Sunday, October 25, 2009
October 2009 Visiting Teaching Message
My first response was to give her sage advice, and share my own examples with her of what I would do or have done in the past. I took a day or so to really think about her question and decided that personal inspiration was what she should seek so that she herself could answer her own questions and ponderings and make it personal to her. This is the way it is with Heavenly Father, He doesn't usually provide us with the immediate answers to our questions, but expects us to do our part to seek guidance and inspiration through prayer and pondering. He wants us to experience this life for ourself, thereby giving us the agency to choose and learn from our choices. Thus.... I will stick with the answer that I gave, instead of sharing my own advice.
I would like to share a very recent experience that I was given, yesterday in fact, on my birthday. I have written about my grand daughter in the past, but she keeps providing so many learning experiences as I have the opportunity to spend time with her. She keeps me on my toes, as she is a sponge for learning.My husband invited all our children and grandchildren, and my mother to meet at the Olive Garden restaurant to share lunch for my birthday. It was wonderful to be surrounded by those that I love the very
most in this world. I have two other wonderful children and their family who live many miles away and were not able to come for lunch. Anyway, as my 5 year old granddaughter arrived with her family, I saw that she was grinning from ear to ear. In her hand she had a gift bag that she had decorated with ribbon and pipe cleaners. In her other hand, she held a card that I could see she made herself. She ran up to the table where I was already seated and her words just burst from her mouth with excitement...
"Grandma, Happy Birthday, and I have made something for you
that you are really going to love." She went on to say that it was very special and we would need to find a very special place to keep in in my house." She was too excited to let me open the gift myself, so she reached down into the sack and pulled out this colorful object that she had made. I asked her what exactly it was, and she said, it was just a beautiful colorful shape and she really didn't know what it was. I told her how much I
loved it and could see that allot of time was spent creating such a masterpiece. Then she handed me the gift bag and she said, "Grandma, I even made this beautiful ribbon to decorate this bag." As I looked into her face, she was still grinning with pride and joy and such excitement to give me these beautiful gifts she created. She then said, "Here Grandma, I made you a card." As I took the card, I could see that she had spent what I presumed to be hours, placing tiny little stickers of all kinds, all
over the face of this card. There had to be hundreds, and I can only guess how long it took. She was making the most lovely card she could think of because she loves her Grandmother so much. She drew on the inside and the outsides of the card, and put her name and age on the card. She phonetically spelled out a message to me that read...."HaBerthgama", which translates into "happy Birthday Grandma" and inside she spelled "Fum Brin",
which I am sure you can see spelled out to be "From Brin". Under
her signature was 16 hand drawn and colored hearts with a rainbow design next to them. On the back of the card she had put her name "Brinle's" with more colorful hand drawn hearts all around. She said to me that it meant that she loves me allot.
Of all the lovely and thoughtful gifts that I was given this day on my birthday, the one that meant the most was the one of time and love given to me by my little granddaughter. I talked after the lunch with my daughter and said, " I can only imagine how much time this must have taken Brinley to make this gift, card and decorate the bag." My daughter said that she sat at the kitchen table at home for more than 4 hours and talking excitedly about how much Grandma was going to love her gift. Of all the gifts I have ever wanted, those who have given me the gift of time and love have always meant the most. Don't get me wrong, I love all the other gifts that have been given but my Grandmothers heart seems to be drawn to those gifts that are simple and given with lots of love and time. This story reminds me of a poem that I have kept in my heart since I was a child. It goes something like this....
"Which Loved Best" by Joy Allison
“I love you, Mother,” said little John;
Then, forgetting his work, his cap went on,
And he was off to the garden swing,
Leaving his mother the wood to bring.
“I love you, Mother,” said little Nell;
“I love you better than tongue can tell!”
Then she teased and pouted half the day,
Till Mother rejoiced when she went to play.
“I love you, Mother,” said little Fran;
“Today I’ll help you all I can.”
To the cradle then she did softly creep,
And rocked the baby till it fell asleep.
Then stepping softly, she took the broom
And swept the floor and dusted the room;
Busy and happy all day was she,
Helpful and cheerful as she could be.“
I love you, Mother,” again they said,
Three little children going to bed.
How do you think that Mother guessed
Which of them really loved her best'
Going back to the gift that my granddaughter gave to me, I wanted to finish the story. When we all arrived back home to my house after lunch, my granddaughter once again, removed the gift that she had made from the bag, and said, "This is such a special gift, that it needs to be put in a special place. It needs to be where there is lots of light, where the colors can be seen and people can see how beautiful it is. She looked around the room for just the right place to put it and at first she thought it should be displayed on the kitchen bar. I then said, "Nope, I have the perfect place for it". Together Brinley and I went over to one of my large windows in the dining area and set it right on the window sill. "I said, this is the perfect place because the light will shine on it and will make it even more beautiful." Brinley agreed. (The cute little object that she made for me is at the bottom of the picture with the gift bag and sticker card. Click on the picture and it will blow it up so that you can see that cute little creation.)
How do you think that I could guess... home much my Granddaughter loved me? Once again, I am not going to answer it, because actions spoke louder than words.
In this months Visiting Teaching Message...Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, "Reserved by the Lord for this time, [the rising generation] must now be preserved . . . and prepared for their special moment in human history! They have been held back to come forth at this time, but now they need to be pushed forward to meet their rendezvous. . . .
"Youth are not unlike prospective converts. There are those critical moments when their souls begin to tilt—toward the Lord or away from Him. These moments of decision cannot always be created, but when they occur, they must not be wasted. More often than not, these moments will occur in quiet and reverent conversation with parents, grandparents, a bishop, an adult leader, or a righteous peer" ("Unto the Rising Generation," Ensign, Apr. 1985, 8, 10).
Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy: "Our rising generation is worthy of our best efforts to support and strengthen them in their journey to adulthood. . . . In every action we take, in every place we go, with every Latter-day Saint young person we meet, we need to have an increased awareness of the need for strengthening, nurturing, and being an influence for good in their lives" ("Our Rising Generation," Liahona and Ensign, May 2006, 47).
How Can I Nurture the Rising Generation?
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008): "Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones. . . . Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones. Welcome them into your homes, and nurture and love them with all of your hearts. They may do, in the years that come, some things you would not want them to do, but be patient, be patient. You have not failed as long as you have tried" ("Words of the Living Prophet," Liahona, May 1998, 26–27; "Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley," Ensign, July 1997, 73).
Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president: "To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. . . . Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work. Helping growth occur through nurturing is truly a powerful and influential role bestowed on women" ("Mothers Who Know," Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2007, 76, 77).
Barbara Thompson, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency: "As Relief Society sisters we can help one another to strengthen families. We are given opportunities to serve in many capacities. We constantly come in contact with children and youth who may need just what we can offer. You older sisters have much good advice and experience to share with younger mothers. Sometimes a Young Women leader or a Primary teacher says or does just the thing that is needed to reinforce what a parent is trying to teach. And obviously we don't need any particular calling to reach out to a friend or neighbor" ("I Will Strengthen Thee; I Will Help Thee," Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2007, 117).
As a Grandma, I don't feel that the nurturing of the rising generation is just left up to their parents. Grandparents can have a significant effect in the lives of their grandchildren. A grandparents love and nurturing is something that in a child's life, that is extra special. It is the icing on the cake, or should I say the cherry on the top of the whipped cream. Parents have their children all day long, but Grandparents get to have their grandchildren from time to time and we need to make those moments really count. The memories our grandchildren will make with us will live on with them after we die. What kind of memories are we making with our grandchildren.
I love to see the love that goes into the Primary music that my 76 year old mother prepares each week for her Ward Primary. She spends hours thinking, planning and preparing the music using visual aids, and word strips and rhythm instruments and all manner of ways to teach and influence the Primary children. My mother can barely walk, and limps in pain with each step she takes, yet she takes them one step at a time, with a huge smile on her beautiful face. She is a silvery gray haired woman, completely lovely in every way. She is also one who has already given plenty of her years in Primary and music in particular, yet she still does it with a smile on her face and gives so much to those little primary children. How old is too old to be in the Primary? Just ask my Mom or should I say, go watch her in action, and you will see someone who lives by "enduring to the end" and cheerfully.
I hope I have shared with you some thoughts that might encourage and motivate you to think about the message of this month, about the contribution you can make to the rising generation, no matter how young or old you are. Enjoy! Love, Katie G
General Conference Talks
General Conference Reports
Proceedings of Recent General Conferences
What shall we give?
An Apostles Easter Thoughts on Christ
This short video is an Important message from the mouths of our Prophets!
July 6 - Pioneer Cooking
Click on this link to take you to the Pioneer Recipes:
I was also thinking that if you were to copy some of these recipes and print them off, that might be a fun handout for the Sisters you Visit Teach!
July 2nd - Diana Lucina Spicer Block
Visiting Teaching Tips, handouts and Ideas
For many years, I have been creating very cute and fun things to take to the ladies I Visit Teach. I have shared from time to time, my ideas with others and they have really appreciated them. I decided that since I do these anyway, I would start doing one every month and then post it on this blog to share with anyone for their Visiting Teaching. I do need to make a disclaimer.... the ideas, thoughts, stories, graphics etc. used are created by me and they are not in any way official LDS Church quotes, handouts or ideas. They are my creations or others as noted, except for the quotes that will come directly from the Monthly Visiting Teaching message found in the Ensign. Also, many thanks to the talented designers of the digital paper and elements that I use to create the beautiful artwork, and handouts you see on my blog.
You can go to http://www.lds.org/ and look up and even print the monthly message if you do not have your own Ensign magazine subscription in English or to choose to read the Liahona or Ensign in a different language go to http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=03103c7ff44f2010VgnVCM1000001f5e340aRCRD&locale=0.
For Spanish you can go to http://www.sud.org.es/
I highly recommend you get your own subscription because you will find a wealth of really good & wholesome, moral reading, that you can't find anywhere else. If you go to http://www.lds.org/ and click on "Gospel Library" then click on "Magazines" you can order your own Ensign, Liahona, New Era, or Friend magazines.
Posted by Katie Gauger at 10:41 AM 0 comments
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"Returning to the Past" A Relief Society Activity Idea
I just found your blog. It is so great. I love the idea of the Hearts of Angels. I am trying to figure out how we can use it for our VT conference and incorporate some of the things for our VT interviews. I am a new R/S president and all these things we have to do throughout the year are a little overwhelming. I love all of you ideas. So much work involved, thank you for being willing to share with all of us! I would love anything else you could pass my way.
WE had the thought earlier to use a theme of "Returning to the past" for our activities this year. So all of your old-fashioned pictures will be great to use as invites and handouts.
You might be interested in the idea we had for our B-Day dinner. We always have a progressive dinner in December to the homes of different sisters. We divide them up into about 5 smaller groups and go around to the different sisters homes in the ward. Because of the weather we cancelled it and had it at the church. We decided to do it for our B-Day dinner instead when the weather would be better. We are having the women bring a sack lunch with them and to wear something old, like a grandmothers broach or shawl, or to dress up in the time of the 1800's, and to bring a pint jar with a lid. We will have the sisters make lemonade at the first house and take with them in the jar that they brought, and then go to the next house. At the last house we will have and old fashioned cake to serve like apple walnut cake or something like that.
We still have some details to work out but at the end each member of the presidency will be at a different home and will share a prepared script. It will be written as if they were at the very first R/S meeting when the prophet Joseph Smith organized the R/S with just a handful of women.
Anyway, thank you for sharing what you have! You have a great talent!
Stacey McClellan - Blackfoot, Idaho
SELF RELIANT SISTERS BLOG HAS A GREAT ACTIVITY ABOUT GARDENING WITH KIDS - go to http://selfreliantsisters.blogspot.com/ It is well worth the time and a terriffic idea as Spring is just around the corner! Here is a tiny bit of information that you will see at the site.....
Gardening with Kids has great tips on getting kids started with gardening. Give your child some space; literally! Kids loving having spaces that are all their own, whether it`s their own desk area in the house, or the tent they've created with chairs and blankets in the family room. The same is true for gardening. Dedicate a small plot of the garden just for them. Put a fancy border around it, perhaps purchase one of the stepping stone making kits found at crafts stores in which they can mold their name and make their hand print.
Let them join you at the nursery. Let your kids know you value their opinion. Ask them which kinds of plants, flowers, and vegetables they like. Explain what will work well in your garden and what won't.
Give them (limited) choices. While you're at the nursery, ask them if they'd like pansies or petunias, marigolds or zinnias. This will give them the feeling of power without letting it get out of control.
Remind them money doesn't grow on trees. With older children discuss the budget. Let them help select seeds and blossoming plants at the nursery - and turn it into a math lesson. Let your child do the money calculations; they can tell you when the money runs out.
Let your child do what he will (especially if you have a preschooler). Let him dig, explore, play with bugs. You may be tempted to steer your child in another direction (like actually watering or weeding his garden), but this is a great way for your child to explore this exciting new universe.
Plan, plan, plan. If you have older children, say 8 or 9 or older, let them plot out their own garden on paper. Provide him or her with graph paper, pencils and seed catalogs. Give them a group of flowers and vegetables from which to choose, and then let them draw out their garden.
Get them their own gardening tools. Nothing will motivate your little gardener more than having her own little shovel, her own gardening gloves, and her own watering pail. And don't forget those bright colored rubber boots. You need to go to the site and explore all the rest of the links and ideas.