Well, our dear boy, you are our grandchild-of-the-week. As you know we'll be praying with you as a special focus this week. The usual things of course are often repeated: health, happiness, faith, friends, safety, security, scholarship, and so forth. Also, we will ask that you be blessed with a desire to develop patience, self-control, tolerance, gentleness, obedience, loyalty, and charity. Jesus is all these, and we dearly love Him. We hope you do, too.
We wonder what things you are doing these days. Do you play any sports or instruments? Do you love school or simply tolerate it? Do you have a close, loyal, gospel-strong friend? Do you get along well with your sisters? Do you enjoy any special times with your family like Family Home Evening and Family Prayer?
During General Conference, one speaker talked directly to Primary-aged children, which I feel inspired to share with you. "Think of the influence that the faith of a Primary-aged [child] can have on [their] family. Our daughter's faith blessed our family when we lost our young son at an amusement park. The family rushed around frantically looking for him. Finally, our 10-year-old daughter tugged on my arm and said, "Mom, shouldn't we pray?" She was right! The family gathered in the middle of a crowd of onlookers and prayed to find our child. We found him. To all the Primary [children] I say, "Please keep reminding your parents to pray!" If I remember correctly, parents need the help of their children to remember things like family prayer and scriptures. It boggles the mind how many things parents have to remember.
So...we are living in a city this tax season. It's my first time being a city dweller. I must admit, even though the city holds its charms, I prefer the country or at the very least the suburbs. Around here there is LOTS of wild life in the form of crows. They are like rats in other cities. In the evenings, they flock and fly in the hundreds during dusk and dawn. It is creepy, sort of like that scene in The Wizard of Oz when the sky was dark with flying monkeys. Although I love wildlife and nature walks, I don't especially like this back to nature experience. What's with all the crows anyway?
While we are here, we take the ferry to the island for church each Sunday. I was going to go to regular adult classes, but my old Primary class would hear none of it. Even their new teacher wanted me to be part of the class, while we are here for tax season. So, each Sunday I go to Primary with those dear children.
Their teacher decided to have a Valentine's class party and invited me. It was so much fun. We played clothespin drop with an antique milk bottle. We decorated cookies and cards. We played a sort of Jenga game with conversation hearts. The children tried to guess how many candied hearts were in a jar. We made all sorts of silly things with pipe cleaners. All had a wonderful time, even Gracie.
I got to bring her, since she didn't have school or child care that day. We took the ferry over early and went to the beach. Yes, it was sort of chilly and a bit wet, but a day at the beach is always fun if you dress right. There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes and shoes. By the time I got her home, it was well passed dark and her bedtime. She was sound asleep. I wish I could take you and your sisters to the beach or the lake or somewhere fun like that sometime.
I was reading scripture today, when the Holy Ghost whispered I should discuss this scripture with you. "But I say unto you. That whosover is angry with his brother shall be in danger of His [God's] judgement...," 3 Nephi 12:21. The world tells us it is OK to get angry if somebody or something makes us mad. It doesn't seem that is what Jesus said at all. We should refuse to become offended according to Elder Bednar. That means we should realize that most people don't mean to be rude but sometimes cause misunderstanding. We should talk out our differences with civility and courtesy instead of contention. If that isn't possible, we should listen to President Hinckley and choose The Thumper Rule. "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Elder Hales put it this way. "Some people mistakenly think responses such as silence, meekness, forgiveness, and bearing humble testimony are passive or weak. But, to 'love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us, and pray for them which despitefully use us, and persecute us' takes faith, strength, and, most of all, Christian courage." Be nice to people, and you'll go farther in this life.
Now, I don't know if you have an anger issue or not. It doesn't matter. Jesus taught these ideas to all the world of which you and I are a part. So...I'll pass it along as instructed. I love you and want you to know I have a testimony of the scriptures and the gospel. Life is so much happier, when we try to be like Jesus. It really is. Every time I see you Cole, you have the most beautiful smile. You must be one of the happiest people I know. That's a great blessing. Don't stop smiling, OK?
Love Ya Lots!
Papa and Grammy