Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In Defense of Traditional Marriage

If you read our last post you know that we are serving as "zip code" coordinators for the "Yes" on Prop 8 campaign. For the past 2 months we have spent several hours a day on a variety of tasks to help this effort go forth. One of the things we have done is canvass neighborhoods to determine voter intent, another is visiting and calling undecided voters in order to educate them on the possible consequences of a "No" vote. Several of the people in charge of the efforts we are making in this area met with the Press/Enterprise a couple of weeks ago about Proposition 8 and gave our side of the story. The reporter wanted several photographs to go along with his story and we were asked to take a photographer along as we visited a neighborhood. The article and photo, the one at the top of this blog, were published in yesterdays paper. We thought it might be in the local section, but it made the front page! The title of the article was "Area is Key Prop 8 Frontline" and it can be found at the following website . . . http://www.pe.com/localnews/sbcounty/stories/PE_News_Local_S_samesex27.3d39651.html

Why we have not posted lately . . .

As you have probably noticed we have not had a "real" post for a couple of months. This is what has been happening in our lives. . . The first week in August Allyn, Sherry, and I went on a trip with Allyn's work to the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea. It was a wonderful, relaxing, and fun filled trip! (See Sherry's blog for pictures and more information!) While waiting in the Cayman Airport for our flight home, which was so delayed we missed our connection in Houston and did not make it back to California until the following day, we got a call that Allyn's mother had been rushed to the hospital. We returned home for a day and then rushed to St. George, Utah. Allyn was able to spend some time with her in the hospital and we returned home with the hope that she might make a full recovery. Sadly, we received a call a couple of days later that she was not expected to live. Allyn and I rushed back to Utah, but his mother passed away as we were traveling through the California desert. She was a wonderful women, a loving mother and grandmother, and will be greatly missed. It is hard to believe she is really gone. We are grateful for our understanding of the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement. Though it is hard to lose one who is so loved, it is our faith in Jesus Christ and his restored gospel that helps us each and every day. We will always have fond memories of Mom and appreciate the great example she was to each of us.

Before we left for the Cayman Islands Allyn and I were asked to be "zip code" coordinators for the "Yes" on Proposition 8 effort through ProtectMarriage.com. Proposition 8 is on the November ballot and says that "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." This might sound familiar because back in 2000 Californian's voted overwhelmingly for Proposition 22 which also protected traditional marriage. Unfortunately, earlier this year 4 judges in San Francisco ruled that Prop 22 was unconstitutional and made same-sex marriage legal in our state. Prop 8 will overturn that ruling and make this simple definition of marriage part of California's constitution. We have been working non-stop on this grassroots effort and that has left little time for blogging! We are responsible for organizing and implementing all of the efforts to determine voter intent, educate, persuade, and get our voters to the polls. It has been quite an undertaking and we have had the opportunity of working with and meeting many wonderful people. With Election Day only a week away we are working almost round the clock and still have much to do.

During this busy time, on September 10th, our 3rd grandchild was born. Matthew and Brooke welcomed Jacob Matthew into their home. (See their blog for pictures.) He is a beautiful baby and has already watched several BYU football games with his father! We can tell you that being grandparents is wonderful!!! We look forward to this fall when we have Kate, Noah, and Jacob together!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Vote for Bronco!

Bronco Mendenhall

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Greetings from Gatineau, Canada

On March 19, 2008 Elder Fresh was transferred from Mascouche to Gatineau. Gatineau is a suburb of Ottawa, the capitol city of Canada, but still in the Quebec Province. He will continue to speak French, but may possibly teach in English also. His new companion is Elder Story from Utah. When they arrived their apartment had a six foot hole in the ceiling from the weight of the snow this winter. This allowed bats to enter during the night. The following picture shows a bat inside their apartment lamp!

The ceiling eventually got repaired and they got new wood flooring because of the water damage!

I will post more pictures when Andrew sends them!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Greetings from Mascouche, Canada

On October 2, 2007 Elder Fresh arrived in the city of Mascouche, his second area. Mascouche is a suburban city north of Montreal in Southern Quebec. This is Elder Hansen, Andrew's new companion and a note they left for an investigator. It is written in French and roughly translated . . . Andrew wrote, "Read [Book of Mormon] each day otherwise this face will really torment you!" Elder Hansen wrote, "Pray or otherwise you will suffer. I lie not!" At the bottom it says, "Love your missionaries forever."

Shortly after Andrew arrived in Mascouche, winter also arrived. This is their apartment complex during a light snow storm. The next morning the car is covered with snow, something a California boy doesn't see too much. I had some advice for him with regards to driving in the show . . . "Drive very, very, very slowly and brake very, very, very early"!!!

Andrew celebrated Thanksgiving with some of the other Elders in the area. They have all the fixings . . . turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, etc.

The turkey on the left looks pretty tasty. Andrew said it was good, but that the gravy they made was "nasty". I guess no one does it like Mom! The turkey on the left was their centerpiece. They were pretty creative as it looks like it was made out of a couple of leftover potatoes!

After a big dinner it is now time for a nap!!!

This is Andrew's copy of "Preach My Gospel", which he studies each day. He uses it for personal gospel study and also as a resource to plan the lessons he teaches to their investigators. Of course, it is all in French!

The sister below in the red dress was taught, baptized, and confirmed by Andrew and his companion.

He occasionally has time to play in the snow and there is a lot of it in Canada! The scenery sure looks different than it does back home in California. I wish I could have some of that snow right now in my front yard . . . it is a hot summer day!

One of our family traditions at Christmas has always been acting out the Nativity Scene as recorded in Luke 2 of the Bible. It was great to know that even though he was many miles away Andrew was doing the same thing with a family in Canada! They also had a small Christmas tree in their apartment and a few presents.

It looks like he made out pretty well. He must have been a very good boy, I mean Elder, this year!

Andrew served in Mascouche until the end of March when he was transferred to Gatineau. Here are some of the Elders that he served with.

Au revoir! More to come . . .

Friday, June 13, 2008

Greetings from Sainte-Foy, Canada

We finally got some pictures from Elder Fresh. Actually "some" is not the right word as the SD card he sent had 544 pictures on it!!! Here are a few of them . . .

Andrew arrived in Canada on April 17, 2007 and was sent to Sainte-Foy a suburb of Quebec City. The flag he is holding is the Quebec Province flag, the province which most of his mission is located in. He got this jacket at the Canada Montreal Mission Home when he arrived and said that it would work fine. This is his desk in their apartment . . . we don't know where the Silly String came from!

Here are some of the missionaries who were in the same District and/or Zone as Andrew while he served in Sainte-Foy.

This is Andrew and Elder Jibson . . . his first companion. They look ready for business!

The areas that are highlighted on the map below show where Andrew and his companion have gone "tracting". Tracting is when you knock on doors and try to interest people in learning more about Jesus Christ and his gospel. Of course, in Sainte-Foy this is all done in French.

Who is this fellow that Andrew is talking to? He looks very of interested in the Book of Mormon!

Here are some pictures of Andrew's apartment. Who was cooking tonight? Is that really Canadian air conditioning?

This is Andrew and his second companion, Elder Armstrong, with some of the members of the Sainte-Foy Branch.

Andrew has had a chance to meet, teach, and get to know many different people. These are a couple of his investigators.

Every Monday the missionaries in the Canada Montreal mission have what they call P-day . . . the "P" stands for preparation. They use this day to do laundry, write letters, check their email, go grocery shopping, play basketball, and relax. It looks like he has taken up lawn bowling!

Not everyone who is taught by the missionaries joins the church, but Kevin and Isabelle felt the spirit and believed the message they heard. They were an awesome family and were baptized in May 2007.

Another investigator who Andrew taught was Stephen. He also listened, learned, felt the spirit and had the desire to be baptized. The tie was given to him by Elder Fresh and Elder Armstrong as a remember of his baptism day.

On October 2, 2007 Andrew was transferred to Mascouche, about 20 miles north of Montreal. He packed his bags and took a three hour bus ride to his new area. More to come . . .

Cheer Tryouts

The tryouts for the 2008-2009 Pep Squad were held the week after prom. A "clinic" was held after school each day with the actual tryouts being on Saturday morning. The girls trying out for the cheer squad learned two cheers and one routine which they had to perform for the judges. I helped with the concession stand outside the gym and only saw Aimee's group perform the morning of tryouts . . . they looked great!!! I brought my digital camera and intended to have a video of the girls posted on this blog, but made a big mistake . . . red doesn't mean stop when you are recording a video, it means record! Needless to say I recorded the time between the cheers and the routine, but not the actual performance.

This is Kaitlin, Farryn, and Aimee right before they went into the gym to perform. Go Cougars!!! By the way . . . they all made it!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Midnight in Paris" - Prom 2008

Aimee was asked to prom on her 17th birthday! When the doorbell rang she found a basket full of fortune cookies on our porch . . . she was sure that one of them contained an important message. After quickly going through all 100 of the fortune cookies and not finding the anticipated message, she broke each and every one open! She finally found a small strip of white paper in one cookie that said "Patience is a virtue"!

About an hour later her friend Ricky brought a Chinese food box that had all of the fortunes he had removed and a note that said "I would feel fortunate if you would be my date for prom!" A couple of days later Aimee got an order of sweet and sour chicken and took it to him with a note that said "It was sweet of you to ask me to prom . . . I would be in a sour mood if you hadn't . . . The answer is yes!"

The Dress:
Aimee had very specific requirements for her prom dress. First . . . it absolutely had to be orange. Second . . . it had to be made by me. And third . . . it needed to be short, pouffy and have lots of "bling"! ("Bling" means lots of shine, sparkle, etc.) We had a very hard time finding orange material that was the right color and weight for what we wanted to do. We finally ended up with a beautiful orange shantung and I used what would normally be the "wrong" side of the fabric as the"right" side of the dress. After many hours of sewing, fitting, , unpicking and resewing, refitting, and finishing the dress was finally complete . . . and Aimee was happy! I had enough fabric leftover to make a bow for her hair and a clutch purse.

The Evening:
Prom 2008 was held on May 10th at The Hyatt in Anaheim, California. Twenty-five students from church, including Aimee and Ricky, and their friends rented a "party bus" to take them to prom and back home again. A "party bus" is a large bus that has been converted so that all the seats are around the sides. There is music, strobe lights, food, drinks, etc. There is a driver so everyone gets to relax and have a fun time . . . including the parents who are at home!

Aimee styled her own hair, did her own makeup, and was almost ready when Ricky came by to pick her up! They exchanged corsage and boutonniere, posed for a few pictures, and went to join the rest of their group . . . where they posed for more pictures!!!

And more pictures . . . this time with everyone else!!!

Aimee and Ricky turned for one last picture before the doors closed. You can tell by their smiles that they are already having fun . . . or they are happy to leave their parents and the cameras behind!!!