Tuesday, January 23, 2018

No holding back

If missionaries studying a language couldn't leave until they had sufficient vocabulary to teach and get along, there would be a lot of missionaries who spent a good chunk of their missions at the MTC!

Besides, we've seen over and over again that the language a missionary learns in the MTC isn't necessarily the same one they speak in the mission field!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Sketchbook: Greetings

You can see why this one never made it past the sketchbook...

Saturday, January 20, 2018

For those dark nights

There's something for everyone in the scriptures!

Friday, January 19, 2018

A super kind of guy

On one hand, Captain Moroni couldn't fly, but on the other hand he wasn't vulnerable to kryptonite either!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Food, glorious food!

We love to feed the missionaries. We especially like feeding the missionaries because we can experiment with new dishes or we can have the kids cook. No matter how it turns out, they'll still eat it and be happy with the fact that they got fed!*

*With the possible exception of Elder Long, who often is just as happy to fill up on bread.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Keep calm and carry on

Thank you to faithful reader Gary M. for the idea — in other words, blame him!

Thank you, good day, and please drive carefully!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sketchbook: What, no Netflix?

Yeah, I know the whole "Netflix and Chill" thing. I thought it might be sound better (and more innocent) if I plugged "family history" in there instead.

I didn't.

This one stays in the sketchbook!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A choice is placed before you

There was a road construction site set up near my office. A variable message sign (or leaderboard) flashed a message "TRUCKS USE CTR LANE." I could just envision all the Mormon truckers moving to the right.

Friday, January 12, 2018

A song and a prayer

Some traffic lights run on attenuators, some run on timers. Occasionally you'll run into one that runs on prayer.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Aah, those tender mercies!

One of the worst feelings in the world is when a policeman turns on his lights behind your car. One of the best feelings is when they let you off with just a warning.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A song in my heart

Sometimes the right song will come on at the right time that add just the right nuance to appreciate a situation.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sketchbook: Follow the Prophet

Social media has been full of favorite quotes from President Monson for the past few days. There are other ways we should emulate the prophet as well — and ear wiggling is better than starting a wildfire in Provo Canyon!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

All in the family

I'm sure there's a way to use snowmen to illustrate those somewhat confusing family relationships. I'll have to ponder on that some more!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Softly now the light of day...

The tree went down a couple of days ago. Monday night was the last of the lights. The decorations are all boxed and packed up in the attic.

The yard looks dull and drab. The house looks bare.

No wonder we experience the January blahs!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Close Quote: A Pres. Monson Retrospective

Like you, I was saddened — yet gladdened — at the news that President Thomas S. Monson passed away. Sad for us, yet happy for him. I'm certain he's thrilled to be reunited with his beloved Frances, and was greeted by the many widows, fatherless, sick and afflicted to whom he ministered throughout his life.

I've gone back through my notes from general conferences past and pulled out some of my favorite memories from Pres. Monson. 

You may need to click on the pictures to see a larger version.

Storytelling
Pres. Monson was if anything a great storyteller. From leaving a meeting as soon as the stake president finished his remarks to wiggling his ears at a little boy in the front row, his stories — like the parables of Jesus — could entertain and educate at the same time.


The story of writing a letter each week to the young man from his ward showed his eternal optimism. Each week he said, "Maybe this will be the week he writes back!" His story of learning obedience by nearly burning down Provo Canyon will long be remembered. One of my favorites was the tale of the missionaries who were rejected at the last door on the street on a cold dark night. One of the missionaries said he had to go back, and bore a powerful witness of Joseph Smith — which led to further gospel discussions. And my views on home teaching were forever changed by the home teacher who knocked on the prophet's door with his car's motor still running just so he could say he'd visited his families that month.

World War II
One of his favorite topics was World War II.


Stories of learning he wasn't alone in Basic Training, using the power of the Priesthood to call back a rescue boat, and receiving extra strength through living the Word of Wisdom are just a few examples. His use of the sinking of the Bismarck was a memorable story. They took out its rudder, so it was unable to steer. "Our rudder will not fail if we follow Him (Jesus Christ)," he said.

Growth of the Church
Pres. Monson said that one of his favorite responsibilities was announcing new temples in General Conference. Remember the audible gasp when he announced the Provo City Center Temple? And how about the reaction when he announced the new age requirements for missionaries?


Advice and Admonitions
He had a way of saying things in a gentle way that made the listener want to do better and become a better person. He encouraged us to read the Book of Mormon, to be kind and faithful, and to have courage to do what is right. And if we find ourselves in a place "we shouldn't oughta be — get out!"


Support for the Prophet
Members and non-members alike loved Pres. Monson for his warmth, wit and kindness. Church members responded like crazy when he said his birthday wish was for each person to perform an act of kindness for someone else. And who can forget his address from October 2015 when he appeared to lose his strength as he was speaking. Behind him, as we later found out, Pres. Uchtdorf was on the edge of his seat, arms extended, ready to catch or support the Prophet if he faltered. 



Words of Encouragement
His words gave us comfort and encouraged us to remain faithful, always including his catchphrase, "Close quote."



Final Thoughts
There was one little gem from October 2013 that he gave at the close of General Conference that he would likely say to us now as we remember his life and ministry:


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Life's better that way

We all have that one friend who knows how to make our life better, at least as far as they're concerned...


Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Countdown: The Top Ten, part II

Drumroll, please... At last, what you’ve been waiting all year for — the rest of the Top Ten from 2017. Enjoy!

No. 5
There are always stories of ways to make missionary work more effective. Why not this?



No. 4
The #LightTheWorld campaign inspired several acts of service throughout the world during the holiday season. As a set, these were some of the most popular on our site; this was one of the most popular of the set.



No. 3
Many of the Mission President cartoons are eye-rollers. However, this one seemed to strike a chord with many readers. Or maybe it was the picture of the Paris Temple in the background?



No. 2
I don’t think this one really needs any explanation at all!



No. 1
Every member a missionary, that’s true. But to get an official call there are a few more hoops you have to jump through!




And there you have it, folks! Have a wonderful new year, and keep coming back. Thank you!