"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, June 27, 2015


Hi Gayle!

We hope this finds you happy, healthy, and having fun. We're sure having fun with our new puppy.

For several months, we've been looking for the perfect little Yorkie to keep me company. One thing after another fell through. It's true that none of them were exactly what I was looking for. However, to have a sweet little cuddle bug, I was willing to compromise. Then one day I followed an inspiration to look for breeders in UT. The one I settled on recently moved to Las Vegas, which is several hours closer to Phoenix. Hurray! AND the little girl we brought home was a reduced price for several reasons.

Anyway...she is the sweetest little Yorkie ever, who never yaps or chews furniture or any other terrible behavior. She's a 4 lb. living doll named Dash. I got a basket for my bike, so we can take her on rides with us. The first time she wasn't too sure. Now, she is crazy about riding in her little convertible with the wind blowing through her hair.

What's new with you these days? Are you in session or on vacation? I've been volunteering at a local preschool. Those little children are so charming and may just reverse my aging. My job is to help them learn sounds and listen to the readers practice reading. One little tiny thing named Riley loves lessons with me so much that she shows up two or three times a day. I have to send her off to find other work after her one time with me. If I could take them all home to love, I would.

This morning while reading in 2 Nephi 11, the phrase "my soul delighteth" was repeated three times. It got me thinking. What does my soul delight in? Of course there's the scriptures, the beauties of the earth, family, my new puppy, bike riding, planting trees, teaching little children, homemaking, genealogy, temple work, my life of safety, security, and plenty, but probably my soul delights the most in my testimony and love of Jesus Christ. Jesus has done many wonderful things for us, not before His birth, on the earth, and after His atoning sacrifice. Jesus did and does these things to fulfill Heavenly Father's plan of salvation for us. With Jesus' atoning grace, we can live this plan, return to Heavenly Father's presence, and live forever with family, Him, and Heavenly Father. My testimony of this reality keeps me going during tough times.

But when I think about my small trials compared to those living in extreme poverty or worse, I know I don't really have tough times like they do. Still, sometimes I grow short sighted to this reality. If I ever feel a cloud pass over my inner sunshine, I try to remember the advise of Ezra Taft Benson, prophet back when your parents were youngsters. "...recall your past victories and count the blessings that you do have with a sure hope of greater ones to follow if you are faithful...Be cheerful in all that you do. Live joyfully. Live happily. Live enthusiastically, knowing that God does not dwell in gloom and melancholy, but in light and love." Happiness is not something that happens to you but a choice, something you decide you want and choose to pursue.

So, we've seen a lot of those spooky coyotes again lately, especially since we brought Dash home. Two days ago, one sauntered through our back yard. This morning four of them were hanging out near and in our front yard. Needless to say, Dash only goes outside on a leash. Now I want a big, black German Shepherd or Doberman for protection as well as my little cuddle bug. If I get a big one, I'll name her Shadow and buy a little saddle for Dash to ride on her back. What do you think of that silly idea. Paints a pretty funny picture, don't you think? I'm not likely to get a big dog though.

I've been drawing a lot more lately.  I wonder, do you like to draw? Or is coloring more interesting to you? I like both. Today, I drew the cow jumping over the moon from the Mother Goose rhyme. 

During church, I take notes in a little journal. Sometimes, I also draw flower borders, little dogs, tiny cats, and flowers in pots. Drawing and taking notes helps me pay more attention to the talks. Church used to sometimes be sort of boring, because I have a very hard time sitting still. Don't tell your mom I said that about being bored in church. Anyway...now that draw, while I listen very carefully for inspiring things to write down, I am never bored. Now, Sacrament Meeting is my very favorite time of the week except maybe my weekly time at the temple.

Well, Gayle, we will pray especially for you this week. Your name is on the prayer roll of the Temple. Although we don't know if you have any issues that need attention, we pray that you will follow the straight and narrow way, that you will gain a love of studying the scriptures and personal prayer, that you will gain the character of Christ, that you will be an obedient daughter and wonderful sister, that you will choose gospel strong friends, that you learn to love learning, that you choose to be cheerful, and that you gain a testimony of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We love you very much; never forget or doubt it.