Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Keep Those Potatoes Coming
You name it, potatoes baked,boiled, scalloped, fried, french fried, julienned, potato patties, potato salad, hash brown, tater tots, mashed, or twice baked are all in the tip top yummy category.  Hurray for Idaho!
Elder Norm and Sister Christine Masters     Where Else?  Idaho Nampa Mission 2014

Marble Is Beautiful, Isn't It?
Who does not admire a beautiful piece of marble, large or small?  Who is not impressed with a beautiful marble sculpture? 

I vividly remember tears involuntarily springing to my eyes when I first saw Michelangelo's Pieta in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy. 
How does one explain such beauty brought to the natural eye in such a powerful way?

In a less dramatic experience, I remember conscioiusly vowing to etch in my brain a particularly beautiful Carrara marble fireplace at the Filoli Gardens in Woodside, California.

Wait a minute.  What makes marble so beautiful?  Is it the lack of imperfections?  No!
If marble was perfectly clear and  devoid of the dark lines and flaws, it would have the appearance of being artificial and plastic.  The truth is that the imperfections themselves are what comprise its beauty!

In a similar manner, we too can be beautiful - just like the marble- not beacause we have no memories of our past sins or imperfections, but very literally because we do!
Our sincere repentance and the great power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ figuratively polishes our imperfections over time!
Yes, marble is beautiful, isn't it? 

In like manner, we, too, can be beautiful through sincere sorrow for our sins and the infinite power of the Atonement of Our Savior Jesus Christ!

Comparison of marble and sincere repentance shared by our grandson. Elder William A. Masters, Jr., of the Jacksonville, Florida Mission from an email from his mission president.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Sad Morning
Whenever it becomes necessary for a grand, noble tree to be uprooted, it is always a sad event for me.  But such was the case a few days ago in Wilder as, in fact, an entire row of such trees were being removed to make way for the planting of a vineyard.

As I spotted one such tree on its side giving the best horizontal shot of this beauty from the ends of its root to its very top, I got out of the car and as quickly as possible got a few good shots.  It wasn't until the young operator got out of the cab and started walking toward me that I got worried.  But it turned out that he was very friendly even to the point of asking me if I wanted him to drive the tree a little closer for a better picture!

He said that the row of trees near the road needed to be removed because, if by chance one of them would fall, it would cause a costly amount of damage to the grape vines.
He expressed concern about two trees in the row which were particularly large and wondered how he would be able to remove them since he was doing this task alone.

But a few days later, we noted that the trees were all removed so he accomplished his task in the "job well done" category.  We left a picture of the tree taped to the cab and hoped it would be meaningful to him.

Sometimes in life we have to make changes that are difficult, such as the tree removal, but that overall are to our benefit.  Although the process is painful, the end result proves well for our greater good. 
Panoramic View, If You Will, Of A Well-Established Tree Being Removed
Wilder, Idaho   2014

A Venerable Old Tree Removed, Roots And All, To Make Way For A Vineyard

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Irish Blessing
May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.
Wearing Of The Green
Brandon And Kevin Masters     St. Patrick's Day  March 17, 2014

May You Always Walk In Sunshine
Brandon and Kevin Masters

Preparing For Easter
With Easter coming next month, President Cannon, our mission president, focused our Idaho Nampa Mission Quarterly Zone Conference of March 13, 2014 on the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Our Savior Jesus Christ, in His perfected, resurrected body, has chosen to retain the wounds of the Crucifixion in His hands and in His feet and in His side.  He has chosen these to be the symbols of His Messianic mission.  The reason He carries these symbols in His hands, feet, and side is evidence that there is sacrifice involved in serving God, our Eternal Father.

We will not have the Savior's pain.  We will not have His sorrow.  Only He could and only He did feel that degree.  But the symbolism matters, and we are asked not to ask to get by without paying at least some little piece of that price.

As Christians, our message to the world is that Jesus died for our sins and that we might be victorious over physical death.   He was the first to rise from the dead that first Easter morning and we will also rise from the dead to have our bodies and spirits reunited forever.

Christ is the Resurrected Lord.

Teach The Atonement       Elder Jeffrey R. Holland       Missionary Training Center      Provo, Utah     2000

We love God, our Eternal Father.  We love Jesus Christ, our personal Savior.  We love the Holy Ghost who testifies to us of the Father and the Son.
Idaho Nampa Zone Conference           March 13, 2014
Elder And Sister Masters
Sister Aamodt And Sister Wright

St. Patrick's Day Regalia Sent By Our Friend Diane Fore

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mother And Son United In A Good Cause
Elijah Bryan Rodriguez        Rebecca Anne Rodriguez

Disneyland Is A Good Place To Be
Nicholas, Diego, Elijah Rodriguez

In The Company Of A Vintage Car
Elijah Rodriguez        

Notice The Perfect Color Match Of Wheelchair And Pick Up
Timothy Tyler Rodriguez

Mormon Island        Folsom Lake        Folsom California
Nicholas, Timothy, Elijah Rodriguez

A Happy Family
Dave, Monalisa, Thomas, Catherine, and Tessa in their new home in North Ogden, Utah.
There is nothing like being part of a happy family!

The Wald Family
Dave, Monalisa, Thomas, Catherine, Tessa

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happiness Is Being Brothers
Brandon, Kevin, and Ryan Masters, sons of Matthew and Amber Masters, give a glimpse of what it means to be brothers.
Looking Up To My Big Brother
Ryan David Masters        Brandon Lee Masters

Sometimes Things Don't Go So Well For Some Reason
Ryan David Masters          Brandon Lee Masters

Happy To Be Brothers
Kevin Ray Masters          Ryan David Masters

Watch Out Wall Street               Here I Come
Ryan David Masters

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Potatoes  Potatoes  Potatoes
What could be more exciting than serving the Lord in the Idaho Nampa Mission?
Excited To Be On An LDS Mission In Idaho
Potato Country     Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Love Those Potatoes
Happines Is Serving In The Idaho Nampa Mission

Potato Fun   -    Even With Eyes Closed

The Basque People
I've been interested in the Basque people ever since we would have dinner at the Shepherders Inn, a Basque restaurant in Rancho Cordova, California.  We loved the great tasting family style dinners.

After some research, I learned that there were many Basque people in Nevada.  Reno held a major Basque Festival each year.  Now and again on our way to and from Utah, we would have dinner at a Basque restaurant in Elko, Nevada.

When we arrived in Idaho, we learned that Boise and Idaho itself have the largest concentration of Basque people in the United States!  Argentina has the largest group of Basques in the world - even larger than the Basque region itself! 

The Basques have been seeking freedom from Spain for years.  The Basque region is in northern Spain, with a few provinces in France, by the Pyrenees Mountains and the Bay of Biscay on the Atlantic Ocean. The Basque language is the oldest in Europe.
The Basque People Dancing With Pride For Their Country  -  The Basque Region Of Spain And France

Basque Dancers       Homedale, Idaho       Saturday, March 8, 2014

Proud To Be Basque

The Higher The Basque Men Dancers Kick, The Louder The Crowd Cheers
Notice The Bells Attached To the Men Dancers' Leggings

Proud, Precise, And Uniform

Love, Respect, Honor, And Loyalty To The Flag Of The Basque Region
Longing For Freedom From Spain And France

Pretty As A Picture
Red, White, And Green Are The Colors Of The Basque Flag

Saturday, March 8, 2014

"Praise ye the Lord.

 Praise ye the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heights...Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens...Let them praise the name of the Lord; for He commanded , and they were created...He hath stablished them for ever and ever; He hath made a decree which shall not pass...Let them praise the name of the Lord: for His name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven.

Praise ye the Lord."
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork."
Psalm 19:1


Forever And Ever
    Caldwell Idaho        Friday March 7, 2014

Celestial Heights

Mixed Up And Flung Forth

Journey Into The Clouds

Here We Go A'Sailing

Monday, March 3, 2014

Curses! Foiled Again!
Picture last Friday morning.  We had just finished teaching an early morning lesson and were driving to our weekly district meeting in a most timely manner.  In other words, we were going to be on time!

Lake Lowell Reservoir looked especially resplendent and calm.  Our peaceful feelings were disrupted by traffic being curtailed by a large group, estimated by Norm to be in the neighborhood of 1,000, of sheep being herding across the Lake Lowell Bridge!

The skillful and quick manner in which the shepherds, sheep dogs, and the sheep themselves worked together culminated in the flock arriving totally organized in the field below within minutes. Needless to say, we were very impressed.

However, as we looked at the sheep as a group, our eyes came upon one sheep in the midst of that thousand or so who lost its balance and tumbled over several times!  The sheep got up and attempted immediately to rejoin the flock.  But, to our concern, it got caught in a fence and was struggling to get free. Since the traffic began moving, we were not able to witness the fate of this lost sheep, but we have confidence that one of the shepherds came to its rescue.

One cannot be familiar with the Parable of the Lost Sheep in Matthew 18:12-14 of the New Testament and not draw a comparison between the lost sheep in the parable and the sheep caught in the fence since both were in desperate need of rescue by their shepherd.

"How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?"
What's Going On?  This Is Not Rural Greece In the 1930's For Heaven's Sake!
Traffic Comes To A Dead Halt As Some 1,000 Or So Sheep Are Being Herded Across A Bridge By Lake Lowell Reservoir!

We Have A  Respect And Awe For All Involved In The Herding Of Approximately 1,000 Sheep Off The Bridge And Onto The Ajoining Field In An Orderly, Organized, And Seemingly Effortless Manner!
Kudos To The Sheep, The Shepherds, And The Sheep Dogs.

Are These Guys Good Looking Or What?  How On Earth Can They Look So Relaxed After The Commotion Of Three Shepherds And Five Sheep Dogs Of Just A Few Seconds Ago Attempting To Get Them All In Sync And Off To Their New Destination?

All Appears To Be Going Well Until You Notice A Sheep At The Far Right In The Mid Section Who Is Caught In The Fence As It Attempts To Rejoin Flock.

Lake Lowell Reservoir Placid And Calm In All Its Splendor Just Seconds Prior To Our Encountering A Sizeable Herd Of Sheep On The Bridge Paralleling The Reservoir!

A Little Princess All Dressed In Pink
Sophia Ann Masters    2014

Elder William A. Masters, Jr.
Florida Jacksonville Mission   2014

Rescued!   Safe At Last In The Hands Of Elder Masters
Mormon Helping Hands
Florida Jacksonville Mission

Each Lick On That Ice Cream Scoop Is A Little Bit Of Heaven
    Brandon Lee Masters   2014

There's Nothing Like Being Brothers!    Ryan, Kevin, and Brandon Masters   2014

Life Is Full Of Awesome Surprises!   Ryan David Masters  2014

Happiness Is Ice Cream All Over Our Mouths So We Can Really Relish The Experience! 
Kevin Ray Masters    2014

Called To Serve
A true mission is total dedication to the glory of Our Creator and to the service of our fellow man.

No words can better describe our lives from August 5, 2013 to February 5, 2015 when we are in the full time service of the Master than Section 4 of our book of scripture entitled The Doctrine and Covenants.

These words of  scripture describe the ideals of valiant service to the Lord, the calling of  missionary service, the total dedication required, service to give glory to God, and the personal qualities required to accomplish His work of the immortality and eternal life of man.

"Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve Him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not but bringeth salvation to his soul.
And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.