Sunday, October 23, 2016

23 October 2016 - Kimball's Baptism & Special Stake Conference with an Apostle

   This week was the end of the long stretch of Seminary teaching solo until Thursday. That made the last of the week a little easier which was nice for preparing for family to visit. Wednesday night, Susan, Cory and the kids came in very late and they were very tired. When Kathleen came home from Seminary Thursday morning she noticed a light on in the back bedroom and Kimball was reading some of the books that we had in the bookshelf outside her room. Everything else was quiet and dark so after a little talk and fixing a smaller light for her, the doors were shut and quiet and dark reigned again.
First catch of the season...Stephen
was quite proud of his trap success.
    Stephen did manage to put up some scaffolding that he and Br. Wilden purchased from  Br. Christiansen in the Stake. His plan is the repair and paint the outside of the house. Unfortunately it has rained most every day this past week so there was not much work done outside.
Scaffolding up and ready for work...
He did fix the watering system for the chickens by putting a bucket of water and helped thin out the raspberries and the loganberries. He also purchased some extensions for the downspouts on the rain gutters to move the water away from the house. Stephen is also very proud of the fact that he posted his rooster on Craigslist for free because the rooster was harrassing the hens and not letting them eat feed so they stopped laying eggs. He got a costumer in less than 3 hours that took the rooster for his dinner... :-0
   Samuel had a double header for Volleyball this past Tuesday that they lost and we was not very happy. He also had a band concert on Thursday night and a Scout clinic in  Renton on Saturday so he was busy. He has Spanish homework almost everyday so he gets help and is trying to speak more and more Spanish. When you see him try it out...;-)
   Thursday, Kathleen had a doctor's appointment for her foot and Susan and Cory went to pick up Katherine Jestes at the airport. She was coming to speak at Kimball's baptism and it was so nice to have her stay here at the house. She loved touring the back yard and playing games and watching a movie (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). 
   Friday was spent preparing for a baptism and a dinner after here at the house. Kimball wore a nice white dress and she planned the day.
The font had to be filled early so Stephen was at the church ready while things were still getting ready here, including chili for "Taco Salad" and "Better than Pumpkin Pie". Add to that Lemonade and Limeade with a special cake for Kimball made by Ruth and it was a perfect meal. At the baptism, Katherine gave a talk on baptism and Susan spoke on the Holy Ghost.  Rebekah played the piano and Kathleen led the music. Cory did the ordinance of baptism and confirmation. It was wonderful with the only glitch being that Cory stated her name as Kimball Elaine Brighton but that's not her legal name so that had to do it again. Kimball didn't mind at all since the water was warm.
Showing off the white dress.

A Family shot

Kimball wanted her Dad to do the ordinance.

A threesome pose on a Baptism Day.
After the baptism Brian spent quite a while trying to hook the font's drain with a long hooked pole but it kept falling back. Susan was about ready to hike up her skirt and plunge in but Stephen was given another long handle and Cory had the hook and they opened the drain together. It was definitely a two man job.
   Saturday there was a Family History Discovery Day that Stephen had to go to as the Stake Counselor over Family History and Temple Work. He then went to a leadership training meeting with Elder Rasband, Elder Clayton, Elder Waddell and Elder Call. That was a 4 hour meeting that he just loved. 
Beka's present for Kimball.
   Saturday Kathleen spent the morning at the Tribal Life Trail "Make a Difference Day" with the Master Garden program. She was also able to bring home some plants, Hardy Cyclamen, and plant those in the garden and move some other plants around. Hopefully they'll survive "but if not" it's OK. After planting there was thinning out of the strawberries that needed to be finished and some weeding a picking more butternut squash. It was a beautiful day for working outside. Susan, Cory and their kids went to visit a friend from Susan's school days at BYU up in Bellevue. She was gone until 3:30 and when they got back they were all hungry and wanted to try out the Cafe Rio here in Kent. 
   That evening the youth had a face to face with Elder Rasband that was tele-commed to the Maple Valley Stake Center but the internet cut out 4 times during the broadcast. Samuel and Joram weren't too upset but some of the other kids were. They need to be sure to get better reception.
After the baptism dinner and dessert.
    Sunday was a special conference with Elder Rasband. We made it to the church about 8:20 AM. There were people already filling the chapel. Thankfully Samuel, Rebekah and Kathleen were in the choir so the didn't need to worry about their places. Br. Sumpter was in charge of security along with a collegue of his from the Federal Way Police Dept. Stephen said he could tell they were armed but it wasn't obvious. Stephen toured Elder Rasband around the building meeting people that were in the RS room, the Primary room and the YW room in the stake center then he started in the back and shook hands with people in the back of the room. As a choir we were instructed to stand when he came up on the stand so we all stood and Stephen took his place in the front with all the rest of the Stake Presidency and leaders. After the choir sung the prelude music "The Lord is my Shephard"and the prayer and announcements, we sang our other musical number "How Firm a Foundation". Pres. Stroud spoke then about the importance of strengthening our conversion by helping strengthen others and the importance of Love, Service and Action to invite others to  Christ. Elder and Sister Call then spoke and Elder Rasband invited Elder Walker (our previous area 70) to speak since he knew him. He spoke on Moses and the Lord's answer of who was sending him. The Great "I am" which as a prepositional phrase means "has everything, is everything" and that we are the children of God and should not lack confidence as a Child of God. It was a great thought.
   After the rest hymn, Elder Rasband had the rest of the meeting. He first spoke of President Monson's love for us and what he would say if he came... "I love you" and "thank you". He spoke about these last days and used scriptures that described the last days including "perilous", "rage", "calamity" and talked about standing in Holy Places, including our homes. He said he wanted to talk to the children and brought up the reference in Mosiah 26 about the "rising generation" not understanding the words of the prophet and leaving the traditions of their fathers. He spoke about the importance of teaching children the gospel and he brought up the quotes of 4 prophets that he had known. He said David O. McKay stated, "no other success can compensate for failure in the home”  and when he was asked 'what is failure in the home?' He stated that "failure only occurs when you stop trying." Harold B. Lee was the grandfather of one of his missionary companions in the New York City mission and he picked him up at the airport. Pres. Lee stated, “The most important of the Lord’s work that you will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home.”
Then he said President Gordon B. Hinckley said "In terms of your happiness, in terms of the matters that make you proud or sad, nothing—I repeat, nothing—will have so profound an effect on you as the way your children turn out." Then he finished the quotes with President Thomas S. Monson who stated, "When the seas of life are stormy, a wise mariner seeks a port of peace. The family, as we have traditionally known it, is such a refuge of safety."
    Elder Rasband then quoted from the scriptures in 2 Nephi 25:23, 26 "we labor to persuade our children..." and children were before "brethren" and he said it was so important to put family first. Family was before, job, callings, everything but God. Stephen mentioned that the Leadership meeting was on the same line that Bishops were to delegate those things that others could do and just do what the Bishop only had to do. He finished with the importance of strengthening our families while the world is swirling around us. It was an inspirational meeting. Elder Rasband was in tears much of his talk as he spoke of his family life and personal experiences with the prophets and his testimony. He ended with giving the congregation an apostolic blessing and his testimony. He said "I know Christ" which was an amazing thing to hear. What a Special Witness of Christ. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

9 October 2016 - Happy Birthday, Joshua & Kimball

Monday, Stephen came home around the same Kathleen cam back from her class at the hospital. Stephen said he wasn't sore from "rustling cattle" but he was tired and still had a cough.
From the garden....yummy goodness.
Tuesday during the day, the garden vegetables were picked so that they would be in before the rains came back and soaked them. There was plenty of tomatoes this years along with good amounts of summer squash, pumpkins, butternut squash, kale, collard greens and leeks. The corn was eaten by some kind of critter. They pulled down the husks and consumed the kernels. It was pretty much a total waste. Samuel had a volleyball game, unfortunately they lost.
Wednesday was a first birthday for Joshua. No one answered their phone so a message was left wishing him a very happy birthday!!! There was some very fun FB posts showing his ability to walk and get around so well. He's going to be a sports star some day... ;-)
That night was a YM combined activity where they learned how to sew on buttons, learning food prices, oil changes and other life skills.
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Thursday morning Stephen and Kathleen went to the temple in the morning. That evening Stephen had a meeting with Mission president. He came home very pleased with the meeting. Saturday there was a baptism of a man from Iraq who was just learning English. He lives in the Scenic Hill ward and they were great during the baptism by learning the prayer in Arabic and several other phrases. The man was very humble and his young daughters were the translators for his baptism. His wife did not come. They were Muslim so it will be interesting to see how he comes along in the gospel.
Friday when Kathleen went to work she was assigned to help out in a c-section. It happened to be a member of the stake who was in the OR. The poor girl had labored for 3 days trying to have her baby. She couldn't get completely effaced and so had a c-section and her baby ended up in the NICU. He was still there on Saturday and it looked like he was going to be there for awhile. His grandparents were at the hospital and Kathleen got to see them and talk with them. They seemed pretty happy that the baby was finally here. Both the Mom and Dad were friends of Ben and Sarah from the James Hill Ward. The world is made small in the gospel.
Sunday was fast meeting and Stephen presided for our ward. Kathleen bore her testimony as well as several little children and a few other adults. We had some visitors there with the missionaries and it was a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel's joy and peace.
Sunday night, Stephen and Rebekah went to a single adult meeting that was a "break the fast" dinner. They took soup and bread sticks so hopefully they'll have plenty of food. The soup was a copy-cat version of the Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi soup. Hopefully it turned out.
 A call to the Brighton home was unanswered but a message was left wishing Kimball a very happy 8th birthday. We look forward to seeing her in less than 2 weeks to witness her baptism and celebrate such a marvelous choice for her. Her Grandma Jestes will be coming from Arizona. It will be very fun as that weekend we'll have an apostle of God visiting in our stake. Such excitement!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

2 October 2016 - General Conference and Round-up

Stephen made it home for Ohio around midnight Monday to early Tuesday morning. His cold settled in his chest and he said that Grandpa Ralph had caught it from him. He had meetings to go to on Tuesday night and Samuel had a volleyball game that his team lost but it was nice to have Stephen home for a little while before he saddled up (literally) to go a find lost "doggies" on the mountains of Idaho.
   Wednesday during the day, Kathleen worked at the  Tribal Life Trail, taking groups of second grade students through the trail and explaining the different plants that the Native people used to survive. It was a fun bunch of groups and it took most of the daylight hours.
Early morning sunrise in Kent.
 Wednesday night was Scout court of Honor and Samuel received his Life Scout and 3 merit badges, family life, disability and coin collecting. He seemed very pleased with his accomplishments.
Br. Johnson passing out the merit badges. 

Pinning the Life Scout pin on his mom.
Stephen left for Idaho with Brian early Thursday morning. They had a rental car and made it through Montana and to Idaho Falls in plenty of time to meet up with Bruce and the other wranglers. Cell phone reception was spotty so he was unable to call out regularly. They worked hard moving over 500 head of cattle out of the summer grazing grounds.
   Friday was a work around the yard day. We trimmed out the strawberries, pulled weeds, watered and picked beans, squash, tomatoes and onions. Saturday was the beginning of conference. What a wonderful talk by Elder Uchtdorf to start out.  All the talks were so inspiring. How blessed we are to have the opportunity to hear from our leaders so easily and to know that the kingdom will not fall this time around. Sunday's talk were so "joyful". It was amazing to be reminded that we are so blessed and that JOY is what we will have in this life through covenants and especially in the next as we keep those covenants. What a blessing to hear inspired men and women of God.
Daniel L. Johnson was the Elder that set Stephen apart
as a counselor in the Stake Presidency. He was made an
emeritus status. He is a distant cousin.