Because you are our grandchild of the week, we pray that you are happy, healthy, safe, a good student, and love Jesus. Of course we wish these blessings for your all the time. We wonder what you are doing lately. What things are fun, interesting, and important in your life right now. We are back in AZ enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. I started some seeds for moringa trees, which you see pictured on the front. Morninga is not only lovely and lacy with delicate white flowers, it is a highly delicious and nutritious vegetable. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The green seed pods are a vegetable similar to asparagus used especially in soups. I never knew trees could be vegetables. In cold places, the tree is grown as an annual plant, but warmer places don't need to replant it every year. They can grow very tall, but we intend to keep ours under 10 feet to make harvesting easier.
Did you get to watch the General Women's Meeting with your mother this year? It is wonderful that this meeting now includes girls of eight and up. Girls mature faster than boys and need to be taught with women at a much younger age. When we saw you in September, we were astonished and pleased at how grown up you have become. You are quite a young lady now.
This week I studied Sister Burton's talk from the GWM on being prepared for your future. I liked how she pulled in the story of the Ten Virgins or Ten Young Women. I sure wouldn't want to be one of the foolish ones; would you? It's so true; the five wise young women could not share their oil with the unprepared foolish young women. They (and we) should be like the Nephites, preparing in a manner which never had been known. But how do we do that?
Spiritually we can prepare by following advice from President Spencer W. Kimball and Elder Richard G. Scott. "Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures-each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions -these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps." "Personal worthiness is an essential requirement to enjoy the blessings of the temple. Worthy character is best forged from a life of consistent, correct choices centered in the teachings of the Master." Get into a habit of daily study scripture without fail. You don't have to read for hours and hours. To get into the habit, start by reading for ten minutes daily. If reading is difficult, read along with CDs or MP3, BUT do read. As you develop these habits, notice how they change you.
Preparing for the future needs to include temporal preparation, too. "World-class athletes and university doctoral students spend hours and days and weeks and months and even years of preparation. Daily drops of preparation are required of them to come out on top," Linda K. Burton. Some ideas from Tad Callister's talk I studied last week give some great ideas for temporal preparation. The prophet has counseled girls to prepare for a future career even if they are blessed with the privilege to be stay at home mothers like I was and your mom is. Not only should you learn homemaking skills, which you will need regardless of your future, but you need to develop a love of learning. Read about Ben Carson and the way he went from the stupidest boy in school to a renowned brain surgeon. Also, memory cards capture lost moments for study. I've done this and know its power. Give it a try. Write any math facts, scriptures, poetry, song lyrics, and school stuff that you want to learn on a few cards. Carry them in your pocket. Whenever you find a pause moment, such as sitting in a doctor office or riding in the car or a lull in the day's activities, pull out the cards and go through them. When you have mastered a bit of memory work, put the card in a box to look at once a week. Add new cards. Almost like magic, these things will begin to stick in your mind.
Some people think all this preparing means life won't have fun in it. I tell you they are on the wrong track. Being smart is way fun. Learning new things is invigorating. Becoming a good cook and excellent house keeper brings a lot of satisfaction, protection of belongings, plus some yummy tidbits. Developing talents in music, art, sports, or whatever raises self-satisfaction. Relating to others in a charitable manner (1 Corinthians 13) ensures true friendships and strong family relations. Serving fellow men teaches empathy. Most importantly, increasing faith and strengthening testimony bring incredible joy and peace, which are great blessings in this confusing world. In short, preparations in worthwhile pursuits makes for a happy life and eternity.
I know one thing for sure. A productive life if nothing else is a lot more fun than that of the couch potato. For several years, I was pretty sick and stayed in bed most of the time. It was awful even though I could watch all the movies I wanted. Do you have any idea how boring screen time can be? Uuuugh! No thanks.
When I pray about you and lots of other times, I wonder what you are doing and hope you are joyful. Send a letter, drawing, or school paper if you wish. Since we are so far apart, it is really the only way to keep in touch. If you can't that's OK, too.