Friday, June 29, 2012

July Newsletter for Relief Society

Welcome to Relief Society July 2012

"So the bad news is that family breakdown is causing a host of societal and economic ills. But the good news is that, like any cause and effect, those ills can be reversed if what is causing them is changed. Inequities are resolved by living correct principles and values. Brothers and sisters, the most important cause of our lifetime is our families. If we will devote ourselves to this cause, we will improve every other aspect of our lives and will become, as a people and as a church, an example and a beacon for all the peoples of the earth"—Elder M. Russell Ballard,   General Conference, Apr. 2012

Up Coming Events

4 – Pancakes & Parade

8 -  Pot Luck

24 – Pioneer Day

July Lesson Schedule

 1– Relief Society Presidency

8 – Doing Our Part to Share the Gospel P.135-146

15 –How to Share the Gospel Effectively P. 147-156

22 – Thanks Be to God, Elder Russell M. Nelson

29 – Combined w/ Priesthood

July Birthdays

1  –Megan Taylor               22 -  Wai Lin Weir

1 – Kathy Douglas              24 – Lenora Evans

4 – Kathy Harper                25 – Joan Parker

8 – Brandy Smith               26 – Charlotte Killian

11 – Marion Broussard     29 – Kimberly Goins   

14 - Joey Bass

20 – Patti Morris                30 – Linda Orr

22 – Minnie Ante               31 – Monica Downs

22 – Elaine Walton           

President Gordon B. Hinckley: “My dear friends of the Relief Society, whatever your circumstances, wherever you may live, may the windows of heaven be opened and blessings come down upon you. May you live with love for one another. May you reach down to lift up those whose burdens are heavy. May you bring light and beauty to the world” (“To the Women of the Church,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2003, 115).

"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

4th of July Pancakes and Parade

Please join us to celebrate the
of July!

We will be having a Ward Breakfast.  


Please bring your favorite pancake topping to share.  We will begin at 8:30 am at the church on Wednesday, July 4th.  Please decorate your bicycle, wagon or other ride and join our parade. 

This is for everyone!
There is no age limit.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sprouting & Gardening Enrichment Meeting

Ok, so you missed it.  Well Brandy and Sena taught us how to plant a garden in small spaces, starting from seeds.  Brandy had many great and creative ideas as to how and where you can plant your garden and/or specific plants.  Sena had a groovy class on sprouting and told us of the nutritional value from eating sprouts.  It really made me want to eat the sprouts.  Sister Baggett has been very busy making patch work pot holders and she gave all the sisters in attendance a cute handmade pot holder.  Then after the class presentations, we got to try Brandy's delicious Zucchini pie (yes, it was very good) and Sena's homemade salsa.  What a delicious treat! A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated!

Ruby's Shower

Well, sorry I am so late posting these great Pictures from Ruby's Shower.  We had a great time!  Thank you to Sister Abell, Sister Tuft and everyone else that participated!

Preparedness Week 18

Boo Hoo, this is our last week of the Ten Principles of Preparedness by Kellene Bishop.  Her website is

Ten Principles of Preparedness- Part 10 Communication Preparedness

In the second season of one of my favorite television shows, “Jericho”, there was a perfect illustration of what can happen if reliable communication does not exist (I recommend you renting this two-season series or at least catching some of it on While communication is the last aspect of the Principles of Preparedness, this doesn’t mean it’s insignificant in any way. In fact, there’s a lot of danger, panic, relying on misinformation and chaos that can arise, all from the lack of communication.

When the earthquake occurred in Haiti, the first thing that concerned anyone who knew anyone in that area was “were they alright?” So much so that working phone lines were maxed out for as many as 5 days after the event. This made for difficult circumstances not just for family and friends trying to check on their loved ones, but also hindered the coordination efforts for relief and recovery. Having the foresight to ensure quality Communication Preparedness now while there’s so many options will certainly allay a whole lot of heartache and stress later. I can think of very few times that were less stressful than when my husband was traveling abroad and I had no way of getting a hold of him for 36 hours. So, what should we do to prepare in this regard? There are actually a lot of considerations that we can tackle one at a time.
For starters, let’s presume that even in the midst of a act of Mother Nature, standard phone lines will still be viable. I, for one, have a single dedicated land-line, and I highly recommend that everyone else does as well—with a NON cordless phone attached to it. Electricity may be interrupted, but a traditional telephone line is still viable in some of the most catastrophic of circumstances. You can easily get a land line with no frills such as call-waiting, caller-ID, etc. for as low as $10 a month. I’d call that a worthwhile substitution for a single trip through a drive-thru. Best part is, the ringer is off and I never have to worry about answering an incoming call. It exists for one reason and one reason only; and that is for emergencies. This is smart for so many reasons aside from the wrath of Mother Nature such as an ill-timed home invasion when you’re cell phone has run out of battery strength, cellular interference, electrical interruption, etc. One other thing I would recommend is that you ensure your family members also have a dedicated land-line and I would certainly provide those you care about with your “just in case” phone number.

Another thing you may want to consider is Skype. When cell phone towers are down, Skype can still be operational, even via your cellular telephone. You can actually get Skype FREE for all Skype to Skype calls. Otherwise, plans begin as low as 9 cents a minute. Again, spread the knowledge of this type of option to your family members. Communication is obviously useless if no one that you care about and want to check on has access to communication means.
Next is the use of amateur band radios. It’s interesting to note that a respectable crisis which would be severe enough to interrupt traditional communication is more likely to create a dearth of operational knowledge of HAM radios as opposed to just a shortage of the necessary equipment. So if you’re on a restrictive budget, I recommend prioritizing getting the knowledge and education FIRST on how to operate a HAM radio and then when circumstances permit, invest in the equipment for greater independence. I also recommend investing in long-range walkie-talkies. I’ve found several brands that will work as far apart as 3-5 miles—easily sufficient for recreational communication and invaluable in a time of crisis.

Learning Morse Code, mirror signaling, etc. isn’t just for those ambitious young Boy Scouts. I personally believe it has a lot of merit today for those “just in case” scenarios. Remember during the recovery efforts in Haiti, one of the survivors was found primarily because of their ability to at least signal “S.O.S.?” I asked a classroom of 10 years olds the other day what Morse Code was and NONE of them knew! I think that Morse Code also has its place for encrypted communication—as there are very few persons who have a working knowledge of it today. (Fortunately, most official rescue workers are trained in Morse Code though.)
Along the lines of concealed communication I highly recommend that a truly prepared person learn shorthand writing, American Sign Language, and a foreign language as well. Yes, in a perfectly prepared world I do recommend learning ALL three (I’m still working on the sign language). In terms of which foreign language to master, I specifically recommend learning Spanish, Chinese, and/or Russian. I personally believe that a working knowledge of these languages may be lifesaving some time in the future. Having books on hand which provide resource information on these languages/communication methods is also recommended. Let’s say that your family is knowledgeable with sign language, but as the persons in your home may increase due to catastrophic circumstances, you may find it important that they, too are educated in your preferred alternative communications.

By all means DO stock up on traditional communication tools such as writing instruments and paper. When the “back to school” sales take place each year, inevitably I end up getting a whole lot of paper, pens, and pencils for no out of pocket costs—thank you, coupons! These items go into their respective four-gallon square buckets ready for a “just in case” scenario. I also can’t help but think how valuable such items will be in an environment in which traditional communication is hampered or eliminated—not just for their communication uses but also for education purposes in an electricity-free society. Any by the way, be sure to remember a pencil sharpener. Yes, you could use a knife in a pinch, but since pencil sharpeners are sooo stinking affordable, why not make things easy on yourself and have one on hand? Having some small chalkboards and chalk may also come in handy too.
Oh, did I mention that I was able to buy a bunch of “invisible ink” pens from a dollar store several years ago. I have no idea how long they will last, but the thought that I might be able to use something like that is fun for me. I could write another article just on “secret communications” but I’m afraid that unless you could actually hear my tone of voice, you’d think I was a nut job. *grin*
Finally, I think a lot of folks overlook the fact that good physical strength may be necessary for effective communication as well. A hundred years ago paper and pencil weren’t as critical as a good horse, but that may very well change if we encounter a serious communication interruption in this century. Getting critical information to key individuals may be a matter of having the legs and appropriate equipment to hoof it from one location to another. In light of this communication aspect, I strongly recommend that you make plans NOW as to how you will initially communicate with the individuals in your life that you care about and/or plan to connect with in the event of a crisis.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Preparedness Week 17

Can you believe it?  We only have one week left to receive the Ten Principles of Preparedness from Kellene Bishop at

Ten Principles of Preparedness–Part 9

As one really delves into the 10 Principles of Preparedness, it will become apparent that regardless of the need for prioritization of the various principles they are all inseparable and necessarily make an impact on each other. For example, Mental Preparednesshas an impact on all of the others where skill and experience is necessary; Fuel Preparedness is nearly useless if a competence in using the various fuels is absent. Proper Food Preparedness will help to strengthen Medical Preparedness by nature of the quality of foods we consume. As such, when it comes to focusing on FinancialPreparedness, a great deal of the heavy lifting of this Principle is actually accomplished simply by implementing the previous Principles.

For example, Food Preparedness isn’t just about preparing for a time when food may become more scarce, but most importantly it has a great deal to do with stabilizing our food budgets. What you are able to purchase today at a great price is still that great price 5 years from now, thus counteracting the negative impact of a cyclical economic culture. This strengthens Financial Preparedness. Learning and applying alternative medical in our life minimizes our exposure to skyrocketing medical care costs, health insurance rates, and the heavy burden of pharmaceuticals. In fact, medical expenses are the number one reason for bankruptcy filings. Clearly if one can get a better grasp on their health, it will have a positive impact on their Financial Preparedness principle. These are the more simpler aspects of this principle though. Other components of Financial Preparedness tend to be much bigger mountains to climb.
First of all, eliminate all debt, even that of a mortgage. In a world that actually penalizes a person for not having taken on “enough debt” by way of a low credit score, such fiscal discipline may seem quite peculiar to most persons. Some may even feel so strongly about the necessity and virtues in their incursion of debt that they may feel compelled to write hateful and vitriolic messages to me every time I take such a stand. But the indisputable facts are that debt is voluntary enslavement and no mountain of social acceptance and encouragement will change that. Ironically, it wasn’t too long ago that the economy of human slave trafficking was considered to be a political sacred cow in this nation, not to be messed with even in the name of honor; yet somehow we found our way through to where we are today—with the proper belief that enslavement of any kind is wrong and clearly not how mankind was intended to live. Some fiercely believe the notion that their debt is actually a wise financial strategy thanks to the “tax write-offs” which come as a result, when in fact such write-offs are simply paid for through the work efforts of our fellowmen. Oh, Fiddle-sticks! One way or another debt enslaves us and thus is contrary to the honorable state of men made up of independence and self-reliance.
Continuing on with the aspect of owing a debt, some believe that having debt is the best way to enter into an economic collapse believing that if such a collapse were to occur that the requirement for the payment of all debts would cease. Such a belief does not take into consideration the acts of desperate men, men who are accustomed to having great power and influence in the world around them, not being victims and subject to the laws of reality. It doesn’t require much of an imagination to appreciate that under such desperate circumstances, large corporations will find other ways to squeeze payment from their signatories, even if it’s through the aid of our very own neighbors who might easily be persuaded by these desperate corporations to conduct themselves in a dishonorable manner in hopes that their own desperate plight might be abated in exchange for such work. Desperate people do desperate things and as such we have no reason to believe that any crisis event short of the Lord’s Second Coming would do anything to absolve us of our debts. My mom always said to me, “if you never find yourself at a bar, then you’re never likely to find yourself in a bar brawl.” I have applied this wisdom to other areas of my life, including in this aspect of Financial Preparedness. “If I don’t owe money to any man, then I’m not likely to find myself subjected to the desperate acts of men to extract that money from me.”
Financial independence rarely requires a financial windfall for success, rather we can find freedom simply through the modification of our spending habits. Such discipline adjustments can make a much more significant impact on the strengthening of our financial state than any potential lottery winnings. For example, if an average family of four were to reduce their restaurant eating to just once a month rather than the average of 3-5 times per week, they would save the cost of over 827 quality, delicious, and nutritious meals each year—3,956 servings if a focused couponing strategy is made a part of the weekly grocery shopping. By creating weekly menus based on what we already have on hand and restricting our grocery purchases to sale items only, we can literally fill our shelves 10 times faster on the same, if not reduced grocery budget. If we convince ourselves that we don’t have to see a particular movie the moment it’s released in the theaters, and instead wait until such entertainment costs us a single dollar, then we can save an additional $300 per year. If we learned how to preserve food properly in our freezers, refrigerators and on our shelves, each home in American would save approximately $575 per year by eliminating the average amount of wasted food. Likewise we can all give ourselves a substantial raise simply by working part-time hours in an at-home business and generate an additional income of at least $10,800 per year on average. Focusing on wellness and prevention medicine will save the average family a minimum of $2,300 in out-of-pocket medical costs, co-pays, and insurance premium hikes. Grooming our own dogs will save $780 a year on average and planting our own vegetable garden saves the average family over $1,440 per year, not counting the peace of mind we reap in knowing what’s in our food and the increased amount of vegetables and fruit which will be consumed due to it being more readily available. Between gardening, grooming, cooking, preserving, couponing, and working an at home business, an average of only 18 hours a week can generate a combined income and savings of $18,014.40 per year which translates into a rate of $19.24 per hour. Unfortunately, most of us don’t value our time and talents anywhere near that much. Imagine what can happen to our financial strength if we eliminate the constant presence of interest-bearing debts on top of this savings?
Another aspect of Financial Preparedness is being ready for any possible “hiccup” in your flow of income and your ability to access and use it to obtain the items you need. One of my hard and fast rules is that I do not keep any more money in the bank than what I need to cover the payment of utilities and any other obligations. Otherwise I use cash, not checks, just cash. If I need to send a check or a money order and using my debit card is not an option, I will take advantage of my banks “Pay Your Bills Online” option or purchase a money order. I also suggest that everyone have at least 90 day’s worth of expenses set aside in savings and whenever permissible, and pay utilities such as electric, sewer, property taxes, and water bills one year in advance. Yes, these costs are likely to change along the way; but I’d rather deal with a small change in the event of a financial collapse or job loss rather than having those additional expenses on my head. Also, I’d rather make use of the questionable currency we have at present as much as possible before its value becomes seriously compromised. I also recommend that $500 for each person in your family is set aside in small bills (no bigger than a $10 bill) and kept in a safe place outside of the banks for true emergencies.
Rather than allowing persons of unearned trust handle my money and my future, I prefer to invest in commodities myself which I know are essential now and will be essential in the future regardless of what happens on Wall Street. This involves having all of the tangible items necessary in each of the Ten Principles of Preparedness, taking care to be sure that I have enough and to spare so that with these items I might be able to purchase other items which I may need later, via bartering transactions. If I am fortunate enough to have all of those types of needs taken care of then my next step would be to invest in land, paid for free and clear, so that I can use such an asset to farm produce and raise cattle—because I’m quite certain there will never come a day on this earth in which we don’t need food. After all that, then, and only then, would I invest in precious metals at this present time.
Financial Preparedness is about what every other Principle of Preparedness is about—independence from vulnerabilities. An honest assessment of what your financial vulnerabilities are at present will most certainly lead you to the proper path of Financial Preparedness for your personal needs and wants.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Welcome to Relief Society

Monroe Ward                                                    June 2012

"Worthiness to hold a temple recommend gives us the strength to keep our temple covenants. How do we personally gain that strength? We strive to obtain a testimony of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the reality of the Atonement, and the truthfulness of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Restoration. We sustain our leaders, treat our families with kindness, stand as a witness of the Lord’s true Church, attend our Church meetings, honor our covenants, fulfill parental obligations, and live a virtuous life. You may say that sounds like just being a faithful Latter-day Saint! You are right. The standard for temple recommend holders is not too high for us to achieve. It is simply to faithfully live the gospel and follow the prophets." Elder Robert D. Hales

Up Coming Events
 10 -  Pot Luck
11-14 Young Women’s Camp
17 – Father’s Day

June Lesson Schedule
 3 – Relief Society Presidency
10 – “Revelation from God to His Children” P.111-122
17 – “An Enthusiastic Desire to Share the Gospel” P. 123 -134
24 - “How to Obtain Inspiration and Revelation for your Personal Life”

June Birthdays
1   - Beck McCready
11 - Dayna Burgos
14 - Krystin Harper Myles
14 - Sena Clark
19 - Norma Wicklund
20 - Rhonda Carpenter
27 - Sandee Clawson
29 - Rhonda Johnson
Happy Birthday Sisters!
"Relief Society stands for love. What a remarkable thing it is to witness the love of good women one for another. They mingle together in the bonds of love with friendship and respect for each other. This organization is actually the only resource that many women have for friendly association.
"It is the natural instinct of women to reach out in love to those in distress and need."
"When compared to eternal verities, most of the questions and concerns of daily living are really rather trivial. What should we have for dinner? What color should we paint the living room? Should we sign Johnny up for soccer? These questions and countless others like them lose their significance when times of crisis arise, when loved ones are hurt or injured, when sickness enters the house of good health, when life’s candle dims and darkness threatens. Our thoughts become focused, and we are easily able to determine what is really important and what is merely trivial."
—President Thomas S. Monson, "The Race of Life", General Conference, Apr. 2012