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.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Life in Manteca 95: Communtiy Service Day

Manteca Stake Community Service Day

I hate painting, but I signed up to participate in the community service day, and our ward was headed to French Camp to paint the Haven of Peace Shelter, and do other repairs as needed.  I grumbled to myself all Friday evening, why did I sign up?  I am going to be sick.  But Saturday morning I pealed myself out of bed, and I went and joined in the fun.  I thought for sure there must be something I can do so I do not have to paint, but in the end, that is what I did mostly was paint.  We painted the office.  First there was the job of taping and covering everything.  That took more than the first hour.  There was also some Spackle work, but not too much.  I was putting down plastic, and someone from another ward who is actually a painter said paper was needed, so as to cut down and carrying paint on your shoes, so we papered the floor.  Then came the paint.  We started with the ceiling, with some really big rollers.  It was hard to tell where you had been, but if you went over where you had been it pulled off the layer of paint you had just done.  It was hard getting it all done.
Then we did the walls, using the same rollers--a big mistake.  The rollers brought the cottage cheese texture onto the walls, we had to wipe it all off.  Then we got new rollers, and discovered the actual paint was polluted with the cottage cheese things, so I had to get them all off the new roller, and get another tray for paint, then we were set to go.  Turns out a second coat was needed.  I had had enough however, and went outside and shoveled some dirt and then called it a day.  That painting can be pretty hard work.
Then we took the boys to Home Depot.  I watched the boys, while Sheri checked out sheds.  We are at the point where we need to do something different with the garden tools, and until we do our garage is a hopeless case.  So sometime this week, they are gong to deliver a shed that we will have to put together.  When that is done, then we can clean the garage to where you can get in without putting your life in danger.

Documentary Review: Stress: Portrait of a Killer,

 Stress: Portrait of a Killer, National Geographic, 2008.
 
This is an interesting documentary about stress.  It starts by looking at a study of baboons, which has a clear hierarchy, with some baboons being allowed to torment others down an organizational line.  The study found that those at the bottom of the hierarchy had more adrenaline and stress reaction related hormones in the blood stream.  The study compared this with a hierarchy of an office, and found those at the bottom of the totem pole were more likely to be unhappy with work when compared to those at the top. 
This study made the next leap, in both the animal and human studies.  Those who were experiencing the most stress, appeared to have more health related symptoms.  In animals this related to more clogging of the arteries, lower immune system, and even decreased brain cell function.  Humans seem to mirror these results.  Excessive stress can lead to coronary problems, high blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, which in term can have long term health consequences.  Those who are in management roles should use whatever influence they might have to create an environment with less stress.  Although momentary stress can be fun and exhilarating; it can even lead to short term improvement in performance; however too much stress over a long period of time leads to the breakdown of the body and reduced performance. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Music Review: The Miracles of Love

This is music video from Nest Entertainment which presents the songs form the New Testament series.  The songs include: "A King is Born" which is a song announcing the birth of the Savior.  "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord" presents the story of Zacharias and John the Baptist.  The story of the prodigal son is highlighted by the song, "Welcome Home."  The parable of the good Samaritan is strengthened with the song, "My Hands."  "My hands are the Lord's hands."  There is a powerful message in that simple statement.  "Miracles of Love" highlights the miracles of Jesus.  The conversion of Saul to Paul is highlighted is emphasized in "Help Me."  "Help me Lord to fight a good fight."  The final song reflects upon the atonement of the Savior.  "He Gave His Life for Me" starts with the crucifixion, and then shows the resurrection.  "He gave his perfect life so I could live again." 

Sunday School: Old Testament: Moses and the Children of Israel

The relationship between God, Moses and the Children of Israel was very interesting.  The children of Israel were always looking back to Egypt, rather than forward to the promised land.  "Oh that we had stayed in Egypt" was a common cry.  They said this when Pharaoh trapped them against the banks of the Red Sea, when they were short of water, when they had no fun, when they were tired of manna, when the way was too hard, and when they feared those in Canaan.  It got to the point where God was ready to destroy the house of Israel, but Moses convinced him not to do so.  Instead he determined that the current generation would all die off before they would enter the promised land, and that is what happened except for Joshua and Caleb.

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-03-054-skiing-expedition?category=old-testament/introduction-deuteronomy&&lang=eng&order=chronological
Follow the prophet.
https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/lord-i-believe?lang=eng
Robert D. Hales, walk by faith.

What is even more incredible is the constant reminders of Jesus Christ in this story.  We see a type of Jesus in the Passover.  The lamb without blemish, and the blood on the doorway point to Christ, the manna or bread of life reminds us of Jesus, and the snake on a staff, to which the people must look to live also reminds us of Jesus.
http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=2649250157001
Daily Bread

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Documentary Review: Native American Healing in the 21st Century

This movie presents Native American medicine as part of holistic health.  They also talk about other forms of alternative medicine.  Much of the medicine is bases on herbal medicines; but it is combined with prayer and spiritual preparation.  A combination of health treatments is most likely to be the most successful.  The Great Spirit and oneness with the earth and the spirit are important to treating people in a holistic way.  The presentation compares Native remedies with Eastern medicine.  The importance of keeping energies in balance. 
A basic philosophy behind their remedies is gratitude for the Creator.  This combined with and absence of bias and prejudice will lead to peace, which is perfect healing. 
This movie presents a lot of practical advise, which herb or plant treats which illness.  Common natural band-aids and cures harvested from plants. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend 2014

For Easter we had the Normans, Dianna, Mark Heather and Anna (Natalie is at school and spending the Easter Sunday with friends who use to live in Tracy).  The Halls, Charity Anthony and Camberly Rose were also here.  Camberly was happy most of the time.  She doesn't like getting her bum changed though.  We had fun.  I got pictures of the Halls and Miranda; but Tony was being camera shy.  I wanted to show off his Easter clothes, but he was too fast for me.  Miranda bought herself  new Easter dress, and Sheri made Camberly's dress. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma62MiyZNNo&list=UUUEd30vKIa3CW6YQDuSxQcQ
We sat and talked, and I showed Dianna pictures on Family Search I have done.  I put some new pictures on this last week, and actually identified a new person, my mom's aunt as identified by her.  I put them on blog and then have Sara show mom the blog and get identifications that way.  Mom is pretty fuzzy about recent things but her long term memory is still very good.  I had also identified a picture as Buffy that mom said was Dianna.

I sang solo with choir yesterday.  Jesus once of humble birth.  Mom said it didn't sound like me because there was too much vibratto.  I don't like to sing with too much vibratto but know that I do sometimes.  I wanted to record one of my songs for Easter, but still haven't done it.  We also sang Come follow me as a choir.  It was a hard arrangement.   

A nice Easter but Tony didn't want to go to church because he said it is a holiday.  We went to two sacrament meetings.  Simon did a very good job.  His family was there; Levi and his mom and dad.  I met his brother but his mom was busy getting information about how to stay in contact with Simon.  I invited them over.  I hope Simon can make it.  He is out of town for the next week.

New boss at work, at least our boss has resigned and her boss is now our boss. 

Tony and Jeremiah Epoch Bey Blade Wars (+playlist)





Tony insisted I make a Bey Blade movie for him.  His friend agreed to be part so the battles would be better.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Because of Him


This is life changing

Jesus is Crucified

This is hard to watch, but it is important to understand the great sacrifice of our Savior.
https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-019-jesus-is-scourged-and-crucified?category=bible-videos-the-life-of-jesus-christ&&lang=eng


Jesus is Condemned Before Pilate

There are a couple important statements Pilate makes.  First he asks, "What is truth."  Isn't this a question of the ages.  Jesus says, "The truth will make you free."  Therefore it is so important to know the truth.  The truth of Jesus is that he came to Earth, born of Mary and God the Father.  He lived a mortal existence.  He took upon himself the weight of our sins.  He carried that weight, and was crucified.  He rose on the third day.  he broke the bands of both spiritual and physical death.

The other thing Pilate does is washing his hands, saying "I am innocent of the blood of this just person."  I wonder if we can so easily absolve ourselves of responsibility and guilt.  Pilate was still the only person who could authorize Jesus' crucifixion, and he said "See ye to it."
This short shows the chief priest, and Mary offering countering points of view.
https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-018-jesus-is-condemned-before-pilate?category=bible-videos-the-life-of-jesus-christ&&lang=eng

Jesus Suffers at Gethsemane, and Is Betrayed

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-015-the-savior-suffers-in-gethsemane?category=bible-videos-the-life-of-jesus-christ&&lang=eng

In this presentation, Jesus' suffering at Gethsemane is well portrayed.  This is a much better description of what took place than the picture which is often show, which only shows one second in time while this presentation shows a passage of time.  It also shows the angel coming to lift Jesus up.  The movie also shows the betrayal.  Betrayest thou me with a kiss.  Peter defends Jesus, but Jesus restores the ear to the guard. 

LDS Bible Videos: Jesus Warns Peter, and Prays for the Apostles

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-014-jesus-warns-peter-and-offers-the-intercessory-prayer?category=bible-videos-the-life-of-jesus-christ&&lang=eng

Mathew 26:
33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
 34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
 35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

Jesus was taken to be judged of Caiphas.  One of the poignant events of the evening involves Peter, when he was confronted by those who said he was with Jesus.  This is one of the most poignant events of this night.  

Here is the manifestation of the prophecy a few hours before.

Of this event President Hinckley said:
Peter, affirming his loyalty, his determination, his resolution, said that he would never deny. But the fear of men came upon him and the weakness of his flesh overtook him, and under the pressure of accusation, his resolution crumbled. Then, recognizing his wrong and weakness, “he went out, and wept.”
As I have read this account my heart goes out to Peter. So many of us are so much like him. We pledge our loyalty; we affirm our determination to be of good courage; we declare, sometimes even publicly, that come what may we will do the right thing, that we will stand for the right cause, that we will be true to ourselves and to others.
Then the pressures begin to build. Sometimes these are social pressures. Sometimes they are personal appetites. Sometimes they are false ambitions. There is a weakening of the will. There is a softening of discipline. There is capitulation. And then there is remorse, self-accusation, and bitter tears of regret.

May we resolve to follow Jesus, and then follow Him with all our might.

Friday, April 18, 2014

LDS Bible Videos: The Last Supper

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-013-the-last-supper?category=bible-videos-the-life-of-jesus-christ&&lang=eng

In this movie we see the ordinance of the washing of the feet, some of Jesus' final teaching to the apostles, the dismissal of Judas, the first sacrament administered to the eleven apostles, and leaving the supper feast heading to the Garden of Gethsemane. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: A Parent's Survival Guide to the Internet

A Parent's Survival Guide to the Internet, Kidd, Clark L. and Kathryn H., Bookcraft, SLC, UT, 1999.

This book is dated as to the internet, which seems to change every year.  However there are some teachings which seem to be valid no matter when.  It advices where the computer should be kept.  "The family computer may clash with the decor of the home, but your children will benefit by using the computer in a room where the family spends most of its time.  The more chance there is that others can see what your children are doing, the less opportunity they'll have to yield to temptation and break the household rules."
It also offers this list of danger signs:
Excessive use of the internet
On line at unusual times of the day
Spending too much time in chat rooms
Child looks guilty or startled when you enter the room
Gives evasive answers about on line activity
You find pornography stored on the computer
Saving files on external memory
Child receives phone calls from strangers
The child starts making long distance calls
The child receives unusual mail or packages
The child suddenly becomes withdrawn
You suspect the child is accessing the internet through other accounts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Manteca Stake Missionary Fireside

This is a fireside I am very glad I did not miss.  This past Sunday the Manteca Stake held a missionary fireside.  The fireside was presented in such a way, as to introduce the gospel to those who may have been invited; but also to motivate those who were in attendance to continue inviting.  It gave a history of missionary work since the time of Jesus.  President Norman talked on his missionary experiences, and the blessing of watching people change.  President Brown talked of the missionaries who taught him.  President Lewis, of the Sacramento Mission, talked of the sacrificed missionaries are making every day.  He indicated there are now 83,000 missionaries, and about 250 in the Sacramento Mission.  I am glad I was there.  The choir sang "Come Oh though Glorious Day of Promise" and "This is the Christ."  A new member bore testimony of how he felt when he received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  He said he had a buzzing feeling; as did his wife.

Health As I See It: Eye Care

This is an email from work.
LOOK INTO THE FUTURE
 
…by getting your eyes examined.
 
Did you know that, by going for your annual eye exam, your vision health provider can detect risk factors for stroke, heart disease and hypertension?
 
Fact is, indications of these serious conditions can be seen in your eyes long before you experience symptoms; even before they can be detected by your general practitioner! 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Jesus's last week

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-048-render-unto-caesar-and-unto-god?category=bible-videos-the-life-of-jesus-christ&&lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-052-the-greatest-commandment?category=bible-videos-the-life-of-jesus-christ&&lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-009-jesus-teaches-about-the-widows-mites?category=bible-videos-the-life-of-jesus-christ&&lang=eng

Jesus' last week was marked by continued teaching, and confrontation with the Pharisees. 

Handcart Trek Announced for Manteca Stake

At the missionary fireside last night, a handcart trek was announced for Manteca Stake for July of 2015.  I am very excited.  I have never been involved in a handcart trek; and of course I don't know if I will be actually involved in this one.  This is a youth trek, 14-18 with about 150 adult volunteers involved.  SO I hope to be one of the 150.
I like to think of this as Isaac, as he helped bury many pioneers
My head is very full of handcart stories.  This is from studying my ancestors.  Isaac Wardle and Mary Ashton, as well as Mary's family were in the Martin Handcart Company.  Mary's younger sister passed away while the ship Horizon was anchored at Boston harbor.  She is buried in an unknown grave in Boston.  Mary's mother passed away close to Winter's Quarters in Nebraska.  The newborn baby only lived a couple of weeks, and was buried close to the Babbitt grave site.  The Babbitt company had been attacked by Indians.  Her father left the company, and joined the infantry at Fort Laramie.  He would complete his five year duty with the army, was released from Benicia, and returned to England, to later immigrate to America.  Finally, her older sister, froze her feet at the last crossing of the Platte River.  She passed away shortly after.  Mary, and her sister Sarah survived the  trek, and were taken in by families in Salt Lake.  Mary would become Isaac's second wife.
Isaac's parents and younger brother immigrated with the Robinson Company in 1860.
Of course there a thousand more stories associated with the handcarts companies. 
This is a depiction of Mary and Sarah by Julie Rogers

Monday, April 14, 2014

Old Testament: The Fall

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2012-08-1340-three-pillars-of-gods-plan?category=book-of-mormon/introduction-2-nephi&&lang=eng

One of the interesting scenes in the Bible is the fall of Adam and Eve.  This is part of the great plan of God; it was not a sin, but rather a transgression of law.  However the transgression allowed obedience to a higher law, that of multiplying and replenishing the earth.  Our first parents, Adam and Eve were truly children of God, and were able to take advantage of the atonement, and thereby regain favor with God. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Member Missionary 12: Incorporating the Ward Mission Goals

A challenge is to incorporate the Ward Mission Goals into our family goals and my personal goals.  Not all of the goals apply to family or person; but some do. 

1) We have begun doing our family home evening from Preach My Gospel.  This is not weekly, but at least two times a month.  We read personally, and then do the person and companion study together. 
2) Inviting has usually fallen on me.  I am good at inviting less active home-teaching families to activities, but I want to do more with this.
3) This is a Ward Council goal
4) I have a couple names on my home teaching less I have been unable to locate.  I could put more effort into this.  However there are a few I have verified are not there.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Palm Sunday Missionary Fireside



Palm Sunday Music and the Spoken Word
Please join us for a musical presentation as we remember the
Savior this Palm Sunday
Missionary Fireside
When: April 13, 7pm - 8:30pm
Where: Stake Center 6060 Northland Road, Manteca, CA


Old Testament: LDS video: I Am a Son of God

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-03-50-i-am-a-son-of-god?lang=eng
This story of Moses, God and Satan tells us three important truths.  God is real.  We are children of God.  And finally Satan is also real.  It is very enlightening.  Let us remember that when the blows of life come, we are God's children, and he loves us.  He will give us the strength to overcome evil.  He has set bounds to Satan's power.
I final concept we should remember.  God's work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  (Moses 1: 39)  God will provide a way that you can achieve eternal life.  He does give us free agency, but that free agency includes a way to return to Heavenly Father in glory. 

Life in Manteca 94: Miranda and Wisdom Teeth, Rose

When your daughter goes to the dentist for wisdom teeth removal, she is serious about going on a mission.  That was her morning.  She didn't want a picture, but I told her we had to document things.
They didn't want her to be left alone, so I stayed with her so Sheri could attend our neighbor's Meryn's baptism. She mostly slept.


I thought I would share a couple pictures of the rose bush out back.  It is really trying to make thee back yard beautiful.
Sheri brought a shake from Burger King home to Miranda, and Jamba Juice to Tony. With the shake she bought a couple spicy chicken sandwiches, original.  I had one.  it seemed very bland to me.  Maybe that is why we usually don't venture to Burger King, but Miranda really likes it. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jesus Enters Jesrusalem Initiating the Atonement

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-017-the-lords-triumphal-entry-into-jerusalem?category=bible-videos-the-life-of-jesus-christ&&lang=eng

No words in this short video, but sometimes so much more can be said by actions and eyes.

Conference and New Habits

Conference at Charity's.  We actually watched most at home.  Sheri heard the prophet say we should be studying scriptures with our families daily.  We finished 1Nephi chapter 4 today.  It is hard to get Tony to join in, but he is a very good reader.  We have also had prayer.  Miranda suggested a change in our evening habits.  Eating after 7:30 is very late, especially for the big meal of the day.  They are eating earlier, and I am eating dinner on the train.  That way when I get home we can do scriptures and prayer for family time instead of dinner.  Also every-other day we plan on a walk after prayer.  This will give us a chance to walk the dog.  If you care to join us for the walk it is a bit after 8.  Of ourse it is mostly Miranda and I.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kayla Chose to Be Baptized this Saturday

Kayla was baptized this past Saturday.  She surprised us all announcing her decision.  One of the elders performed the ordinance.  Also attending were the Normans, the Halls, and the Capener's from Stevens Creek Ward.  Kayla's father and sister were also there.  There were many members from their ward, Modesto 2nd ward where they have been attending.  Sister Sterling, previously from Stevens Creek Ward is now a member of the Modesto 2nd Ward. 

Ace Train 50: Customer Appreciation Day

I picked up my free t-shirt, mug, little flashlight and pin today.  They are pretty cool.  I guess this is to make up for the proposed five percent fare increase which is taking effect in a few months.
Anyway, we grab happiness where and when we can.  I wore the shirt over my regular shirt while traveling today.  Can't wear labeled shirts at work so I took it off.  I put the pin on my back pack.  I used the cup for drinking water.  It seemed cooler and more refreshing than the plastic cups.  I gave the flashlight to Tony and he shined it in Miranda's eyes.







Mental Health Callcenter Lunch

I think the entire group was there for a bitter-sweet day.  Mikelle took us out to eat,  but she also announced she is leaving us going to VMC Connections.  Asian Buffet, with lots of sushi.  I stuck to what I new, and enjoyed the strawberries and ice cream, as well as the fish. 
Thai, Nguyet, Audrey, Vanessa, Hang, Nancy, Mitra, Mikelle, Theresa, Pauline, Me, Betsy, Diem and KimSeng.  Languages spoken, English, Vietnamese, Spanish, Mandarin, Cambodian, Farsi.  Picture taken on Diem's phone.



Monday, April 7, 2014

Caleb's Sketch for Tony

Caleb sent a picture home for Caleb. 

Memorial for Aunt Carol Anne Haws

A couple weeks ago Sheri and I went to the Saratoga Stake Center to attend the memorial service for our aunt, Carol Anne Haws.  She and Uncle Von had moved to Utah, and reportedly she took a turn for the worse, and then passed away in January.  There had been a service in Utah; but where they lived in Saratoga for many years, it was appropriate to also hold a service here.  Six of her seven children were there.  They called it a celebration and had a small meal.  Uncle Von was here from Utah.  I understand he lives in a nursing home, he and Carol lived in the same home.  Uncle Von is alert, and even though he is plagued with Parkinsons, he is able to express himself and his mind is active.  He is a funny man, and told some stories about when he and Carol first met.
Three daughters, Gretchen, Rachel and Nellie

Von with his son, Forrest

Uncle Von
Aunt Carol was a professor of dance at San Jose State for many years.  Her children all performed from time to time.   Gretchen and Maren Haws (a niece) performed "For God" from Wicked.  They had only rehearsed briefly, but it was excellent.  She still has many friends in the theater community, and as a result one of her friends brought members of the cast of an upcoming original musical, Love, Laughter and Linguine."  The author and director indicated that parts of the work were based on Aunt Carol.  





All of Aunt Carol's kids but the oldest were there.  Matt was represented  by his son.  He and Jeff are from Carol's first marriage  Then there is Gretchen, Aaron, Forrest, Rachel and Nellie.  Rachel’s daughters were recently in Shrek musical as the young Fiona (double cast).    Gretchen is Mom’s age.  

Uncle Von told the story about how he met Carol.  Read this here: http://billywardlegen.blogspot.com/2014/04/aunt-carol-ann-fisher-haws-sheris-aunt.html
 There was also a period for people to share stories.  Many people shared stories from the theater, or from the Saratoga Ward.  The three sisters recited a life sketch in which they shared some of Carol's personality.
 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Jesus Teaches at the Synagogue, Declares He is the Messiah and is Rejected

I love it when Jesus says, "Today, is the scripture fulfilled in your eyes," after he read Messianic passages to the people from Isaiah.  After this people would have no doubt who Jesus claimed to be, and if true, This was the most important thing to ever happen.  I think they misunderstood, because when he said he would cure the bruised, He was not talking physically, although many miracles were performed; He was talking spiritually.  His was to cure people of spiritual bruises, sin, depression, wants, imperfection.  This is why the people couldn't see what was before them.  Jesus is the Savior of the world.  I know this in the deepest fiber of my heart.
https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-029-jesus-declares-he-is-the-messiah?category=bible-videos-the-life-of-jesus-christ&&lang=eng

Caleb's Selfies on my I-Pad