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.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Caleb's Weekly Report (only two left); Nauvoo Pageant


Family, 
Wow, another busy week full of miracles and fun. I can"t describe the way I am feeling. I'm so excited to be home and to see family again and start up home life again. But, I love the mission and the people are great and being a missionary is by far the best thing I have ever done. So it's a little interesting. I guess the typical conflicted feelings that you have when you gear up for the end. It's pretty interesting. But! I am definitely still living up the time I have left and we are working hard. 
We had a good exchange with the Elders in Keokuk today. It's like the most interesting place on Earth. And it's also the Geode capital of the World. We are going Geode hunting today. IT should be cool.
Anyways, the work is starting to pick up again here. We have found some new people to teach so hopefully we can get some people on date and prepped for baptism before I go. 
I have seriously just fallen in love with Nauvoo. The Pageant is amazing. We met a Brother and Sister who have received a 5 year call to be the supervisors of the stage crew. The crew is all volunteer young men over 16 who work 18 hours a day. During the show they move the stage. (like the stage literally moves and pieces rotate and they are under the stage moving the thing) and there is also a 60 foot prop of the Nauvoo temple which stands up and down. The temple has a counterweight of 2000 pounds that they men have to push in perfect coordination when they stand it up and down. The Brother who is in charge is recruiting people for next year. So he asked Elder Broadbent and I if we were interested in watching how the stage moved. So of course we agreed. And it's one of the most impressive things I have ever seen.He wants us to apply. We will see. 
I love the Lord and I love being a missionary. I miss you all and will see you soon!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Health as I See It: Smoking and Children: Third-hand Smoke

I attended a training on Wellness and tobacco usage.  Smoking is not good.  Smoking accounts for more preventable deaths than all other preventable deaths combined.  It is especially hard on the lower income people, and those people with behavioral health problems.  Those with behavioral health issues have a life expectancy 20 years younger, and much of this has to do with cigarette usage.
I recently learned a new concept, third hand smoke.  We all know of first-hand smoke, the smoke you blow into your own lungs, or second hand, the smoke you blow into someone else's lungs.  Third-hand smoke has to do with the second-hand smoke landing on things, furniture, carpets and curtains, and then when those things are jostled or bumped it brushes into the air, and can be another source of chemicals and particles getting into the lungs.  Children and pets are especially vulnerable to third-hand smoke.

Minecraft Saga: Is it Good for Kids?

I came across a short article June 2015 issue the "Parenting on the Peninsula" periodical.  The idea of this article is that Minecraft is a good thing.  It seems almost everyone is playing these days; at least all of our younger people.  Tony is really into it, and has been for several years.  This article is written by someone who uses Minecraft in his school--one of the after-school schools called Tech Rocks.  They use Minecraft to teach creativity, problems solving, and technology.  The platform has two major platforms.  First is that of building your world.  Their are an unlimited number of lego like bricks available in the game, and people can build any kind of world they can imaging with them.    The other platform is similar to others games, staying alive in a hostile world.  This is where problem solving comes into play.  The final educational tool is to teach programming.  The Tech Rocks school use the platform to teach some basic platforming using Java according to the article.

Please click on the response function and give me your feedback and opinion to this article.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Caleb Is Stoked About Nauvoo Pageant

leadership meeting front row, second from right
zone conference, top row, second from left.
Just a brief note from Caleb about zone conference and the Nauvoo Pageant.
Family,
Nauvoo has stolen my heart. There is honestly no place like it in the world. We had Zone Conference on Friday in the Nauvoo Stake Center. we were lucky enough for he Nauvoo Pageant core cast to come and perform one of the historical Vignettes that they do. The vignette was focused on the calling and missions of the 12 apostles and the sacrifices that they went through to get there. It was amazing. They performed for us in the chapel. On there way in they shook the hands of the missionaries sitting in the aisles. Some how I ended up in the aisle. I had the privilege of shaking hands with Willford Woodruff, Brigham Young, and Parley P. Pratt. Although the actors were portraying these men it seemed as if I was shaking hands personally with the apostles themselves. I think I cried the entire 20 minutes that they were performing. I will never forget the feeling that I had when I watched. It was remarkable.
Elder Broadbent and I gave a training to about 90 missionaries at zone conference this week. We trained bout church attendance and how to get investigators there. It was really cool. The spirit was really strong. Although we didn't have too much time to train it's been amazing to see the direct correlation between the training that we gave and the number of people in the Nauvoo zone who attended church. Hopefully the missionaries in the other zones followed the counsel we gave as well and are benefiting from doing so.
I have a firm testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel. It has especially been confirmed this week as I had another opportunity to view the Nauvoo Pageant and to hear President Jensen speak about the Restoration and Joseph Smith. I love it. The gospel truly has been restored. 

Health As I See It: Train Safety: Choo Choo The Big Train


I have seen too many close calls riding the train.  Not only that, I have heard of people killed by train (sometimes suicide and sometimes accident) and it seems people just don't take enough caution around tracks.  I have meant to make this movie for some time.  I hoped to get someone to sing with me, but failed in that regard, so here is "Choo Choo the Big Train" and some film of the trains I ride.





Health As I See It: In Our Community: Mental Illness

In Our Community.  It is so difficult to lay your life open, but in this case Ms. Diana Guido does this and does it very well.  She is a peer support, substance abuse counselor for Santa Clara County.  She gives a very good over view of mental health services.  This includes a discussion of the WRAP course.  Wellness Recovery Action Plan is an evidence based peer support service in which attendees develop their personal plan for wellness.  She also talks of being a Mental Health First Aider. This also is a national training to help encourage people to look out for each other.  She also educates people to the county's crisis and warm line, 1-855-278-4204.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Virginia Reel: Manteca Stake Handcart Trek 2015



The Virginia Reel is not my favorite dance, because the lead couple is very busy, but everyone else mostly just stands an watches until their turn comes.  Of course everyone gets to be the lead couple if you dance long enough.  In this dance everyone showed lots of enthusiasm and energy with clapping and doing the twirl when it was your turn.  This is Friday night, after a hearty supper and good spirits.  This followed eight miles of hiking with handcarts.

Oh Susana: Manteca Stake Handcart Trek 2015


I sat under a tree and watched as the young people took part in square dancing.  I really like
Oh Susana" and there was lots of enthusiasm.  As you watch my film, most of the groups caught on pretty well, but one group everyone seemed to have two left legs as after the hand swinging thingy it never worked out quite right.  The guys and girls were always running to get back together.  Maybe that is part of the fun.

2015 Pioneer Day Concert with Laura Osnes - Music for a Summer Evening



This year's Mormon Tabernacle Pioneer Day Concert has many things to enjoy.  The choir opens with three traditional pioneer songs, "The Handcart Song" with a very nice arrangement, "They the Builders of a Nation" and then "Come, Come Ye Saints."  It then turns into a night of music from different musicals featuring Laura Osnes who played Cinderella on Broadway in the musical of the same name.  One of my favorites is the organ rendition of "Give My Regards to Broadway."  It was truly delightful at about the 38 minute mark of the concert.  Osnes sings "Climb Every Mountain" and it sent tingles up my spine.  Very beautiful.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Women's Pull: 2015 Manteca Stake Handcart Trek



Video 2
Second day at handcart trek we had a calling of the Mormon Battalion.  The women went one way, and the men up a fire trail to the top of a hill; where the men lined an even steeper hill, and this was called the women’s pull. The women’s pull was incredible, as the women had to pull the carts up a 36% grade.  Many returned to help more and more carts.  They would have 9 women or more to a cart and away they would go.  Guys were prepared to jump in, but the women insisted it was a women’s pull.  However guys did jump in at the top when they were at their limit.  So the result is, Mormon women are pretty tough stock and you [to Caleb] could marry any of them that were there.  I walked up that women’s pull hill after they were done, and it was steep.  I had to stop several times to catch my breath and went very slow.  I could not have helped with that pull had I been asked.












Saturday, July 18, 2015

Caleb Ushers Nauvoo Pageant

Caleb and Elder Broadbent at Youth Conference
 Pictures are borrowed from Facebook
Caleb and Elder Broadbent at Nauvoo Pageant
Some excerpts from Caleb's letter"
Family,
This week was pretty ridiculous. On Tuesday we went to Mission Leadership Council in Iowa CIty which lasts all day. On Wednesday we proselyted at the pageant. On Thursday we had a district meeting and then exchanges following. On Friday the other districts meeting and we had to weekly plan. On Saturday we spoke at a Youth Conference in Macomb and then headed over to the pageant to proselyte again. So we have done tons of traveling. But the miracles keep flowing.
     There were several cool experiences that happened this week. The first is Youth Conference. President Jensen asked us to speak with him at a Youth Conference in Macomb. It was so cool to sit next President and Sister Jensen on the stand. There was so much power it was unbelievable. We sang for an opening hymn "Called To Serve" and the spirit was ridiculously strong and present. It was amazing. President and Sister Jensen spoke, then Elder Broadbent spoke about the MTC. I had the opportunity to bat clean up and talk about the first few weeks in the mission field. It was fun. Then Elder Broadbent and I did a Q&A. Never done one of those before. It was really cool! 
     We had planned to drive from Macomb to the temple to do an endowment session, but the Conference took longer than we thought. So we stopped through Carthage and took a tour of the jail. Brother Joseph was a prophet. There is no doubt in my mind. We then drove through Hamilton and on our way up to Nauvoo, but the rain was relentless. The road that goes along the Mississippi flooded and a few cars tried to make through the massive puddles but ended up swamping the engines. Luckily we had our truck and made it through ok. We drove through it and then parked on the side of the road and pushed the cars out. The water was above our knees! It was so intense and we definitely got soaking wet! It's the closest I've gotten to swimming on my mission. It was fun. Luckily we had changed out of our suits after the conference so it was no biggy. I had even brought an extra pair of shoes and socks for some reason. So we drove to Nauvoo and changed. The rain still hadn't stopped though. We drove past the pageant grounds and things were swamped. They cancelled the country fair which happened prior to the Pageant. So we just wiped down chairs and set up them back up properly and then waited for the pageant to start. A stake President from Texas said the opening prayer (also, a member reported to us that prayers were being said in the temple to stop the rain so the pageant could still go on) and asked Father in Heaven to say a prayer. I watched as clouds split in half to go around Nauvoo. It was an absolute miracle. I honestly have never seen anything like it! The sky was so black all around, but it didn't rain. What a miracle/ god hears and answers our prayers. The Nauvoo Pageant has only been cancelled due to weather once. That is remarkable!
I have a testimony of the restored gospel. I love this work. I truly due. Time is flying by. And I can't stand it. Our mission President shared a story this week which made me think, He talked about when he was called as stake president and the president previous to him was super disappointed to be released. The member of the Seventy who was reorganizing the Stake Presidency asked the former President why he was said. The answer is obvious (he was eing released) and then the Seventy said "There is no reason to be sad! You just served for Ten Years! You should be happy." And that is the attitude that I have currently. I am excited to be finished. Not because I won't miss it. Cause I will. But because I just served the Lord with all of my heart might mind and strength for two years! Why would I not be glad? Besides, I am still a member of the restored gospel. I will still have the same responsibilites to find teach ad baptize, just in a different capacity.  am excited to serve the Lord forever. 

I truly love this work. Time is flying. But its time well spent.

I love you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Caleb's Fourth

library emails
Caleb is very busy, but here is his July Fourth report.  He says he has many meetings this week; and he also has pageant.  He is going to be ushering twice this week, so if you are in Nauvoo, look for Elder Wardle and say "hi."
The only other thing to report is we had a good 4th of July. We were able to attend the ward party and watch the fireworks from the church. We were playing football in our proselyting clothes with some of the other young men and the Marston kids, and then all of a sudden... all of the primary kids came running at us with water balloons and we ran away so fast. But we didn't get away fast enough. I looked to see where they all came from and I saw one of our favorite members (Brother Bunnell) just handing water balloons out by his truck pointing at us and telling the kids to get us wet. When we made eye contact he was dying laughing. It was so funny. I caught a few of the poorly thrown water balloons and chased him down. Oh... you know he was soaking by the time Elder Broadbent and I were done. It was awesome. No pictures cause I was too busy in the heat of the battle. But it was sweet.
leadership meeting
Service project injury

district


companion, Elder Broadbent

Health As I See It: Documentary Review: In Our Community: Mental Illness


In Our Community.  It is so difficult to lay your life open, but in this case Ms. Diana Guido does this and does it very well.  She is a peer support, substance abuse counselor for Santa Clara County.  She gives a very good over view of mental health services.  This includes a discussion of the WRAP course.  Wellness Recovery Action Plan is an evidence based peer support service in which attendees develop their person plan for wellness.  She also talks of being a Mental Health First Aider. This also is a national training to help encourage people to look out for each other.  She also educates people to the county's crisis and warm line, 1-855-278-4204.

Fourth of July Fireworks 2015



 We went to Turlock for fireworks.  They let them off at Stanislaus State.  We sat at the church, which is a couple blocks up the road.  We had a good view, with no obstructing trees.  Somehow my movie of the fireworks didn't turn out.  So this would have been a great spot, except for cars going up and down the road in front of us.  It made for an over vigilant Grandpa.

Two children and three grandbabies (three and a half with Charity's new one.)  Bronnie didn't make the pictures as he was sleeping in the stroller.  We had fun with Camberly and her pronunciation of fireworks.





Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Life in Manteca 125: July 4 Unveiling of WWII Mural




 It is strange how choked up and emotional I became as I watched the plastic go up on this mural.  It made me think of my own father, Jim Wardle, and the sacrifice that he made during the war.  He served in the Navy as a young man of 17-20.  (He enlisted a week before his birthday.)  He served until the end of the war, when he was discharged on a hardship so he could help his father with the farm.  At one point the asked for those who have family members who served in the war to stand.  I was standing so I waved my hand.  The mural is entitled the "Spirit of America."  It portrays a tank, planes and a destroyer.  My father served on a destroyer escort.  This is the Manteca Journal article on the events.  And the Modesto Bee.



Sunday, July 5, 2015

Tony Report

Tony did well in soccer.  He usually plays defender and is pretty good at it.  I think he could be a really good soccer player, but I really think his best sport is basketball.  He needs an older brother back to work him some.  He seems to be doing well in school.  He has advanced to third grade next year.  I keep pushing him in Cub Scouts.  They changed the program so he has to pretty much start over with new requirements.  Somethings transferred over.  He is two thirds of the way to his wolf.    He has gotten four sports belt loops, flag football, fishing (he did at pack meetings) soccer and marbles.  He is really into ipad and ipod.  I guess he has inherited one of each. 
defender

his team 

Calaveras Big Trees: 2015

This year we again went camping at Calaveras Big Trees.  This year we went with the Halls.  Over the few days we were there, we went to White Pines Lake in Arnold, to the bottom to wade in the Stanislaus River, walked the North Grove, visited the visitor's center, spent an evening at the View Point so we could look at stars. and had great fun over all.  Sheri took everyone for ice cream to Arnold.
Camberly and finger bugs

Tony and discover tree

Wrapping a tree
The kids


one of the biggest


coming out of a hollow tree

Mother of the forest, her bark was stripped up to 120 feet, then shipped to England and put on display.  The lack of bark allowed her to burn, which ended her life

the boys

Drive through tree

Playground lake in Arnold