Missionary Monday

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.

I Stand All Amazed

As most of you know, Amos has had a difficult couple of days. Today I feel like the blessings are coming faster than the pain. Eating and drinking are still issues. Food only seems manageable by his system if it is accompanied by heavy pain pills, stool softening pills and gas relieving pills. We know that isn’t sustainable for long but we believe relief will come soon. Thank you all for your words of comfort and prayer and the delicious bread that the Filletti family just dropped by.

Kirra sang a solo in church today. The song was “I Stand All Amazed.” The title perfectly describes how I feel today and her singing was so heartfelt and beautiful. We had a few extra minutes at the end of sacrament meeting and Amos did something that I haven’t seen a bishop do before. He gave a priesthood blessing to the collective ward from the pulpit. It was so special. As we gathered for our next meeting an elderly woman in our ward exclaimed “What a beautiful blessing from our bishop…and we should all be better off for it.”

After our meetings we traveled across town to listen to my niece Kim Lindquist give her mission homecoming talk. She recently returned from Russia and spoke of a woman she met there whose favorite song was “I Stand All Amazed.” This woman had lost her mind but not her testimony of the Savior. As part of her talk, Kim sang a verse of “I Stand All Amazed.” At this point, I was amazed at the coincidence. Kim also gave further insight that in Russian the chorus translates from “Oh it is wonderful that He should care for me enough to die for me” to “Oh what a miracle that he should care for me enough to die for me.” Today truly seemed like a miracle for me. #miracles

We also got news that my other niece, Sheridan Sheperd, just got her mission call to Las Vegas. That should be an adventure. Good luck Sheridan. We love you.

After leaving my sister’s ward we stopped by Ellen Flugal’s home because she was kind enough to make some raw, vegan deserts for Amos. I was amazed at how delicious raw vegan can be and how kind this woman is. She used to work at Gilbert High School with Amos and still cares so much for him and our family.

Now for some exciting news in the form of a gift that we couldn’t refuse. A family (who would like to remain anonymous) has given us a 5 day cruise on the Gulf of Mexico! We leave in the morning and still haven’t packed! I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to go, but I then realized that it might be the best thing for Amos and I feel comfort knowing that we will be there my sisters Missie and Christy who are both health professionals. We will also have my sister Sarah and her husband Dave who Amos respects very much. I know he will comply when they tell him to take his meds and fluids. We will also have some wonderful brother in laws and my daddy there and I have been missing him so much. We will be in good hands and I’m so grateful. If he has to be taken from the ship on a helicopter to the hospital, that will be an adventure too I suppose but I hope he will be able to relax and renew and promote healing this week.

We’ve never been on a cruise so this is a new experience that we are really looking forward to. I am amazed and grateful at the generosity of those who wanted this for us and I can’t wait to spend time with my sweetheart and some of my most favorite people in the world.

Amos’s mom is the hero this week. She is flying in tonight to care for our kids while we are gone and I’m so grateful to her. The kids are excited to see grandma.

This means the blog will be dark this week since we are unplugging. I’m sure we will have lots to share when we get back. Lots of love to all of you.