Tues 13 Jan 1987
I have set some goals and so far, with the help of a chart, I am keeping them:
- To exercise
- Keep the Spirit
- Do a daily good turn.
We went to Karen’s for Christmas. She gave us all the material things which make Christmas a good time (she is very generous), but I felt a lack of love.
I feel so sorry that she can’t find it in her heart to forgive the hurt she felt, and try to build up a good family relationship. Doesn’t she know we all make mistakes – we all get hurt? I do love her and miss our more loving relationship.
Pamela had an operation for cancer on her cervix – she said it isn’t very serious. I am still waiting for her to let us know all is well. Distance makes things difficult to bear sometimes.
Last night we went roller skating. It was an enjoyable night out. We are trying to build family relationships, also some good memories, especially for Joanne. She is the most remarkable child.
A week ago, both Ronnie and I were cross with her for not walking the dogs or washing up whilst we were out doing the weekly shop. She took offence and was very rude and drew back into herself.
For a few days, she was like that and then it was almost as if she was born again. She became loving, & kind, & helpful and respectful, and the house is a happier, better place, and the world too, for Joanne being in it. What a special person she is. I am so grateful to have been chosen as her mother.
At the moment she is working hard doing her mock exams for her ‘O’ Levels. I hope she succeeds, she works very hard.
This morning, a man came from the Enterprise Allowance Scheme. He was a very nice young man. I learned he is a Christadelphian, he is married, and has a baby girl. He talks about his wife with love & respect.
He didn’t know a great deal about Mormons; now he knows
- my husband loves me and supports me in my business,
- I have a daughter doing ‘O’ levels at college,
- a son on a mission in Canada,
- he knows how missionaries are supported,
- he knows my husband is Stake Exec sec,
- and that he is going splits with the missionaries on Thurs,
- he knows we believe in baptizm at an age of accountability by immersion.
I really liked this young man and pray I might be able to help him find the truth.
Tues 27 Jan 1987
Last Friday noon we, that is Ronnie and I set off for Dundee to a “Building Missionary Reunion.” We arrived at about 6 o’clock at Dennis & Avril Campbell’s home. Avril spent 4 years in Hudds and was interested in what had been happening there. Dennis is first counsellor on Dundee Stake Presidency.
The Pres. Alex Stewart had contacted Ronnie because Dennis [O’Connor] Clancy had served with Ronnie many years ago and he was now inactive. They thought if they could get him to a social with Ronnie there, it would awaken his feelings for the church again. I don’t really know if it did any good – he was very defensive. We are praying for him.
We had a dinner at a hotel which Dennis Clancy’s brother [Paul] paid for, then went back to the Campbell’s home for a chat and some entertainment. We had a really lovely evening together.
The Campbells have 7 children, the best behaved we have ever had the good fortune to meet. The eldest daughter, Emma, is the kind of girl I would like Gary to marry. She is talented, bright, and works hard in the church. She is energetic and would push her husband into doing his best. She has had a very good upbringing by excellent parents and would be a blessing to any mother in law.
On Saturday, we went to St Andrew’s where the golf course is. We went into a mill and saw some beautiful woollens etc. We didn’t have any money to spend but it was nice being there. I got a paper about Aran patterns and their meanings.
Later we went and looked around the old ship of Scott’s of the Antarctic – Discovery. It was fascinating.
In the evening we went to he Stake House for ‘Burns’ Night.’ It was lovely. They had a piper who played in the ‘Haggis’ then there was a special prayer, then an address to the Haggis. We then had a meal of Scotch Broth – Haggis potatoes & turnip – then cheese & biscuits. (The Haggis was not too bad) – though I did feel sick later at night.
They had recitations of Burns, poetry. One was ‘To a Mouse,’ and a few songs, some young girls did some Scottish dancing. Some of the men wore kilts and everything, some girls and women did too. It was nice. Then there was some community dancing before we broke up to go home.
The Stake President flitted about making sure everyone was enjoying themselves. Her really is a good man.
Sunday was very enjoyable. We were made very welcome. The youth spoke and sang together. They really had a good feeling amongst them. They were very united and I feel there is some good leadership amongst them.
MON FEB 9TH 1987
Yesterday I taught my new Sunday School class, 14 and 15 year olds. They were very nice to me, maybe because Joanne told them I was an ogre.
After tea, Louise Scholes rang to see if I wanted to go to Sheffield to hear the Temple President speak – Pres. [Arthur Henry] King.
She [Louise]has a Mercedes which was like riding in a bed floating on air – it was an enjoyable evening, but I couldn’t understand a lot of what he was saying, but I did glean the fact that the Temple Ordinances are something to experience rather than struggle to understand – I know what he means but I haven’t fully experienced them, maybe I need to be more humble.
I had a very bad pain in my leg last week. I get these feelings that I’m going to die soon. It doesn’t frighten me but I do worry about how people will manage without me though I suppose they will.
I really am not dispensible [she meant indispensible but she was right in what she wrote!].
Louise Scholes is struggling after her divorce to organise her family. Her children are really getting her down. I know how she feels and I wish I could help her, but I know really it’s up to her to build and rebuild when it gets knocked down. I found it very hard to bring my children up alone, but I learned an awful lot on the way, which I wouldn’t otherwise have done
TUES FEB 10 1987
Last night went to Barry & Lesley’s [O’Brien] home for a F.H.E. We really had an enjoyable time. Leslie has her baby in about a fortnight. They have been married just a year and seem to have settled down together fairly well.
Ronnie and I are getting more settled and comfortable together.
Joanne too is beginning to see the good things in Ronnie and is getting on better with him. She is getting more mature and her attitude towards things is more adult. Last night she pointed out some of Ronnie’s good qualities (which are many) and I feel she is looking at him more as an individual who doesn’t have to conform exactly to her way of thinking to be normal.
We all tend to think if it isn’t how we feel, it isn’t right. It’s a hard lesson to learn and some people never do [learn it].
Went to hospital today. They say they will operate on my foot and straighten my toes. My hip hurts a lot lately with arthritis.
MON 2ND MARCH
Yesterday the Temple President came to our Sacrament Service. It was a very spiritual service. He said we all have to have our Gethsemane before we can gain the joy. I certainly am feeling joy at this time.
Gary has been made a Zone Leader, and I hear from Chris Leonard that he is a great teacher. His letters are very uplifting.
The shop is beginning to get busy. We took nearly £200 in the shop without a home sale last week. The week before I had bought some stock and paid cash. The firm didn’t charge me VAT, so I got it 15% cheaper. I wasn’t settled in my mind about it. I felt I was being dishonest. So, last week when we bought stock I insisted on paying VAT and my takings doubled.
I feel sure the Lord was pleased with my efforts to be honest. Brigham Young said, the way to be honest in your dealings is to do everything as if you were doing it for the Lord. I’ve sent some genealogy to Karen. She says she has opportunity to do some. It will be nice to have some help with it.
We have been enquiring into a shop in town. It sounds rather exciting having 2 shops. It’s all up to the bank manager really. We need £2000 to get started there.
Ronnie has now been called as High Council Man for Bradford 1. He spends a lot of time over there and it sounds like he is doing a good job. He really works hard, both for me and the Lord.
TUES 10TH MCH 1987
Well, the bank manager has allowed us £2000 and Ronnie has been and organized our new shop in town. We decided to take an upstairs shop in an arcade, as the ground floor one just isn’t big enough.
Tomorrow we are having a sale at home. Last night Ronnie delivered leaflets all round where we live. He is a wonderful husband. I can’t imagine anyone more helpful. I wouldn’t have these shops if it wasn’t for him. I really do appreciate the way he treats me.
I wish Joanne would be a bit more respectful. She is spending a couple of weeks at a school for subnormal and handicapped children. I think this will be good experience for her to realize how fortunate we are to be healthy, and how some people are so dependent upon others.
Primary Swim was last Sat. I helped organize the diving competition, and I had a lovely swim myself. I do enjoy swimming. I must organize my life so that I can go now and again.
MON 18TH MAY.
It is a long time since Gary has written.
Last week we went to a social in Bradford for Danny Leonard’s farewell. He is going to Scotland to serve a mission at the end of this week. I like Danny; he has grown into a fine young man. Joanne will get her friend Julie [Dunn] back for a couple of years.
The Conference this week was excellent. On Sat, Ronnie spoke about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and Elder [John P] Fugal spoke – he was a Professor of Religion [Ancient Scripture] at Brigham Young University Utah, and George Jokl spoke. It was good to hear such good speakers.
Sunday was good too. Danny spoke and likened his mission to a race, which was interesting. I wrote to Violet and told her all about the talks. She was in London on a course.
Ronnie works too hard. I am afraid he will make himself ill. We have been very busy lately. Apart from the Conference, there was a SI [Special Interest] convention in Hudds. (Almost as good as last year’s).
Then we opened another shop at Paddock [Deserat Textiles]. We spent a lot of hours, painting, cleaning, and filling the shop. The first week did well. The second week wasn’t so good. I hope it is a success.
Joanne has left College without taking her exams and is working in the ‘Fent Shop’ for me. That shop is still a bit slow. We may move it in a while if it doesn’t pick up.
SUNDAY 2ND AUGUST 1987
Today I will once again make a resolve to write in my journal every day so that the important things are captured – maybe this time I will be successful. I know this, there is no success unless you get in there and try.
We had a lovely tape from Gary. I like to hear about life over there, but most of all I like to hear his plans for teaching and his concern for the people. I hope it will become part of his character.
Pam is pregnant again, which is lovely. I worry about her trouble with cancer and pray every day for her health.
Adam was baptized 19th of July – the same day the missionaries landed in England 150 years ago. It was a nice baptizm – Ronnie helped to confirm him, and I said the closing prayer.
Joanne has just come back from Devon with the Young Women – they were in a Hostel and had a good time, even though the weather wasn’t very good. It’s her last year as a child, I feel. She is showing signs of maturity, and there are times when she shows her compassionate nature. She is very clean in thought and deed and deserves a good husband. I only hope she gets one as good as mine.
My marriage has matured and is settling down in [to] a very peaceful contented one. I have a much better feeling towards my husband now, and I am grateful for his patience and kindnessess to me.
Sometimes I weep and wail and can’t cope. He is ever there with a hug and words of comfort. What a great man he is.
Last weekend was the regional conference at Birmingham [NEC]. There was between 10 & 12 thousand there. President Hinckley spoke. He told us to build Zion. We have decided to study Moses 7:18 and build Zion at home, then extend [Zion] to where we can.
Today was a special day because Bishop [Rodney] Crossley was released as Bishop of Bfd 2 and Kenneth Leonard called. His counsellors are Russell Leonard & Mark Turner.
My Sunday School class are disrespectful and seem to learn very little. We reviewed their lessons from a few weeks back and apart from Sam Crowther it would appear they have learned very little. I don’t know if I am a failure or if they wouldn’t learn no matter what was taught or who was teaching them. I shall keep on trying; maybe I will learn something in the effort.
MONDAY 3 AUG
What a mess I made of today. I started out well enough, then I went to the bank and discovered I hadn’t put a slip in with a cheque I posted nearly 2 weeks ago. I almost cried in the bank.
Ronnie sorted it out for me, and by dinner time I had another cheque. (What would I do without him).
We didn’t have FHE again this week. I feel guilty. When the Prophet tells us to do something we should do it.
WED 5 Aug
Had a day at home today. Joanne ran the shop on her own. I sat in the sun for a while today, it did me good. I read a book called “Among the Shoshones.” It is an autobiography of a man called Elijah Nicholas Wilson, who ran away from home when he was 12 to live with the Indians for 2 years, then his life in the West as a Mormon [sic]. The town [of] Wilson was named after him.
Joanne is growing up. She is more pleasant to be with now and life at home is happier.
SAT 29 AUGUST
Today was a special day. Ronnie and I went on a tour of the Historical sites in Great Britain. First there was a tree planted by President Peter Burnett at the Stake House, called the Heber C Kimball Oak, then we boarded the bus to Liverpool. We went through the Maritime Museum and go the feel of what it was like to emigrate on the sailing ships. Then on to see the Obelisk in Preston where the missionaries first preached in England; the Cock Pit which they rented (the actual building has been pulled down). Then to the room on St Wilfred’s St. where they were invaded by devils. Then we wen to the River Ribble to see where the first baptisms were performed.
Pres. [Brian] Rock bought Ronnie & I a bar of chocolate, which was very sweet of him.
Back on the bus and up to Chatham & Downham where we got off the bus and sang by the side of the little stream. Mary Coles conducted. The villagers were a bit surprised, I think.
The place [Downham] is just as it was when Heber C Kimball was there 150 years ago. I wished I could live there, it was so beautiful. We sang hymns on the coach and Ronnie and Pres. Burnett gave us a lot of historical commentary.
We finished up at Harry Ramsden’s for a fish & chip supper. I haven’t enjoyed a day out so much for a long time. It was interesting, inspiring, and very enjoyable socially. I learned a lot and understood a lot.
I am truly grateful I am a Latter-day Saint and can help to build Zion.
SUN 30 AUG
My Sunday School class was disruptive today. I often wonder if it is worth while taking one; they really don’t want to learn. I feel afraid that the Lord might be angry with them. I would love to be able to say I was a good influence on them, but I feel I’m not. What can I do? Perhaps pray more and make more use of the Spirit. After the lesson, I often think of things I could have used – “too late” was the cry.
Tonight Ronnie was reading a book about the Temple in Jerusalem and told me that if a guard on Temple Mount was found sleeping by the priest who would call any time – no one knew when, they could be beaten of have their clothes burnt. After reading the scripture Rev. 15:16 it became clear what the scripture meant, their clothes were removed for burning and Jesus was saying, like the priest, you won’t know when I shall come, so, like the guards, be ever watchful. I love to gain an understanding of the scripture.
It’s good being married to Ronnie because I can learn so much. I am now preparing for Institute, which will start in Oct. I want to reactivate some young people if I can.
‘Twas a good spiritual fast meeting today. My class was quite happy and we had a good lesson on Repentance.
The last two Spiritual Living lessons were the most instructive that I can remember.
Two boys, Martin Beaumont, Richard Crowther have gone on missions recently. Boyd McEwen goes before the month’s out. Gary will be home in 2 months. I feel very excited.
Carol Iverson is a young girl mother of two who has been a member just over a year. She rang Ronnie just to talk to. She gets very low as she sits alone on a Sunday evening. I know just how she feels. I suffered like she is at times. I only hope she finds the strength to endure and find the joy that I found.
We had a week at the Temple last month, which was the best I’ve ever spent. It would have been nice to stay forever. On the way home we had a puncture, then [the] spare tire shredded leaving us limping up on the motorway on the rim. What a terrible experience. I was really frightened. We pulled off at Dewsbury [actually, it was Barnsley at junction 37] and rang Louise Scholes. She came to our rescue.
The shop has not progressed at all. We decided yesterday to change from what we are selling to ‘second hand.’ Maybe that will go. I don’t know – it depresses me.
FRIDAY 11 DEC IS FURTHER ON – OUT OF ORDER
S P E C I A L
FRIDAY 11 DEC 1987
Today, Gary came home from his mission. We, that is Ronnie – Joanne – Peter – Matt – Ken (oops, Bishop Leonard) – Carolyn – Mark Turner – Katherine Leonard – Alison Leonard – Bernard [Lane] and Martin Dunn, & of course, myself went to the airport with a big banner that said “Welcome Home Gary” on it.
Joanne was so excited that one of the airport officials took her through to the department where he was collecting his luggage to see him. He was so tired. I felt so proud that he had not only helped so many people to accept the Gospel & teach & the Gospel, but that he had learned so much himself. He is a different boy (young man) to the one that left 2 years ago, and no one knows how grateful I feel to the Lord especially, and all those who have influenced him for good, for helping him take this step which I hope will be one that has set him on the right direction I his eternal life. My cup is full and runneth over.
SAT 12 DEC
Stake Conference this weekend. We had tea with [Regional Representative Alexander Cummings, and the Stake Presidency], then Gary arrived. It was good to sit in a meeting again with my son, even though he was so tired that he kept falling asleep.
SUN 13 DEC
It was a good meeting. I decided we didn’t give enough B/M out. Maybe we could give one a month this coming year. I shall discuss this with my family. Everyone was greeting Gary; it was exciting.
27 DEC Sunday
Today we went to Bradford where there was a joint meeting of 2 wards. Gary was the first speaker. He gave an extremely good talk. He told how his mission had been the greatest asset of his life. He had learned more and changed more in those 2 years than he could have thought possible.
He told of an experience he had teaching a family after having promised the mission president that he would leave any appointment at 9.30 [p.m.] no matter what point they were at. Having asked the Lord’s help to keep this promise they went to teach this family. At 9.30, Gary was so engrossed in teaching he didn’t notice the time until a toy rocking horse fell off the piano for no apparent reason. He looked at his watch and found it was 9.30, and so they left.
At the next appointment, the lady of the house wasn’t there. When Gary asked why, he was told she doesn’t need to know more. She knows all you say is true – whilst you were teaching she saw a white clothed figure come into the room and knock the toy rocking horse off the top of the piano.
I went into goose pimples, but, as Gary said, we can all have spiritual experiences if we ask for the Lord’s Spirit to guide and help us in all we do.
The Lord helped me to bring Gary up with the help of many Church members, who, I’m sure, have been inspired by the Holy Ghost to help when needed. Especially Ken & Carolyn who have influenced him so much.
Ken [Leonard], who is now the Bishop of Bfd 2, spoke and said some lovely things about Gary. He quoted from a letter by the mission Pres. Saying how great a teacher and leader Gary had been, and how many lives he had influenced. It also said “please send us more like this.”
I was asked to go up and bear my testimony, which I did and [was] proud to acknowledge the Lord’s hand in my life & Gary’s.
Peter [Jason Bray-Duffield] came with us. Last week he told us his mother says he can be baptized if he wants in the New Year. Ronnie is over the moon that he will get chance to baptize one of his own children. Peter shows real interest in the Church, and I hope & pray one day we will be listening to his return missionary talk.
Joanne & Julie have been planning a trip to America next December. It will be good for her; that is if she doesn’t lose the dream.