Kauai Vacation – Day 3by Angie

14 Jun 2009
12:06 pm

Church was wonderful in Kauai, at the familiar blue-roofed building that carried fond memories from past vacations.  Relief Society was a beautiful lesson about forgiveness and mercy, which led to continued discussions throughout the rest of the day.

Sunday DinnerSince Saturday was Kim’s birthday (our adopted sister for the week), and Sunday is my Mom’s, Day 3 in Kauai ended with a grand feast.  We had bought enough beef tips in gravy, peas, and rolls to feed 10 people, and we put our two microwaves to good use in the hour leading up to dinner.  Mom even had her very own chocolate cake and candle (thanks to a single-serving microwavable molten chocolate cake mix).  Though the suites didn’t have stovetops, they did have half-sized dishwashers, so we didn’t even have to spend much time washing up – just put load up the dishes… “It’s just that easy!”  We finished with a little devotional by Mom, presentsPam and Kim, and some planning for the coming week.  At the end of the family festivities, my Mom and I went out on the balcony and studied my next JS Manual lesson together (topic: temples); it was so wonderful to be musing and brainstorming with my Mom like that again.  It was even more wonderful for it to be happening as we looked out on Kauai in the fading light, with the sound of the waves on Kalapaki beach accompanying our conversation.  I love Hawaii.

Kalipaki Beach

Conference in HD?by Jim

5 Oct 2008
3:10 pm

In the past, I’ve been saddened by how the Church has lagged in the technology department.  Understandably, technology is normally very expensive and it is sacred tithing they spend, so I’ve never complained about it.  A few years ago, when they finally started posting conference as video files, I was very pleased.  It wasn’t anything new or especially impressive, but it was a step in the right direction.  This year, though, I was impressed.  The new video streamer we used to watch conference this year was fantastic.  Not only was it very responsive (we were able to watch conference without missing large chunks because of insufficient bandwith on their part, as in years past), but the fidelity of the video was unbelievable.  I didn’t do any tests (I was trying to pay attention to the speakers), but the quality definitely looked HD to me.  Full-screened on my HDTV, the quality was better than most DVDs.  More than once, I got up from the couch and stared at my TV only inches away to see how clear the picture was.  As an added nicety, http://lds.org broadcast conference in widescreen!  (Strangely, http://www.byu.tv did not.)  Forgive me for being so excited about this… after spending a lot on a TV, it is nice when I get to use the HD-ness of it.  Did anyone else who watched conference online notice how good it looked?

The talks were all very good.  I especially liked Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk in the Priesthood Session.  What great counsel we received over the last 36 hours!


Okay, so it wasn’t HD.  It was 640×360, which is technically not high-def; but in all honesty, online conference never looked better.  😉

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Stake Conference Choirby Angie

24 Aug 2008
10:08 pm

Stake Conference is in a couple of weeks, and the special musical numbers are being provided by a volunteer choir of women in the stake.  Tonight I went to the first rehearsal and it was so wonderful!  There were lots of sisters there that I remember from the Christmas choir last year and other familiar faces I’ve come to know since then.

We are performing two numbers:  an SSA arrangement of “This is the Christ,” which is a beautiful piece based on a poem written by Elder James E. Faust.  I’ve sung it before, and I love it, so it is a treat to be singing it again.  The other is the lyrics of “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” arranged to the melody of an old Scottish(?) folk song called “Homeward Bound.”  If you’ve heard MoTab’s CD “Love is Spoke Here” or BYU Singers’ “The Road Home,” then you’ll know the tune I mean.  William Joseph has an orchestrated arrangement of it that I love, too.  It is just gorgeous with the words describing the First Vision.  The only drawback is that we only really sing two verses!  I wish it were longer!

It’s wonderful to be singing again.  Our ward choir has taken a month-long haitus, and I’m defnitley in withdrawl.

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Another Calling!by Angie

11 May 2008
5:05 pm

I was sustained to a new calling today: Relief Society Secretary! I am very excited about it – our Presidency is just wonderful and I am thrilled to be working with them. Bishop Royster intends to release me as an instructor soon, but they don’t have anyone else lined up yet. For now, I’ll have both callings – and will teach next week as usual.

By the way, Happy Mothers Day to both our amazing Moms (Kathy & Pam!), our wonderful Grandmothers (Packard, Groo, and Carol!), and Kali, and all the other wonderful women who have helped make us who we are!

My New Callingby Angie

6 Mar 2008
2:03 pm

Joseph Smith ManualWell, when I wrote a while back about being asked to teach Relief Society at the last minute, I didn’t realize that it was an audition!

Yep, I have received a new calling and was sustained and set apart on Sunday as a Relief Society Instructor. I’m very excited! I’m a little nervous, too, but I hope that after a few lessons I’ll get over that. I get to teach once a month (every third Sunday), from the new Joseph Smith Manual. This will be so fun!

Off the Cuffby Angie

17 Feb 2008
6:02 pm

So, Jim and I had a lovely quiet morning – slept in a little, got up and got ready, walked to choir practice, had a nice rehearsal, peaceful walk home… Then, just a few minutes after we walked in the door, the phone rang. It was Carolynn Hoopes (one of the counselors in our Relief Society), calling to ask me if I could teach today.

Wow. I have never taught a Relief Society lesson before in my entire life, and now I had less than three hours to prepare one. Luckily, it was about Joseph Smith as a special witness of the Savior – so, having been a missionary was strongly in my favor. The chapter in the manual was beautifully written, so that made it fun, too. I regret to say that I have not been in the habit of reading the lesson before going to class, so I was even less prepared for the call than I could have been, but I am now determined to do my reading every week like I should.

I was very nervous but the lesson went well and, amazingly, took just the right amount of time! It was a scary experience but, overall, a good one. To thank me for my impromptu lesson, Carolynn and her kids walked over to our condo after church and brought us an angel food cake and a huge package of fresh strawberries!  That definitely made it all worth the effort.

Springtown Ward Christmas Programby Angie

16 Dec 2007
8:12 pm

Today at church, we participated in the ward Christmas Program for Sacrament Meeting. There was a violin solo, a guitar solo, and a trio of sisters who sang, “Born to Wear a Crown.” Jim and I were both in the choir, which sang three hymns, and we also sang a duet: “No Room for the King.” We were both pretty nervous – I got the hiccups shortly before Sacrament Meeting started, and I was terrified that they would come back while we were up on the stand! Luckily, no such disaster occurred. Everything went great. After the meeting several people complimented us, and they were all amazed and impressed that my mom had written the song.  Our Relief Society president enjoyed telling everyone that, because she had been sitting in the choir behind us, she could see that we were holding hands while we sang, and she thought that was the cutest thing ever. 🙂

This afternoon, Jim had to go to a presidency meeting for the Teachers Quorum, which overlapped a little with ward choir practice. I walked there on my own (our choir director, Brother Senecal, lives right around the corner from us), and we were about fifteen minutes into our practice when Jim arrived and joined the basses. They were very relieved that he “finally” showed up, since none of them are confident reading music, and Brother Senecal announced to Jim that, “It’s people like you that make ward choirs a success!” I love seeing Jim flattered and embarrassed and pleased all at the same time.