Thursday, September 26, 2013

There's No One Like Louie Armstrong
We heard a young man singing What  A Wonderful World made famous by Louie Armstrong's amazing voice and style. That's one inspiring set of lyrics!   I read that it took three different individuals to come up with these lyrics and they surely did a great job!
Whenever one might be feeling down, just crank up the volume and listen to a very uplifting song.  It will touch you every time. Promise.

"I see trees of roses too.
I see 'em bloom...for me and for you.
And I think to myself...what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue...clouds of white
Bright blessed days...dark sacred nights.
And I think to myself...what a wonderful world.

The colors of a pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces...of people going by.
I see friends shaking hands...sayin' how do you do.
They're really sayin"...I love you.

I hear babies cry...I watch them grow.
They'll learn much more...than I'll ever know.
And I think to myself...what a wonderful world!

It's a beautiful world out there.  Let's pause a moment today, go outside, take in some fresh air, and really look at this beautiful planet.  This planet, our earth, was made for us by our Father in Heaven and we certainly have the privilege of being appreciative of it.

Our Planet Isn't The Only Thing Out There
People are pretty important too and we are meeting some special individuals. To give you an idea of some of these wonderful people,  we'll start off with a young lady taking a picture of her  beautiful horses. She told us that the older horse was bought on the day she was born and the younger horse was born from the older horse.  She related that no price would ever be high enough for her to sell these horses.
Then there is an older German lady whose father fought in the German Army during the Russian Campaign in WWII.  She related how those years were VERY difficult.
How about the man who works at food concession stands in the good weather and plays Santa Claus in the winter. 
Or the rodeo family where a son and brother was quite well known in the rodeo circuit.  Intriguing was the hunter's wife who says that hunting chukkers (game birds) is a real tricky thing because the chukkers are very crafty birds.
One of the most interesting was the lady whose family bought an old Friend's Church (Quakers)! We got to see some of it.  Their living room was the former chapel and their family room was the former cultural hall. You should see the school room she's set up where she homeschools her daughter.  There is a library on the third floor where she (a former school librarian) has a collection of thousands of books.  Amazing!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Miracles and Blessings Surround Us
Happiness comes from what we focus on - not whether or not life is fair!
Hold fast to what you DO know and stand strong until ADDITIONAL knowledge comes to you.

McCall welcomes you in style with a mountain log sign.  Here's Elder Masters at a beautiful beach with an accompanying promenade at Payette Lake's south shore. Notice the sail boats in the background. Very nice indeed.
If one is a skier, Brundage Mountain,six miles from McCall, offers great skiing from about mid November to mid May.  There's a 1,550-foot drop to the valley floor. Yikes!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Payette River - Isn't This Beautiful?
Payette River On The Way To McCall Idaho

Last Monday on our preparation day 9/9/13, we drove to McCall, Idaho to celebrate my upcoming birthday.  The white-water  Payette River borders the highway making for a great drive along Highway 55 to McCall. McCall is on the south shore of Payette Lake and  is one of Idaho's most  popular recreation areas.  McCall has cabin, motel, and hotel accomodations as well as a campground at nearby Ponderosa State Park. We drove aroiund the 25 mile shoreline the eastern portion of which was a gravel road.  Nearby is Little Payette Lake which fishermen use in the winter for ice fisihing.  We'd like to see that this winter!.

Friday, September 13, 2013

What Is My Anchor In Life?
We meet loads of new people each day.  As we talk to them  (for the most part by far fine people), it's interesting through our conversation to discover what appears to be their anchor in life.
We've observed that for some it is God, our  Father in Heaven; for others it's sports, family, poliics, career, their home, community involvement, social status,etc., or a combination of these things.
At times it might be of benefit to invite ourself to pause and observe ourself  through the years to note what makes us tick.  What helps us get through life's rough spots and great challenges?
The answer might boast our self confidence, might prompt us to make some changes to better benefit ourselves and others, or the answer might again be a combination of the above!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Lost Has Been Found
Before our mission, we went to great lengths to choose just the right scripture as the main scripture to lead us along throughout our 18 months. Finally we found the perfect fit. We turned in the scripture to the bishopric to be put on our missionary plaque.  Things were going fine until we realized that we had forgotten which scripture we had picked!
Kathy Beeder checked for us this past Sunday (thank you, Kathy!) and now the mystery is solved!
The scripture is Doctrine and Covenants 81:5.  It reads as follows.
"Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you;
succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees." Now, as we told the Beeders, that the scripture has been found all we have to do is muster the strength to live it!  We'll give it our best.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Another Birthday
Today is my birthday.When I really think about it, I've had the good fortune to see 67 seasons of the year, 67 holidays, and the best part is that I've spent them all with those I love and cherish.  What could be better?  There are those who shy away from their birthday and their age jokingly which is fine. We all do.  But in reality what a special day to pause a bit and recollect the wisdom, joys, sorrows, trials, insights, etc of the past.  Birthdays really are special days after all!

Fellow Masters Missionary
At the same time we are serving a mission here in the Nampa, Idaho area, our grandson, William Andrew Masters, Jr., is serving also in the Jacksonville, Florida area.  This is a special thing because both the young and the "more seasoned" are serving others together.  What a great thing!

Monday, September 9, 2013

I Believe, Help Thou My Unbelief
Remember the story in Mark 9:17-27 of the father of the child with a dumb and deaf spirit within him?  The father first said to Jesus, "...have compassion on us, and help us".
Then Jesus said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth".
The father said, "Lord, I believe.  Help thou my unbelief".
I don' know about you, but when I read this scripture verse, I think "That's me"!
This certainly says it all, doesn't it?  The father starts off with simply stating his strength which is a good idea. Then he asks for help with his weakness which is also a good, if not great, idea.  How did the father think to condense it all in one sentence? EVERY TIME
I read or hear this scripture, I feel within me my faith and confidence in the Lord strengthened.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Chicken Dinner Road
You may have noticed a picture of the Chicken Dinner Road sign. The story behind the name is that a Mr. and Mrs. Lamb were friends of the Idaho governor in the 1930's.  They complained about the road and wanted the governor to do something to improve it. They discussed all this over a fried chicken dinner cooked by Mrs. Lamb. Hence, the road was named Chicken Dinner Road!

Steunenberg Historic District
My morning walks are taken in this historic district. The district includes 16 homes, the College of Idaho, and a Carnegie Library. The College of Idaho has three of its buildings listed on the National Register of  Historic Places.
Steunenberg was a past Idaho governor who was murdered in 1905 in this district by a violent labor activist. As I mentioned before, I love the old homes in this area.

Service - A Source Of Joy
One source of joy is service, for when you are busy helping others, you will have less capacitiy to agonize over your own shortcomings.

You will experience greater joy in life as you eradicate adult-onset pessimism and substitute childlike optimism.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Thanks To Our Son Jim
One of our sons, Jim, set up this missionary blog for us when he, Lana, and family came to Utah for our missionary farewell.  One cannot calculate the number of times we have, and no doubt will,,in the future be calling Jim at various and sundry times with the first words out of our mouths being "HELP"! 
He always comes to the rescue with patience and reassurance.  However, one time I had made a grammatical error and didn't know how to correct it once it was published.  Knowing how I am a stickler for good grammar, he said teasingly something like "It can't be fixed. You're going to have to live with it".  To which I said something like "What, I'm trying not to be OCD, but this is going over the top"!  Thank you, Jim, for all your help. We love you.

Our Missionary Journal
This blog is in effect our missionary journal so it fulfills a dual purpose to keep all our family and friends appraised of our experiences.  When our mission is completed, we hope to have a bound book made as part of our family history. I have a special missionary journal for more personal thoughts and experiences, but this is the main log we are keeping.
Stretching Exercises For Joints
At the MTC we were shown a health DVD for senior missionaries.  Among many things, stretching and exercising every joint in your body twice a day was recommended. I haven't found the time to do this twice a day, but have been able to spare a few minutes each morning for the exercises.  The exact way one was to do this was not presented so I made up some exercises and went for it.  So as not to offend any joint, I exercise even parts of the face whether it is a "joint" or not.  One cannot imagine how many joints and otherwise you can discover in the body.  It is great advice.  I'd recommend it to all seniors.  It doesn't take long and it gets rid of the morning soreness and stiffness big time.   Norm doesn't do it because he's afraid something will fall off!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Morning Walk In Old Caldwell
It is a peaceful morning in Caldwell and not hot yet! Our apartment is one block from the historic district.  The home architects of old put our modern home architects to shame, in my opinion.  I don't know that much about architecture, but my eyes show me the endless creativity of the old styles with innumerable roof lines going here, there, and everywhere! There are multiple gables, real and faux, on any side of the house imaginable.  Stained glass and cut glass windows peek out at the most inconspicuous places.  Wow, am I in my element!  I LOVE this.  Of course, we are so busy that I'm fortunate to get one walk in a week at this point.  SIgh.
We love being near (less than a block and in sight) the College of Idaho  as we mentioned earlier. It is comforting that there is a place of learning so near us with cultural events to add to the learning element. Not that we have a spare minute to take advantage of these things with our missionary contacts being the reason we're here. But we do know that good things are very close and that makes all the difference.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Largest Senior Misssionary Group at the MTC Ever as of 8/9/13 Arriving in Idaho Ready to Work!

The Center Of Our Lives
We all make mistakes!  That's a given. But when we center our lives around our Savior, He gives us strength to face our challenges through His atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross.
Preparation Day
Last Monday, August 26th, we got permission from President Cannon to go into the Boise area to visit church services facilities with the thought that this information may be useful to some of the people we visit.  It isn't essential, but we didn't want to direct people to these resources without having been there ourselves.  We visited and introduced ourselves to the leaders at Boise Deseret Industries, Employment Resources, LDS Family Services, and the Church Cannery in nearby Garden City. We were impressed, as always, with the help available to LDS members and non-members alike  to improve their lives and the lives of their families!

Another Day In The Country
We were making our way through the mazes of country directions and, of course, once again couldn't find a particular address. Mind you, MANY of the homes don't have numbers on them!  We saw this barn shaped building and thought it might help.  When we got close enough to read the lettering, we were shocked to read CLIFFORD'S DOG HOUSE. Norm looked at me and said, " I think we have been doing this too long"!

Cookies, Our Trademark
When we were in the MTC, we learned that one couple in years past were known as the caramel popcorn missionaries.  They brought their popcorn maker to the mission and made popcorn all over the place - even at local high school games!  We looked at each other and wondered what WE could do for a trademark.  Well, at our first Zone Conference, President Cannon introduced me as the "Cookie Sister". Thus we found the answer to our trademark problem!  You should have seen some of the missionary's faces when the word "cookie" was mentioned. As they used to say in  the Laurel and Hardy movies, "You're onto something, Ollie"!   I make  cookies each month for our district meetings with the young missionaries.  We went the extra mile and bought a cookie book, Best Ever Cookies.  It has a section on old- fashioned cookies which are my FAVORITE.  Each month will feature a new cookie recipe. So far so good.