Well, you are our grandchild-of-the-week, and we are praying especially for you. Sure, we pray for all our family every day but focus on your specifics during your GCOTW. Right now our biggest hope for you is a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel. Both of us love what trying to live the gospel has done to help us be better people. We love the peace and hope and joy that come with knowing that families can be together forever in the presence of Heavenly Father. It is so important to come to a knowledge of these things for yourself. Personal, daily prayer and scripture study are vital in this quest. But...and this is a big but...God doesn't expect you to be perfect all at once. Line upon line we learn to be kinder, gentler, and more faithful, repenting when we mess up.
I guess this is why I love January. The New Year is so exciting with its possibilities of new beginnings. It's not that I think I'll be a whole new person with all my new goals, though little by little I have improved a bit over the years. Learning is so much more interesting than vegging with a silly electronic game or television. This year I have so many things that I want to learn about. One of them is the Chickasaw Nation. Doing genealogy research, I learned about a grandfather many generations back was Native American of that tribe. I also learned that 2 grandmothers very far back are of the Patawomek Nation. One of them married a man from the first Jamestown settlement. Cool, don't you think! I love working on family history a few hours a week as well as reading, writing, and painting. I also LOVE to ride my new bike with a helmet of course. There are so many new things to learn that I don't have time to do them all at once.
Papa and I got a rocket stove as a new edition to our preparedness. It cooks food using twigs as fuel. The other day I decided to cut dried twigs out of the citrus tree. While walking toward the lemon, our favorite little hummingbird sort of hovered near-by. I said, oh, excuse me, as I moved back. He dove in, got his drink from the feeder, and flew away. This little guy is a character. He looks in the window at us all the time. We have three sliding glass doors. If he doesn't see us through one, he looks through the others or the kitchen nook window. He really cracks me up.
I love living so close to the temple. It's only a ten minute drive away with the opening of the new temple. Inside it's just beautiful. Someday, after you turn twelve, you'll have to come down and attend with me. I know lots of young people who go to the temple every week to do baptisms, while their parents are in another part of the temple doing other types of work. Going to the temple isn't about how beautiful it is inside though, at least not for me. When I make it a habit to attend regularly, I feel calmer and calmer. I don't get irritated as easily. I sort of feel like I have the spirit with me all the time as well as my ancestors surrounding me with encouragement. On the night of Jesus' birth, Heavenly Hosts sang, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.' I used to think there will never be peace on earth or good will toward men. Recently, though, with the greater understanding I'm gaining in the temple, I learned a great truth. The peace on earth that Jesus brought isn't a lack of war but peace in our hearts and joy in our souls. We then feel good will toward all God's children, because we want everyone to be happy and feel the peace we feel. Anyway, that peace is magnified at the temple. But...you can obtain this peace before you are old enough to go to the temple if you pray without ceasing and feast upon the scriptures.
I'm really excited that I get to spend part of your grandchild-of-the-week week with you!! WhooHoooo! If everything goes just right, we will probably go out for pizza and cupcakes with the cousins. Sometimes things mess up our best plans. However, if nothing weird happens, we'll celebrate Quinn and Gayle's b-day one afternoon during my visit. Won't that be fun!
So...I've decided I DON'T like cotton tail rabbits anymore, at all. Why? Well, first they ate my gogi berries. Then the other day, you know when Mr. Hummingbird asked me to get out of the way of the feeder? Well, while I was out there, I noticed my new moringa tree was sort of droopy. The reason was it was not a tree anymore. It was a moringa branch strapped to the support stick. Yes, the silly rabbits ate the tree from the ground up the trunk as far as they could reach. Since morninga are hard to kill, and since the trunk was still fresh, I cut it off and stuck it in the ground. Maybe, just maybe, it will grow new roots and still become a nice moringa tree. AND I put a wire fence around all my new trees and the remnant of the gogi berry plants so the darn rabbits can't get to them anymore.
My bike rides are getting longer, as I get stronger. Today, my ride will be just short of 4 miles, which is pretty exiting to me. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father is letting me get well enough to do normal things again. Being sick is not so good. I'm also glad He gave me the inspiration to eat only plants. I feel terrific most of the time now!
Well, Sammy, we love you very much and want you to always remember this. When you have hard times, it is important to remember all the people that love you. I can give you so much strength. Choose to be a happy girl. Always strive to be good but don't be too hard on yourself. Remember, only one perfect person has ever lived on this earth. Try to be like Him, of course, but realize you have a lot to learn still. You will make plenty of mistakes, just learn from them and move on. Be kind. Be grateful, Be prayerful, Be loyal. Be smart. Be clean. Be humble. Be loving. See Ya Soon!Love Ya Lots!