our little family, the purpose and meaning of earth life.  Sister Sherwood put together a great graphic she had seen Rachael use for a FHE.  Here they are.

First we see our family going from our home over a river to the fair.  After a great day at the fair, we had a lot of fun and spent all our money.  It is time to go home but the river has flooded and we cannot get across.  A man is there with a raft but it costs $500 to cross.  We do not have it.
Then a man waiting behind us offers to pay our way if we will give him all of our trinkets from the fair.He is willing to pay our debt.  This is then compared to us coming from our heavenly home to earth to live.  We make mistakes and then because we are not clean cannot come back to our heavenly home.  The Savior then comes and he has paid our debt.  We need to covenant with him, give all our sins to him.  He becomes the bridge to take us back home.  We put a pass-a-long card of Christ on the bridge.  We left it with her to keep.

It kept her attention and we think she understood.  Next time we will talk more about who the Savior is and what he has done for us.  We are trying to keep the lessons around 1/2 hour so she isn't overwhelmed.  Her mother seems pleased with how the teaching is going.  They came to church Sunday and we think she had a good time in primary.  The mother seemed to enjoy the gospel-essentials class as well as Relief Society.

We feel like we are teaching both of them, even though it is directed at the daughter.  Our goal is to strengthen the mothers testimony as we prepare her daughter for baptism.  The father is on the road each time we have come.  We hope to get him involved also, but have not succeeded yet.

We hope all of you are doing well, and pray for you each day.  This life is so short and so important.  May you all find true happiness in your families and in the kingdom of God on earth and in heaven.  The Gospel is true, and provides such a wealth of blessings.  We are the happiest when we are living gospel principles and teaching others.  We have never been happier.

Love to you all

Monday, May 9, 2011

Teaching, Finding And Enjoying Spring

Teaching The Pre-Mortal Life
Saturday we taught part of the 2nd discussion on the Plan of Salvation.  We focused on our Pre-Mortal life.  This was to a 10 year old girl and her mother so it was focused at a pretty young level.  Sister Sherwood prepared some drawings to show the relationship of Pre-Mortal, to earth life and then the spirit world and the resurection.  It went very well.  We found her very interested and she seemed to understand the concepts.  She has been reading from some childrens bibles she checked out of the library last week.  We should get the illustrated Book of Mormons this week, so she can start reading that.

Rachael. you had a FHE lesson that showed a car trip and compared it to the plan of salvations.  Is there any chance that you could email that to us?  It would be a great help with the part of the lesson we are going to teach this Saturday. 

Sunday we finally found a man at home that we been trying to contact for three or four weeks.  He was very friendly, welcomed us in and had a nice visit.  He attends the Catholic church down the street and says he is Catholic.  He says he has also been baptised in our church but has no way to get there and would like to go.  We are going to pick him up next week and take him to church with us.  He is very friendly and has a very neat and clean apartment.  He is disabled but is able to go out each day to visit his mother and help her out and also take care of himself.  He needs a good home teacher and friend.  Someone who can pick him up each week, bring him to church, and care about him.  We are hoping the branch will rise to the occasion when they meet him.

Spring is Sprung
Spring came this week.  We actually had more that 3 days this week where the sun was shining, the trees are blooming and the flowers are coming out.  We even have fresh asparagus in the front yard.  We can pick all we want.  Life is very good here.  Heavenly Father blesses us daily.

We hope all of you are also enjoying spring.  We hope you are strengthening your testimonies and noticing how good Heavenly Father is being to you.  We hope you thank Him constantly.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Saturday we had our first discussion with the family we found last week.  This was with a mother and her 10 year old daughter.  The parents were baptised about 9 years ago but have not been out to church for years.  The daughter was not baptized.  We thought we would be teaching a 10 year old.  It turns out she has a form of autism and we were not prepared at all to simplify our lesson plan.  We had taken with us, however the branch mission leader and his 9 year old daughter.  He immediately dropped down to the floor and went into family home evening mode.  He did a marvelous job of explaining about the church and its need for prophets, revelation and scripture.  He used 3 cups holding up a book, and if you remove any cup the book topples.  Next week we have an appointment to teach them about the plan of salvation and will be much better prepared.  We are also going to get them a children's Book of Mormon to help the mom read to her daughter.

Sunday she came to church with her daughter.  We were able to talk with her more and learn more about her daughter's condition.  She said they would definitely be back next week.  We were able to get the Relief Society Presidency involved, who will be viisiting them this week and inviting her to be involved in a service project. 

This week we not only had our normal temple responsibilities, but whenever we were not in the temple we were involved with the training of our new missionary couples.  We are tired, but it was marvelous. 

Wednesday night we had a temple worker devotional with Elder Hinckley of the Seventy.  Thursday he was involved with all of our sessions through out the temple.  Friday we had a special baptism session with all the missionary couples as guests and doing the ordinances.

The first part of the week the two of us were asked to put together a plan of how the temple could support a 6:00am endowment session twice a month.  This is to enable, primarily, business people to come more often.  It will go for 6 months and then be evaluated if we should keep it going.  It will be staffed entirely with temple missionaries and we were amazed at the support we received from the new missionaries. They are also supporting fully the service project we have started in keeping the canal pathways clean.  It is wonderful working with such enthusiastice, dedicated saints.

What a great week.

God bless you in all your families.  We pray you are doing well and feeling the spirit in your lives as we feel it here.  It is impressed on our hearts more deeply every day that the gospel is real, true and vital in our lives.  We feel Heavenly Father's love constantly for us and for you.  We are honored to be a part of his kingdom on earth.  We are grateful and blessed to be serving in the temple.