The latest posts from A Matter Of Preparedness
Make a plan:
Lay out everything ahead of time:
Cooking the 'Bird':
What about the Rolls?
- Using your dehydrated Sun-dried tomatoes you can make these delicious rolls!
- Or, try Pull-apart Butterscotch rolls.....they are delish! You prepare them the night before so you don't have a mad dash on Thanksgiving day!
We can't forget a salad!
- Try a delicious Copy Cat recipe for the Olive Garden Salad. Easy to do and uses Food Storage Staples. It is wonderful!
- You will need Croutons as well. Look at how easy it is to make them and do it ahead of time. I promise, these melt in your mouth!
- For those who like Pasta salad, give this one a try. Make it a day ahead so that the marinate has infused in everything. It is soooo good!
What about Cranberry Sauce?
- This is so simple to do and inexpensive. You can make 12 half-pints of delicious Cranberry sauce for less than 50% of the national brand. The added blessing is that you have some for long after Thanksgiving when you have a craving for this delicious condiment. It also makes a unique neighbor gift!
We need a little Dessert!
- When making pies, uses this recipe for the pie crust...it really lives up to its name of "Perfect Pie Crust"!
- Fill you pie crust with Apple Pie Filling that you hopefully canned a few weeks ago. It is still not too late if you have access to apples. Put them up on Monday or Tuesday so that you have this filling ready to go on Wednesday. You can make your pies ahead of time as well.
Please, please don't forget the Why!
We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
May the Lord bless you all this Thanksgiving Season.
After bringing the water, sugar, and Orange juice to a boil for 5 minutes, add your fresh cranberries.
Leslie's Cranberry Orange Sauce8-9 cups cranberries4 cups sugar4 cups water2 oranges1 T. vanilla flavoring, optional
Preparation : Prepare 12 half pint jars, lids, and rings. Sterilize the jars and keep them in the hot water till its time for processing. Make sure to fill your water bath canner and get the water to a simmer.
Cooking: In a large stainless steel add water, sugar, zest and juice of 2 oranges and heat up over medium heat. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and bring back to a boil. the cranberries will begin popping. If you like it whole cranberries and some sauce use a potato masher to smooth the cranberries. If you want it to be just sauce you can use an immersion blender. Cook stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla flavoring. Remove from heat.
Filling the jars: On a dishtowel place your hot jars and using your funnel in each jar using a ladle then fill the jars leaving ½” headspace. Remove air bubbles and refill to the proper headspace with the mixture if necessary. Taking a clean papertowel wet it with warm water and wipe the rims of the jars removing any food particles that would interfere with a good seal. Using your magic wand extract the lids from the hot water and place them on the now cleaned rims. Add your rings to the tops of each of the jars and turn to seal just "finger tight".Processing: Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn't measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 10 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.
Sealing: Some time in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.
Try it !!!!!!
This town certainly did have some really "Neat Stuff".
I like the "Seven Sisters Eatery" (in light of the popular "Six Sisters" wonderful info we all see on the Internet as of late)
I am telling you, these businesses are "the best" for having resources for those with a preparedness mindset.
Look was on the shelf! I have never seen Tattler lids on a store shelf.
Look how cool this stove is!
I like this Compost Trash Can....
Things were reasonably priced!
Nearly every grain or flour you can think of.
I took my time going down the spice aisle....I just wished I had more space in my luggage to bring many of these home!
I found these metal lids (on the right) that are the same size as the lids I use with my gallon jars. I use these to store my food storage staples.
- If you live near an Amish community, you are very fortunate. You can access Food Storage Staples and Preparedness items all in one place.
- I love that customers were required to pay cash and cannot use debt.
- It is a way of life for these great folks. They practice what they preach every day.
- $15.00 for a cube with pellets from a big box store. This is a great time of year to get something like this as they are trying to sell off the last few pieces because school has started and all the College students are now settled in. This cube was marked down by $5.00.
- Fabric was something that I had already from a project that I never finished. It is heavy weave.
- The ribbon that I sewed in the small openings (so that I can store this item either on hooks or hanger) came from remnants that I had in my sewing supplies.
- Total Cost..."$15.00!". On line, these devices are being sold from between $39.99 to $49.99.
- This device worked just as it is promoted. It is a great addition to your Supplies and it is also fun. Consider using it on a camping trip or when you are going to be gone for a few hours.
- This device does not require any fuel. Think about that in a time of emergency. Once the food is warmed, it will hold the heat and continue to cook the food over time. I can't say enough about how important the fuel issue is.
- This device is really, really easy to make once you have the pattern drawn to scale.
- It worked like a charm. I plan to use it again on days when I know that I won't be home for a long time. I know that the food will be cooked and at a safe temperature.
- I won't wait for an emergency to use this.
- I hope you noticed the 'loops' of ribbon on each piece. These are to hang up the 'oven' in the closet when it is not in use.
- My husband and son didn't even pull funny faces when I used this today. I guess they are getting used to me.
Consider getting one for your family.....soon!
|Image courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.|
If you would like to print this out, please use this link.
|Photo courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|
The following article comes from the Church's newsroom. If you recall, there was a significant amount of speculation as to what the changes to the Home Storage Center (aka Canneries) were and what it would mean. Please see the information directly from this link:
Within the last couple of months, the Church has made some significant updates to their welfare centers.
Now it’s even easier for members to get and maintain food storage items, as the LDS home storage centers have changed from self-packaging to prepackaging (already packaged and available for purchase).
“We wanted to make it easier, safer, more convenient, and more available for our members that don’t have some of these [food] products in their own areas,” said Don Johnson, director of production and distribution for LDS Welfare Services. “More products are available in prepack to save members time, so they can use their time to volunteer in other ways.”
Now members can visit their local storage center and purchase what they need without the additional time and labor that comes with self-packing food items.
With this change, it also allows for expansion of the products. Brother Johnson explained that by November 1 they intend for all 101 storage centers in the U.S. and Canada to have nine new products for a total of 17 that will be prepacked and available for members to purchase. Some of the 17 products include apple slices, macaroni, powdered milk, hot cocoa mix, and sugar.
According to the Church’s Providing in the Lord’s Way pamphlet, “Members should build a three-month supply of food that is part of their normal diet; store drinking water in case the water supply becomes polluted or disrupted, and gradually build a longer-term supply of food that will sustain life.”
“We’re trying to help members prepare their food storage to follow principles for a long-term basic storage in a way we can help them best fulfill becoming self-reliant,” said Brother Johnson.
Self-reliance is an important aspect of the gospel, as members are counseled to provide for themselves and their families. President Spencer W. Kimball said, “The responsibility for each person’s social, emotional, spiritual, physical, or economic well-being rests first upon himself, second upon his family, and third upon the Church if he is a faithful member thereof” (“Welfare Services: The Gospel in Action,” Oct. 1977 general conference).
On June 17, the Church released an article explaining that home storage centers were not closing down but were changing canning methods. It stated, “These changes have been considered for some time as the Church has looked at the best way to provide home storage goods to Church members efficiently.”
The Church produces prepackaged food, such as white flour, at Deseret Mills in Kaysville, Utah. Photo courtesy of Welfare Services.
As such, these changes will reduce cross-contamination, freight and sanitation costs, facility space requirements, and complexity for volunteers while increasing safety to volunteers and patrons, customer satisfaction, regulatory compliance, food safety, and efficiency.
Despite the packaging change, there are still 12 storehouses located in the western United States and Canada that will continue to offer self-packing.
What a tremendous blessing for us all:
- New Product lines
- Being able to purchase what you need without investing the time to pack the food.
- Having 17 products prepackaged will make the availability of food items more universal to more people world-wide.
Have you seen the September 2013 Visiting Teaching Message? It is all about Self-Reliance. To find the entire message, go here.
I was excited to see it.....I think the subject is pretty important!
I decided to make a little 'gift' to go along with the message. Here is what I did:
I made really small mylar bag packets. To find out how I do this, please go here.
I sealed the packets on 3 sides.
See the nice seal?
I put a tablespoon of different sprouting seeds in each packet.
Make sure that you label each packet.
I chose to seal the packets with my flat iron.
Cut a piece of screen cut to fit just inside the canning jar lid. Place it inside.
Place the packets inside of the canning jar.
Insert the directions to sprout the seeds in the jar.
Here are the directions up close. Take the lid (with the screen) and screw it on the jar.
I made a bow out of Tulle and attached this wonderful handout from "My Happy Tribe". (I re-sized it as the original is an 8 x 10).
It took all of 20 minutes to put this together. It gives your sister something to try right away and is very applicable to this month's lesson.
Give it a try!
|Image courtesy of technobuffalo|
Here is what happened…someone on Instagram contacted one of my daughter’s friends to connect on Kik. And once they were over on Kik messenger and chatting, this “stranger” asked to see this child’s privates. (Disclaimer: I don’t have all of the exact details, but what I have accounted for in this article is my understanding of the situation. I also performed my own rudimentary investigation.)Just pause and think about that for a minute. From innocently posting photos to being solicited by a pedophile.
When I learned about this, the first thing that I did was look through Kik. Most of the connections that my daughter had were her local friends. A couple were friends she had made via Instagram. I made her end her conversations with kids we didn’t know. Then we had her delete pictures of herself on Instagram and clean out who is following her. That night, I spent some more time exploring her Kik app. I saw a message from one of her friends saying something like “don’t search for the user ‘Instagram’ on Kik…it’s gross”. Of course, I had to check it out to understand. When I searched for “Instagram” on Kik, it showed a user called “So Horney” or “Very Horney” or something like that, and the user’s picture was that of a man’s genitals. Having seen that and having reviewed the lack of privacy and having read more about Kik, I talked to my daughter about deleting the app immediately. A few days later, when I checked my daughter’s phone, the Kik app was gone (my daughter later told me that she deleted it herself). You can see this is an odd and potentially dangerous relationship between Kik and Instagram and how someone make it instantly perverted.
That is shocking. I was scared. I was scared for my kids. And I was scared for other families who don’t take an active role in protecting their children from the dangers online.
So.......how does your garden grow?
My sisters also have an interest in preparedness and food storage. One day, I volunteered to cook dinner...in my Sun oven. They had heard of it but had not seen one up close. I decided to do something very easy....Roast and vegetables.
As you can hopefully see in the picture above, I used a Cooking Magic Bag. I just love these things. I placed sliced onion on the bottom and then halved little new potatoes and added baby carrots. I placed a frozen roast on top and sprinkled onion soup mix on the roast. The bag was closed up, a black napkin was placed inside of the pan before bag of food was placed on top of that. This dark napkin helps to attract the sun as the pan underneath was a disposable aluminum pan that would reflect the heat away.
I then began to show my family members how to align the Sun Oven with the sun by aligning the circles of light on the two indicators that come with the device. This appeared to be a bit enlightening for my sisters as they couldn't understand what these little 'white things' were for initially.
Well....how did it turn out?
This is the finished product.
I sliced the roast and it was cooked through.
How did it taste?
Well, my father was raised on a cattle ranch and considers himself to be somewhat of a connoisseur when it comes to beef. He traditionally has a jar of Chili Sauce (that he and my mother can each year) ready to put on....everything. Imagine my surprise when he not only said the beef was good, but also when he did not put any Chili Sauce on it!
What did I learn with this?
Well, I learned a couple of things.
- I would hesitate to leave the Sun Oven unattended with a meal inside of it for the entire day. I found I needed to make little adjustments every few hours. Plus, we went shopping for a while. As I was unfamiliar with the 'shade' pattern that my parents new home made as morning faded into the afternoon, my little device was shaded when I came home. I quickly checked the food and it was very, very hot still. I was lucky.....
- I would cut up my vegetables into smaller chunks. They were cooked, but firm. I didn't add any liquid as I knew this was a closed system. I was counting on the juices from the frozen roast to be the liquid in the bag. There was liquid, but apparently it did not steam as I thought I should.
- This device creates some buzz. A neighbor came over to see what we were doing. My Dad tried to give him the 10 cent tour as we were all inside the house except him. A couple of days later, the neighbor asked if it worked. My sisters answered for me...a resounding yes.
- This worked well as it was really hot this past week. My parents new home heats up when the oven is used. So, we could have this meal without heating their home. I would do this again in a heartbeat!
There are still many of the same staples available
Little ones having their first experience with "SNAPS" and sparklers.
You can have delicious and wonderful celebrations using your Food Storage. Enjoy!
|image courtesy of Fox Talk Books|
I am toying with the idea of using my Silhouette to cut Vinyl letters to identify what is in each bag. If I do decide to do this, I will update this post or a future post with it.
What do you think?
- Register to Vote....and be an informed voter.
- Attend your local Caucus or Precinct Meetings if your state has them.
- Make time to listen and interact with those who are running for office.
- CALL or CONTACT those who are in office and let them know what your concerns and opinions are. I have the White House, the Speaker of the House, My Senators and Congressman and State officials programmed into my phone. That takes away the barrier of finding out the number when I am really frustrated about something...I can just make the call! I usually call the east coast on my way to work and leave a message. Faxing is an option as well. Program your fax machines with the needed numbers. Add email addresses to your contacts to send your thoughts as well.
- Fly the American Flag proudly and know how to properly care for it and retire it when the time comes.
- Listen to more than one source of news....be well rounded.
- Volunteer in your community. Your city always has needs and you can be part of the solution.
- Defend our rights, defend our rights, defend our rights! Anyone can have a conversation with conviction tempered with restraint.
- Be good parents and raise your children with morals and a knowledge of where they live.
- Be the person that you know you can and should be.
God Bless America....
I had to laugh when I saw Ali McGraw being interviewed a few years ago. Oprah Winfrey asked her what she thought about that famous phrase "Love means never having to say you are sorry"? Ms. McGraw stated that, “It makes no sense”. (Lots of audience laughter). She went on to relate the following: “Saying your sorry isn’t the deal…changing your behavior is the deal”. I found that to be very ironic coming from the very actress that uttered that iconic line.
LRH is in the business of communication. In a professional environment, I help folks learn how to more effectively communicate which also includes Pragmatic Social Language. I am trained in the fine nuances of communication and language. In any communication, their are perceptions and real realities. Because of the nature of social media, many important aspects of communication are immediately sacrificed when attempting to share sensitive information:
- Sensitive conversations are most successful when done in person because more than words are being communicated.
- The context, body language, prosody, semantics, and overall content are also adding to the conversation which helps to more accurately communicate the intent of both the listener and speaker.
- Phone conversations are second best, but again, the nuances of the non-verbal and sensitive nature are not available.
- Finally email, text and on-line media are the least reliable source of sharing sensitive information as the human touch and feeling is rarely communicated accurately.
"The Parable of the Internet".
- One day, PC was looking at a popular social media site. She saw that TC had 'liked' a page in the ticker feed. PC has subscribed to a couple of pages from a similar group, so she went to the site and randomly clicked on one of the options offered. PC stumbled upon a media source that contained very sensitive information that it appeared TC has published without restriction. It was painful for PC to see, so she closed the browser.
- Recalling an earlier communication that TC shared saying that she had been struggling with a 'woe', but wanted to wait until she was ready to share it, PC prayed more earnestly for TC and waited.
- When TC did inform PC about the "woe", PC did share that she had stumbled upon the media source. However PC was in work environment where she could not expound upon either the "woe" or how the discovery happened while attempting to keep TC's situation private at that moment.
- TC was surprised to say the least. Later, TC expressed hurt and anger about PC accessing that the media source. Accusations and inferences were made about PC’s possible intentions without knowing the circumstances of how the media source was stumbled upon. TC stated was that the ‘media source’ was private and inferred that PC had purposely sought out and invaded her privacy. Sadly, TC choose a very unfiltered method to share her anger without finding out about the facts of the matter.
- As in the parable told above. TC had inadvertently left an easy trail to access her private information. PC took the opportunity to talk with TC in person when TC visited PC's home. PC showed her how easily her information was to access. PC assisted TC in making the necessary changes to her accounts and taught her how to write her posts in a manner to better protect the sensitive information that TC chooses to post on the Internet.
- Using all CAPS is yelling
- Don’t post pictures of people without having their express permission to do so, and certainly don’t tag them unless you have their permission. If you do chose to post pictures and especially if you are away from home, wait until you get home before you post them. No one will be tempted to break into your home if it is clear that you are actually there.
- How safe do you feel about the site, post, blog that you post pictures of your minor children to. If someone decided to be unscrupulous, you just gave them a picture of your child....and well....you can fill in the blank.
- Avoid posting every little thing that you are doing during the day on social media. No offense, but you need to understand that not everyone really cares about what you ate during the day or when you do your laundry. Be selective about what you post.
- Do not post anything online that can be hurtful to anyone. Once it is on the Internet…. it is there for good. No matter what you do, there will be a record of it. I was listening to a commentator speak about the George Zimmerman trial taking place in Florida this week. In particular they were discussing the witness, Rachel Jeanne’s, tweets on twitter. Overnight most of her tweets disappeared from her account. However, the media had already accessed them and were having a field day with the information that she tried to erase. For her, these ‘tweets’ negatively impacted her ‘believability’ as she is a witness in the case.
One of the most important [things] is open communication. Let me say something about what we mean by open. Some groups in society advocate spilling whatever’s on your mind. We do not. We are with those who suggest “measured honesty,” so that we share important feelings but in an atmosphere of love and support rather than hostility, using self-discipline and sincerity in expression. (Italics added)
Be safe, smart, and be informed.
|Image courtesy of Southern Yankee|
I had extra Hamburger buns that really needed to be used. I cubed them and spread them on my cookie sheet.
|Image Courtesy of Wildriverogues.com|
In early May, a prominent blogger shared her view on possible changes coming to the Home and Family Storage Center from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At that time, I posted this post.
As of June 3, 2013, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement regarding Changes to Home Storage Centers. I am including the information taken from the Church News and Events:
“Over time, we will be reducing the number of facilities where the packaging of dry goods occurs,” spokeswoman Ruth Todd said May 6. However, she added, the Church’s “home storage centers will offer the same or additional commodities in prepackaged form at no additional cost.”
Sister Todd said, “The change from self-service canning to prepackaged commodities occurs over time and depends on what goods are available at each individual facility.”She said once the change occurs, people will be able to get the same variety of supplies and goods and at the same price.
“The Church is not closing canneries and is not limiting the variety of goods available to Church members,” she said. The only thing being reduced over time is the number of locations at which members can purchase bulk food and can it themselves onsite.
There are currently more than 100 LDS home storage centers across the United States and Canada at which Church members can obtain food items for personal and family use.
The home storage centers are part of the Church’s massive welfare program that includes canneries, meat-packing facilities, thrift stores, farms, ranches, and storage facilities for food. Latter-day Saints are encouraged by Church leaders to keep a three-month supply of food on hand in case of physical, natural, and economic emergencies as part of the practice of self-reliance.
“Self-reliance is a product of our work and undergirds all other welfare practices,” President Thomas S. Monson said. “It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being.”
Next, I rubbed it into all the surfaces of the roasts (I made 2). I do use gloves when handling raw meat.
I had planned to use my Roaster Oven as I could put it on my buffet for cooking and for serving. The recipe instructs you to put the Roast on a rack in a Roasting Pan and over with foil. I went to get my foil...and I had 6 inches on the roll. I didn't even consider getting more foil on Saturday. So, I had to improvise....and I really love how it turned out! I had one Turkey Cooking Magic bag. I put the rack inside of the bag and put both roasts on it. I then put the water with the liquid smoke (called for in the recipe) in the bag and closed it up.
I placed the entire 'thing' into the roaster and turned it on 250 degrees F. It cooked for about 7 hours.
I also made the Texas Roadhouse Barbecue Sauce (copy cat- I also doubled the recipe) in a small crock pot that also cooked just as long as the meat. When it came time to serve, I poked a small hole in the bag and drained the juices into a bowl. I put the roasts back into the oven and used 2 forks to pull the meat apart. I then poured the sauce into the meat and stirred.
How did it turn out? Take a look!
It is delicious on a bun or just by itself. I will do this again for a family gathering. Just a little prep time and a great result.
Texas Roadhouse Pulled Pork Ingredients (From Copycat Recipe Guide)
§ 6 pounds pork shoulder
• 2/3 cup pork seasoning salt
• 1 tablespoon. black pepper
• 1 cup water
• 2 tablespoons hickory liquid smoke
• 3 cups Texas Roadhouse BBQ sauce
Texas Roadhouse Pulled Pork Equipment
§ Roasting pan
• Roasting grate
• Aluminum foil
• Small mixing bowl
Texas Roadhouse Pulled Pork Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place a large piece of aluminum foil on your counter.
3. Place the pork shoulder in the middle of the aluminum foil with the fat side up.
4. Mix the seasoning salt and black pepper together in a small mixing bowl.
5. Take some of the seasoning mix and rub it into the meat. Continue rubbing the seasoning over the top and sides of the meat. Be sure to rub in the mixture, not just sprinkle it
6. Place a a grate in the bottom of the roasting pan.
7. Add one cup of water to the roasting pan.
8. Pour hickory liquid smoke into the water mixture.
9. Place seasoned pork shoulder onto the grate in the pan with the fat side up.
10. Place aluminum foil over the top of the pan and seal well around the edges.
11. Cook the meat for about 5 to 6 hours.
12. Take the meat from the oven and pull it apart into about 3 sections.
13. Allow the pork to cool slightly for about 15 minutes.
14. Shred the meat into long strips with your fingers or with a long tinned fork.
15. Heat the barbeque sauce until warm.
16. Mix in the barbeque sauce and stir until all pieces are evenly covered.
Texas Roadhouse Barbecue Sauce Ingredients (From Copycat Recipe Guide)
§ 2 tbsp. canola oil
• 1/2 cup vinegar
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1/2 cup tomato paste
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 tbsp. onion powder
• 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
• 2 tbsp. honey
• 1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
• 2 tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 tsp. liquid smoke
• 1/8 tsp. paprika
• 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp. pepper
1. Place canola oil in a medium pan and turn on medium high heat.
2. Add vinegar, water, Worcestershire sauce, honey and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.
3. Measure and add onion powder, liquid smoke, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, vanilla and tomato paste.
4. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
5. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour uncovered until the sauce thickens.
6. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool, unless you will use it immediately.
7. Put sauce in a jar or squeezable container once sauce is cool.
8. Place container in refrigerator overnight to enhance flavor if possible.
- Be Patient: There are so many things that you have to wait upon. Travel Itineraries, admission to school, transportation for our missionary after he comes home, insurance, etc. I was doing pretty well with all of this until we were at the airport. He just wasn't coming down the escalator....we finally sent my Son-in-law with my grandson to 'accidentally' scale the stairs and watch for him. My middle son and is boy did the same. (There were strict instructions that Mom gets the first hug though!) When they saw him coming, they quickly came down the stairs. Where had he been for those many long minutes? He was doing just what he should. Because the of Tornado activity yesterday (which he was totally unaware of), the plane was delayed and some of the missionaries in his group missed their connections. He stayed to ensure that all of them were taken care of with connecting flights etc. before he left them. Who wouldn't want their son to be so caring and responsible?
- Give him or her time: This is a cultural shock to leave the life of a missionary and then all of a sudden come back home. We all had questions for him. One (which I thought was so simple), was too overwhelming for him. "Where do you want to go eat?". He said he couldn't even think that far ahead. This is a huge clue. Try not to bombard your returning missionary with questions such as "What type of cellphone do you want to get?", "When do you want to go visit ______", etc. It was just too much for him. He kept saying things like, "We should go teach someone tonight".
- Getting into the house: Try to have favorite foods or requested items. Have something for him to wear....these guys often grow and develop over the two year span.
- Let him/her enjoy every minute of being a missionary: Before our Stake President came to release him, he referred to his impending release as a "Missionary killer" moment and dreaded for it to come. The Stake President, after he arrived, asked our Elder to bear his Testimony to his family one more time as a missionary. I thought I had shed enough tears before, but with this sweet Testimony, they came freely. The Stake President then gave us all advise and counsel. Finally, he asked me to do something I hadn't been asked to do with my other two missionaries.....he asked me to remove my son's Missionary Badge. That was bitter-sweet for him.
- Beware of a time change: Your son/daughter most likely will not be used to your time zone. If you have had an international missionary, you may want to check with your physician about how to regulate sleep cycles to help you missionary adjust.
We, the members of the _______ Ward want you to know how much we appreciate your willingness to share your son with us in the service of the Lord. We thank you for raising a young man who stands tall and is a shining example of what a missionary is and what a missionary should be. He has blessed all of our lives and it is with a great deal of mixed emotions that we will have to say goodbye to him in a few short days.
As a parent who has had five children serve missions (one of my daughters is serving now), I know that it is a time of great blessing for your family when you have a son or daughter serve a mission. I also know that you are very anxious to be reunited with your son as he concludes his mission. Though we will be sad to see him go, he will leave a lasting legacy in our ward and in the lives of the people he has touched, taught, and loved.
May you and your entire family take comfort to know that Elder ______ has served the Lord with all of his might, mind and strength. He is a leader and an example to the other missionaries that he teaches and serves.
May you and your family enjoy the great blessings of the gospel. May you feel the spirit of the Lord that dwells so strongly in Elder ______. And may you have a joyous reunion with him. Surely, he is one of the noble and great ones. I am sure the Lord is very pleased with his service and will surely say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant".
God bless all of you. And to sister ______ … Happy Mothers Day!
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