November 2, 2014

Pretty real looking -- these hot dogs and onion fingers!
What a week!   We helped a bit more with the moving of a branch family.   We did some calling, scheduling and purchasing for some humanitarian projects.  

Tuesday evening the elders turned their English classes into a Halloween party.  After the prayer and thought, they told about Halloween in America and then taught the class all the English Halloween words and played some games.  We had quite a group there and had a fun time.  One of the elders made pumpkin soup, I made some bread and pumpkin cookies.  Someone who attends the classes brought brownies and someone else brought the ‘fingers’ shown above; there was candy for prizes, so all were well treated!

We visited several people this week – a sister who lost her husband and another less active sister.  We drove out to a village 50k away to have dinner at the home of Brother and Sister Gutschow (our German couple) so I could visit teach her.  We continue with having branch members to dinner on Sunday; today was a sister and her young daughter -- and a set of elders so we can communicate!

Friday evening was a branch Halloween party.   It was to be potluck.  We had a good turnout, but let’s just say it is a good thing I took a rather large dinner-in-a-pumpkin.  Here are some photos of branch members carving jack-o-lanterns.  We then played Halloween Bingo and cleaned up.  It was our turn to clean the building; we managed to get a little help before everyone left. 

Daytime view of a cemetery
November 1st is a Hungarian holiday – Day of the Dead, All Soul’s Day or Day of Remembrance.  You know this day because it is also celebrated much the same way in Mexico.  “Instead of glorifying the world of the dead by dressing up in ghoulish apparel, the Hungarians first honor the dead saints and then go and visit the hallowed ground where their past family members have been laid to rest,” much like our Memorial Day. 

The last two or three weeks there have been lots of red and white candles for sale in all the stores.  There wasn’t any Christmas out yet, and they don’t have any Halloween things, so we wondered what they were for.  Then this week, there were flowers for sale all over.  November 1st is really their Memorial Day.  So, last night we took a walk to the cemetery to see.   It is a huge cemetery and I think all the graves had candles on them – even in the World War I section. 

As you can see there were many candles outside the mausoleum and around a memorial statue for Christ.  As we walked through we did remember our own family members who have passed away.

The other happening this week that has required our thoughts, prayers, and fasting.  Long story short, our son, Michael and wife, Erin, were contacted by their case worker a week ago Thursday to say they had been chosen by a birth mother for adoption.  Would they consider a baby girl due in January that would be born with Gastroschisis, a congenital defect in the abdominal wall that doesn’t close and allows inner organs to protrude at birth.  They were told this condition is reparable.  They said they would consider.  On Saturday they received a call that the baby had been born early that morning – at 30 weeks and 2 pounds, 4 ounces!   What a shock!  

Everything has happened so fast.  They spent some VERY emotional days at Primary Children’s Medical Center and with the birth families this week.  They signed papers to adopt Carlee Rose Miller.  Since then there are further issues with the intestines that were protruding.  They were re-inserted, which caused some strain.  Carlee then stabilized and seemed to be ‘holding her own.’  When they went in to close the opening they found that a small section of the intestines had died and another part was damaged.  Part had to be removed.  Currently they are watching her for a week or two and have not closed the opening.  Carlee will probably need to have feeding tubes for several years and maybe forever – depending whether or not the rest of her intestines function and grow well.  Thank goodness for Primary Children’s Medical Center.  We have Michael and another grand daughter because of their wonderful care and expertise.   As you can imagine, Michael and Erin are struggling with the reality of what all that this means.  Through all that we have done this week, our thoughts are really in Utah with them as they make this very eternal decision.   And yes, we would accept and appreciate any additional thoughts and prayers in their behalf.

There is no doubt that our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ hear and answer prayers.  They are concerned about the details of our lives.  We are so grateful for this knowledge.  We are also grateful for the privilege and opportunity to seek comfort and peace through the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

1 comment:

  1. Probably hard to be so far away during this emotional time. We send our thought and best wishes in your direction.
    On a different note, it is interesting how the eve of All Hallows became the big celebration in the US. Dia de los Muertos is catching on here, however: featured on the Google homepage today. Happy post-All Hallows Eve and Day of the Dead to y'all.
    Interesting and poignant post.