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Saturday, March 4, 2017

                                                                                                        March 4th, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

When we go for walks, we walk past this row of trees; one day they were budding out, and the next day.......
Not sure what kind of trees they are, we will have to ask.

We had been so busy, I had gotten behind in sharing a few things.  I may have mentioned that we had a super Stake Conf., a few weeks ago, but I wanted to share a few things that were mentioned.  Elder Thompson said that, "we're not Latter-Day-Ain'ts, but Latter-Day-Saints!"  He told stories to illustrate his point. 1. He had worked tirelessly to help the Cub Scouts decorate a semi-truck sized trailer for an upcoming parade.  They had gone to great lengths to safely construct different scenes, depicting what they had been doing, seemingly impossible things; a climbing wall, archery practice, etc.,  They had worked for days and days to make the float perfect.  That morning it began to cloud up, and the leader was ready to pack it up, and not take a chance on the VERY expensive sound system they had borrowed getting wet.  He started dismantling things, and then looked around him, "where were the scouts?"  He walked to the back of the trailer, and there, gathered in a circle were all of his cubs, kneeling, and each in turn praying for the rain to go away.  The faith of a little child!  The clouds parted over the parade route, and not anywhere else.  

Second story, a single mother came to Elder Thompson, now an Area Authority,  and asked him, "How can I keep my children strong and on the right path?"  Elder Thompson Promised her that if she would read out loud to her children everyday from the Book Of Mormon it would happen, and it did.  The point, is, Latter Day Saints put their trust in Heavenly Father and then act.  

Another speaker talked about how she decided that they had been on an over load of media, and would unplug it all for the summer.  (they did keep 1 phone active)  At first it was hard, and with 8 children, there were various levels of complaint.  However, they all learned something, that they liked each other, it opened up a whole new world of games, work, letter writing, talking, family history, creative meals (no online recipes) reading, piano, family councils.  They connected with each other and as a family.  She said it was Magic that summer.  "Connecting go God and to family fulfills our deepest needs."  Anyone brave enough to try it out?  It may well be what we need!

 I know, I know, I said that I would NEVER visit this place, but we did......and it did have some redeeming points of interest.  (you can see that from the sign on the Clinton Presidential Library. Building is only 152,000 square feet, and cost a mere $165 million dollars!
                               Mock Oval office - how it looked when Clinton was President.  
 Yes, that's Elder Hess and I on Abbey Lane, and below, I had a drum lesson from the famous Ringo Starr!

        Lots of original posters and pictures of the Beatles, along with ticket stubs, and some memorabilia.  

We had a bit of time before we needed to head home, so we stopped by the original State Capitol Building, build in 1835, about the time that Arkansas became a state.  Because the State is so much older than the state of WY, they had displays featuring the Daughters of the Revolutionary War, Daughters of the War of 1812, and Daughters of the Civil War.  So much rich history here.  

One of the fascinating displays in this museum was a room full of guitars made by Ed Stilley.  I have included an excerpt from a book of his life, so read on if you are interested. 

In 1979, Stilley was leading a simple life as a farmer and singer of religious hymns in Hogscald Hollow, Arkansas. Life was filled with hard work and making do for Ed, his wife Eliza and their five children, who lived in many ways as if the second half of the 20th century had never happened.
[In 1979] while plowing his field, he became convinced he was having a heart attack... [A]s he lay there in the freshly plowed dirt, Ed received a vision from God, telling him that he would be restored to health if he would agree to do one thing: make musical instruments and give them to children.
… Beginning with a few simple hand tools, Ed worked tirelessly for 25 years to create more than 200 instruments, each a crazy quilt of heavy, rough-sawn wood scraps joined with found objects. A rusty door hinge, a steak bone, a stack of dimes, springs, saw blades, pot lids, metal pipes, glass bottles, aerosol cans—Ed used anything he could to build a working guitar, fiddle or dulcimer. On each instrument Ed inscribed “True Faith, True Light, Have Faith in God.”
Author and musician Kelly Mulhollan paints a picture of a man driven by faith to make guitars for every child in his area, even though he has no training in instrument design and construction. His instruments are built from lumber-yard scraps and other unthinkable wood choices. The shapes are equally unusual because Stilley would boil the thin oak sides overnight and then bend them into whatever shape they dictated in the morning.
stilley 1.jpg

You can see on each of his creations, the words, True Faith, True Light, Have Faith in God.  On several occasions, people would ask him not to include those words on their instrument, but Ed refused, said it was part of his agreement with God.  Other people would ask him to autograph them, again he said, No.  These creations were made by God. He may have not been a Latter-Day-Saint, but he sure was not an Ain't!
The Cub Scouts in our ward held their annual Fund Raiser, a taco dinner and auction.  We joined in the fun, and while Elder Hess' back was turned, I bid on a cake!  Why is it that the auctioneer doesn't notice who bid what, and then points to someone and says.....Sold! Yep, I bought this cake, and when Elder Hess turned around, he said, "That's not the cake I wanted!"  Oh, well, we paid, we left. Pretty fancy cake, and tasted great, too!  Those round things are cream puffs with spun sugar.  

These fine Elders joined us Sunday night for popcorn and cake!  Elder Bleazard, Jacquez, Croft and Hill. 

This past Thursday, Elder Hess FINALLY got an infusion, the first since we left Star Valley after the MTC!  Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to drive into Little Rock to an infusion clinic to have it administrated.  There are several hospitals less than 2 miles from us, but nothing worked out with those.  Elder Jacques and Croft had dropped off some chairs the night before and we asked them about getting into Little Rock by 9:00 in the morning.  They were not very encouraging, and said that we had better allow more than an hour to get there due to the horrible morning traffic.  They had been stuck on the freeways for an hour at a time in the past, and had us pretty worried!  So, we left the apt. at 7:40 that next morning, and what did Heavenly Father do?  He guided us another way, avoiding freeways almost the entire time!  We arrived at the clinic at 8:10!! Everything went well, and because the phone was not ringing off the hook with missionary needs, we decided to visit a museum that was close by.  

This is the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, also known as the Little Rock Arsenal, built in 1840 after the state worried about an Indian uprising during the Trail Of Tears.  Museum so named because General MacArthur was born here.
 This is actually a Catholic church and school, one of the few we have seen in Arkansas.  Most of the churches are some denomination  of Baptist or other Protestant sect. We will say though, there is a church on EVERY corner, and one in between, too!

In case you were wondering, we have not had any recent tornadoes here in North Little Rock. The zone meetings were cancelled last week due to the danger in the TN side of the mission.  Tornadoes did touch down there, and heavy hail occurred north of us.   Our skies looked pretty dark and ominous that night.

So, this is what our family has been up to this week!  Jess and Jen flying in from CA, Mitchell flying in from Denver, and they are all together in ID to help Anna and family move to ......yes, CA....They arrived tonight. A new adventure begins for them.  

Our Love and Prayers are with all of you.

Proverbs 3:5

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