I met with my stake president today, who is also my mission president, to report my mission. I typed up this report to give to him:
Working at the seminary has taught me so much so far. It has taught me to be patient. My service has taught me how to treat special needs kids. The most important lesson is that our Father in Heaven knows and loves each and every one of us in our own special way, and we are His sons and daughters. I am very glad to be on the mission and very glad to be serving a fulltime mission. I also work in the temple and it warms my heart to see the youth that come. So far in the 6 ½ months I have been out, I have learned many lessons from our Father in Heaven. I love being on the mission so much!
In seminary the other day, one of my students seized, but it wasn’t major. He’s in a wheelchair and wears a device in his chest that can be swiped with another device to quickly bring him out of it. When the seizure first started Brother Webb and I recognized the symptoms and I quickly swiped his chest. He came out of it immediately. Several other students have this same problem. We as missionaries and teachers are trained to know what to do in each case. But it is scary.
On P-Day after finishing my chores, Papi and I went to a boat show for a one-on-one. The highest priced yacht, four floors fully loaded, was $4 million dollars with every possible luxury. It even had a helipad on top—which was ridiculous. Who would want that? The lowest priced yacht was $400,000—still way out there. I was interested in a 2018 Nautique wakeboard boat for $162,000 if purchased at the show; otherwise it would cost $166,000—so a good deal if you had the money on the spot. I was in heaven walking around looking at all the different yachts and boats, talking to representatives about the various features of each one.
Sunday was the baby blessing of my second cousin—Mia Grace Richardson, so we went to Maddi and Brad’s ward. Maddi invited me to join in the circle when Brad blessed Mia, and it was my first experience doing this. Mia was quiet and didn’t cry at all. Afterward everyone came to our house for lunch, and it was fun to be with my cousins. I took Robert for a ride in my truck and he liked it.
I signed up for a gym membership and my goal is to work out after seminary on most days. (I try to attend the temple as a patron one day each week.) Last night I worked up my personalized fitness program on the computer to build muscle and cardio, and then put it in my phone so I’ll have it at the gym. I’m expecting good results.
Brother Weaver and I had a good discussion recently when he took me to lunch at the Developmental Center. He’s heard me talk about wanting “man toys” someday, like a razor, horses, boat, nice truck and house. He said as men, our main responsibility is to provide for our family and asked if I agreed. I said absolutely. Family comes first. He said that having a family and house costs a lot of money, and the “men toys” should be bought only if there is money left over after the necessities are covered. And we should avoid debt. He said he does a lot of house and car repairs himself to save money. I admire Brother Weaver. He has his priorities in the right place.
In seminary we have a couple of bean bag chairs for students who need them. They are each different, but some of them do better sitting in a bean bag chair because they’re more comfortable and can pay attention better. One of the students gets too comfortable and goes to sleep, so we’ve learned not to put him in the chair. We keep the chairs in Brother Weaver’s office and take them into the classroom when needed for particular students. The thing is, we have to learn what works for each individual student.
Brother Weaver pulled me into his office one day and said he was pleased with my work and my ability to handle students. He said if I would pay attention to how the teachers teach and manage difficult behaviors, that I could be hired by the Church to work in a special needs seminary. I will have had two years’ experience at the end of my mission. I might consider this as part time work along with my main job in construction. It made me feel good that Brother Weaver saw that I’d be good at this. So I’m paying close attention to teachers so I can learn.
In seminary one of our more difficult students didn’t want to put his shoes on, and was kicking and hitting poor Sister Baker. I jumped up to take it for her, because she’s an older sister and doesn’t need that kind of treatment. This student can’t talk, and probably thinks the only way he can express himself is by hitting and kicking. What I’ve found works best is to give him choices. I say, “Do you want me to put your shoe on the right foot or the left foot?” He lives in a group home and probably developed some bad habits there. At the seminary, we just do the best we can to control behaviors with kindness. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Brother Weaver gave me three tickets to attend a CES fireside at the Salt Lake Tabernacle with Elder Christofferson speaking. Papi, Gram and I drove to the Trax station in Draper and parked the car, then took Trax the rest of the way to Salt Lake. We found really good seats in the tablernacle even though it was packed. Elder Christofferson gave a good talk on truth. I saw several of our Dan Pete Seminary missionaries there. Afterward, we rode Trax back to Draper with Brother Salman, and then drove him to his house in Cedar Hills.
A few months ago, I set a goal to perform all temple ordinances in one day for a family name. Papi helped me research names needing all the ordinances, and we found five. The name I decided to do first was Ephraim Chamberlain—who is my relative through Gram’s mother’s line. He’s been waiting almost 300 years to have his work done. While I was there, I did some ordinances for other family names too. It was a long day and a sacrifice because I was tired after work. In fact, on the way to the temple I was tempted to go home and rest. But I felt a prompting from the Holy Ghost that I needed to do this temple work right then. I’m glad I did because while I was sitting in the Celestial room, I felt Ephraim’s joy and gratitude for the work done for him. It was worth it.
I finally got my truck—a Ford Ranger Sport, 2006 with only 95,000 miles on it. My dad and I drove it from Arizona. I drove 9 ½ hours and my dad only drove 2 ½ hours. Since my grandparents were delayed flying back from El Paso, I drove it by myself on Tuesday. I had to get gas on the way to Dan Peterson, then took Brother Weaver to McDonald’s for lunch, then back to seminary, then stopped by Charleston Assisted Living to visit Nycola on the way home. (She even remembered me.) That same day I had to teach all four of Sister Craft’s classes because she had an emergency. It was a good day.
I’ve been assisting Sister Lyman the last few days as tech support to help get media up and going for her lessons. It’s a good thing because the students learn much better with visual media.
I practiced changing a tire on my new truck. It was challenging to lower the spare and move it into place as a replacement tire. But now I know exactly what to do.
Today I taught the Plan of Salvation lesson to the Hunters. They are a really nice couple and made us feel welcome in their home. I like the style of their very modern house.