What's In This Blog

I created this blog for my journal. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this blog I keep many of the things I come across as a member of the church. I also share my experiences on the ACE Train and getting to work, my experiences in Manteca where we have lived for three years, and other things I think are noticeable.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Member Missionary Work 1: Caleb's Mission

Caleb has written several letters in which he has talked about member missionary work, and the importance of opening our homes to be a place where people can be introduced to the gospel, and invited to hear the missionaries.  He says this is very important.  They have visited a few less active families, and had some success.  The are also taking a young man from a part member family.
My greatest worry with the increase in the number of missionaries, is that we as member will let them down; that we will not be willing to increase our efforts in terms of inviting people to hear the missionaries, and as a result, the missionaries will not have a positive experience.  I have seen the spirit of the young people going on missions, including the of Caleb.  The do carry the spirit.  It is beholden upon us to put people in their path so that spirit can touch the heart of our friends.  I pray for missionary, and am committed to invite people to hear the gospel.  I still lack in this area, but I am beginning to open my mouth.
What we did when I was on my mission

Doctrine and Covenants Section 121: My Favorite Scripture

The conclusion to Doctrine and Covenants is so powerful.  I think it is restating the blessing from the oath and covenant of the priesthood, in a shortened version.  This scripture was given through revelation while Joseph Smith was in Liberty jail.  I once visited Liberty Jail, and to think such beautiful scripture came out of such a miserable experience left me wondering.  I had to find a seat while I shed tears of gratitude.  This blog talks of the origin of much of the Doctrine and Covenants, including this scripture:  http://bwardlehistory.blogspot.com/2013/09/mormon-historical-movie-heavens-are-open.html
This section has just talked about raising our children in righteousness, and cautions against the unjust use of priesthood or patriarchal responsibilities:
  41 No apower or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the bpriesthood, only by cpersuasion, by dlong-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
 42 By akindness, and pure bknowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the csoul without dhypocrisy, and without eguile
 43 aReproving betimes with bsharpness, when cmoved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of dlove toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
 44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of adeath.

But the best is the conclusion.  As you read these blessings, you get a glimpse of  what eternal life means, of the blessings in store:
 45 Let thy abowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let bvirtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy cconfidence wax strong in the dpresence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the edews from heaven.
 46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant acompanion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of brighteousness and truth; and thy cdominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.
I would be willing to do anything within my power, which is righteous to have the Hold Ghost as a constant companion, to be confident in the presence of God, to have a scepter of righteousness and truth, and to have everlasting dominion which flows unto without compulsory mean forever and ever.  These words are beautiful, and bring peace to my heart.  This is true scripture. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Who are the Mormons?

Click on the image and it will take you to a description of basic beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Miranda and her New Niece Camberly

Miranda has been pleased as punch to have a new niece in the family. 

Tony and Camberly

Tony went into the hospital with Sheri and Miranda.   He had to see the baby through the glass, as he is the uncle and not the brother.  He had such a look of pride and happiness when he first saw the baby, that I wish I had been faster with the camera.  We got a couple pictures, but not quite the same Tony look.

It wasn't until the next day that he was able to see his new niece.  Sheri says he had the same look of pride and pleasure.

Consequences of Illicit Drug Use in America

As part of completing my CEUs for licensure I did some online courses.  One of these was on the consequences of illicit drug usage.  This training explored many different types of drugs, where the drug supply was coming from, the prevalence of the drug, and the consequences of drug use on people's lives.
Consequences of drug use include: Child neglect; over 8 million children live in households where a parent is abusing drugs or alcohol. 
School performance; children using marijuana perform poorly in school, college students using prescription stimulants nonmedically also perform poorly in school.
Economic costs; the cost of drug use in the United States is close to $200 billion annually which includes both resources used to address criminal and health costs, as well as lost production.
Addiction and treatment needs; Over nine percent of those twelve and older needed treatment for a substance abuse problem.  Just over ten percent of those needing treatment received treatment.
Acute health effects; two million emergency department visits in 2008 were the result of drug usage.
Criminal justice involvement; well over half of all those arrested in the United States test positive for illicit substances, the most common being marijuana.  Of inmates in federal and state prisons, over a third admit to using drugs at the time of the offense.
Environmental impact and dangers; the most worrisome effect of drugs is the toxic methamphetamine labs around the country, in an apartment, trunk of a car or wherever.  Also of growing concern is the marijuana growing on public lands, often sponsored by Mexican drug cartels.
The training including specific effects of different drugs, including cocaine, club drugs, methamphetamine, marijuana, misuse of prescription drugs etc.  It is all nasty.  The bottom line is don't start.  If you are using drugs get help.  This is an illness for which there are effective treatment strategies.  There is a better life available.
May I recommend my son's song dealing with addiction available through this blog:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Health As I See It: Protecting Your Voice

A Coworker shared this with regards to voice care.
Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke.  Family members who smoke should not smoke in the house or in the car.  Smoking and being exposed to smoke can make your condition worse.
Avoid Exposure to things that make your problem worse.
Common things that can cause irritation are:
Pet dander
Certain foods and food dyes
Wood smoke from a fireplace or wood stove
Cigarette smoke
Cold air
Damp moldy areas

There are several ways to relax your throat, tongue and lips before singing or talking for a long time
These exercises will help prevent throat strain:
Yawn.  Yawning helps relax your throat.
Sigh.  Try sighing on different vowels: ah, ee, eye, oh.
Stretch your tongue by sticking it our as far as possible and holding it there a few seconds.  Relax and repeat several times.
Use your tongue to count all your teeth.  Touch each tooth with your tongue going around the inside of the teeth first.  Repeat but touch ech tooth on the outside.
Purse your lips as tightly as possible.  Then grin as widely as you can.
Purse you lips and then force air through them to make a "raspberry" sound.
Use your finger to massage your lips, cheeks and jaw

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Announcing the Birth of Camberly Rose Hall


After waiting all day yesterday with no result, baby Camberly was finally born this morning at about 10:30.  She was born at Valley Medical Center where I work.  I went over at break, but just a bit too early.  At lunch the baby was behind the glass getting checked out, at at second break I got to hold her.  Sheri took lots of pictures.  She was there for the birth.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon.

I have been watching church history videos, and this week watched a couple about three witnesses to the Book of Mormon.  I have been very impressed by them, and even more impressed of the firmness of the witnesses, and of the position of the Book of Mormon if it wee to be tried in court.  These men, though at time disaffected with Joseph Smith, or disaffected with the body of the church, maintained there testimonies, and the veracity of what they witnessed until their last breathe.  All three left the church at one point, and two returned to the church.  This is fascinating, that they would always be witnesses to the Book of Mormon, even when it was uncomfortable, or would have been easier to deny their testimonies.
The story from David Whitmer's perspective
The witness of Martin Harris, which includes explaining the lost manuscript.
I have not been shown the golden plates by an angel, and been allowed to touch the plates.  However I too can witness that I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I have read it, and continue to study it.  The spirit I feel when I read the book tells me it is true.  It brings me peace. 
I invite all to study the book, and test it for yourself.  Moroni 10: 3-5:
Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how meriful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Sunday School: The Rescue: We are All Rescuers, and All in Need of Rescue

Sunday school to day was on the rescue of the Martin Handcart Company.  Even though I have studied this event extensively, writing my Great-great grandfather's history, I still felt inadequate to the call.  There is too much to tell, and not enough time to tell it.  I also wanted to let people talk about their own experiences with being rescued and rescuing.   Please, if you would like to read more Mormon handcart stories, read the posts from Isaac's history.  http://billywardlegen.blogspot.com/
There are many posts here that talk about the handcarts, especially chapters five through ten of Isaac's history. Also reviews of the Martin Handcart records at the Church History Library and other books I have read.
The gospel is true.  I am so grateful for rescuers in my life-- home teacher who visited when my parent's marriage fell apart, people who supported us when Billy Boy died, people who have helped through other trials. 
And of course to Jesus who is the rescuer of all, and without whose atonement there would be no meaning to life.  I am grateful that he has paid the price of my needs, my indescretions, my imperfections.  That through his atonement I am whole, and can be at peace.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tony Good Times

Tony is having a good weekend.  Yesterday, Friday, he had a play day after school with a friend from school, Sammy.

Sheri made popcorn chicken, and fries--all oven made so very healthy.  The evening ended with a movie at the school, "Super Buddies."  Tony said he had a good time, and even Sheri said there were parts that were very funny.
Today, Saturday, Tony is off with neighbor friends.  Out the front door he has Jeremiah and Evan.  Out the back door he has Maryn, Joshua and Elise.
As for the rest of us, Sheri is busy putting up Halloween decorations.  She has been to the dollar store and Target to refortify her supply.  I have mowed the lawn.  Discovered a tool chest left out and the tools all rusted.  It is suppose to rain today.  I hope to get energy to fertilize before it does.  Fall is finally upon us.

Book Review: Dynamic Health: Love Yourself:

I post my baby picture here for a reason.  Dr. Bernie Siegel tells a story of a phenomena that happens over and over.  He often talks to people, and holds up a baby, and everybody will ooh and aah and say how precious, how adorable.  He will then hold up an audience member, often a high school student, and every one will laugh and make fun, even the person being held up or asked to stand up.  And so the question, what changed in fifteen, sixteen years.  "Why were you a gorgeous baby, and now you're laughing at yourself?"... "So I really do tell people to get out their baby pictures and take a look at them.  I try to communicate to them that they're a child of God--to feel that they are divine rather than to tell them to do this, don't do that, it's not good for you, but to get them to love themselves so they then do what is good for them."
So I have posted my baby picture.  I am a child of God.  I am of divine worth.  I remember a saying our seminary teacher had in his office. "You are a child of God, and God doesn't make no junk."  When I feel down, I hope to see my baby picture, and remember my royal heritage.
Dr Siegel is a surgeon, and practices in the cancer field.  He began to realize hope and a lot to do with survival.  He and his wife established a program called ECaP (Exceptional Cancer Patients).  He talks of the importance of having love.  By this he means to love and be loved.  But he also is talking about having something you love, a passion.  He says it is funny, but now matter how ill you are, when you lose yourself in something you love, it seems to go away, you don't worry about the pain for awhile.  In my case, I don't hear my tinnitus.
Hope is important.  It improves your immune system.  It extends life.

Mormon Movie: The Restoration


I would encourage you to watch this movie.  It is very well done.  It depicts the Joseph Smith family in a very pleasing way.  This is another depiction of the first vision, however in this version, the build up to the vision takes a full year.  This movie does a good job of adding some depth to the experience.  It compares the restoration to a small seed, and then a seedling, and then grows into a large maple.
This movie again depicts the conditions around Palmyra which lead up to the first vision.  It shows a young man, Joseph, who is concerned for his own spiritual welfare.  He ponders and asks questions and studies.  He goes to his father with questions, and to his mother.  They both advise him to seek and it shall be given him.  Then when he reads in James chapter 1, "if any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him."  Because of his searching, and pondering, when he read this scripture, it entered Joseph's heart with great force, and he determined to put it into action.
As in "The First Vision" it shows Joseph's walk to the grove, playing "Oh How Lovely Was the Morning."
While "The First Vision" ended with the vision, this movie continues on to give some background to the restoration of the priesthood, and establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ in the latter days. 
I know, through the Holy Ghost that this is a true story.  Joseph Smith did in deed see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, who are two glorified and separate beings.  Joseph was called to be a prophet, and the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored.  Billy

Friday, September 20, 2013


No I am not thinking of the song from Star Child.  I am thinking of my daughter who is eight days past her due date.  If the baby is not born over the weekend, then the are going to induce her on Monday.  At any rate the wait will be over soon.

She was in town today for a stress test, which told them everything is fine and no reason to force the baby to come earlier.  Since I work at the hospital I took them to Wendy's after.  Wendy's has changed some.  They now have Frosty waffle cones.  There dollar menu is no longer a dollar but a bit more.  I had baked potato and chili to put on top, Anthony had two chicken burgers, and Charity nuggets and fries.  We all had Frosties and it was only $16.  Not bad.
But the waiting is not fun.  Charity and Anthony are in Mountain View for the weekend, just in case.  Sheri is headed there Monday if nothing happens before.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ace Train 41: Bomb Threat, Fire Fighter School, and Telephone Pole School

The Ace Train is not doing very well at being on time lately.  The major culprit is having to wait for freight trains.  This is more often a problem in the morning, and one period of five days, we were late four.  However a couple days we have been really late.  One day, going to work, an hour late.  The said the engine broke down, and when they got it fixed, they were stuck in Stockton due to freight traffic.  A rumor I heard is the crew just slept in, got a late start, and had to wait for Stockton traffic.  I don't believe the rumor however.
A new one on everyone, was being late coming home due to a bomb scare.  I guess they found a bag of wires close to the train yard in San Jose.  911 was called, and to be on the safe side, bomb squads inspected each of the trains to make sure there were no bombs.  I was an hour late getting home, but was on the train before the one I usually take.  It was frustrating, because after the train arrived at the station, dispatch still made us wait 20 minutes to a half hour to let us go.  I guess they wanted the train to leave an even two hours late.  Here is the Ace explanation for the delay:
By the Diridon Station, and viewable from the light rail, are a coupe specialized training areas.  I think these areas may be bulldozed if they ever get approval to make a A's Stadium in San Jose.
Fire Fighter Training area, with a tall building to climb int he background

Two angles of the telephone post climbing training area

We have seen people out there practicing, probably P G & E.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mormon Movie Review: The First Vision

The First Vision was produced at BYU in 1976.  The first time  I saw this movie was at the LTM (now MTC) the first day they were there.  The showed the film for new missionaries and their families.  I was so impressed.  The movie has such a spirit, and spirit of truthfulness.  My mission president always reminded us that this is a true story, and because it is true, it has a tremendous impact on the world. 
movie on You Tube

The first vision is a historical reenactment.  It shows the conditions around Palmyra in 1820.  There was a great agitation about religion.  Joseph Smith, a boy of 14, was confused about what to do--which of the churches should he join.  In this confusion he was reading the Bible, and read in James chapter 1 verse 5: If any of ye lack wisdom let him ask of God which giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him; but let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  In Joseph Smith's words no scripture had ever entered the heart of a man with such force.  He pondered on this question, and then determined that he must but this test to the test, he must ask God what he should do.
As he had determined he went to a grove close to his home in the morning of a clear Spring day. As he prayed, Joseph said, in his own words, I saw a pillar of light above me in the air, which descended out of heaven until it rested just above me.  There were two personages in the light.  One of them pointed to the other and said, this is my beloved son, hear him.  When Joseph recovered himself, he asked which church should he join.  He was told to join none of them.  Joseph ends with the statement from his history.  I had seen a light.  I knew and God knew it and I could not deny it.  I believe this is a true history of events.  Joseph Smith was a true prophet.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Health As I See It: Depression and High School Students

NIMH Pamphlet Depression and High School Students

Depression can occur during adolescence, a time of personal change.  Depression is a common mental illness typically marked by sad or anxious feelings.  It is common to feels sad sometimes for a day or two, but this usually passes quickly.  Depression lasts for a long time, and interferes with day-to-day activities.
Depression symptoms include feeling: Sad, Anxious, Empty, Hopeless, Guilty, Worthless, Helpless, Irritable or Restless.  In addition there may be these symptoms: Loss of interest in activities you enjoy, Lack of energy, Problems concentrating or remember things, Problems falling asleep or staying asleep or sleeping too much, Loss of appetite or eating too much, Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts and Aches, pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not go away.  One thing to note about adolescent depression (not mentioned in the flier) is that irritability is more common in teens than adults.  Adults more likely have depressed mood. 
If you suspect you might have depression it would be good to talk to your doctor or your parent could talk to a mental health professional.  The number in Santa Clara County is 1-800-704-0900.  Depression can respond to medications, psychotherapy or both.  Things you can do on your own to fight depression are: Give treatment a fair chance, attend appointments and give medications time to help, Engage is mild exercise, Participate in activities you enjoy, Break up large projects into smaller tasks, Spend time with friends and family, Expect your mood to improve gradually, Positive thinking will replace negative thoughts as depression improves.
If there is a crisis (you are are thinking or suicide, or someone you know is talking of suicide) you may call 911 for help, go to nearest emergency room, or talk advantage of 24-hour crisis lines: Santa Clara County  1/855/278/4204 and national 1-800-273-8255.

Life in Manteca 76: Restautant Talk and Dust

After a big weekend last week, this week has been much more calm.  I spent considerable time doing overtime, and one night drove home with Kayla and Jeremy.  They had to wait for me an hour or so.  I discovered Kayla drives very slowly.
A couple restaurant announcements.  I previously reviewed Subway, and gave them poor marks because by pulled pork sandwich fell apart.  I tried the same sandwich again, on special now at Subway, and really enjoyed it.  I had it toasted on the Italian cheese bread, and it was so much better.
I have some bad restaurant news.  McDonalds no longer has dipped cones.  That is a bummer, but their sundaes are also very good.  I have really enjoyed the strawberry, and the caramel is also nice.  They are 30 cents cheaper than the dipped cone too.  Foster Freeze in Manteca has $1 dipped cones Tuesday nights.  I am going to insist we stop on the way home from the train tomorrow.  I love dipped cones.
Plenty of dust this time of year in Manteca.  It is harvesting time, and cutting down the corn, or shaking the almond trees so the almonds fall off, stirs up the dust.  It is allergy season, and I have and I sneeze a lot.
This year we not only have dust, we also have smoke.  We are between the Yosemite Valley Rim Fire and the Mount Diablo Fire.  Depending on the direction of the wind, we can smell the smoke.  I don't mind it however.  It makes me feel like I'm camping.
No news on the baby front.  Charity is over due by four days.  Skylar is keeping us entertained.  He is starting to walk.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Suicide and Crisis Hotline: Santa Clara County

Letter from Mission President

The day after Caleb arrived, the mission office called to let us know he was safe.  This week we received a letter from the mission president.  The letter announces his first companion, Elder Berthold.  It also included the above picture of Caleb with President Jensen and his wife.  It also had a page of rules, and how to contact the mission for emergencies etc.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mormon Movie Review: ****^ The Other Side of Heaven (TO MMBOE)

The Other Side of heaven is one of the better LDS films.  It tells the story of John Groberg (Christopher Gorman) and is based on his book of the same name.  He was called on a mission to Tonga from Idaho.  His mission was more dangerous, and longer than most.  This movie has very good cinematography as we see the power of the waves and the ocean, and of the storms.  Many things happened to Elder Groberg.  His first struggle was to learn the language, and until he did he made many mistakes saying silly things.  His feet were eaten by rates, from which we learn you must always keep your feet covered, he help to heal a boy who had fallen out of a tree, but could not heal another young man who had lock jaw.   Success was slow at first, but he grew on the people, and they began to have tremendous success.  He first had a companion (Joe Folau), and the interacted well, as the companion was Tongan.  The pass through a hurricane as an island, and almost everyone perishes of hunger as all the food is destroyed, including the fisheries.  A boat arrives with supplies just in time.  A priest, gave El Groberg a bottle of jam, saving Elder Groberg’s live, but sacrificing his own as the priest is one who does not make it.  After they started to have success, Elder Groberg’s companion is called back to construction.  One of the most touching scenes is “Hoorah for Israel” as he is heading off the island in a small boat.  In this the reenacted the apostles of old who stood in the wagon and shouted hoorah as they were sick, but heeding the call to serve missions. 
Elder Groberg is left with local leadership as companions.  He travels between islands.  In one there is no wind to sail the boat, and they are becalmed.  One of the companions jumps into the ocean, to pull the boat.  “Today I am the Lord’s wind.”  In another scene, they are capsized by a large wave.  However he is saved.
Another moving scene is the visit by the mission president, who has been worrying nothing has been going on.  When Elder Groberg reports the success, including a new branch with a chapel, the mission president asks to see the records.  Elder Groberg stays up all night to create the records, and the mission president apologizes about his harshness. 
Though out the movie are interspersed scenes of his girlfriend, (Anne Hathaway) through interaction, and letters.  The movie concludes with their marriage.  This is a very fun and inspiring movie.  Great cinematography of the ocean and islands.

Book Rieview: Dynamic Health: Dual Diagnosis

David Wright interviewed Dr. David Mee-Lee about dual diagnosis services.  This is treatment for people with co-occurring substance us and mental health problems.  Dr. Mee-Lee consults with Santa Clara County departments of Alcohol and Drugs as well as Mental Health.  As such I have had the opportunity to attend his trainings as well as sit in consultation of cases with him.  He is a pioneer of motivation interviewing, and he works with the call center on being able to figure out what people would like to get from mental health.  “You start at the door they open and where they let you in rather than telling them they have to work on a problem they don’t think they have.  Work on what they’re there for and from that point move to how their substance use and their mental health problems have been shooting themselves in the foot, preventing them from getting what they really want. 
This article is best when it talks about rehabilitation of mental health and substance abuse problems.  “Recover doesn’t necessarily mean they’re cured when you’re talking about a chronic illness—no more than if somebody with diabetes  or hypertension or asthma. … A person suffering from a mental illness as well as a substance problem won’t be able to be cured in the sense that they will never have a mental health problem or substance problem again.  They can recover, meaning they can live beyond just the fact that they have alcoholism or a mental illness.  They can have goals and aspirations and be empowered to have hope to change their life in terms of their relationships, in terms of productivity in the community, and reaching their dreams and aspirations. … Recover really means stabilizing their mental health and substance problem, but then living and growing to have an identity beyond just their illness.”
Dr. Mee-Lee concludes with advice for family and community.  The first is to realize that mental illness is not unusual.  There is “nothing bizarre or weird about…having substance problems or mental health issues.  The second point he makes is that there is help for mental illness.  Getting treatment sooner rather than later leads to a better result. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Caleb's First Couple Weeks in Iowa Pictures

These pictures reflect who Caleb is, and his companions.  He sent a package with Bey Blades for Tony, and then pictures of his own Bey Blade playing.  The first thing Tony said when I got home from work was he had two new Bey Blades.  He didn't say where he had gotten them.
Caleb is in his second companionship (other MTC), and he is again in the threesome.  Elder Berthold is his trainer.  He is preparing to return home from his mission.
Elder Berthold, me, Elder Tanner

Dueling, Miss you Tons Tony, Enjoy the Blades

Elder Berthold Ready to Battle
Caleb praises the Iowa scenery highly, especially the country; but no pictures.