"Beam-ectomy should precede all mote micro-surgery. Just saying." Ginger Conrad paraphrasing Jesus Christ.

Paradigm Shift

“The list of health problems I think it would very hard to live with is SO much longer than the list of foods I previously thought I couldn’t live without,” Merrill Alley.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

capture that joy

Hi Cole!

I can’t believe it’s already your turn again. It’s so much fun to search out and consider things for you that will be just right to spark an interest. This time we are sending a few that might be just the ticket. One book is sort of like dot-to-dot, which your mother said you enjoy. However, it is also sort-of not like dot to dot. You’ll see. Anyway, it was designed by an engineer for his dot-to-dot and science loving son. Uncle Spencer used it about your age.

I felt so happy to see you, when I was there. You are not a little boy anymore, which feels bittersweet. One thing I noticed about you is the light of the Spirit shining in your eyes. You’ve no idea how delighted and grateful I was to see that. I also noticed your kindness towards your siblings and cousins. Although you lead them, you also don’t plow over them. You have the makings of a true leader.

Your mom told me you like to figure things out. I was that way as a girl. Uncle Spencer and Aunt Emily are that way, too. Whenever I have a question about something, I research until I have the answer. If nobody knows, I experiment until I find something that works. For instance, I’m allergic to shampoo of all things—I mean seriously allergic. Allergic seems to be my lot. Anyway, I’ve tried all sorts of things until I decided to make my own. Yes, I infuse herbs to make shampoo and conditioner. It works pretty well, too. Weird? Of course! I’ve always had a weird streak, which I prefer to call unique.

Your mom said you are really into baseball right now. What position do you play? What is the name of your team? Why do you like it? For me sports were pretty much a physically embarrassing nightmare, although I was pretty good at flag/dance corps in my high school marching band. It’s very physical and sort of like a sport set to music WITHOUT throwing or hitting or running. We all find our niche.

We hope you are still reading the scriptures daily. Did you know it only takes 3 minutes to read one page even if you read out loud? Remember, when we sent you scripture cds? I decided to study the Book of Mormon with audio on my phone like you did with the cds. It’s forcing me to slow down and pay attention more. I also listen to the narrator read the Bible as I fall asleep each night. My dreams are much sweeter, going to sleep with God. With consistent scripture studies, I feel closer to God and have an easier time making good choices. It’s as if my ‘sweet hour of prayer’ fills up my spiritual gas tank. Life is so interesting and exciting, when my head is in the right place. If you’ve gotten out of the habit, now is a good time to begin again. You might try this method. Before you get out of bed, sing (or think) a Primary song, flip open your scriptures, read a page, think about what you read a bit, say a prayer, then hop out of bed with a smile on your face. It’s ten or fifteen minutes that will change your life. Of course you might get crazy with this like me and spend an hour or two each morning…or not.

Why would you want to spend time studying scripture, when you could be watching cartoons? Satan desires to delude and deceive you by any means possible that there is no God and that there is no sin. It is crucial that you obtain a personal testimony and witness from God that He is, that He loves you, that the commandments are important, and that the Plan of Salvation is both vital and true. You need to understand the reasons for the Fall, the need for and beauty of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, how to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and the ultimate meaning of your tests and trials on Earth. God has given you, a young boy, the means for learning about these things in the scriptures. They are valuable treasures and noble gifts from a Father that loves you very much. Once you understand the importance and power of the scriptures, you begin to understand  your joyful privilege to study diligently. As you do so, you 'write them upon the table of thine heart' and allow them to become a force for good in your life. In short, I love what the scriptures do for me and want the same for you.

So tell Claire that Heavenly Father said ‘not now’ with my dog searching. Wah! I looked at a few but all were either every expensive puppies or very neglected adults. Too bad…but I’m finding other things to do with my time. I’ve been having a blast riding my pink Christmas bike all over our neighborhood—with a helmet of course. I also enjoy spending time in our little backyard citrus grove. Mom and Grandma live close by, although Grandma is very old and frail. That’s the way of life. Family history is fun, and the temple is only 12 minutes drive from our house. Life is good.

Cole, we love you very much as do your parents, siblings, Jesus, and Heavenly Father. Heaven wouldn’t be as wonderful without you there. Although it is the Savior’s saving Atonement that allows us entrance into Heaven, it is our choice to accept His gift or not. We don’t have to go. Additionally, where we end up in Heaven is all about our choices. We show by our choices and character that we want to be part of His Kingdom on Earth and in Heaven. Let’s choose wisely, live our lives well, and repent when we fall short.

I’ve written so much of my testimony this time, which I hope is pleasing to you. Although I send all sorts of books and activities, I can’t think of a better gift to send than my testimony of the love Jesus and Heavenly Father have for you. As a little four-year-old, my friend Laura Doyle invited me to Primary. At the age of thirteen, I joined the church, a decision that has brought me incredible joy. By encouraging you, I hope you will find the joy I know. Membership without testimony and knowledge is not enough to permanently capture that joy. It is our prayer for you this week that you catch this vision.

Love Ya Lots! P&G