Things have been going about the same in seminary and the temple. Nothing new to report. Took a bike ride with Papi. Saw lots of deer in our yard—mostly bucks with racks. When we took pictures, they hardly moved. It’s deer hunting season. Maybe the bucks thought it would be safer to hang out in our back yard than in the mountains. Lots of leaves are falling and our grass is covered—hardly showing any green. I rode the tractor over the leaves to vacuum them up, then blew the rest off our patio. Still more leaves coming down, which means more work to do.
Sunday night we celebrated Gram’s birthday at the Dunns’ house. Ate a delicious dinner and Maddi made a cake. Amy couldn’t find candles but we sang “Happy Birthday” and then made her tell us the story of her birth. It was during World War II when her father had been drafted into the Army and deployed to Belgium. It was an interesting story. Some of the details I hadn’t heard before.
For the second time I got to ride horses with Brother Norton. Abby Christensen also came. This time I was properly dressed, because I borrowed Papi’s cowboy boots. They were tight, but it didn’t bother me much since I was in the saddle. The weather was perfect and the fall leaves were beautiful. It was so much fun! Brother Norton told me that next time we’ll ride in the snow. That will be a new experience for me.
On P-day I learned a great new trick. When I pull my shirts right out of the dryer the minute they’re done—and then hang them up, it saves hours of ironing! This week I didn’t have to iron a single shirt!
My calling in the ward is Priesthood Music Coordinator. When the bishop called me to this I was really surprised. I was hoping to be called as deacons’ quorum advisor. But whatever the Lord calls me to do, I will do it to the best of my ability. So for this music calling, it’s my job to select the opening hymn for Priesthood meeting in the cultural hall, and connect my phone to the sound system. Before I got this calling, the brothers were trying to sing without music and it sounded terrible. It’s much better now, and everybody’s sings. At first I copied off the words and handed them out, but decided to save paper. So now, everyone reads the words from their phones.
In seminary one of my students had chocolate milk for lunch and it gave him a sugar-high during class. I had to take him out to the foyer to settle him down. I thought the fresh air outside would help, but he didn’t want to go. He said, “I’ll be good.” So I took him back in the classroom and he was good.
I’m learning how to handle hitting. First I say, “No, don’t hit,” and then I redirect him to something he likes to do, such as playing with blocks. Most of these disabled kids don’t respond to the word, “No” by itself. They have to be redirected to an acceptable activity. Gram said this also works with little kids. Maybe this mission is preparing me to be a parent someday.
After work, my grandparents and I went to the Draper Temple to do sealings for some friends from Poland. The Polish names were impossible to pronounce and the sealer butchered every name. But that’s ok because the Lord knows these people. I’m sure I mispronounce lots of names when I work in the baptistry. Foreign names are hard.
It was my turn this week to give the spiritual thought and scripture in our seminary devotional. My topic was the Holy Ghost. I told a story from Conner’s mission, and used the scripture: 1 Nephi 13:37. I bore my testimony that we need to act upon impressions that come to us from the Holy Ghost.
The best part of the week was when my Uncle Caleb (bishop in his Idaho ward) and his wife Susie brought 40 youth to the Salt Lake Temple to do baptisms. They all brought family names. I met them at the temple and helped with baptisms and confirmations. It was a great experience to be in that beautiful temple. It was Elder Hales’ funeral that morning, and the temple was closed until 2pm, so we were able to attend the funeral. It was a great experience to be in the Tabernacle. President Uchtdorf conducted the meeting, and we heard talks by Elder Ballard, President Nelson, and President Eyring. In his talk, President Nelson said, “I know Elder Hales’ heart—LITERALLY!” That’s because President Nelson performed heart surgery on Elder Hales.
One of my students is blind. Even though it’s not always successful, there are ways to help him participate in class. Sometimes he cooperates, but sometimes he gets up and starts walking around the room. Of course I have to help him back to his desk which he doesn’t usually want to do. Every day is different. I’m learning skills to manage my students in a positive way.
One of my students can’t talk, but she knows the signs for God and Jesus. She makes the sign for Jesus and then points to His picture on the wall. She smiles her biggest smile when she does this. I believe that when people have disabilities, they are given a strong spiritual connection to the Lord.
Another student has a screen attached to her wheelchair, and when she focuses her eyes for more than 3 seconds on a certain square, it will come up with “I want…” Then she focuses on another square to show what she wants. Today, her message was, “I want to talk about cars.” So before class started we talked a little while about cars.
One of my favorite students can pray. He is more high-functioning than the others. His voice is sweet and innocent like a child. Even though he’s hard to understand, I can understand what he’s saying.
We watched General Conference this weekend and it was excellent. Gram had this idea that we should each listen and choose a meaningful truth from one of the General Authorities, and she would display it in a glass case for us to remember. My favorite talk was Elder Oaks about the Proclamation on the Family.
After conference, my friend, Loren McClure came to visit me from Provo where he is going to school at BYU. He recently returned from his mission in Puerto Rico. Good thing he isn’t there now with all the hurricane devastation. We played foosball and guess who won?
I gave my seminary student a book of sign language and taught her to make some letters. She liked it and kept turning pages and practicing new letters. I found out that she can type. I need to get permission from Brother Weaver, but if he says yes, I’ll let her use my phone to write a message. I wouldn’t trust most of my students with my phone because they might throw it or destroy it. But this particular student is calm and can be trusted.
Papi and I have been working to rip up carpet, tack strips, and baseboards getting ready for the new wood to go down in a week. I’m glad to help because it’s a lot of work for my 72 year old grandfather to do alone.