Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mary - Young Womanhood Recognition!

To continue with the activities from last week, on Friday morning at 7 am, we were up at the Stake Center to meet with our Stake President so Joshua could get released from being a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Last moments with his missionary name tag
It was truly a sweet experience to visit with our Stake President and then to see Joshua take off his name tag and bear his testimony.  

Later, one of our local Elders asked Joshua what it was like to take off his name tag, and I loved Joshua's reply.  He said, "I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and I will continue to be that for the rest of my life, so really, it's not that much different.  I was OK to take it off."

On Saturday afternoon we went Ice Skating!  This was cruel treatment for Josh, having just returned from hot El Salvador, but he was a good sport and only complained about his ears being cold.
 Jesse skated backwards practically the whole time.
 Family Pic! (minus one faithful Elder in Argentina...)
 Peter and Mary  - sporting their Team jackets from Ballroom Dance.  Libby has one too.
 I am cool!
 Joshua practicing his backwards skating with Bruce tutoring in the background.  Bruce served a mission in the Canada Montreal mission (speaking French), so it's appropriate that he is right underneath the Canadian flag in this picture!  He played hockey almost every P-day (preparation day) on his mission, so he got really good at ice skating!
We had some races, and I went splat right on the ice, trying to catch up with Mary.  I banged up my knees and a rib!  Blah!

After the ice skating Bruce, Josh and I went to the Temple and did some work.  Jesse, Mary, Peter and Libby were kind enough to wait for us, and they took some pictures too!

After the Temple, we went to my Mom and Dad's house to eat, and when we drove up, there was this nice new van in the driveway.  We wondered whose it was, and when we walked in, there was my brother Craig, his wife Jenette and their two darling daughters!  How fun!  That was a surprise - we had no idea they were coming.  We had Tamales, cornbread muffins and soup.  It tasted so good!  We sat around and watched a BYU basketball game and talked.  I love talking with Craig and Jenette.  They are wonderful parents to these two little girls.  One of them I was seeing for the first time, and I have to say I fell in love with her.  She has the same look as a lot of us on this side of the family.  I love their oldest daughter also, of course, but something is special about this little one!

Joshua's Homecoming talk at Church was wonderful.  He talked about what true conversion means, and how the gospel changes us. 
Timber and Drew (engaged to be married!), Joshua, Connor
Afterwards, Grandma and Grandpa, Craig and Jenette, and Timber, Drew and Connor came over for dinner.  We had Joshua's favorite - Stroganoff, and had a wonderful time talking and being together.  Craig, Joshua, Peter and I played Dominion twice.  Peter whomped us the first time, and the second time Bruce played with us and won.

The same day at Church, Mary received her Young Womanhood Award!  This is an award that Young Women in the Church receive as the end goal of working on the Personal Progress Program.  Mary had a lot of great experiences doing this program, and she did most of her totally on her own, without having to be pushed or forced into it.  :)  She wanted to accomplish this!
Congratulations Mary!!

Every day this week has just been a treat having Joshua home.  He had two job interviews on Tuesday, and he got both jobs, but took the one doing landscaping with Austin Walker.  It pays well, has good hours, and he is able to help out with Austin too.  Bonus!  What a great blessing this is!

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