It’s nearly 2 years since I wrote in this book. I am sorry I haven’t written because some wonderful things have happened. I can’t recall them all now, so they are lost. We have a dog called Ella.
She is Gary’s dog and she had pups last year. She started at about seven in the morning some time in March. Gary had to cut the bag [membrane] open for the first one, but after that Ella coped. She had 9 pups all exactly the same. We kept 3 dogs & a bitch. Stan [Parker] next door took five to the RSPCA for us to be put to sleep. Neither Ella nor I could cope with 9 pups. I had to find homes for them all before I went to Seattle in May.
I went to Seattle for 3 weeks. It was a wonderful holiday. Pam & Richard looked after me like I was a Queen. I didn’t have to do anything or pay for anything. There was a nice spirit in their home and they tried hard to live the Gospel. I felt peace in their home; they have a good marriage and care about each other.
When I came home, Karen & Lewis had been spending money and hours doing my home up for me. I wonder why I got such lovely children with such good hearts. I know the Lord will bless them.
Joanne helped too. She looks after the babies and even did some of the painting. She is at the moment learning to do some fancy knitting so she can do some fancy bootees for Jane Winters, her teacher in APA, she is expecting her second baby.
Gary has made a lot of improvements lately, mainly because I have. I tried the best I knew how before, but my trouble was I didn’t know enough. How important it is to learn all the time and don’t get to think you know it all or can’t change anyway, because you can.
Went to a missionary fireside. President Davies came to speak to us (The Mission Pres). He said not to be afraid to open our mouths. It is frightening sometimes, but I will try harder. I love this Church and I would love everyone to be members. What a wonderful world it would be.
I have decided to take an ‘O’ Level course in English this year. Next year I would like to do one in Maths. I will be 50 this year. It may seem late for this life but as Karen reminded me, I have eternities to use my knowledge in.
Gary has finished his 6 months Youth Opportunities Scheme at the Town hall. He was in catering. I pray he will get a job soon.
The weather is so hot again today. I realize it is the sun that draws me to want to live in America. If it were so hot here every summer, I wouldn’t want to leave. I love the sun.
I have been painting my house buttermilk and spice. It looks nice but I wish I had chosen a lighter colour. Buttermilk looks too yellow. I feel quite accomplished climbing that ladder! I must admit I was scared. I might paint the bricks yet.
My Seminary books have come. It is exciting. I know a lot of my 40 scriptures already. I am coming to know the scriptures better. I love the study courses we have.
Gary won’t take Seminary. Perhaps he will use my books to study with later when he comes to realize the value of them, especially if he goes on a mission.
Gary is talking of going into the Army. I have prayed about this; if it is not right for him I pray the Lord will direct him another way.
Karen and Lewis have got their mortgage for the big White House in Telford. Those children certainly miss their daddy when he goes down there. Karen does too. I hope it won’t be long before they can move down, even though I shall miss them, especially my grandchildren.
I am not doing very well at missionary work. Janet & Stan [Parker] keep going out when I arrange for them to see a [proselytising] film.
August 30th 1983
Today I started a new system in my life. I get up 15 minutes earlier, shower, pray, and study my Seminary. Already I feel good and it is only the first day. I already know my 40 scriptures so I can set a good example to my class on Sat.
I have been learning a lot lately. I have read a lot of church books and found answers to a lot of my problems. Mainly, if you can carry on loving people no matter what they do, they straighten their own life out.
*Joanne is feeling a bit rebellious. It upset me a lot at first, but she is normally such a sweet-natured person. I hope she gains a testimony of the Church soon, it will help her such a lot, it is so exciting to know what we know.
Ruth Jackson gave a lesson on the Second Coming of Christ yesterday. I knew it was true with such power it was quite amazing. It really will happen soon and I am not afraid.
Seminary didn’t start very well. Nobody came to the first lesson. I Made new arrangements for Tues. nights, everyone was willing. All came except the Quinn girls. Pat Quinn rang me and was angry because she hadn’t been consulted. I apologized and tried to make peace with her, but she won’t let the girls come on Tues. because it is too much of a rush for Carol when she gets home from work.
The Quinns are under a terrible strain at the moment. John has something wrong with his legs and it is spreading into his body.
I have left the problem with the bishopric. I now have a new assistant teacher, Jill Findon. She seems very able, I like her. She has also done Institute on the Old Testament, so she has a lot of knowledge. Our classes have been good.
Went to a Faculty meeting last night. Pres. Jokl taught a lesson on Abraham from scripture. He made it come alive. I hope I can learn to do the same.
Gary hasn’t worked since [the] end of July. He has applied to join the army, but at the moment he is having tests on his kidneys, which seem to be leaking protein. He goes for some more tests next week.
Kenneth &Carolyn have been trying to get him to get a job but he is so lethargic. He will do something if someone pushes him but seems unable to go under his own steam. He is just letting his life go by. I wish he would educate himself. Perhaps the army would be good for him.
I pray for the Lord’s direction. I have been selling Avon for Gary’s mission and I have made about £500 so far. He has to have a £1000 before he can go. I only hope he wants to go and is worthy enough when the time comes. It’s funny; the money isn’t the real problem – it’s preparing the boy.
Kenneth & Carolyn are working hard on him; they take him home at weekends so he will go to Church on Sunday. They really do go the extra mile with him.
FRIDAY 21ST OCT 1983
Big day today. Karen, Lewis and family moved to Telford. Joanne and I went down with them to help them settle in. Karen was very upset when they picked us up at 5 o’clock on Fri, but as we travelled south, she started to get excited about her new home. We called for the keys about 8 o’clock and had a look round. It’s a beautiful old farm house about 100 years old. Very big with dining kitchen and a dining room, a front room, four bedrooms and a very large bathroom and a hall. It is a friendly house and I am sure they will be happy there.
Karen seemed to feel a bit guilty about being better off financially than I am. I think poverty is a state of mind. If you have enough for your needs, you are not poor, and if you have Jesus Christ in your life, you are rich indeed. I know the value of my testimony is priceless, and because of it, I can gain Eternal Glory. No amount of money will get me that.
SUNDAY 30 OCT
Gary keeps going for interviews for jobs. I do hope something turns up for him soon. Kenneth [Leonard] had half a day off work to take him for an interview at Yeadon last week. They have a great influence on his life; he will never get finer friends than Kenneth & Carolyn.
Pam hasn’t written for ages. She keeps ringing up now and again. I do enjoy a letter though, because I can keep re-reading it. I am doing very well on my ‘O’ level English class. I was, according to the teacher, “her star pupil.” It made me feel good. I wrote an essay on “Working Mothers” which was fairly easy for me having had experience in the matter.
SUN OCT 28
Gary gave a talk on tithing today. It was very good and he paid his tithing after. I feel sure the Lord will help him find a job if he does his part. He has a friend at Wakefield called Tricia.
SUN NOV 6TH
Martin Dunn bore his testimony today. Gary was going to but didn’t have the courage. One day he will want to enough to do it.
Sad news; Sis Hughes died yesterday. I used to iron and work around the house for her when she lived in Shipley. I shall miss her.
I rang Bert this morning. I was afraid to ring but I am so glad I did.
I spoke to Gail about the Ten Commandments this week, and I also spoke to our new neighbours John & Carol at a bonfire yesterday at Mary’s. I was able to tell them about the Church a little.
Gillian and the girls [Kylie and Charlotte] came for dinner. We were late home because Joanne has a bad throat and we waited for Ken & Carolyn. They took Gary for the weekend again. They really are such nice people. Ken cried when he bore his testimony, his love for the boys is so genuine.
There are three babies on the way in our ward just now, Gina [Vernon nee Leonard], Rosalind [McLean] & Hazel [Leonard], all lovely young people.
Karen rang: she made a few friendly contacts at the local bonfire. Abigail is using her potty now and delighted about it. They are so funny. I can’t wait to get back down there to see them.
Gary has paid his tithing again this week. He feels sure he will get a job now. I hope he has the right kind of faith.
Seminary is going well. We have a very well behaved class and a good spirit.
Dec 4 1983
Nearly the end of the year. Time passes so quickly, or seems to now I am fifty. Maybe life will slow down a bit now. I know something – I shall learn all my life.
I love my English class and I am doing very well for marks.
Avon is going well. I now have over £600 pounds in Gary‘s missionary fund. Gary talks about when he goes on his mission. Now he has a job I hope he doesn’t change his mind. Most weekends he goes to Kenneth & Carolyn Leonards’ and they are a good influence in his life.
Martin Dunn has started going and what a change in him! He even bore his testimony last month.
Gary gave a talk last month on tithing. It was a good talk and afterwards he started paying his tithing. The Lord certainly kept his promise and opened the windows of heaven. He has a good job, which he started 23 NOV. He doesn’t have to work Sundays, and he has, with his father’s help, been able to buy a scooter. I only hope his guardian angel stays close by just now because he hasn’t a lot of idea how to ride it.
Karen took the children to see Father Christmas at Lewis’s school fayre. He asked their names and Lewis said, “Lewis,” Adam said, “Adam,” and Abigail said, “I’m a girl!”
My missionary work isn’t going very well. I am going to invite my neighbours to our Christmas programme next Sunday, then see if I can set up some films for them to see. I get disheartened with myself when I don’t get any results. I know I don’t do enough. There are so many things I need to do to please the Lord more.
Christmas programme. Couldn’t get my neighbours to come.
I had a long talk with Alan McLean today about Seminary. I get very low when the students are rude and more upset when they go to the Bishop and tell him my lessons bore them. I know I need to love them despite what they do, yet I feel they should be told I don’t approve of their behaviour. It is hard to be Christlike sometimes.
I have worked very hard this week making covers for my suite, but I am pleased with the results.