Sunday, December 17, 2017

Light the word 2017

                                                         Image result for light the world calendar 2017
This year we've joined the church's Light the World campaign to make Christmas more special and memorable. We've had some wonderful experiences that I wanted to write down before I forgot them.  A young woman that spoke in our ward gave a quote that one of her YW leaders told her. "Inspiration received but not written down is inspiration lost" something along those lines.

Mi tia Dalmira came to visit, she came on wednesday the 29th and left on Friday the 1st. It was so wonderful having her here. She was like my 2nd mom growing up, I'd sleep with her when I would spend the night at my grandma's house and go places with her all the time. Last time I saw her was at Rudy's wedding about 6 yrs ago. 
While she was here I gave her a sweater she liked that I had just bought for myself for my birthday. She needed a cardigan since all she had brought was a big coat. I felt so good giving it to her. The day I dropped her off at the airport I realized I had forgotten to pay her $5 she had lent me. I got home and realized that it was Dec 1st and the light the word challenge for that day was "Freely ye have received, freely give".  So I decided  to do a little more for her. I transferred some money to my dad so he could give it to her when she got there. She called me a few days later to thank me for the gift and told me she was very grateful.

At another day where the challenge was “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” I had a wonderful experience. After Jordan took the kids to school I looked for my phone to charge it since I had forgotten the previous night but I couldn't find it. After looking in various places, Jacob asked me what I was doing and after I told him I was looking for my phone, which was probably completely dead he said "mami, you should pray to Heavenly Father", I told him it was a great idea. So we did. I then walked toward Rebeca's room to look for it there when Jacob said "mami, SHHHH! you need to listen for the Holy Ghost so he can tell you where it is!" It was a great reminder from my almost 5 yr old.  I tried staying still for a few minutes but nothing came to mind except for a feeling that I shouldn't worry even though that was the only way anybody could get a hold of me. Ezra, Jacob and I played for some time at home. About 11:30 the door bell rang, and it was my friend Jennifer Booker and Massey. She had picked him up from school a few hrs before because he wasn't feeling well, and since Jordan was at work and noone could get a hold of me. The school called her for being my emergency contact. I felt so grateful to her. She told me that she was glad she could help and told me that it was perfect that Massey could stay at her house that morning because he kept her son Kade company. Kade is Massey's best friend and apparently he had sprained his ankle and had stayed home that day. She told me she wasn't sure if he had fractured his ankle and she wasn't sure how to help him.  After having thanked a million times for her help I thought about ways to help her and decided to look for my phone again. I went upstairs to the bathroom and it was right there! next to the sink, inside my make up bag. So I called Jordan and he called her right away to ask about Kade's condition. He got permission from his boss to have them come to the office at lunchtime and do x-rays at no cost. She was so grateful because it turned out that he did have an avulsion fracture. This experience helped me see the hand of God in different way and taught me that Heavenly Father did answer my prayer at the proper time. I was supposed to see Jennifer so we could help her son.

The last experience I had this last week involves Rebeca. She had activity days on wednesday, they went to deliver crocheted hat to newborn babies at the hospital. She had been looking forward to going, but when I picked her up and asked her how it was, she started crying. She said the girls didn't talk to her and that she didn't have friends. We're still pretty new in the ward and most of the girls are a yr older than her. She was pretty hurt and I told her that the girls just simply didn't know how cool Rebeca was and that perhaps they also needed to learn to be friendlier and kinder. I prayed to find a way to help her feel better and the following morning I received my answer in the light the world challenge. “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” That day, after Rebeca came from school I had all the stuff necessary to decorate cookies and bake them. I told her she would make treats to all those girls that she felt had offended her, so she would no longer feel hurt and be a good example to them. She was excited a little nervous. That evening we drove to 3 of the girl's homes. She felt very happy and realized that sometimes we need to teach others to be kind and do everything in our power to not feel offended. At our ward party days later, Rebeca told me she went up to one of the girls and asked her if had liked the cookies she had given her and the girls said "YES!" and told her thank you again.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A test of love and true inspiration

                   Today one of my Sunday school students could not believe me when I told him that I was the oldest of 8 kids. He asked me if we all had the same mother, and then if we had the same dad. I finally said: yes, Ray! My mom had 8 kids with the same man and I happen to be the oldest. It was pretty funny.
                 Being the oldest wasn't always easy, especially while trying to help my mom raise a bunch of crazy little ones.  I never realized how much useful experience I got from helping my mom with all my siblings, until I started having kids of my own. I used to be a terrible teacher to my siblings, I thought they used to be little monsters who weren't capable of learning discipline.
                 Now, being a teacher to my own children has been and continues to be a challenging yet rewarding experience.  It is so much more work than helping my mom with my siblings, that's for sure.  I have no idea how I can be so patient with my kids and still love them after a long hard day of baby tantrums, cleaning of messes and endless fighting. A few months ago, I actually started believing that I had finally figured out how to raise children, and I felt good with my teaching wisdom. That feeling didn't last long because I was recently called to teach the 12 &13 yr olds Sunday School class in our ward, and I found out that I had to re-learn some things and a million others about teaching children.

Last week for the first time in many years, I quietly cried after having taught my Sunday school class.  I felt very disappointed, inadequate, and confused. The kids in my class had been so disrespectful, and irreverent and I had no energy left in me to ask them to stop.
I didn't know what to do, but as the week progressed I felt calmer and my feelings of disappointment started fading. I prayed for guidance and while preparing my lesson the answer came to me.
The theme for June in the "come, follow me" manual is all about the priesthood and priesthood keys. This week the topic was all about the effectiveness of councils in the church. Last night I was reading from Elder Eyring's talk "Learning in the Priesthood" I was inspired to hold a council with the youth. I also invited the President of the Sunday School presidency to come during the last 20 mins of the lessons. His name is Br. Grondel.
I had 15 kids show up and I had them all sit in a semi circle and I didn't let anyone break the circle. I felt the spirit with me as I stood in front of them to teach them. After introducing the lesson and having a little discussion, we held a small council and spoke about the challenges I'm having with them and asked for their support and respect towards me. They came up with a simple list of steps to follow if they misbehave. It was wonderful and Br. Grondel towards the end, talked to the kids with authority and reminded them of the privilege they have to be able to be a part of such a wonderful church and to have me as their teacher.
It's been a good day. I love my calling. For the first time in a long time, I feel like my calling is mostly noticed by my Heavenly Father and Jordan who always sits in the back with Ezra. I don't serve with other adults or meet on a regular basis with a presidency, or receive a congratulations like I used to when I would teach in relief society or in sharing time. It's kinda cool. To be able to serve quietly, without any fanfare has been quite a humbling experience.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

BYU women's conference week

I attended the BYU women's conference this year and Jordan watched all 4 kids.  He did so good, I wanted to remember what the schedule of things he had to remember looked like. I know in a few years, it'll be even fuller. Right before leaving, I received a letter from the kid's school, letting me know that school had been cancelled the rest of the week, due to a virus that sent many sick children home that week.
So,  Jordan's schedule freed up a lot, but it also meant that he would have all 4 kids at home while I was gone. He did awesome! 
 My aunt Josefa, she's my mom's older sister took the bus with her daughter Barbi from L.A to Vegas on wednesday morning. That afternoon, we all drove together to Provo, UT.  My aunt joined the church when she was a teenager but left the church in her early 20's, she's now in her late 60's and recently returned to the church and went to the temple last year for the first time. 

It was a great experience to be able to share a room with my sister Mara and have her as my roommate for 3 nights. It brought back many great memories of us growing together. 

Hannah and Britta were also roomates and we were all in the same group. 
It was so fun to stay up talking and share what we thought of the classes we all went to. 
We stayed at the heritage halls, and my mom's groups was like 2 doors down the hallway. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

General conference

We did it! Jordan took Massey to a live session for General Conference this year. A couple years ago we thought it'd be a good tradition to take our kids to General conference during their 8th year, we tried last conference but we could not make it work. Massey just turned 9 in February and it was such a great experience for him.  We thought inviting his cousin Nigel would make it more meaningful.  They boys had a great time.  Massey is developing his own testimony of the Gospel in such a natural way. This parent gig is not easy but it's so gratifying and fulfilling.

We spent half the time at Uncle Micah and Aunt Camille's home. We got there on Friday afternoon and they were so good to take us to this fun children's museum. The kids loved it, expect for Ezra, he wasn't a big fan of the water table, he kept frowning the whole time and didn't quite learn to enjoy it. It was cute.

cousin Bradley kept telling us how much he enjoyed watching General conference. Aunt Camille was so nice to let Rebeca set up a whole table with fun treats and activities. I didn't come prepared so this was really great and fun for the kids. 

On Saturday afternoon, after meeting my brothers, David and Rudy at the Cheesecake factory. We headed to Bountiful to visit and spend our last night with our friends Aimee and Brant. 
Our kids get along so well, and Aimee and I feel so comfortable with each other. We have similar parenting styles and simply love each other, despite the fact that we live far from each other. We have so much to talk about. I truly feel bless to have her in my life. 

Having all 8 kids sit at their small table brought so many good memories of the time we used to live in Portland. We did a bilingual co-op preeschool and we would hang out at each others apartments all the time. 4 years later we have twice as many kids and being around each other again made us all feel very happy. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Soccer season has begun

Zion's youth spring performance

Tonight we attended the Zion's Youth Spring performances with Massey and Rebeca. Jordan took Massey and Rebeca and I went together.  Tara Skouson was very kind to get me two tickets the day of the concerts for the 5pm perfomance so Rebeca and I could go. I found out tonight that she is the company's manager. Her husband had already promised me two tickets for the 7:30pm performance but Jordan told Massey he would take him.  It worked out so well having gone separately, it was a mommy-daughter and daddy-son date. We feel deeply grateful for the opportunity we have to be surrounded by and know such talented people. I currently am taking piano lessons from David Skouson, who directs the orchestra and is a very accomplished concert pianist. To say that this it has been a great experience would be an understatement. The Smith's center is a beautiful building and tonight's performance was really spectacular. Massey and Rebeca very much enjoyed it especially since they recognized a few of the youth from our current ward, "the Dove Canyon ward".  

Papi and Massey being all handsome and happy together
                                                                  Cute Rebequita with Mami
                                             We had to get a picture with this colorful background.
                                                      Rebeca will be 8 yrs old in 4 months.

Love these two!