Monday at the Office

2016-10-24-monday-office-17Another great day at the office with these excellent missionaries!2016-10-24-monday-office-192016-10-24-monday-office-22016-10-24-monday-office-32016-10-24-monday-office-42016-10-24-monday-office-5This week Elder Black celebrates the 2 year anniversary of his baptism in 2014!2016-10-24-monday-office-6Ant exterminator:2016-10-24-monday-office-12016-10-24-monday-office-82016-10-24-monday-office-162016-10-24-monday-office-92016-10-24-monday-office-112016-10-24-monday-office-122016-10-24-monday-office-132016-10-24-monday-office-142016-10-24-monday-office-152016-10-24-monday-office-20And then home again on this beautiful Fall day.2016-10-24-monday-office-212016-10-24-monday-office-222016-10-24-monday-office-23

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Church and Interviews in Sunnyside

2016-10-23 Cody Johnson farewell.jpgToday we joined a big crowd in Sunnyside to be with our good friend, Coby Johnson, who is leaving this week for his mission in Mozambique.  Coby served in our YWM for a transfer this summer while he was waiting to go.  We love him and are thrilled about his call.  I am an American with an African heart, so this is especially dear to me.

We had a few special WYM visitors from Utah who came to wish Coby well.  2016-10-23-sunnyside-church-interviews-32016-10-23-sunnyside-church-interviews-4Sometimes I can’t imagine that my heart could swell any more to make room for more missionaries.  But more come, and it does.  And when our missionaries like these go home, and return, the spaces they stretched in my heart fill again and I embrace them and love them EVEN MORE.

Elder Krogue’s parents:2016-10-23-sunnyside-church-interviews-6After church we spent the rest of the day here doing interviews with the great missionaries of Sunnyside.

Elder Hanna, Elder Flamm and Elder Oliverson2016-10-23-sunnyside-church-interviews-11Elder Hanna:  My favorite conference talk was “O How Great the Plan of our God” by Pres Uchtdorf.  How grateful I am for all we have and know.  We will live after this life.  We can choose.  We can be made clean.  That talk helped me enjoy all the rest of conference this is amazing.  I felt Joy and keep it in the forefront of my mind when I’m teaching.

Elder Flamm: I thought more about my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  I heard:  Are you repenting and praying?  Are you doing the things you need to do to know Jesus?  How is your personal conversion?  Here’s how to improve.  Keep going.

Elder Oliverson:  I loved Elder Oaks’ talk.  People are ready to learn when they’re ready, not necessarily when we are ready to teach them.  It’s given me a new perspective.  That’s all I remember.  My mom sent Red Hots to help me stay awake!

2016-10-23-sunnyside-church-interviews-13Updating the area book:2016-10-23-sunnyside-church-interviews-20

Hermana Hinkle and Hermana Buss2016-10-23-sunnyside-church-interviews-21Hermana Hinkle:  Main message:  Don’t look beyond the mark.  People are more important than problems.  The Savior should be our focal point.  Themes I heard:  Forgiveness, Cleansing power of the Atonement, He wants to forgive and empower us.

Hermana Buss:  I loved the focus on Joy and how the gospel brings joy.  I also loved the emphasis on the Book of Mormon.  We had an investigator with us and it was perfect.  This was my first time listening in Spanish!2016-10-23-sunnyside-church-interviews-22

Sister Van Orden and Sister Fabiano2016-10-23-sunnyside-church-interviews-23Sister Van Orden:  The Elder from Japan and Elder Oaks were my favorites.  Trust God.  Be Ambitious for Christ.  Be Happy and bring light to others so people can recognize us as representatives of Christ.  Themes:  Repentance, how to teach repentance.

Sister Fabiano:  Press Forward and Enduring to the End were the parts of the gospel I heard.  I loved the closing song Saturday morning:  If the Way Be Full of Trial, Worry Not. Repent and turn back to God.  The Elder from Japan is the Japanese version of Pres. Lewis.  I loved Elder Bednar’s talk about faith in Jesus Christ.  Believe Him.  Loved Elder Renlund.

Elder Pruett and Elder Cataldo2016-10-23-sunnyside-church-interviews-24Elder Pruett:  The underlying message for me was to gain a spiritual knowledge of how the Lord wants us to be and act on that.  Learn to allow you to teach other people.  Attributes of Christ should be applied in our lives as we teach others.  Take comfort in trusting and understanding His Plan.

Elder Cataldo:  (coming)

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Hispanic Cultural Conference in Selah

2016-10-22-hispanic-cultural-event-selah-10This afternoon and evening we had a fantastic Hispanic Cultural Conference in the Selah Stake Center.  Members, missionaries and friends came together to enjoy song, dance and great food!  It was wonderful as you will see below!


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Family History Carnival in Yakima

2016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-4This morning we had a wonderful Family History Carnival in the Yakima Stake Center.  Look at the fun everyone was having.  I got to speak about Oral Histories and gathering stories.  Below are a few quotes about preserving our stories that have be a great motivation for me.

There were activities and classes for everyone, and displays and information shared freely. It was a wonderful morning for everyone!2016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-52016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-62016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-22016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-12016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-32016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-92016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-102016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-112016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-122016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-132016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-142016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-152016-10-22-family-history-carnival-yakima-16

Ann Lewis, Oral Histories Yakima FH Fair 22 October 2016

Oral history is the systematic collection of living people’s testimony about their own experiences. Historians have finally recognized that the everyday memories of everyday people, not just the rich and famous, have historical importance. If we do not collect and preserve those memories, those stories, then one day they will disappear forever. Your stories and the stories of the people around you are unique, valuable treasures for your family and your community.

Ronald O. Barney, of the Church History Department: If you do not [record] write your story, your name will be obliterated from the human record and you will not speak from the grave. You will not have any influence on those who come after you. Those who [share] write about the things they have done and learned in life have a huge impact on posterity. [Tell] Write your story. You have overcome things your children need to know about.”

Donald Davis workshop at BYU
“We are what we remember. If we don’t remember something, it’s as if it never happened.”
When we record our stories, we are literally Saving Lives–the lives of those who live in those stories. When the memory is gone, it’s as if those events never happened, or those people never lived. We must save these lives, ours and those who have gone before us.

Ian Frazier, author of Family, captures the haunting feeling of loss as he describes his thoughts at his mother’s deathbed:
“Soon all the people who had accompanied me through life would be gone, too, and then even the people who had known us, and no one would remain on earth who had ever seen us, and those descended from us perhaps would know stories about us, perhaps once in a while they would pass by buildings where we had lived and they would mention that we had lived there. And then the stories would fade, and the graves would go untended, and no one would guess what it had been like to wake before dawn in our breath-warmed bedrooms as the radiators clanked and our wives and husbands and children slept.”

Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale
“People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in the ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.”

Fifty Questions for Family History Interviews
What to Ask the Relatives
By Kimberly Powell, Guide

A great way to uncover clues to your family history or to get great quotes for journaling in a heritage scrapbook is a family interview. By asking the right, open-ended questions, you’re sure to collect a wealth of family tales. Use this list of family history interview questions to help you get started, but be sure to personalize the interview with your own questions as well.
What is your full name? Why did your parents select this name for you? Did you have a nickname?
When and where were you born?
How did your family come to live there?
Were there other family members in the area? Who?
What was the house (apartment, farm, etc.) like? How many rooms? Bathrooms? Did it have electricity? Indoor plumbing? Telephones?
Were there any special items in the house that you remember?
What is your earliest childhood memory?
Describe the personalities of your family members.
What kind of games did you play growing up?
What was your favorite toy and why?
What was your favorite thing to do for fun (movies, beach, etc.)?
Did you have family chores? What were they? Which was your least favorite?
Did you receive an allowance? How much? Did you save your money or spend it?
What was school like for you as a child? What were your best and worst subjects? Where did you attend grade school? High school? College?
What school activities and sports did you participate in?
Do you remember any fads from your youth? Popular hairstyles? Clothes?
Who were your childhood heroes?
What were your favorite songs and music?
Did you have any pets? If so, what kind and what were their names?
What was your religion growing up? What church, if any, did you attend?
Were you ever mentioned in a newspaper?
Who were your friends when you were growing up?
What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?
Describe a typical family dinner. Did you all eat together as a family? Who did the cooking? What were your favorite foods?
How were holidays (birthdays, Christmas, etc.) celebrated in your family? Did your family have special traditions?
How is the world today different from what it was like when you were a child?
Who was the oldest relative you remember as a child? What do you remember about them?
What do you know about your family surname?
Is there a naming tradition in your family, such as always giving the firstborn son the name of his paternal grandfather?
What stories have come down to you about your parents? Grandparents? More distant ancestors?
Are there any stories about famous or infamous relatives in your family?
Have any recipes been passed down to you from family members?
Are there any physical characteristics that run in your family?
Are there any special heirlooms, photos, bibles or other memorabilia that have been passed down in your family?
What was the full name of your spouse? Siblings? Parents?
When and how did you meet your spouse? What did you do on dates?
What was it like when you proposed (or were proposed to)? Where and when did it happen? How did you feel?
Where and when did you get married?
What memory stands out the most from your wedding day?
How would you describe your spouse? What do (did) you admire most about them?
What do you believe is the key to a successful marriage?
How did you find out your were going to be a parent for the first time?
Why did you choose your children’s names?
What was your proudest moment as a parent?
What did your family enjoy doing together?
What was your profession and how did you choose it?
If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn’t it your first choice?
Of all the things you learned from your parents, which do you feel was the most valuable?
What accomplishments were you the most proud of?
What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you?

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Interviews in Ellensburg

2016-10-21-interviews-ellensburg-14Today we went to Ellensburg to visit the missionaries serving there and in Cle Elum.

Elder Camit is our District Leader here.  He serves with Elder Ackerman2016-10-21-interviews-ellensburg-1Elder Camit:  I enjoyed Elder Nelson’s talk on Joy.  We have a right to experience joy in this life.  I also enjoyed Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk on the Plan of Salvation.  Peace and Joy.  Don’t be unhappy.  Have joy living the gospel.  I liked Elder Rasband saying “things figure themselves out.”  Don’t worry.  Be happy.

Elder Ackerman:  I liked Elder Cornish’s talk:  You are Good Enough.  Also the Fourth Floor, Last Door talk from the Women’s Broadcast.  My impressions during conference:  work on my personal prayers and scripture study.

Notes to moms:2016-10-21-interviews-ellensburg-3

Sister Carroll and Sister Grigg2016-10-21-interviews-ellensburg-7Sister Carroll:  I’ve been thinking about the question, “How much do I know my Savoir?  from Elder Bednar’s talk.  If you were the only source of telling your children about Jesus Christ, how much would they know?    I felt the main topics of conference were Repentance, the Plan of Salvation, Knowing the Savior and Love of Christ.  These topics were in every single session.

Sister Grigg:  Conference was a call to repentance.  We learned about the Plan of Salvation, the Doctrine of Christ, Having Joy, and Knowing the Savior.  I loved the references to the talk “A Piece to My Sisters” from last year’s Women’s Broadcast.

Sister Goodrich and Sister Atkinson (STL)2016-10-21-interviews-ellensburg-11Sister Goodrich:  I loved Pres. Monson teaching that everything Heavenly Father does is for our benefit.  It reminds me of Moses 1:39, His purpose.  Everything He does is aimed at that purpose.  I loved listening to the Brethren.  I want the people we teach to feel that about me.  I want them to love our message!  God is in control.  We are happy.

Sister Atkinson:  I really loved the talk about the Infinite Love Heavenly Father has for us.  But that doesn’t mean we’re automatically saved.  We have to turn to Him.  It’s Infinite Love.  No Mater What.   I loved the 4th Floor, Last Door talk.  It’s the story of my mom’s conversion when she was 13, living in Spain and the missionaries knocked on her door.

Sister Shewell and Sister Knight2016-10-21-interviews-ellensburg-13Hermana Shewell: I went to conference with a question:  How can I prepare to be a good mother in these Last Days?  What do I do?  The Saturday morning session began by teaching Parenting!  Tips on what’s really important.  I took 13 pages of notes (inspiration I received from the speakers!).  When Pres. Monson spoke, I felt, “That’s the Prophet!”  I love him.

Hermana Knight:  A lot of the talks were about Repentance.  It made me think more thoroughly about my life and repenting.  I really loved Elder Holland’s talk and thought about how people in our ward can be our family.  We take care of each other.

2016-10-21-interviews-ellensburg-20Happy Hump Day!2016-10-21-interviews-ellensburg-21

Elder Bee and Elder Hanson2016-10-21-interviews-ellensburg-25Elder Bee:  My favorite conference talk was the first one by Pres. Uchtdorf about the Plan of Salvation.  I felt peace and comfort as he spoke.  I loved the focus on member-missionary work and how the General Authorities are giving the same message we’ve been focusing on here in the WYM.  It’s helping our work.

Elder Hanson:  I loved Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk about the Plan of Salvation.  We’ve started teaching it first (with the college kids here).  We’ve been teaching tons of lessons.  I also loved Elder Holland’s talk about Home Teaching.  Super good.  Missionary Work is the same way.  Why can’t we all get a perfect 100%?  Members are like missionaries to the less-actives.  It’s missionary work!  Do it!!  I loved that talk.  It’s also perfect for after our missions.2016-10-21-interviews-ellensburg-9Yay, Days for Girls!!2016-10-21-interviews-ellensburg-302016-10-21-interviews-ellensburg-31

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Interviews in the Selah Zone

2016-10-20-interviews-selah-1Today we visited with the Selah Zone in the Selah Stake Center (except for the Ellensburg District).  These missionaries are serving in the Selah and Yakima Valleys.  It was a cold rainy day out, but we kept warm with good company.  Elder Leavitt and Elder Carroll are the Zone Leaders here.2016-10-20-interviews-selah-2

Elder Carroll and Elder Leavitt2016-10-20-interviews-selah-4Elder Carroll:  I loved Elder Holland’s talk on serving others.  People in the church can sometimes be not perfect if baptismal covenants aren’t kept.  We must lift others, as Home Teachers and Visiting Teachers.  We are here to help each other take care of problems.

Elder Leavitt:  I love Elder Eyring.  I loved the talk on Joy.  There were tons of talks on Repentance and Forgiving Others.  It’s important and necessary that we repent and that we allow others to repent.

Sister Boehmer and Sister Christensen2016-10-20-interviews-selah-6Sister Boehmer:  A lot of talks had to do with the Atonement.  It was really cool because that has been a focus in my studies.  I liked that someone said, “you can’t be so far down that road that Christ’s Atonement can’t reach you.”  I loved the talk by Elder Oaks on member-missionary work and how members can be involved.  Elder Hales said we build faith by sharing it.

Sister Christensen:  I got the impression during conference that I need to pray with more sincerity.  He is always listening.  Always.  He will give us faith not to give up.

Notes to moms and cookies.2016-10-20-interviews-selah-11

Elder Ence and Elder Putnam2016-10-20-interviews-selah-12Elder Ence:  I loved Elder Yamashito’s talk on being ambitious for Christ and the story about the missionary who questioned why he was there when he had to return home for medical help.  We all have a purpose.  We may not know, but God knows.  I loved Elder Oaks’ talk on member-missionary work and the 7 + 3 things we can do to be better missionaries.

Elder Putnam:  A lot of talks were about the basic teachings of the gospel like the Book of Mormon and Repentance–things that are the most important and essential to our salvation.  My favorite was the first talk by Pres. Uchtdorf.  I also loved Elder Oaks.

Elder Hoskins and Elder Johnson2016-10-20-interviews-selah-16Elder Hoskins:  I LOVED General Conference!  I noticed almost every talk was about Joy.  I’ve been stuck on happiness and joy ever since.  Heavenly Father has a purpose and it is to give us joy.  All my questions were answered.  As I figure things out, I have more joy.  I’m writing quotes from the conference talks on sticky notes and putting them on my wall.

Elder Johnson:  I love Elder Oaks’ talk about sharing the restored gospel.  I love lists of things to do.  He gave a great list!  I also loved the Forth Floor, Last Door talk.  I makes me want to knock on every door in Yakima!  It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!


Sister Fox and Sister Miller2016-10-20-interviews-selah-27Sister Fox:   I loved the focus in conference on the Plan of Salvation and Joy.  I stuck out to me how many times they mentioned Joy.  I loved the Machu Pichu story about prayer.  I’m working on more sincere prayers.

Sister Miller:  I LOVED this General Conference!  It’s like a Missionary Christmas!  We got a lot out of it.  The talks were super simple and easy to understand.  The focus for me was on the Plan of Salvation and the Doctrine of Christ.  My favorite talk was Elder Christofferson on abiding in the Savior’s love.  To abide means to remain.  The choices we make determine if we are aligned with His will.

Sister Robalin and Sister Torman2016-10-20-interviews-selah-28Sister Robalin:  Everyone talked about simple precepts of the gospel like the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration.  Little things make up everything!  All the missionary related talks were so good for missionary work.  I also loved the MTC Choir!

Sister Torman:  I loved how they talked about simple truths like the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, the church, sacrament, the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration.  All are related and work together.  For me, Elder Bednar’s talk was a favorite about believing Christ, the Atonement and knowing He can help us.2016-10-20-interviews-selah-31One year ago today Sister Robalin and Sister Torman sat on the flight to Yakima together.  They took this photo that day.  Here they are, a year later as companions!2016-10-20-interviews-selah-32

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Interviews in Yakima

2016-10-19-interviews-yakima-2Today we stayed in Yakima to meet with members of the English Zone.  Elder Moser and Elder Bird lead this zone.  We had a great day and did some good visiting!

Elder Bird and Elder Moser2016-10-19-interviews-yakima-6Elder Bird:  Listening to Conference, I had many questions answered many times and in many ways.  Most of those answers were, “Be Patient.”  I listened with the question, “How can I help those in my stewardship?” in my mind.  I got many ideas of how to treat them better.  Another message I heard:  Believe in others in crucial times when they don’t believe in themselves.  During the second-to-last talk I felt the Spirit so strong.  I know that God loves me.

Elder Moser:  Conference centered on JOY.  Joy comes from Repentance.  Sometimes it’s hard, but it always brings joy.  The world can be really crazy, but we can feel joy.

Elder Bird is a great journal keeper.2016-10-19-interviews-yakima-5

Elder Nielson and Elder Black2016-10-19-interviews-yakima-9Elder Nielson:  I loved Sis McConkie’s talk on prayer.  We pray to the Father in the name of the Son through the Holy Ghost.  I loved how she explained that.  It taught me how and why we pray in the name of the Son who is our mediator with the Father.  The big theme I felt was Prepare Yourself Spiritually.

Elder Black:  I loved Elder Ballard’s talk, “Where Would You Go?”  I’ve thought a lot about it and about those I know who are less-active.  That was my biggest take-away.

Elder Lucio and Elder Bawden2016-10-19-interviews-yakima-10Elder Lucio:  I learned more about the importance of Home Teachers and Visiting Teachers from Elder Holland, and the role they play helping members and helping to fellowship.  When someone is going through a hard time, they can be a source of help.  I also loved Elder Hales, who talked about loving the Savior more and about finding joy even in hard times.  Joy comes from Jesus Christ, along with peace and happiness.

Elder Bawden:  We know the Plan of Salvation because of the Restoration.  Talks centered on the Atonement.  Even an Apostle can make mistakes in early life and then change (Elder Renlund’s talk).

Elder Powell and Elder Olson2016-10-19-interviews-yakima-16Elder Powell:  Main Conference theme:  Charity.  Knowing and developing it enables us to do everything, especially missionary work. We must remember the Plan to get through whatever’s hard.  Sincere prayers are answered.

Elder Olson:  A lot was said about the Plan of Salvation and finding Joy.  I liked the talks about missionary work and Elder Christofferson’s talk where he said the strength of a relationship with a friend has no correlation between someone’s willingness to accept the gospel.   Many talks were on sincere repentance and forgiveness.


Sister Hopkins and Sister Banks2016-10-19-interviews-yakima-20Sister Hopkins and Sister BanksSister Hopkins:  I really like Pres. Nelson’s talk on Joy.  It was interesting because we had an investigator with us.  We asked her to come with a question.  During that talk she started to cry.  She later told us her question had been, “How can I find joy when things are not going well around me?”  I also loved the Fourth Floor Last Door talk.  It keeps us going.

Sister Banks:  My favorite talk was Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk at Women’s Conference about Faith.  Faith is something we talk about all the time, but it’s hard to explain.  He said there are 2 things Faith can’t do:  1.  Change God’s will and 2. Change someone’s agency.  That has helped me explain Faith to others.   I also loved the emphasis on missionary work and member-missionary work.   We are receiving modern revelation.  We can really have our questions answered!2016-10-19-interviews-yakima-14Halloween care package from Grandma and See’s Chocolates!2016-10-19-interviews-yakima-222016-10-19-interviews-yakima-262016-10-19-interviews-yakima-27

Sister Skousen and Sister Michalek2016-10-19-interviews-yakima-25Sister Skousen:  I loved how all of the conference talks were about the 42 principles we teach.  The principles of the gospel are simple and profound.  My favorite talk was Elder Oaks’ about member missionary work.  I love anything that can help people be better missionaries!  I also loved the emphasis on the Book of Mormon.

Sister Michalek:  My impression of Conference is that it’s all really simple.  Basics.  Joseiph Smith, Faith, God loves each of His children.  Carry on.  Live the Gospel.


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