Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sunday Morning This and That . . .

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It's the Spring Stake Conference of our church this weekend and so last evening we went to the chapel for the adult session of it for the over 18's.  (For those who don't know, our church is divided into stakes or areas, and then within each area are a multitude of Wards or congregations.  I belong to the Chester Ward of the Chester England Stake, and there are six Wards and two Branches.   A Branch is like a small Ward.   You cannot become a Ward until you have a certain number of members in your area.)    We have a special speaker this weekend,   Elder Gary S. Price who is serving as an area Seventy in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.    Ariana went with us.   We picked her up at her apartment.  It was really nice to see her and catch up with all that's been going on in her week.   She has her Hen Do this week.   Apparently it is going to last two days, but she has no idea what they are doing.  It's all going to be a surprise.

The theme for last night was on Ward Councils.   Each Ward of the church is divided into auxiliaries which cover every age group and need for the Ward.   (The Bishopric which is like our Pastor and his helpers, a Relief Society for the Women,  High Priests and Elders Quorum for the Men, Young Mens for the older boys, Young Women for the older girls, and Primary for the children.  There is also a Ward Mission President, a Ward Secretary, A Sunday School President.)   Each group has a Presidency which helps to care for that particular group, etc.   Once a month a Ward Council is held and the President of each auxiliary, or one of their counselors is required to attend along with the Missionaries  and they discuss the needs of the Ward at these meetings.

When I heard last night that the session was going to be about Ward Councils, I admit it  . . .  huge groan in my head.  But I couldn't have been more surprised.    We were very well fed spiritually and I came away having felt like it was the best Stake Conference I have ever attended.  I had a deeply spiritual experience which I cannot speak about on here, but if you are interested in knowing more, you can e-mail me and I will tell you about it on an individual basis.

Some things are just too precious for a public forum.

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Afterwards we drove Ariana back to her apartment and went in to have a tour.   She is such an adept and saavy young woman.  I told her her mother and Jose must be very proud of her and all that she has accomplished since she arrived here in the UK last August.   Not only has she worked really, really hard as a nurse, but she has done it in a foreign country in a foreign language.   She has set up a beautiful apartment for her and Jose to return to after their wedding in June, having furnished it with the basics, etc. and she has done it largely on her own.    I think she is an amazing young woman.   This week has been a bit lonely and hard for her because there is no internet hooked up yet in her apartment and her mobile phone doesn't work unless she goes outside.   You know how young people are.   They are really tuned into their phones and the internet.  Her internet will be hooked up this week and she can't wait.     Another week and a half and she will be flying home to Spain for the last minute preparations for her wedding. She says she is really nervous about it all, that everything will go well.   I told her to just relax and enjoy it.   There are always a few hiccups, but this is an amazing time and a new chapter beginning in her life and she should enjoy every minute of it.

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This is my friend Bonnie and her husband Jim.   They live in California and I am so excited because tomorrow Bonnie and I (and Jim) are finally going to meet in person!  She and Jim are over here in the UK visiting their son and is family who are over here working for a year or so and they are also doing some family history in Wales.  (Bonnie and I think we may have a common ancestor!)   They are driving up to Chester tomorrow and we are going to spend the day together!  I am so looking forward to it!   It will be amazing.  I hope we have good weather for it, if not we will just stay here at Casa de Rayner and have a good old gab!

I think the internet is such an amazing thing.   You get to make and meet friends who are like minded from all over the world!  (And husbands too!)  I know . . .  It is a bit of a double edged sword because there are a lot of bad experiences that people have as well, but for me . . .  it's always only ever been good for the most part.

Dance Walking Fitness.   This looks like a really fun way to get some exercise.   Mind you I have trouble most days just walk walking, but my heart would love to do some of this dance walking, even if my legs wouldn't exactly co-operate.

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I hope that she doesn't mind me showing you this, but I am just so dang proud of her!  My sister has been working on this paper mache doll for a while now.   She calls it her pouty baby.

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It has taken her months.  You can see roughly the size of him by this photo because you can see her fingers holding the wire where his arm is going to be attached.

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And there he is now, all painted, shellacked and waiting to be clothed.   I think she did a fabulous job with this and her elephant a week or so ago.   She still has to paint her chiuaua's.  The basement flooding and mom's illness set her back a bit, but she is catching up now.  I think she is an amazingly talented woman.  She doesn't see it herself.  I wish that she could.

Not only does she do what is sometimes one of the most under-appreciated jobs on earth, that of a care giver, but she also takes care of all the housework, laundry and cooking in my mother/father's house and she still manages to create these wonderfully magical paper mache creations.  She siply amazes me.

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And more on the good news front.   Our Eileen and her husband Tim have made it to the National Winter Games in Corner Brook Newfoundland next February/March.   Very proud of those two.  The Special Olympics is just a wonderful program.  I know that it is through the Special Olympics that my daughter has been able to reach beyond the boundaries that being labelled "Developmentally Challenged" might impose upon her and others like her who face similar challenges.  It was  Eunice Kennedy Shriver who guided children with intellectual disabilities into sports at her Camp Shriver summer camps, which were a forerunner of Special Olympics.  I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Eunice Kennedy who used her money and influence to do something great for people in need.

Is that not why we are here?

And finally a video which I thought was totally amazing yesterday.   This is service.   The Saviour taught us that there were only two commandments that we truly needed to follow.   The first was to Love the Lord our God with all of our Heart, Mind and the Soul and the second was like unto the first, to Love Our Neighbor as We Loved Ourselves.  If we were all to follow these two commandments, this world would truly be transformed.

And that's all I have for today!

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is.
But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be, and could be,
he will become what he ought to be and could be.
~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Lemon Puddle Cake.

Have a wonderful Sunday.   Don't forget  . .

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And I do too!


  1. Good morning Marie. I am so glad you enjoyed your stake meeting and benefited from it.

    I a feeling a bit brighter today. I have slept a lot after taking pain medication and this afternoon Pip and I have sat opposite each other with our colouring books.

    God bless you always.

  2. Great to ee that you had such a good day yesterday. ( Please e mail me to tell me about your experience ) Today is going to be a lovely day for you all I am sure. The sun is shining well it is down here, hope that it is teh same with you and that you can have a lovely walk around lovely Chester...Your sister is definately very talented to be able to produce such a wonderful doll. The shaping is so good...I do hope that she sells it for a good price it must have taken her many many hours working on it...
    Take care and try not to wlak to far today...enjoy teh company though what fun if you were related !!
    I am feeling much better this mornig thank goodness. I will be at church in a coule of hours then Peter and I will be out for Sunday lunch...

  3. Loved both of your videos.Especially the second. It's amazing how much good,people,when united,can do.
    Have a great Sunday and a very special day with your friends!
    Would love to know about your experience.

  4. Glad you are feeling better Suzan. Colouring is always very theraputic I find! xoxo

    Thanks Sybil. I will e-mail you later. It will probably be a group e-mail. We;ll see. I am so happy to hear you are feeling better! (((hugs))) xoxo

    THanks Helen. I will e-mail you later too. God bless! xoxo

  5. Sooo much happy positive news here Marie..

    have fun w/ the meeting tomorrow..and Bravo re the special Olympics..what determinatin!
    You must be so happy right now..Kudos to your sis for her doll!!


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