Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 16-17, 2016 - Church at Lubumbashi 1 Ward

Saturday, April 16 -on a walk with Dr. and Sister Peterson this morning.
Sand bags filling in a hole in the road

Crossing a small stream

A groomed soccer field. Got in trouble for taking the photo.
Sunday, April 17 - Today is my parent's wedding anniversary. It was 70 years ago today that Darrell D. Wood and Betty Raye Keele started their eternal family. Unfortunately Dad passed away two years ago so he is not here to celebrate it with her. We were able to FaceTime with her before she went to Church.

This is a letter I wrote to my mother for her anniversary.

Dearest Mother,
Happy 70th Anniversary.  Seventy years, WOW!! But I guess in the eternal perspective, you and Dad are just newlyweds. What a wonderful choice you made those many years ago to marry such an awesome man. I will forever be grateful that you made that choice. You and Dad make a great team. (Notice the present tense, not the past tense.) You are still a team. Dad is, I am sure, never too far away from you. Oh, he has assignments he needs to fulfill, but I am sure he hovers near as often as he can.

It was great to talk to you for a few minutes. I am glad you are doing well heath-wise. We don’t have to look too far to count our blessings that you are healthy. I am sorry that Kerma and Ann aren’t doing the best. It must be very hard to see such good friends going through tough times. Tell them both I am thinking of them and wish them the best.

I am so happy for memories. Some nights I like to just lay in bed and think about the past and the lovely memories I have of my life. I owe my beautiful life to you and Dad. Not just the physical life (being born) but also the many years of tender loving care you both gave as you nurtured me into adulthood. And the nurturing never has stopped. I have always felt of your love and concern for me and our family.

You and Dad can be very proud of the posterity you have. You have helped shape all of us—children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren into the people that we are. You both are great examples to us of how to live Christ-like lives, giving service, and doing our part to help build the kingdom of God. You only have yourself to blame that Vickie and I are both gone at the same time serving missions. We are following your example. But I am really glad that you only have 2 more months before she will be back home. I know you are looking forward to that day as well.

You have many friends and ward members who look up to you. It was very evident at the ward party I went to with you right after Dad’s passing. They love you and are grateful for the manner in which you are enduring to the end. Enduring sometimes has the connotation of just gritting your teeth and hanging on by your toenails trying to get through something unpleasant.  But I don’t believe that is the definition of it in the Church. I believe enduring to the end is doing what you are doing—taking an active part in the ward, fulfilling your callings, and being happy serving the Lord’s kingdom. I want to be just like you when I “grow up”.

May you have a wonderful week, enjoying memories. You will probably be just like me in that many of those memories have tears that go with them. Just like right now for me. But they are tears of joy and gratitude for Heavenly Father giving me such good, loving, and wonderful parents.

I LOVE YOU, MAMA. Please take good care of yourself. We have many more memories to make in this life with you. The past 5 months have flown by—the next 18 will be gone before we know it.
Love and Kisses to you,
Love, Shauna

Elder and Sister Bennett were here for Sunday dinner with us. They don't go home until tomorrow. We ate spaghetti, raspberry jello with cream whipped in it, green salad, garlic bread, and a delightful four layer chocolate cake with cream frosting with drizzled chocolate.
Sister Vance, Elder Bennett, Sister, Cook

Sister Peterson, Sister Bennett, Elder Peterson
We were able to FaceTime with the family during the monthly birthday dinner. (Their Sunday night but 3 a.m. Monday morning for us.) I am so grateful for technology that allows us to "be" with our family on such occasions. It makes being so far away bearable. We love all of them so much and know that they are being blessed because of our service here.

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