Dear Sister Stockinger,
I feel absolutely awful that you missed getting my letter from last week! Trying to fit everything in after late church is tough. David had a lot of home teaching appts last night, we managed to squeeze in FHE, and then hung out with Keirsten, Megan, and Nic. Now I’ve slept in way too late for all that I have to do this Monday, so here’s hoping I don’t miss you again!
It has been extremely hot as of late! Today it’s suppose to get up to 108 degrees! And you’re probably dealing with this type of heat and have humidity added on top. There are so many western states that are having breaking temperatures and several states that are dealing with huge fires – Colorado and Arizona come to mind. In fact, just this weekend 19 experienced firefighters lost their lives when wind picked up and turned the fire line they were working. So devastating.
This past Saturday was phenomenal! Our stake Relief Society put together for months and months a family humanitarian day of service within our stake boundaries. Amazing results!!! There were 550 of us from the stake that worked with other churches, organizations, and the city to accomplish 15 projects!! One of the stake counselors works for channel 2 news and he filmed the entire event. There is a food bank right within our stake that feeds 300 people a month! A lot of families with small children helped bag up rice, beans, and other dry goods and it was SO touching to see 2 and 3 year old children scooping beans into bags with the help of their dad and being taught how what they were doing was going to feed others who needed their help. There were two parks – Jullian and Redwood (which I’ve never heard of) that had all the bark replaced around the trees and new bark added under all the playground equipment, trees were pruned. That’s where Thomas and David worked. Originally David was not happy at all about going to do this only because he works landscaping all week long and it has been so hot and he really wanted to sleep in, but afterwards, I think he was glad he participated. Some helped with an international refugee organization totally repacking and organizing two large storage units, and cleaning the office. We helped one small church by cleaning all their refrigerators, stoves, vacuuming offices, cleaning out garden spots, washing windows, dusting plants. I helped with cutting and tying fleece blankets for an orphanage in Kenya whose parents have died from Aids. They had us tie the knots in the middle of the strips instead of at the top so that the blanket would lie more flat and cover the bed better since two children sleep in each twin bed. It was touching to see very old women coming to participate with their old wrinkly hands using scissors to cut fabric for several hours. Old greeting cards were gathered and the backs cut off and the fronts get sent to teenage foster kids in Nevada, I believe, who remake the cards into new cards to sell to earn money. 107 hygiene kits were put together, quilted soft kitty blankets were made for the humane society, baby blankets were tied and finished for our area. Afterwards there was a hot dog sack lunch ready at the Northview pavilion for everyone. Many nonmembers came to the lunch; a black lady minister in which people helped at her church was given the microphone so she could say thanks for all our help, was inviting everyone to her services, and community choir event in February. It was so cute with her rising voice and tears of happy happy she called them.
Already the experiences from this event are coming in. One lady said she’s lived around Mormons her entire life and held a negative view of them and now after seeing so many kind people in action her heart has been softened and touched. Already the Catholic Church and an Episcopalian church say they want to work with us next year. It looks like this is going to become an annual event! The lady over humanitarian in our ward, Kari Boyle, shared her personal experience. When she found out the date of this event months ago she was concerned because the date conflicted with a wedding in which she was hired to do the entertainment at. She runs her own business of incredible face painting, balloon twisting, etc. She took her concerns to the Lord expressing her desire to fulfill her calling and get to participate with this stake event yet she really needed the income she would earn from this wedding. Do you know that the wedding got postponed to a later date…she still has their deposit so she’s confident the wedding will still happen. Now she will be able to attend the stake event but still out the money she needs to pay rent and bills so she prayed again. She shared this with all of us yesterday at church and her hands were covering her eyes at this point trying not to cry…. Late Friday night she got three phone calls for last minute bookings of parties that would allow her to meet her expenses! She said if that wasn’t a witness that God was aware of her personally she doesn’t know what is. Pretty cool.
Apparently Uncle Matt recorded Anna’s mission farewell talk on his IPhone and emailed it to grandma. So grandma has emailed it to me and I am so excited that I get to listen to that soon. She has 24 days til she enters the MTC. My friends daughter entered the MTC last week, but she is part of this first group that won’t be in the main MTC. Guess there is now MTC North and they’re using what used to be married BYU housing. When they all need to meet together they now use the Marriott Center on BYU campus. Stacie Lytle – don’t know if you remember her from homeschooling days – her daughter, Danielle, had her farewell yesterday and is going to a mission in Maryland.
I didn’t get to attend the worldwide mission pres. meeting two Sundays ago cuz Ken and Kris passed through town, but Bishop Olsen in our combined RS/Priesthood mtg yesterday shared one of the video clips from that meeting about members being involved. It was amazing and left me on fire! Plus he showed the new prodigal son movie the church has released and a lot of neat comments came from showing that. For FHE I shared the missionary video clip and talked about it. I look forward to getting to watch the whole thing on lds org now.
Tomorrow morning after I get David to work, I am driving to Utah to attend my Aunt Joann’s funeral in Orem. The boys will be staying here cuz of work. David will stay with Colton so we don’t have to worry about Tom getting him there by 7 a.m. Thomas will be here with the dogs. I will stop in Mt. Home to pick up my cousin, Keleen, to come with me, and then we’re stopping in Ogden to pick up Aunt Laurie and bring her down. There is a viewing Tuesday night and the funeral will be Wednesday morning. I’m sure everything won’t get done til 3ish. We may try to attend a temple session somewhere in that valley.
I’m so thrilled that all seems to be going well with Valerie. It is so exciting! And to have a family to teach – that is awesome! Looking forward to hearing how that is coming along. Speed walking, huh? Too bad you didn’t have your running shoes with you. So what exercising in the morning do you get to do?
Yes, Megan and Nic found out this past week what baby they are having but she will have to be the one to tell you. J Dad has not bought a newer car…yet. We are hoping it makes it home the end of July for the reunion, we will let it get fixed by the shop at Meridian High come fall, and will have to shop around while dad is home. And Jillyn gets married this week. Apparently they will be moving to Spokane where he will be going to college, I believe.
Well, I’m going to bring this to a close. I’m worried about getting this letter to you on time. Love you bunches.
P.S. How long has your mission pres been out? Just wondering if you’ll have him the entire time you’re out or will have a new one at some point like grandma. Which reminds me, be sure to copy your emails to grandma or I can forward my copy on too.