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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Church News/Personal updates

Hello all! Much has happened in the Church and with us since my last major update. So in this post, I will attempt to update you on all the good stuff. Hang on to your hats! This will be a wild ride!

First of all, now that it's September, I wanted to remind everyone that we have two apostolic birthdays to celebrate this month (would be 3 if President Packer were still alive). Elder Quentin L. Cook turns 75 on September 8. The following day, President Russell M. Nelson celebrates his 91st birthday, hopefully the first of many years he will mark as Quorum President. I know I should be used to "President Nelson" by now, but it's still somewhat of a nuance, especially since it's been just under two months that he's had this calling. It's crazy to think that we'll find out who will be called as the new apostles in a little over a month. As I think about the apostolic vacancies, two names particularly seem to me like they could be the new apostles. Although why the Lord would reveal such information to me before he tells President Monson is beyond me. Since I'm not infallible, I will not say who I think they will be unless it turns out that I'm right. Time will tell.

On the temple news front, the Indianapolis Temple was dedicated last Sunday by President Henry B. Eyring, who was accompanied at the dedication by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, along with Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elders Kent F. Richards (Temple Department Executive Director) and Wilford W. Andersen, both of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, Bishop Dean M. Davies, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, and Elder Paul H. Sinclair, an Area Seventy and the only native Hoosier to serve on the temple committee. The temple becomes the first temple in the state of Indiana and the 148th temple worldwide. With the announcement of the Tijuana Mexico Temple Dedication for December 13, and the Provo City Center Temple Dedication in March of 2016, that will bring the total number of temples worldwide to a historic 150 by the 186th Annual General Conference.

In other temple news, progress is being made on the Paris France Temple, Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple, and Fort Collins Colorado Temple. Progress was necessarily halted for a short time in Fort Collins because of vandalism to the temple site and structure. I hope they catch the vandals. To vandalize something that is sacred to so many people is to incite the wrath of a just God. I take comfort in the knowledge that even if the vandals escape justice in this life, at some future point, they will be judged for this heinous crime. I will say no more of that.

According to ldschurchtemples.com, 3 temples currently undergoing renovation will be rededicated before we have 150 temples in March of next year. Two other temples are expected to have renovations finished and be dedicated by the end of 2016, with two other temples scheduled to begin renovation within that same time frame. As for new temples that could be dedicated next year, the Provo City Center Temple will be just one of the seven temples that are anticipated to be completed in 2016. And if three of the temples that are being renovated currently are ready for rededication by the end of 2016, it will be a veritable year of temple-related events. I will keep an eye on these developments and let you know as soon as I know anything.

The 13 apostles of the Church have now had a chance to meet and consider their future relationship with the BSA. The determination was made that the Church would stick with the BSA and the BSA responded that they hoped the Church would continue to select Scout leaders that will be true to Church standards. It was a big relief to hear that. I want my sons to become Eagle Scouts as I have done. And now they'll have that chance. The Church is still concerned, however, about the outreach of the Scouting program worldwide. The situation will continue to be monitored and a decision made about a program that will work for all young men worldwide as time and circumstances allow such changes to be made.

In other news, the Church has announced that the female leaders of the Church have been invited to become participating members on major Church councils; they began their new roles immediately. Primary General President Rosemary M. Wixom will now be a member of the Church's Temple and Family History Executive Council. Relief Society General President Linda K. Burton has been invited to serve as  a member of the Priesthood and Family Executive Council, which had, prior to its name change, been traditionally called the Priesthood Executive Council. Young Women General President Bonnie L. Oscarson has been asked to be a member of the Missionary Executive Council. I imagine that this will filter down to the wards and stakes as well, if it is not already so. Some claim that because the women don't have the priesthood, they are somehow less significant to the work of the Lord than the men. These changes should serve to prove otherwise. It'll be interesting to see what happens with the work of these councils in the future now that a woman's voice has been added to them. I will keep my eye on any developments in this regard and share them ASAP.

In the meantime, things have been crazy here the last little while. I applied for a position as a Team Leader but did not get it because it would have required me to work on Sunday, and I covenanted with the Lord a long time ago that I would never work on a Sunday. The Sabbath is too important to me.

I had an interview with my bishop, who was concerned about our financial troubles, especially as we are doing all we can but can't seem to break even. I told him what the situation was with why I apparently "don't qualify" anymore to receive SSI. He said he would talk to my caseworker, for whom I gave him a number. I don't know whether it was my bishop, a lawyer by profession, who leaned on the SSA until they came to their senses or if it was the fact that I turned in many paystubs they were missing. The long and the short of it is that I got an SSI payment of about $1,800 that covered what they should have paid me for May-July. I will get my August paystubs turned in ASAP. And I'm happy to report that I got another SSI check today for the month of September. So we will be more than okay until my next paycheck (Friday).

I have had many doctors appointments for a variety of reasons. The general consensus: I need to exercise regularly 5 days a week for at least one hour per exercise session. I have a goal to lose 12 lbs by the time I see one of my doctors again. If not, she said she might have me do a sleep test to see if I have apnea. In the meantime, last Monday, I had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy to help my gastroenterologist figure out why my stomach has been so weird lately. That procedure went well, but I overdid it afterwards and was too wiped out to go to work that day and the next day as well.

I didn't see my neurologist this month as she said she could just mail me the prescriptions I needed with some advanced notice. I let her office know what prescriptions I needed and by when, but they didn't arrive. Fortunately, we were going to see my physiatrist (muscle doctor) in Salt Lake last week, so I was able to pick up a physical prescriptions I needed right before they closed down their office for the night. My doctors all seem to be impressed with the progress I am making. All of them are worried about my weight, which is why I will try to lose 2 pounds per month every month for the next half year before I see my pulmonologist again.

I see my urologist in a couple of months, and I hope everything's all right there. I have a dentist's appointment this week and hopefully have few, if any cavities. I'm a little worried about my teeth. I had 8 cavities they found that I had to get done between my visit last fall and now. I will keep you posted on all of that good stuff.

We have missed Church for several weeks in a row now due to illness. It was just as well I didn't go last week, because I was puking like there was no tomorrow. That finally settled down, but I am still dealing with some health issues that I can hopefully get resolved soon. Thankfully. Amy has been doing relatively well health-wise while I've had these problems.

I seek an interest in your prayers. Amy and I need to apply for another loan to help us buy a house, assuming we can find one within our budget where the Lord would want us to be. But in order to get a loan, I have to prove that I have steady employment. While I still am at work as often as I can be, if we gave them a paycheck history, until my ability to be at work improves drastically, we may not be eligible for a loan. This worries us because we want to move from this apartment to a place of our own. The worries about how to afford a place of our own are compounded by not knowing where to look. The Lord has told me that we need to remain in the AF East Stake, if at all possible. Every time I ask, I have received the same answer: I have not finished all the things I was brought to this stake to do. I don't know what the Lord has in mind for me, but, whatever it is, I hope I will be worthy to do it.

My work is having a BBQ up Provo Canyon on September 13 from 5-9 pm. It should be a fun event. It will be really neat to introduce Amy to my coworkers. Most of them who know me have heard by now how Amy and I got together, so they're anxious to meet her.

In just a few short weeks, my older sister Joanna and her son, Grant, will return to Utah for the final stages of Joanna's pregnancy and for the delivery. We will be so excited to see them. The one bummer about that is that Lyle may or may not be able to be there in person for the birth of the twins. We are all praying like crazy that something will work out for Lyle to be there. He missed being there for Grant's birth. It will be very hard on Joanna and Grant to have to deal with the babies coming without Lyle being there for it. So I would ask for your prayers on behalf of my sister: that the last part of the pregnancy might be easy on her and that her husband can be there for the birth. Thanks in advance, friends!

Well, that's what's going on in our lives, in a nutshell. Hope you are all well and are still enjoying these posts. Best wishes to you, my readers! You are the reason I blog. Happiness to you in your life ahead!