Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cyclone Hits Vanuatu

My I-Phone is set up to receive google alerts for Vanuatu.  I have received numerous alerts regarding cyclones and earthquakes, but this one seemed to be the worst yet.  Instead of lasting hours, like the ones in the past, Cyclone Lusi lasted 3 days.  A week of worry, and praying that Sister Brown and the other's of her island would be safe from harms way.

I was anxiously awaiting her email Sunday, and was so happy when I finally heard from her.  This is what she said:

"It didn't directly hit us, it was about 60 miles off the coast, but oh my did we feel it.  On Monday my companion and I had a feeling that we should stock up on some extra food.  In our district meeting Monday morning they gave us an emergency plan (they had no idea at that time), and then Monday mid morning it hit.  I freaked a little when I saw our neighbors nailing copper onto their windows.  We went and helped them and my heart may have been pounding a bit!  I heard that 2 people were killed here in Malekula.  People say that cyclones don't usually hit here so it's a little weird.

We were grateful we listened to the spirit and purchased food because when the storm hit all the stores closed.  It lasted until Wednesday.  Huge trees fell over, all our banana trees fell over, and all night you could hear coconuts crashing down to the ground.  On Thursday we did a big service in the
morning to help clean up a young widows yard.  One of her huge trees got pulled out of the ground so we had to cut off all the branches with an ax and bush knife and replant it.  It was so big that we had to use some man's truck to pull it back so it would stand up straight.  Pretty crazy."

Bless her heart.  Those who know Sister Brown, know that she is an anxious young lady.  She was always worried about something.  When our family vacationed on the island of St. Thomas, she didn't want to go because she was afraid of a hurricane.  She has had to face almost every fear she ever had.  Some that she has faced are:  flying in small airplanes (8 man); volcano's shaking her hut, with the ash spewing from the volcano so thick it began thinning her hair in Tana; limited clean water in Tana; adjusting to the food; learning a new language; tending to her companion's huge bug bites; nursing another companion that had Dengue Fever; a serious infection in her leg (almost ending her mission); MRSA on her face (unconfirmed but I diagnosed from here based on the information she gave me); earthquakes; and cyclones.  This is just to name a few.  However, she couldn't be happier. Amidst all the difficulties she said:

"I am the happiest I have ever been in my whole life and I know it is
because of the great work I am able to be a part in.  Every day of our
lives we will face challenges and hardships, but every day we have the
choice to change and become better than we were yesterday.  It is
never too late for someone to change.  We must never lose hope and
give up on ourselves or those we love because Papa God will never give
up on any of his children.  He wants every single one of us to go back
to him. Always remember the words of President Monson, "There is no
time like the present to rededicate yourself" Become the person that
you want to be by changing yourself and becoming better every day.  I
love my mission.  I thank Papa God every single day for the chance I
have to be out here serving him.  I love all of you!!! And I hope you
all have a great week!!"

She is my hero!

Tropical cyclone hits Vanuatu

FILE: A search-and-rescue team was deployed after Three people were killed and six went missing after a cyclone hit the Pacific island of Vanuatu. Picture: AFP / Sarah Ivey
WELLINGTON - Three people were killed and six missing after a cyclone hit the Pacific island of Vanuatu, officials said on Friday.
Tropical Cyclone Lusi swept across the country this week and damage assessments were still coming in from remote areas, the National Disaster Management Office said Office director Shadrack Welegtabit said three deaths had been confirmed and a search was underway for six missing women and children.
"A search-and-rescue team was deployed yesterday and we are now waiting to hear from them," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the cyclone had caused widespread flooding and damaged crops.
Lusi has since travelled south and was losing intensity on Friday as it approached New Zealand.

It is expected to be downgraded to a severe storm early Saturday but New Zealand authorities were still warning some residents to prepare for strong winds, heavy rains and possible flooding.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I have heard over and over the complaints of the emphasis the media plays in the celebration of holidays.  While I probably agree, I still love to commemorate every occasion I can.  Yes, maybe I'm cheesy, but I love it.

No extravaganza, just simple Lucy Charms, gold coins, and green money.  Who doesn't like money anyway?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Braves Take State

One point is all that made the difference in the 4A state championship game.  With Orem's Dalton Nixon on the free-throw line, the Braves watched as their dream of becoming state champions became reality.  It's been a long time in coming. Bountiful won their last state championship in 1997.  In their battle to become state champions year after year they experienced many near wins.  Finally, they pulled off a win.
Mike was on the team last year, but was never able to play.  The surgery on his ankle never completely enabled him to play.  We tried many different treatments, and met with several different doctors, but to no avail.  Still hoping for recovery, and wanting to be a part of the team, he went to every practice, and every game.  He knew these great young men and grew to love and appreciate each one. 
Three of the boys on this year's basketball team were named Academic All-State, Andrew Lund, Jordan Bleak, and Trevor Lloyd.  Several have also received calls to serve a full-time mission.  Not only talented boys, but just great kids.
It's a good day to be a Brave!
Photo credit of Sam Merrill:  Deseret News

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Birthday Celebration

March 7th was this cute missionary's birthday.  I wish I were there with him to celebrate his 19th birthday.  Isn't that strange….his 19th birthday.  That used to be when missionaries were sent out to serve.  He was in the first batch of 18 year old missionaries.

In talking with him, and his friends prior to their departure, they mentioned how different senior year was.  Instead of wondering what you were going to be doing, goofing around, making choices that weren't stellar, they were preparing to go on missions.  They said there was almost a reverence as you walked the halls of Bountiful High.

I couldn't be prouder of this cute kid!  He has always been so kind hearted, hard working, easy to get along with, but believe it or not this mission has changed him for the better. His testimony has been strengthen, he has learned that service is what brings people true happiness, he has learned obedience, and to listen to the spirit. He has not only brought other's unto Christ, but has also strengthened his relationship with his Savior and Heavenly Father.

I love hearing about his wonderful experiences.  I look forward every week to his email. His emails and stories strengthen my testimony.  I couldn't be prouder of this young man.

This is a small excerpt from his letter about his birthday: "Thank you so much for all of the Birthday wishes and the package it really means a lot! And thank you so much for all the presents and money.  I'll have to go out and buy something good for dinner so I won't get talked into eating fermented "she-fish" (a catfish the Eskimos catch and bury in the ground for 3 months and then dig up again and eat) for my Birthday, blaaaahhhh!  I've gotta say the card was a killer. At first it wasn't working so I was a little bit confused but don't worry I figured it out. You've just gotta be smarter than the card I guess. By the way who made the sweet pillowcases? I loved my birthday celebration kit! I was strutting around the church with it on all night long. Love you guys" 

Deacon's Ball

The 11 year old scouts were invited to play Deacon's ball since the Teacher's team was short handed and needed a few older boys to play on their team.  With Ben's love for basketball, he was more than happy to play with them.

You would think that perhaps the Deacon's wouldn't enjoy the little 11 year olds playing with them, but they did….or at least it seemed like it.  They included each younger boy with enthusiasm, and played hard to make it to the Stake Championship games.

The Stake Championship games were ALL, that's right ALL, played on a Saturday night.  Each game was 15 minutes long.  You played until you lost 2 games or won the championship.  In the last game of the night against the 10th ward warriors, we won!  Ben was fouled in the last few seconds, made his free throws, and we won the game.  It's always a good day when you beat the 10th ward!

We are the Champions!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Gym Rat

I'm no gym rat, that's for sure.  But with an annual physical to my doctor I was informed in the kindest way, that I need to increase my exercise routine and decrease my intake of nachos and other yummy foods.  Yep, I need to loose a few.

Today at the Rec Center as I was enjoying, well maybe tolerating, the elliptical, I was watching the  TV series King of Queens, or "Dougie", as I like to refer to it.  I do not want to advocate this program, since sometimes it is a little inappropriate, but it is so funny.  I mostly watch it at night right before bed, so I can end the evening on a funny note.  The kids hear me laughing clear down the hall and come in to see what I am doing.  When it is a little inappropriate I quickly change the channel.  They know my routine though, who am I fooling?

When I have my earphones in at the gym, I am unaware of the people beside me or around me.  It was very apparent today, as I was laughing so hard, that people began staring at me.  I did find, it is hard to laugh really hard, when you are exercising, I could barely catch my breath.  At first I was a little embarrassed, until I looked down three spaces and saw a girl working out in her pajamas and looking like she just rolled out of bed.  The stares quickly moved from me to her.  End of embarrassed.