We have several family members currently serving missions around the world. Mondays are the days we usually get letters from them. It was very difficult for them to hear of their uncle’s death when they are so far away and unable to return.
Our nephew, Justin, got permission to call me from France. His call was so comforting. He bore his testimony in French then English of the plan of salvation, the love of God and that death is not the end.
McKenna says, “Needless to say, I’m taking this one hard but I’m continually reminded about how this separation we are going to experience with Amos is so small in the eternal plan of God. But the growth and closeness we will gain with our Savior is immeasurable. I have so much respect for the Abplanalp family and their continued faith. Not only did they have enough faith for him to be spared; they also had enough faith for him not to be. This is the kind of faith that is required from the Saints of God.”
Carlie’s letter from Texas said in part, “Hillary and Abplanalp family I LOVE YOU! I know there is literally nothing I can say to make this easier but I know that the power of Christ and His atonement is beyond anything we encounter here.”
Sheridan sent these words… “When I entered the MTC I decided I wanted to improve my prayers. I made it a goal and was working really hard at it. When Elder Anderson visited us he promised that as I prayed for strength I would know that the Lord lives. I was also blessed at the MTC to know that God knows me and loves me. When I got to Vegas I just felt a lot of adversity and really doubtful of myself and lonely.
On Saturday night I read my emails and was told my uncle Amos passed away. The neighbors underneath us were blasting Rihanna and my talk was unwritten and my companion was in the other room writing in her journal. Even though I didn’t feel like it I got on my knees and prayed for strength for myself and my family. I know my Savior lives and I know Amos will live again. I know God knows me and my family, it was one of the most powerful prayers in my life. I’m not a very outwardly emotional person but I sobbed.”
I love these missionaries and their faith strengthens me and buoys me up in these dark days.
I was up in the night tracking hurricane Irma. Amos’s dad was hit but is ok. They lost a lemon tree and went without power but they were unharmed and we are so thankful.
My childhood friend, Adrian, sent me this beautiful picture of my family. I love it so much and it reflects the letters of our sweet missionaries and their testimonies of the Savior and eternal families.
Tough day for both of my boys. Porter got hurt again at wrestling practice today so he is taking over dad’s chair. I took him to the chiropractor right after practice but he still can barely move. He twisted up his other hip. He requested a priesthood blessing from his dad. Amos is struggling himself today but loves any opportunity he has to bless his son.
Evelyn was the hero of the day. I had to take Amos to get his chemo pump off at 3:30 this afternoon. He normally goes after work but the cancer center was closing early today for the holiday. He had to get off work to be there but I signed up to feed the missionaries. Evelyn made dinner and had it ready for us and the sisters right when we got home. I love that my kids are so willing to happily serve when things get crazy at our house.
So fun to have so many of us together for Carlie’s mission farewell today. Love these people and all the ones far away who couldn’t make it. Family is so important to us. We will miss our missionaries but at least we will be able to see them tomorrow for one last time. We are excited to see lots of you tomorrow for Amos’s fundraiser at the movie theater as well. I’m so grateful to you for supporting us in this. There are still plenty of seats left. They got us the big theater. Hopefully we can fill it.
This will be a big week and I am planning on having Amos for two more days until he is out of commission. We are ramping up for a big week. We have a birthday and a baptism and grandpa coming into town and Amos has to speak in church for ward conference next Sunday. That should be interesting since Sunday was his worst day. At least he can’t fall asleep if he’s speaking. 😉
We had a new family moving in down the street this morning. Amos was determined to take Porter over to help them unload. I tried to convince him that his body was not meant for manual labor right now and Porter with his broken wrist would’t be much help either. Amos told me that he was worried no one would show up to help our new ward members move in. He told me in the sweetest way that it is important to him that people who move in know how much they are loved. Since I couldn’t convince him not to go we all walked over. I almost started crying when we got there to find that the Acosta family and all the sets of missionaries from our area had already unloaded the truck! Over and over I have seen Amos being taken care of as he serves with all his might. The Lord always makes up the difference.
Our girls have gone from one party to another today. Good friends, good fun and happy girls.
Evelyn is singing for her friend Kenzie’s baptism in a couple weeks. We are so happy she decided to get baptized and all my girls had tons of fun at her Build-a-Bear birthday. I can’t believe how happy one little Batman bear made my 12 year old. It was like she was dressing her own child! So cute.
There was a pet shop next to Build-a-Bear so we had to go through all the begging again. Amos is no help. I have to stay strong all by myself and remember how our last dog ruined my life. It was really difficult to say no today. Those wrinkled dogs are adorable.
I got 3 more pairs of compression stockings in the mail today from my friend. Thank you so much Rosa!!
The grocery shopping is done. The girls are at their next party and hopefully I can get Amos to relax tonight and catch up on some Olympics then go to sleep early.
Normally our kids would be competing in water sports and we’d be taking trips up North to see family and get out of the heat. This summer has really been very different for us. The kids have been alone to fend for themselves much of the time as we have spent countless hours at the hospital and cancer center with Amos. On this last day of summer vacation, a sweet couple from our ward picked up our 4 girls, took them out for lunch then brought them to their home to do some awesome crafting projects. Thank you Brother and Sister Kennedy for the wonderful day. The whole way home they were all saying how kind you both are, how much they love you and loved the day with you and your sweet pets. This is two days in a row that has happened. Yesterday it was the Broberg’s who took my girls for swimming, nails and cake-making fun.
Tonight we have another special treat for a final weekend of summer fun with daddy. No chemo for Amos this weekend and our friend who owns Jesterz, the clean comedy club at Mesa Riverview, gave us free VIP tickets for the show. I can tell Amos is excited by the messages he’s been sending me from work. We will make a weekend out of it and have some fun with dad tomorrow too.
Last night was “meet the teacher” and the kids are excited to get back to school.
Porter is doing alright today. He can’t move his fingers without extreme pain. They are fat and discolored so I can’t imagine what his wrist looks like under that cast. We’re trying to manage the pain and swelling. My friend, Holly, is sending me something that might help him along with more supplements for Amos. We couldn’t get a hold of the orthopedic surgeon today but will try again Monday.
I had a doctor’s appointment today. My visiting teacher made me go. I now get to go to a vein specialist on Monday for a dull, cramping pain I’ve had in my leg for the past several months. I have a history with blood clots, but I didn’t want to add to the drama at my house so I’ve been ignoring it. She reminded me that my kids need at least one healthy parent and that ignoring it was irresponsible. She’s probably right.
Evie had a couple of French press releases today which were not related to her dad’s illness, thankfully. We were starting to feel a little uncomfortable with all that, but were so thankful for it at the same time.
I talked to my sister today about her daughter who will be leaving for a mission in Russia this fall. I asked why she thought they were still calling missionaries there when all religious proselyting was just restricted in Russia. She said the restriction is actually causing more interest and the work is increasing. I guess it’s like when a book is banned and then sales go up because people don’t like to be told they can’t read something and they want to find out why. She said they will be called volunteers and will not be able to teach on the streets or in homes. All they can do is serve and invite people to church. Maybe they should let her bring her guitar and sing too. 😉 Good luck McKenna.