Husband and Father

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

Saturday, April 18, 2015

In The Chicken Coop

Great neighborhoods are places where everyone watches out for one another.  Your neighborly duties may include watching some one's house while they are out of town, and/or taking care of their pets. Our neighborhood is one of those friendly places to live.

This weekend, I was asked by my backdoor neighbor (the G’s) to take care of their animals, and watch their house while they were out of town.  Between my kids and I, we had it covered.  It is a little tricky since they have 3 dogs, one cat, and 14 chickens.  Yes, you heard me right 14 chickens! 

The trend in our neighborhood is for residents to buy cute little baby chicks, that grow into chickens. I haven’t quite figured out what the obsession is with the chicks/chickens.  Is it merely for a pet, food storage, fresh eggs, or entertainment?  Once the chicks get big, the owners build them lavish housing facilities (not regular coops).  You can literally walk inside some of them.

This morning was busy for my kids, Kate was taking a college test, Lizzy was at dance, and Ben was at scout camp.  I was leisurely enjoying the morning lounging around in my Pajamas. I wasn’t sure if Kate had a chance to take the neighbors dogs out, so I decided to do it myself.  I thought if I was quick, no one would see me run through the gate, and into the neighbors house in my PJ’s.

As I arrived at their house, I let the 3 dogs, and 1 cat out for some fresh air and to do their business.  Once the cat and dogs were taken care of, I went out to check on the 14 chickens that I was supposed to feed and water.  They seemed to have enough food, but were low on water.  I decided to go back in the house, get a jug of water and fill the chicken’s water dispenser.

When I went inside, I decided to leave my cell phone on the counter.  I took the jug, unlocked the coop, stepped inside, and shut the door so the chickens wouldn’t escape.  After I poured the water in the dispenser, I realized I was locked in the chicken coop with 14 chickens!

Panic started to set in as I realized I couldn’t get out, and had 14 clucking chickens ready to start pecking me. I tried slipping my hand through the coop to unlock the door, but my hand was too big.  I started yelling for my daughter Kate, but realized she was gone.

With my cell phone in the house, I began yelling for anyone to save me from the chickens.  I yelled for a good 15 minutes, at the top of my lungs,“help me,” before a neighbor across the street heard me from his backyard.  “Do you need some help,” he shouted from the side of his house.  “Yes, I’m locked in the chicken coop,” I responded.  He leisurely walked a crossed the street and set me free from the chicken coop.  I was so relieved that I was out of the coop, that I didn’t even think about the sight I must have been standing there in my pajamas.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Harp Ensemble 2015

Fourteen harps played in the Harp Ensemble Recital.  The songs that are played, are usually songs that everyone is familiar with.  Some are weddings songs, church songs,  or songs from movies. I love to listen to as the harps harmonize together.

Katelyn's Homecoming Talk

Thanks to my dear friend, Kimi Farley, who recorded and transcribed Kate's talk.

Kate Brown’s Homecoming Talk  January 18, 2015

(Started recording a couple seconds late)…the mission was never the plan I had for my life, but after past 18 months I’m glad to one Heavenly Father that he helped me gone one mission. My mission was the hardest thing I’ve ever done my whole life. I faced more fears and discouragement on my mission than I ever did the first 20 years of my life. But, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed me, it changed my relationship with my Savior and Papa God.

On my mission I learned plenty about the sincere love and concern our Father in Heaven has for each one of us. I was blessed to be able to see how much effect this love can have on each one of our lifes, and the lifes of those around us. We’re truly blessed to have a Father in Heaven that loves each and every one of us, no matter what mistakes or what weaknesses we have in our lifes. I’ve never seen His love so evident in my own life and in the lives around me than on my mission.

I believe that too often we not recognize how perfect and eternally our Father in Heaven loves us. That is because His love cannot be measured. For instance, think of the most pure, amazing love—and then times it by infinity. After, you’ll understand small how much your Heavenly Father loves you. The problem is that in life you have too much distraction. The adversary…(?)...trying to keep each of us not…?...this time when we feel that feeling, it will make us change.

Love is the essence of change. So if you want to change, you’ll experience the love of Christ…love of Heavenly Father, first…um, first. Satan understands this, and he understands the power that’s inside the love of God. He understands that when people feel that love, they’ll never be the same. And I know that that is true.

So the ultimate dilemma we all face in life is how can we feel that love of Heavenly Father in the world we live in today. One way is to come and to understand and apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ (rolled R) in our lives. In John chaptah 15, verse 13, it reads: “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for ‘is friend. Heavenly Father bin show…show…s…His love for all of us as He allowed His only begotten son to come down to the Earth and suffer for us. 

This reminds me of one man we bin teach on my mission. His name’s Ariel (sp?). Ariel was one big chief one island. He’d bin known for all his harsh discipline and cruel words. He’s one…uh…no…like…no good man. (Congregation laughing). Although elders had frequently come to his house, he never had interest to learn more about the gospel. Many pastors from other faiths had tried come, time…time, time again as well, to convince him to join their faith. But he decided he did not need God. 

A few months prior to our meeting, Ariel was bin poisoned by fish. After two months of his sickness, he was bedridden and most began to doubt he would survive. One day he was sleeping in his house. After, two elders start to walk up his pathway to his house. And he sees them. After, they came to his house. They asked permission come inside. After, he said, “Okay.” As they go inside and ask if they can share the gospel of Jesus Christ with him. But before, he said, “No.” But this time, he said, “Yes.” After, they began to share the gospel with him. He began to cry as they expressed to him the deep love that Heavenly Father bin got for him. 

One month later, the severity of his sickness make that he had to come to the big island to receive a treatment. After, that’s when my companion and I met him. Time when we went, he was already ready. He had already been willing to began to change. He knew every something that we shared with him was true. Within about three weeks time, his…him and his wife were married, and after baptized. 

As I watched Ariel enter those waters of baptism, and come back on top, the words of Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy came into my head. Although most of his life Ariel bin one no good man, and make plenty mistake, he was completely clean. 

God’s love has no conditions. There is no man where it is exempt from God’s love. This means no matter what our past has been, it is not late. No matter what mistake we made yesterday, we come on top more today and become better today. As we come to understand and use this miraclu…mira…culous…miraculous Atonement of Jesus Christ in our own lifes, we feel of His love. And His mercy extends to all His children who embrace it. ‘E even loves those who have forgotten Him. 

One nother way we can feel the love of our Father in Heaven is through study divine principles inside the scripture and Book of Mormon. Scripture is one source of communication each of us have with our Father in Heaven. Through scripture he can direct us and answer our prayers.

So one time in particular on my mission we face some hard time. After, we worked as hard as we could, but everything tried, it didn’t work. After, I pray pray pray pray pray, ask, “What did I do wrong? What more can we do?” After, no answer. Pray pray—after one time I was reading my Book of Mormon and I came to one verse. It was in Alma chapter 26:27. It tell: “Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.” 

As I read that verse, an overwhelming feeling of peace came over me. And I knew exactly what needed to be done. I was reassured that all my prayers and pleas to Heavenly Father were not in vain. I was reminded of His love for me. The Book of Mormon is evidence of God’s love for us. 

I remember Thomas, one investigator of ours. He had investigated the church ooon off, fuuull time, many years. But was not yet willing to let go all something of world…of the world. For months we continued gradually teaching Thomas, but the strong pull of friends and strong pull of other something was too strong. We decided to challenge Brother Thomas to read Book of Mormon every day. After, we bin promise him that he would find access to the power of God that is inside and he could feel the love that his Heavenly Father had for him. After so he tried it. So first time, he read one verse, two verse. After some week pass, after, he read maybe full chapter. After, he would explain it. So after he reads, we asked him to share his testimony about Book of Mormon with us. And he shared the most beautiful testimony about the Book of Mormon. 

He said, “This is how I came to know the church is true: There is power in this book. I used to drink and smoke every day. But now, I read my Book of Mormon, I don’t have a desire to drink or smoke. My friends offer; I just nowant…don’t want any. I know it’s true. I feel it every time I read it. 

These are the moments you live for as a missionary. We were glad…we glad. After, days later his sister came and told us, “I used to go Thomas’s house and look pack of cigarettes by him while he slep…slept. But now the cigarettes are gone; he keeps his Book of Mormon nearby.” I know this change is possible through Jesus Christ. There is no other power where could…where could been converted…convert that man than the power of God, one strong man. 

I know the power of God is great, beating any other power of temptation, suffering, addiction, or any kind affliction. As we let go of something of the world, we will be able to feel the power of His love more abundantly in our lifes. I testify that is true.

I bin look the power of God in forward of my eyes…in front of my eyes. Because our Father in Heaven loves us so much, He will never leave us to bear things by ourself. He will rarely immediately take away our hardships and trials. He’ll make our backs stronger, but He will not take the burden from us. Sometimes, when we go through hard something, He’s quiet. But He is there. I know that’s true.

Full up time on my mission I…I…I faced hard time. But every time, at the end of the day He was there. In one of my last areas we got one new branch presidency. After, they called the name new branch president who was one member long time. After call the name first counselor, ok one member long time again. After they called the second counselor, everyone kinda…hmm…Brother Ceriac. Ceriac…uh no bin..hadn’t been one member for not one year yet. He wasn’t a member for a year (congregation laughing). Oh, no (laughing). 

The district presidency gave each of the member of the new branch presidency an opportunity to share their testimonies. When Brother Ceriac got up he said, “I have not been a member even one year yet. I do not know anything about how this church works or runs. I am not enough to hold this calling. But with Papa God I am enough. I accepted this calling because the calling came from Papa God. I know He will help me. 

Brothers and Sisters, do we have the faith to believe when God calls us? I know that God had faith in me to go to Vanuatu. I know that through Him we have power. He accepted that calling because he knew where it came from. Every calling inomatter iwhat is from God. 
As we embrace this great work of God, you will receive blessing. We will receive miracle in our lifes and in our families. 

This is something that I learned on my mission. I bin learn where our power lie. We have no power. I am weak, we are weak, but with the power of God we are strong. We can do hard things. Every time. Because we are daughters of…daughters and br…others…brothers…brothers…of…God. 

I know God lives. I know He loves us. And I know He has a plan for each one of our lifes. The Restoration is evidence of God’s love for us. And it was an honor to serve the Lord and be able to share this great message with those great people in Vanuatu. My heart is still there, but the church is a worldwide church. It is the same there as it is here. Small, but it is the same. Same Spirit, same Jesus Christ, and same Atonement. And it will be until He comes back. I testify Jesus Christ will come back. I testify He knows us. He dead…He died for each one of us. I know that that is true. I know that through Him we can come clean from any something. And through Him we can experience the change that comes through the Love of God. 

I’d like to share my small testimony in Bislama before I close…

Sister Brown's Homecoming

Katelyn's Homecoming talk was fabulous! You could feel her sweet spirit and love for the people of Vanuatu as she spoke.  Having only been home 4 days before her Homecoming talk, the Bislama language popped in a couple of times.  It was so endearing, reminding all of us that she put her whole heart and soul into her mission.  I couldn't be prouder of this sweet, brave, courageous girl!

Thank you to all those who brought food to the luncheon that followed.  I purchased some submarine sandwiches from Dick's Market, and the rest of the salads and desserts appeared from friends and relatives.  How grateful I am to all those wonderful people in our lives.