Some letters take me a while to decide whether to post. They are so tender and special to me. Love this missionary son of mine. Karen
Your package was awesome! There's nothing like saltwater taffy to earn some points with the missionaries in District mtg.
We had a pretty special week. A whole lot of prayers were answered, and we found a LOT of great families, including one with six kids. I know God really cares about us and that he's now given us a big responsibility to take of these good people. We decided to change things up and make a sacrifice, so we basically left our Fusion at home and biked the whole week. Saturday afternoon I was spent. We were in the Cloverleaf neighborhood, dodging cars and pit-bulls when we decided to try to find a girl the Spanish elders had talked to 2 months ago. They felt strongly she was prepared, and we hadn't ever found her and her number never worked, but we decided to go anyway. As we knocked on the door, I decided to do something that had worked well before. I prayed that she would be there, that she'd be ready to make a covenant with God, and I promised to do everything I could to help her. Christopher opened the door and let us in. We taught him and his girlfriend Devina, and will be seeing them again tonight.
Brother Jenks is the 70 yr old, ex-psychologist, ex- Pine Trails Bishop who lets us live in his house. Every Friday night he arrives with his 3rd wife (not that kind... he's a two-time widower) to check up on things, (this week he had to get the air conditioning fixed, we were chilling at 87 degrees inside), eat oatmeal and fuss with all the things they need to get rid of before they move. Not long ago, because my comp Elder Poplin and Elder Sully were knocking doors in the HOA "protected" neighborhood of we live in called Stirling Green, the " CIA SEAL SECURITY" super dramatic, takes-his-job-too-seriously, security guard followed them home to Brother Jenks' house, and soon landed him with several HOA violations, including one for a overly dirty bench, and another for "inconsistent siding." We've had three old, goofy, lovable contractors working on our siding for the last month to get it up to specs. They turned down my "Because He lives" card, and are always talking about being Sabbath observers; they promptly leave every Friday to be sure to be keeping it holy by sundown. One warned me that we should be sure not to call the creator what we shouldn't. "God", according to my good friend, comes from some Babilonian term, or a maybe a mix-up of "Gad" (son of Jacob- which means good fortune). We gave these these same fun folks icecream the other day, and they let us know that Blue Bell, a famous Texan tradition, was completely shut down and recalled- probably because of terrorists:) . Ours had been in the freezer a while so it was okay. Because we'll be moving, this week I worked on cleaning out the second walk-in closet of my life, which was stacked the the ceiling in missionary junk. I found shirts, slacks, ties, tie-hangers, a budha statue, the last supper, a temple dress, diet books, "how to crochet," two boxes of military MREs, a suit, size 15 basketball shoes I wore to mow Sister Duncan's lawn:), hair dye, a trophy, a hair pick, baby toys, sun glasses, a 1 Old-Testament verse a day book and about a dozen Ensigns from the 80's and 90's.
In 1997 Elder Holland, a hero of mine, said the following:
"In speaking of mothers generally, I especially wish to praise and encourage young mothers. The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work. The young years are often those when either husband or wife—or both—may still be in school or in those earliest and leanest stages of developing the husband’s bread winning capacities. Finances fluctuate daily between low and nonexistent. The apartment is usually decorated in one of two smart designs—Deseret Industries provincial or early Mother Hubbard. The car, if there is one, runs on smooth tires and an empty tank. But with night feedings and night teethings, often the greatest challenge of all for a young mother is simply fatigue. Through these years, mothers go longer on less sleep and give more to others with less personal renewal for themselves than any other group I know at any other time in life. It is not surprising when the shadows under their eyes sometimes vaguely resemble the state of Rhode Island...
may I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you...
Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever.And “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ,having a perfect brightness of hope.” You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Like the woman who anonymously, meekly,perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master’s garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and sometimes weep over their responsibility as mothers,“Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” And it will make your children whole as well."
When I realized that I was 2 years old when he gave this talk, when I realized that you are one of the mothers he was talking to, the Spirit taught me just how much you have sacrificed for me and how much Heavenly Father loves you. Thanks for what you do Mom.
love Elder Decker