Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pictures, last transfer

Lunch at our Favorite Place
SisterB - another convert to In-N-Out!

At our mission Family Home Evening

Me and SisterJ playing at Pres S's before FHE
On the 4th of July - Love Br&SisM

Me and SisterB at the Call Center

Emailing Mom on P-day - LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Independence, 2012!

     You will be very happy to hear that SisterB and I hosted a kick-butt, stars-and-stripes, grand ol' PARTAY in our patriotized apartment tonight.  It was SO much fun and I have plenty of photographic and video evidence.  I bought Stars&Stripes Funfetti to make cupcakes and we used EVERYTHING in the ID4 box.  Thank you so much for the party box!  Switching to an ID4 theme was inspired.  I think we all needed this.  We didn't think we'd get to celebrate tomorrow, so we really enjoyed the chance to party.  Of course we just found out that we're having a musical thing tomorrow night and we're going to get to.....ready? this is AWESOME for us......WATCH FIREWORKS!  Last year we played in the park, but weren't allowed to watch fireworks.  So I am super excited.
     Everyone loved the:
  • decorations
  • lemonade
  • beach ball (SisterD and I played some interesting soccer with that)
  • tub of teddy grahams
and especially......homemade frosting!

I've been thinking (or rather "am currently" thinking) about why I was so willing to get super patriotic for ID4, when most of the time I act like I'd rather be from the Mother Country.  I'm not really sure I have an answer.  Despite how much I love Britannia, I guess I am proud to be from the Promised Land.  My patriarchal blessing does mention my being blessed to have grown up in this country.  Guess it is more than the family history love coming to pass from that blessing.

Days like today are why I don't want July 18th to happen.  I'm ready for all most that being home implies.  But the "going" - that's hard.  Leaving this experience for the things that come next?  It's like high school all over again.  You're excited for what you think college will be like, but you're terrified of leaving the security, comfort, routine and friends of high school.

Anyhow.  Time to write a quick response to ElderH and head to bed.  Yes, I'm writing an elder from outbound.  It's fun.  Currently we're discussing how terrible I am at frequent correspondence, and funny tracting stories.  He's going to visit SoCal when he gets home and we [me, SisterL & ElderH] are all going to hang out.  Should be fun!

Proudly independently yours,
Sister Clayton

3 July 2012 - Pickett's Charge

In our family, it has become tradition to watch the movie 'Gettysburg' every July in preparation for the 4th.  Today is Day 3 of that battle - Pickett's Charge.

Y'know, sometimes a mission feels like poor Pickett's Charge. You've been asked to do something impossible but you go out with a fire ready to make the impossible a reality. Then you hit that fence and the impossible laughs you in the face and you're pretty sure that it's going to stay impossible today. So do you turn back?  Do you stop?  Do you keep going? That's when you decide if you're going to be a disciple of Christ. Actually, that's when you should be remembering your choice to come out on the battlefield at all and you remind yourself that you've already made that decision. So what does a true disciple do? You square your shoulders, you get up. Like Ginger would say, "pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again." You jump that fence and charge the hill. Now there's a few differences in being a missionary and fighting the Civil War. First, you already know who's going to win the war. Second, when you reach the top of that hill you're greeted by family and friends and you keep going with your life (well, that was true for them too, but they were also technically prisoners of war, right?). Third, you wouldn't keep charging past your brothers and sisters, the whole reason you're in that battle is to help them get to the same hill (man, this hill is very useful as a metaphor, but I think I'm mixing). I think most important is number one and the fact that you have the most powerful and loving being in the universe walking every step of that hill with you.

See? Bridging. The gospel can be related to everything. Why? Same reason we share it - because it's true.

(and for the record, the one ancestor who I know fought in the Civil War served in the Fourteenth Iowa Infantry under General Grant.  He was a prisoner in Andersonville and after he escaped, returned twice to bring out more prisoners.  He survived the war to return home to Illinois.  Thank you gggGrandpa Wendt.  We remember.)

Sister Clayton