Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Drum Roll Please...

September 27, 2009
Dear Elder Asplund:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Argentina Cordoba Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 24 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, January 27, 2010. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language. Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president.

You have been recommended as one worthy to represent the Lord as a minister of the restored gospel. You will be an official representative of the Church. As such, you will be expected to maintain the highest standards of conduct and appearance by keeping the commandements. living mission rules, and following the counsel of your mission president. As you devote your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs, the Lord will bless you with increased knowledge and testimony of the Restoration and of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptaism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. As you serve with all your heart, might, and strength, the Lord will lead you to those who are prepared to be baptized.

The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life. Greater blessings and more happiness than you ahve yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children. We place in you our confidence and pray that the Lord will help you become an effective missionary.

You will be set apart as a missionary by your stake president. Please send your written acceptance promptly, endorsed by your bishop.


Thomas S. Monson, President

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blackhawk Down

Yesterday after the BYU Football game started, we heard over and over again helicopters flying overhead. Thinking they were maybe part of a security sweep, I didn't even go outside. But they just kept coming and coming. Griffin had a friend over and they went out to "shoot down the invaders." They came down and told us they landed, but we assured them that they just went where they couldn't see them anymore. After probably the tenth time or so, we went out front to watch. The little neighbor boy across the street told us that he went down to the junior high field and watched them land. Feeling like heels of course, we ran back in, grabbed Griffin and his friend and took off for the junior high. We could hear it coming back in as we were running so went as fast as we could to see it land. We made it just in time and then found out from the other people that were coming and going that this was part of the "Point of the Spear" competition through ROTC. Every ten minutes, the blackhawk would land with a new set of soldiers that had completed the games up in the canyon and their reward was being ferried back to UVU by landing at the junior high a block from our house.

Let me tell you. There is something awe-inspiring and a bit frightening seeing this machine coming in so fast and low that takes your breath away. We waited ten minutes for the next round and John took this video. It was a very cool experience.

(Okay, so the video won't load, so here are a few pictures.)

Mission Call Update

On Saturday, President Wolfert informed Ian that his call status has been changed to, "Call Selected and Mailed." So this week is the week!

Griffin brought me a globe after dinner today and told me that he knew where he was going to serve his mission. He pointed to the Atlantic Ocean and said, "right here." I told him I couldn't see because his finger was covering it. He said, "No mom, right here." I again said I couldn't see anything because he was blocking it. The third time's the charm. "Mom, right here!" He is going to serve on the "A" that labels the Atlantic Ocean. I haven't heard that the "A" hasn't been opened to the gospel, so I hope he finds someone to teach there! Gotta love that boy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Modern Day "Little Red Hen"

The Little Red Hen is one of my favorite stories. Since the kids were little, I've told them this story over and over again. Maybe it's a universal feeling with moms that we do all the work and everyone enjoys the spoils. So for Family Home Evening, we had a lesson on work. This all started with me planning a meal that would be cooked in the crock pot (put together in the morning before work), a delicious salad with bacon and hard boiled eggs, and a fruit-topped pavlova for dessert.

The weather cooperated beautifully for the first object lesson. A cold front came through last night and the high temperature today was in the mid-60's. Since dinner was ready by 5, we were able to go out and start picking up all the apples that had fallen off the tree. We took out some music and a couple of the neighbor kids showed up to help as well. Picking up rotten apples is not fun, but it's necessary. We got both the front and back picked up, filling half a trash can in the process, within 45 minutes.

John got home around 7 and by 7:20 we were having Family Home Evening. We talked about the delicious meal we'd had. Did it require planning and work? Yes. Did it happen just in a few minutes? No. Picking up apples. Cleaning the house. Doing homework. Going to work every day. Are these things necessary? Yes. Are they work? Yes. Do you have to be miserable while you work? No. Can you relish in the completed task? Absolutely! And then, this is where it got good. I brought up my old friend, the Little Red Hen. Ian recognized it immediately.

Who will peel the peaches? Who will cut the peaches? Who will make the whipped cream? Who will cut the pavlova? Who will arrange the dessert components? Who will clean it up? Who will eat it? With everyone pitching in on a specific task, we had a magnificent completed dessert within minutes.

I think every lesson should be this delicious!

The Mission Call Process

An email from the Stake President:

Ian, I promised to give you an update on the status of your mission call. This morning the system shows your application as "Ready for Assignment." From a timing standpoint that means they will make the assignment this Thursday/Friday, and you will most likely receive it in the mail NEXT week.

We're very proud of you Ian. You are an exemplary young man and will be a great missionary!!

Pres. Wolfert

Here is the current list of mission call guesses:
Mandy Rohner Cincinatti, OH (Spanish speaking)
Leila Scurr: Philadelphia or Canada (French speaking)
Stacey Pannell: Philadelphia
Liisa Roden: Australia
Candace Berquist: Carlsbad, CA
Terri Hatch: Nova Scotia
Cindy Bouwhuis: Tokyo Japan
Grant Hopkins: Texas
Lisa Hagen: Philippines
Catherine Peterson: Denmark
Mom: Mongolia
Dad: Peru
Michael Clawson: Brazil
Jaime Clawson: Norway/Sweden/Austria or Australia
Isaac Clawson: High school (since he’s still too young)
Kim Griesemer: Ecuador
Luke Allen: Idaho
Carma Williams: Honduras
Cherise Elliott: India
Pat/Malcolm: Pocatello, ID
Mary Asplund: Domincan Republic or London
Stan Allman: He’s old enough to go on a mission? Crazy!
Megan Clawson: New Orleans, LA

So we're hoping that in 10 days we'll have the answer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Ian just walked in the house after his interview with the Stake President. The papers are on their way to church headquarters and either next or the following Wednesday/Thursday his call should come. We're loving everyone's guesses so keep them coming!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Forgot!

About a month ago, one of the guys in our ward was closing down his framing business and was slashing prices to ridiculously low amounts. (I got 5 pieces custom framed for $100!) Here are a couple of the them that I've been hanging on to for years but could never afford to frame. Now I just have to get them hung up!

As If Ellie Didn't Have Enough on Her Plate... she was diagnosed with Influenza type B, the kind they can't do anything about. She spent the whole night throwing up, finally too exhausted to make it to the bathroom and just grabbing towels to throw up into. At one point, I got up, saw her crawling on the floor and threw a bowl underneath her to catch something. I know it's graphic, but it's just pitiful. With no energy, no fluids left, and a fever, she couldn't even keep down her antibiotics for the infection in her jaw--which is a big problem right now. After her pediatrician consulted with her oral surgeon, they decided that if she could at least keep them down maybe tomorrow, she'd be okay. If not, it will be IV antibiotics and fluids.

The other concern, of course, is Griffin. He doesn't have the strongest immune system and everything seems to go right to his lungs. The pediatrician had me bring back the other kids and lined us all up for flu shots (me too). She also handed us face masks for Griffin to use when he's around her.
This afternoon/evening, a storm came through and cooled things off by probably 30 degrees, leaving all sorts of amazing cloud formations. The little ones went outside under the car porch to "craft and look at the clouds. Ellie is doing better and was able to hold down her fluids so its looking a little better. She'll be out of school (again!) for a few more days, but hopefully by Thursday she'll be back in the classroom.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Homecoming = Maggie's First Date

Last week Mags was asked by her friend, Derek Lamb, to the homecoming dance (her first official date). Maggie and I spent Labor Day afternoon at the mall searching for a dress and shoes. Friday night was the homecoming football game where Mountain View lost to TimpView (not a surprise). On Saturday, they went to Smith's grocery story where they each (there were 8 of them) had $2 to pick up something to contribute to the lunch. They went up Provo canyon and had a picnic at Nunn's Park. A few hours later and after a hairdo and obvious dress change, she was picked up for the dinner and dance.

After they left (with help from John to pin on the boutonniere), John commented that he was a very nice guy. I had run into him and his twin brother with their dad at a grocery store the night before--picking up the supplies to make his boutonniere. (His father is the former lacrosse coach for BYU.) They stopped me and asked if I was Maggie's mom (I was happy I wasn't wearing pajama pants or curlers in my hair) and if she was looking forward to the next night. Maggie has been friends with Derek and Devin for many years, and were not worried about how the evening would go.

They went to the Scera Park in Orem for a pizza picnic with Italian sodas and played on the swings. The dance was held at the UVU ballroom and she was home around 11:30. When I talked to her this morning, she said she had a great time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Update on Ellie

So for the past few days, Ellie has been in quite a bit of pain from her 12-year-old molar--or so we thought. On Monday, the dentist took x-rays and it showed the molar pushing up against the other. We both realized this was going to be a difficult few days or weeks while the tooth made its way through. Even the dentist said it would be a rough ride. When she woke up on Tuesday, her jaw and neck were swollen. I called the dentist and he wanted to see her again in the afternoon.

She was in a lot of pain and none of the OTC pain relievers were doing anything. At 3:30, we were in the dentist's office again. By 4:20, we were sent over for the surgeon to evaluate. By 6, she was anesthetized to have her current molar extracted. You see, it wasn't the new molar causing the problem. The tooth next to it had been filled a while ago and it was in need of a root canal. Unfortunately, it became infected and instead of a swollen cheek, she had a submandibular infection. The surgeon consulted with an endodontist and they both decided that although the best thing to usually do is to save a tooth, it's even better to, well, live. He didn't even want her to leave without something being done as he felt the level and location of the infection were both so severe that she was, in his words, in a dangerous place. Nothing says immediacy like the word "danger."

He did an excellent job with her. Although a truly frightening experience for her, he put her under gently, starting with laughing gas and then doing the IV. They loaded her with antibiotics, put her out and I went to the waiting room. It didn't take long to take care of it, but he said that as he pulled out the tooth, puss came out behind it. At that point he knew we had made the right call rather than waiting until the next day to attempt a root canal.

Ellie did a fantastic job. She was quite amusing on the way home and it was just nice to not have her crying in pain as she had been for several days. She slept through the night (painkillers are always nice) for the first time in about five days. She's still in the "danger zone" as he put it until the antibiotics have been in her system a little longer, but the swelling hasn't increased which is what we were to watch for.

Props to Ellie!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The 20th Annual Storytellers Festival

Since there was a scheduling conflict this year between the storytelling festival and our ward youth conference, the majority of us were only able to attend Laughin' Night on Saturday night. Always a favorite, this gives each of us the chance to sit back and laugh for a few hours. Griffin typically falls asleep or loses interest, but this year he sat captivated through the majority of the stories. And it ended with him laughing so hard I thought he was going to cry.

As I was double checking the schedule this year, I noticed a storyteller on the front page of their web site that the kids and I attended last year.

There we are on the front row! I'm hoping that next year our schedule's won't clash and we're able to attend the whole festival again.

Crossing T's and Dotting I's

The last piece of Ian's mission application has been done. On Friday, he had his cavities filled and we sent in his photo. This week, he can meet with the Bishop to see if he's received everything, and then, he can make his appointment with the stake president to hit the "send" button.
This is going unbelievably fast. He's working 30 hours a week now and putting every penny into the bank to turn into the Bishop when the time comes. I'm proud of his resolve and determination to do what is right. I just don't know if I'm quite ready.

The Annual Sixth Grade Egg Drop

Each year, the sixth graders have the chance to drop an egg from the roof of the auditorium and see if it can survive the fall. Several other grades also come out to watch, cheer, and learn. (Griffin's class was one of them.)

Ellie and I had worked on several different packages and she seemed to have found one that was successful. What we didn't account for was another package getting dropped on top of it. Unfortunately, her egg didn't survive, but it was a fun afternoon anyway! She learned later that afternoon that she had been selected as the activities co-chair for the elementary school student council.

When It's Time for Change, You Have to Rearrange

Last Sunday (August 30), I was set apart as the new YW president in the ward. Due to the new massive responsibility and time commitment that comes not only with the call, but also with the upcoming Joseph production and my current publishing project, I have decided to postpone my return to BYU. Although I started the first class, if I don't complete it by November 1, then my conditional acceptance to the program is rejected and I can reapply at a later time.

The week between when I was called and sustained was brutal. I haven't had panic attacks like that for a long time. As I pondered and studied and learned and read, I was overwhelmed with fear. Now we all know that faith and fear cannot operate at the same time. The nightmares of booing and opposing votes were nightly. The fears of disappointment were rampant in my mind. And then, Sunday came, and it was time. I was shaking so hard I was sure people could see my heart beating out of my chest. We had a teary and moving testimony meeting in our young women class and then I was set apart. As the prayer was said, the nonsensical fears and worries I'd been struggling with fell by the wayside. Although still in shock, I've been able to accept that the Lord must want me here for a reason.

The former YW presidency
Sec: Carma Williams, 2nd C: me, President: MarChelle Oldham, 1st C: Lori Gray

The new YW presidency
Sec: Carma Williams, President: me, 1st C: Marie Gutierrez (one of my former YCLs), 2nd C: Carol Wolfert

I have started a new blog that you are welcome to follow: The Beehive Blog will probably be discontinued unless my counselor wants to keep it up. Otherwise, I've just started one that everyone can post on.

Patriotism (August 27, 2009)

Griffin's pack meeting this month was held at Timpanogos Park up Provo Canyon. We were asked to do a short hike (about 1 mile) from the parking lot at the base of the canyon up to the park. It was quite a warm day, but I did get a nice picture of a sunflower on the trail. (Really, it was nice and cool under the shade of the trees a bit further down the path, and quite a lovely walk.)
As we all were sitting down and eating our picnic meal, John noticed Griffin off to the side. The scout leaders had brought a little table flag for the flag ceremony and he just took a moment to salute. Priceless.

"O My Father" in Mongolian

When I was back home in July, Mom showed me some of the work that was done translating the hymn "O My Father" into Mongolian. She contacted her friend at the church archives, Matt Heiss, to see if he would be interested in the documents. Since he was, it was arranged that my sister, Terri, and I would bring them to him when she came to Salt Lake in August.

Terri had done some transcription work for the church several years ago and was even able to transcribe the interview Mom and Dad did with Matt after their initial mission to Mongolia. It involved their basic life sketch, conversions to the church, and subsequent service throughout their lives. (I also gather that Terri was instrumental in helping them make the switch to digital recorders as she and Matt discussed their current technology.)

As we presented the materials to Matt, he had us sign the papers turning them over to the church and then showed us the other files they have from our parents that are on the system. Matt and Terri continued to talk about her service in Tinian and their new adventure in South Dakota. (She really is an amazing woman!)

That night, Mom forwarded an email where Matt told her of the visit of her daughter and granddaughter. Now, this is not the first time Terri and I have been mistaken for mother/daughter instead of sisters (there are 13 years between us). I always feel bad when people do that. I don't know if it bothers her as much as me.
So Mom and Dad are once again included in the archives of the church. Their accomplishments speak for themselves.

'ello Guvnah!

One of Griffin's favorite commercials is the Kellogg's Raisin Bran commercial where they three guys talk about what their favorite part of the cereal is. One of them points out that the middle part of "Kellogg's" is "ello," as in "'ello, guvnah!" with the appropriate British accent. We regularly find him walking up and down the halls saying it.

Well, in fourth grade, they study state governments and, unbelievably, Griffin was the first "Governor" of his class. So we took advantage of the opportunity to say to him regularly that week, "'ello, Guvnah!" when we talked to him.

This Should Bring a Smile to Your Face...

Snowflake's cool like that.