Norma Goodwin Bray Journal for 1979
Norma Goodwin Bray Journal for 1979

Saturday 6 January 1979

Speech Festival.

  

Sunday 7 January 1979

Fast & Testimony meeting today.  I enjoyed giving my thanks to Heavenly Father in public because I have so much to be thankful for.  I am so glad I am a member of this church, it has helped me find a peace and happiness I didn’t know existed.  Not that life doesn’t have problems, but I can face them knowing some of the answers and learning every week more ways of living the way Heavenly Father wants me to.  

I realize how much I have changed over the past years, for I now have a part time job which takes me out of my home and mixing with people: a lot of them schoolchildren.  The standard of these people seemed so low to me at first, I had to overcome a repulsion for them, and try to remember they didn’t have the Gospel to guide them.  Some of them are lovely, generous people, but tossed about by the devil.  I feel helpless.  I try to set a good example and talk about the church when I can without being pushy.  

Gary is growing up and having a few problems about keeping commandments.  The Bishop had a long talk with him today.  I hope he will gain strength from knowing a man cares about what he does.  Bishop [Peter Harold] Leonard is such a good man and so full of love for us all. 

I am worried about my callings at the moment.  I feel I have too many, yet I love the Lord and want to serve him well.  I love to teach Spiritual Living in Relief Society.  It helps me learn so much, and I really enjoy my Targeteer class in Primary, and my Deaf Class in Sunday School love me so much I wouldn’t want to be released from them.  The calling as APA President is fun and I like being with the kids, but I feel I haven’t got enough time to organize properly, especially for Stake events, of which there are too many.  Perhaps I don’t delegate properly.  I must organize myself better and use my counsellors more.  

I have promised to try harder with my church work.  I am also going to commit myself to improvement in many ways this coming year.  

  

  •  I am going to get rid of all the rubbish I can out of my home; 
  •  I am going to be a better mother, being more aware of my children’s feelings; 
  •  I am going to slim and look after myself better; 
  •  I am going to read as much as I can; 
  •  I am going to fast more often and try to get closer to my Heavenly Father; 
  •  and I am going to learn a trade if I can get a baby-minder for Gary and Joanne.  

That’s a lot to do but quite possible if I organize myself properly and ask the Lord for help.

  

Monday 8 January 1979

Gary won the speech festival for deacon age group on Sat.  He read from a book called “Where the Red Fern grows.”  He was the only deacon in the festival, but the man who judged who was a theatre owner said his marks were so high he would probably have won anyway.  

Karen gave me some lovely news this Christmas: she is pregnant again.  

I received a letter from Pamela this morning.  You can tell the way she writes that she is very happy.  I am so glad.

  

Sunday 14 January 1979

Karen rang me yesterday.  I was feeling very low.  The Lord must prompt my children when I need them.  

  

I forgot to record the UFO we saw on 31st of DEC 1978. 

Gary, Joanne, and myself had walked home [from] church.  The time was about 10 past 7 in the evening.  The ground was icy with rather a lot of snow and ice; rather bad walking.  The air was frosty, the sky was clear, and the stars were sparkling in the sky.  We were at the end of our path when Joanne said, “Oh, look!”  Gary turned quickly and said, “Oh, that’s a shooting star.”  I thought as I struggled on the ice to turn, “It will be gone before I get a chance to see it.”  But when I did turn I saw a long dark, object glowing on either side with a long white hot flame coming from the back,, and red sparks flying from the end of that.  It went at a terrific pace across the valley and over the hill.  We watched for maybe a minute.  Next day we heard on the news that it was possibly a meteorite, which broke up over Hull.  It was quite an exciting event in our lives.

  

Last Thurs [ll January 1979]. 

I brought 2 girls from the school to baby sit Joanne as I was going to the Relief Society dinner.  Joanne told them a lot about the church.  Next day at school they asked me to write a note for them so they wouldn’t have to do PE.  I said, “No.  I can’t do that.  It’s dishonest.”  They said, “Sorry they forgot.  Of course I couldn’t.”  A little seed planted, I hope.

  

Sunday 25 February 1979

It has been a good weekend.  I visited the Temple on Sat and today’s church has been especially uplifting.  Last Sunday I was very depressed, but after much cosseting by the Sisters & Brethren, I came home feeling better.  Especially when we had sung that wonderful hymn, “How Firm a Foundation.”  I forget sometimes that I can always have a companion if I will only live worthily.  

I must control my anger with Gary.  How I wish he would learn to be obedient: life would be so much happier in our home.  

Joanne gave her first talk in Senior Sunday School today.  I felt so proud of her as she took no notes and smiled before she began and captured the hearts of the saints.  She spoke about Joseph Smith and how he loved his enemies.  We could all learn a lesson from that.  

Gary loves to work in the church.  He ushers and passes sacrament, and runs errands for the bishop.  I wish he would participate as willingly at home.  At least he loves to be at church, which is a great blessing.  

Pamela rang last night.  She is pregnant and has got an urge to knit.  She was having trouble following the pattern for some bootees, so she rang me to find out what the pattern meant.  It’s wonderful to be needed, even all that way to America. 

  

Saturday 3 March 1979

I visited my mother and Dodo today.  Maurice was there and I got an opportunity to talk about Jesus Christ.  I asked my mother if she was a Christian and if she believe Jesus was the Son of God.  She said sometimes she did and sometimes she wasn’t sure.  I think with the right influences she would be sure.  My mother is a very good woman.  She is so generous.  She wants to give things or do something for you all the time we are there.  I love her and pray I might be an influence in helping her accept the Gospel.  

Do-do quite shocked me.  I love her.  She has always been good to us, spent money on myself and brothers & sisters, and been almost like a second mother, but she has a closed mind.  She doesn’t like ‘Jews.’  When she was younger she worked with a Jewish family and had some bad experiences, I gather.  Her view is that all Jews are ‘grabbing’ people, who will do anything to get money and, as Jesus was a Jew, she is not prepared to have anything to do with him.

Sometimes we are all like this.  So blinded by our hate & distrust of someone or something that we can’t see the truth shining so brightly before us.  I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and I know that he died for us all and gave us all he had.  .  I know he lives today, and if we follow his teachings we can only find happiness.  What a different image one gets when knowledge is used.  I pray for Dodo, that her mind might be cleared and that she might gain a testimony of the Saviour.  Because it is only by believing on him can she be saved.

  

Friday 16 March 1979 

Went to night school for my second lesson in shorthand.  I am pleased at the progress I am making.  The lesson was cancelled tonight because the rods are blocked with snow again and our teacher didn’t get there.  It has been a long, hard winter with lots of snow & frost so thick on the window it didn’t melt until 11 in the morning, and not upstairs all day.

I don’t like the cold.  I often wish I lived in a nice warm, climate.   Earlier this month there was an eclipse in America.  We saw it on the television.  It was very impressive.  

I went to see Joanne’s school work & talk with her teacher on Thurs.  Her teacher said she has never had a pupil who tried as hard as Joanne does.  If she doesn’t understand something she goes to the teachers and says so.  Her teacher said, “She is a treasure.”  I think so too …

We have lots of things to do and make for a relief society diploma.  Last year’s [diploma] I did most things and didn’t get them signed.  This year I am going to try harder.  This week I made a cushion from patchwork.  It is very pretty.  Next week it is ‘Mothers’ Day’ so I will let Gary and Joanne give Nana it for a ‘Grandmothers’ present. 

We are sponsoring a little girl from SWAZILAND called PENZY N________.  She is 16 years old and will be able to go to school for a year.  She has 4 brothers and sisters and lives with her grandmother as her parents both died 3 years ago.  I was telling Joanne’s headmistress and she thought it would be a good idea to get the school children involved in something like this as it is the “Year of the Child” this year.  Wed as a family decided to sponsor a girl because one day she will be a mother, and if there is no money for schooling for her children she could teach them some things herself.  I am so grateful my children can go to school and get a good education.  We take too much for granted sometimes.

  

Sunday 25 March 1979

Lewis, Karen & baby Lewis came for the weekend.  It was Mothering Sunday yesterday.  On Sat we went to see Nana Goodwin & Dodo.  We took a chicken, a jar of home-made marmalade, and a cushion.  Then we wandered around Shipley Market.  It was great, I like Shipley.  Karen & Lewis brought me some flowers.  Joanne bought me a lovely tape measure, and Gary bought me a little necklace.  

We had a good service on Sunday at church.  It was nice to be able to show my grandson off, he is so cute.  On Sat night, Lewis sang a little song to him about horses.  He has a lovely voice.  He is so kind and thoughtful both to Karen and to me.

  

Hush a bye. Don’t you cry.
 Go to sleep you little baby.
When you wake you shall have 
all the pretty little horses.
  
Dapples and greys, pintos and bays, 
all the pretty little horses.
Way down yonder in the meadow, 
poor little baby crying, “Mama” 
  
Birds and the butterflies, 
flutter round his eyes,
poor little baby crying, “Mama.”

  

  

Easter 1979

After all the snow, hail, wind and rain at last some warm sunshine to brighten us all up just in time for the holidays.  I like Easter it is a wonderful spiritual time.  Sunday was lovely.  I felt uplifted.  

After the sacrament service Brother Barry [Barrie] Crossley wanted to interview me.  I couldn’t think why.  When he asked me to work in the Temple on Saturday visits I was so thrilled.  This is one of the times when I know I am so unworthy of the blessings the Lord pours on me.  

When I pray & struggle to overcome my bad temper and irritableness, the worse I seem to be.  We have such good lessons just meant for me especially in Relief Society and yet I can’t seem to put them into practice.  Oh, how I thank the Lord for Repentance.  Without it I would be lost.  If only I could overcome this weakness I would be so happy.

  

Saturday 28 April 1979

Practising for the Road Show is very tiring, but we seem to be making some progress.  It is called, “The Day I Discovered I was Mighty Mouse.”  To win is not my ambition, but to put a show on the youth will enjoy doing will be an achievement.  

Tonight went to Vesper Road.  John Jennings’ car broke down.  We had a prayer, and with John’s patience & skill and the Lord’s guidance, we got to the conference in time to hear Elder [Thomas S] Monson speak and to see the film, “Where Jesus Walked.”  What a spiritual uplift.  

Elder Monson spoke so well.  He said, “We are not released from our callings until the Lord says so, and we are not to seek after callings, but to do well the work we are asked to do.  Also to seek after good things.  If we look for trouble, we will find it; if we look for problems, we will find them; if we look for opportunities, we will find them; if we look for the right things, we will find them.”  

The film was very moving.  Elder Monson said that the tomb where Jesus was laid after being taken down from the cross is the one that people think it is [the Garden Tomb near Gordon’s Calvary].  David O McKay had a spiritual experience there and was told it was the place where Jesus was laid.  I have never heard a more heartfelt prayer as was said tonight at closing by the ?  Halifa president of the Harrogate branch, President Smith.  I know Heavenly Father could hear; it was almost like being in the same room.  The prayer was so expressive of how I felt: humble, repentant, and eager to try again, that I wept.  

I hope Karen had a nice Temple visit today.  As she is pregnant again it might be a while before she can go again.  I thank the Lord often for the way Karen has grown up, and for the good marriage partner she chose.  

I hope Pamela is alright.  It seems a while since I heard from her.  The Lord certainly blessed and guided her.  I don’t think she would have come back to church without Richard.  May the Lord always bless his efforts to keep her active.

  

Sunday 20 April 1979

What a feast of the Spirit once again today.  Elder Monson is such a beautiful person; you feel joy just being near him.  The 2 deaf sisters from my class went to conference.  I told them what was being said.  They May have missed some of it but they felt the Spirit.  Elder Monson met us  thanks to Bishop [Leslie] Ryan.  

He spoke to Violet [Chattaway] and Brenda and told them they have a whole ward of deaf people in Los Angeles, and that missionaries are taught specially to teach deaf people.  Then Elder Monson shook my hand, caught hold of Joanne’s hand and said, “Hello, sweetheart.”  Elder Monson gave us a blessing of peace in our homes and said our stake was healthy and we had great leaders in President [Douglas “Doug”] Rawson & Pres. [Alan] Bowden & Pres. [Brian] Midgeley.

  

Thursday 3 May 1979

Had the Road Show tonight.  It is amazing how at the last minute everyone pulls together.  If only they had worked together during rehearsals it would have been a less tiring experience.  We didn’t win, but we put on a good show.

  

Saturday 5 May 1979

Temple visit today.  We left Bradford at 8 o’clock [pm].  I like to go at this time.  We work in the Temple from 3 till about 10 o’clock, then sleep at Edenbrook.   We set off back at 5 o’clock Sun morning and get back to Church in time for Sunday School.  

Today was very special.  I was set apart as a Temple Worker.  I must admit I was very nervous, but with the Lord’s help I soon got used to it.  I felt that I gained a much better understanding of the Temple work today.  I am so thrilled that the Lord is allowing me to serve in his Holy House.

  

Saturday 19 May 1979

There was a street board  in Bradford today.  Lots of members from Bradford 2 went to support the missionaries.  The children gave out leaflets and some of the youth asked questions from a questionnaire.  I approached 3 people.  Not many really.  I hope the Lord wasn’t displeased with me.  There was a lot of contention from people wanting to argue about scriptures, so the missionaries packed up early.  I pray that we might have reached somebody’s heart.

  

Sunday 20 May 1979

Had a fall out with Gary this afternoon, and finished up going to church without him.  I was very upset at Church so Joan Wade ran me back home again and we took Gary back with us.  Joan is a wonderful person; I am so glad I can call her my friend; she understands my troubles with Gary and is a strength to me.

  

Monday 21 May 1979

Joan rang today to see if all was well with me.  I posted a letter telling her and Rex how much I appreciate them

  

Sunday 24 June 1979

I went to the temple on what we call ‘the overnight flyer!’  It leaves at midnight Fri and we get to the Temple about 5.30 [am Saturday].  The problem is I don’t sleep much on the coach so I tend to fall asleep in the Temple and it makes me feel guilty.  I hope it doesn’t affect the people whose work I am doing.  One of the people I stood in for had a man’s name.  It did seem strange.  

Gary & Joanne stopped with the Bishop’s  family.  Gina [Leonard] is in hospital with meningitis at the moment.  She is a lovely young girl.  I pray she will soon be well, we miss her at church.  

It was our Ward Conference today.  It was good to be inspired by our wonderful Stake Leaders.  President [Doug] Rawson and Pres. Bowden & Pres. [Brian] Midgeley.  They all spoke well.  President Rawson told us that to get to the Celestial Kingdom we have to live Celestial laws.  Our lessons in Sunday School & Relief Society all point in this direction – we must learn.  

Rang Karen for her to arrange with Aunt Emily to visit with my Mum.  Karen only has 5 weeks to go for her second baby.  She is getting tired now.  I am so glad she has a good husband who cares.

  

On July 17th 1979 

ADAM SPENCER RHYS BROWNLOW was born.  I was at Mablethorpe, but I rang every day.  I guessed she wouldn’t wait until I got home. 

  

[Here is the entry for July 17th]  

This weekend I went down for his [Adam’s] blessing.  It is do great to watch a father assisted by baby’s grandfather & uncles bless a child.  He blessed him that he would be a joy to his parents, that he would have health and strength, that he would never want for the necessities of life & that he would grow up with the desire to serve the Lord and to be a peacemaker.  Wasn’t that a wonderful blessing! 

  

[Picture]

Elder Adam Brownlow 

17 July 1979 – 16 May 2000

  

Gary had been away for 10 days camping and learning about survival.  He came home on Sunday beaming & full of excitement about what he’d learned.  He has been very willing to do his share of the work since he got home.  

  

Monday 6 August 1979

I have a lot to record.  I really must write down when things happen and I am full of joy or sorrow – whatever.  

20 June was Primary Field Day and our ward won it.  It is great; we have 2 seminary awards and a swimming award now.  

Nadja [Kummer] arrived on 9 July.  She is growing up but like Gary a bit immature.  We went to Mablethorpe with Gillian Robson and her two children.   Gary & Kylie don’t get on at all, it was a work of art keeping them apart.  We didn’t always manage it.    

Week ending 27 July went to Nottingham to Special Interest Convention.  I wonder if I will ever meet anyone I can marry.  Anna Kummer did, she is to be married in September to an Elder.  

We had a good weekend, lots of fun, and a lovely spirit on Sun morning.  

Pam rang Karen, she couldn’t catch me in.  She is in danger of having her baby too early.  She has 7 weeks to go yet and the baby isn’t strong enough to survive a normal birth.  I am fasting once a month and we pray in our family prayers every day for her.  

On Friday 3rd Aug I passed my exam for Shorthand at 90 words a minute.  I want to learn to type properly now, then I will have a trade.  It has been a very eventful few weeks.

  

Friday 24 August 1979

Lovely letter from Pamela.  She is still doing well.  In her letter she says how much Heavenly Father blesses her and Richard, and what a beautiful husband she has.  She said when he talks about their baby he looks like an angel.  

Last Wed I went to a baptizm where a young French boy was baptized by his father.  His father couldn’t speak English but had learned the words he had to say in English.  It was very moving.  The family had been Jews, and their relations were there to watch.  Bishop Ryan said how pleased we were to have the House of Judah amongst us.  It was something quite special.  

I am preparing to go to the Temple.  I know I shall be tired, this is an overnight trip, but I am looking forward to putting the world aside for a while and serving in the House of the Lord.

  

Tuesday 11 September 1979

A very special day today.  At 4 o’clock this morning Pamela rang me to say she had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy.  He weighs 8-11 oz and his name will be Andrew Richard Beck.  I have fasted and prayed for a few weeks now, and the Lord has truly blessed me and my children.  I will fast and give thanks this week.  

  

 

[picture]

Andrew Richard Beck

  

Although it was SEPTEMBER 11 over here, it was still only the 10th in America.  That makes 3 grandsons now.  I pray each one will grow up to love & serve the Lord, and find true joy in his life and in the eternities.  

I am still struggling to teach Gary, but sometimes I feel so full of despair, as if I am getting nowhere with him.  Compared with lots of boys his age he is quite good, but he can do so much better.  He knows and understands the Gospel principles, yet sometimes he deliberately goes against them.  I hope the Lord will answer my prayers and help me to have wisdom & LOVE enough to guide him through these years.  

It’s very windy today.  I hope it drops a bit this afternoon as Karen & Lewis are coming for tea.  Lewis has come to Shipley to see about a new job.  I hope he takes it.  I would see much more of them if they moved up here.

  

Sunday 30 September 1979

Today I was set apart to teach the deaf class.  I have been teaching them for over two years now and have done the last half of the Book of Mormon and the first half of Doctrine & Covenants.  We have just started the second half of the Doctrine & Covenants and some history of the prophets.  

My blessings were so wonderful; that I might have an understanding of them, and that they might understand me; that our love for each other would grow, and also that I would have health and strength all the days of my life to be able to do this work.

  

Early October 1979

Ruth Jackson had an operation and, as her mother and family live such a long way away  I have invited her to stay with me with her 2 lovely children, Martin & Andrew.  We had a lovely 2 weeks together, she has such a sweet spirit my house was better for her being with us.  

Gary was so good.  Ian came every other day, he is so sweet.  

After they went home, Karen & Lewis came for a week to look for a house.  They have seen one at Nab Wood.  I hope they get it as the view is lovely and it will be near enough for me to visit without difficulty.  

I hope to get a house on Howarth Road estate.  My home isn’t the same; the neighbours are getting worse, so dirty & noisy.  

Peggy [Rastrick] is still with us, she is a good friend.

  

Saturday 27 October 1979

Went to the Temple this weekend.  Gary came too.  It is always so good to go to the Lord’s house; very tiring, it was an overnight trip and we were held up by fog on the way home, so it was 3 o’clock Sunday Morning before we got to bed.  

I spoke at Sacrament Service about building up the Lord’s Kingdom.  I don’t think I got my point over, we are not a united ward, and we need to work together more.  The gospel is a feeling and not something you can see or touch.  It’s like when lovers look at each other in company, they don’t need to speak, they know that they love one another and can express it by a look.  The Gospel is knowing we all love God, and to build up his kingdom is our greatest joy.

  

Monday 29 October 1979

Lewis came today.  He started work in Shipley.   

Joanne came home after a week at Karen’s.  I missed her, she is growing so fast.  Karen had bought her a lovely cream jumper.

  

Monday 19 November 1979

My birthday today.  I can’t sleep there is so much going on in my mind.  I have been offered a house at Howarth Rd Estate.   It is such a nice house in a beautiful spot, on the edge of the golf course.  I have really set my heart on this house.  As yet I haven’t got the keys or been formally offered it.  I pray that I will be able to have it.  

At times like this my testimony grown as I hear people on every side say, “What can I do to help?”  Joan Wade, who is so good to us, immediately said, “Rexpress Carriers” will move you.  I have the best home teachers in the ward.  They called just when I needed them and reassured me I would be helped to move.  The concern showed that I might move into ward 1 makes me feel cared about and of some importance in the ward.  

Karen and babies are coming today until Thurs.  Lewis is in London on his course for another 2 weeks.  They have got their mortgage for the house at Nab Wood and have sold their house.  How blessed this family is.

We had conference last week.  There are lots of new faces every time we meet at Stake.  The times are moving fast.  At the beginning of next year we are moving into the Welfare system - one step nearer the law of consecration.  It is an exciting time, and a time for learning to be obedient and sacrifice.  I pray we won’t be found wanting.

  

Thursday 27 December 1979

We have moved into our new house at 100 Chellow Grange Road.  It was a difficult task because of all the food storage.  With a lot of help from my friends at church and Lewis & Karen the job was done.   

Peggy took Joanne and Karen’s babies in whilst we moved, then sent us a cake.  It is wonderful to have good friends.  I am rich indeed.  We moved on Friday 14 and on Monday [17th] the living room ceiling fell down.  It was very upsetting, but by Wed I had a new ceiling, which will be better.  They tell me the ceiling has been up for 50 years, so it’s about time there was a new one.  I hope to buy the house some time in the future and at least I know the ceiling’s good.  

When Karen comes up in the New Year she will look after Joanne for me during school holidays.  Karen is really good to me; she looks after me in so many ways.  I am grateful the Lord blessed me with her.  

Today, Gary, Joanne, and I came back from Sheffield.  We spent Christmas with her [Karen].  They spared no expense to give us a wonderful holiday.  I don’t think I have enjoyed Christmas so much for years.  

Lewis took Gary to a football match on Boxing Day.  

They gave me a metal picture of the London Temple to put on my wall when I decorate again.  It really is a lovely picture, I shall always treasure it.  

I wonder if Pamela has moved.  I hope she is well.  I haven’t heard from her for quite a few weeks.  We started a tape for her at Karen’s.  We sang some songs and told her what we were eating.  I hope she likes it.