SUNDAY 3RD JAN1998
I was feeling low but because I had the opportunity to teach 2 lessons today, I felt of much more worth. I taught about the spirit of giving and how love is what we should be most concerned [with].
I taught Paul Isles a Blazer lesson. It was a nice experience, and in both classes, the Spirit was in attendance. I have promised to teach the class until a good teacher can be found.
Odette [Gillies] & Tom [Bartlett] were married last Thursday. We looked after Rachel until today for them. They seem very happy.
Came home from Church and spent some time making a chart to set goals on – I hope I can progress more in 1988.
Harold Pollard was married on Sat to Hazel. I went to the wedding, which was Bishop Ken Leonard’s first marriage ceremony. He was very good.
We went to Top Shop to pick Gary up before Ken & Carolyn ran me home.
Ronnie was sorting the shop out – it only took about £5 all day. (Oh Dear).
Remember to be cheerful. We are so rich in the Spirit.
MON 4 JAN 1988
Tried to be more cheerful today, even though the shop only took £10. Ronnie had worked hard on Sat for me and moved things around and built a changing room – it’s looking good.
Got a letter, a long letter from Iris [Aubrey Babbage] today – she is Esme’s sister – Esme is Ronnie’s first wife.
Joanne is taking some computer tests today and tomorrow. I didn’t get chance to talk about the church to anyone today.
TUES 5 JAN 88
Poor day at the shop but kept cheerful HA HA.
Had Institute class at home, Donna [McMillan] & Carol [Iverson/Iversen]. Also invited Roseanne and her friend Louise and Gary. Ronnie did a talk on Jerusalem with slides – it was good as usual. If you understand the culture, you can understand the Old Testament scriptures better.
Joanne in happy mood – she is happy with Julie Dunn as her best friend. They see more of each other now Danny is on his mission.
WED 6 JAN
Met Gary in Bradford and changed some cheques for him so he could book a ticket to San Francisco for 19th Jan. He’s a little unsure of himself.
Tonight I had a board meeting, then at 7.30, Ronnie & I were allowed to sit with Gary while he reported his mission to the High Council. It was a bit like sitting before the judgement seat, but I felt very proud.
[Later] I was able to sit a couple of hours with Gary. We talked scriptures and he told me experiences from his mission. A really lovely evening.
THURS 7TH JAN
Felt very tired after full day yesterday. Carolyn [Leonard] had a baby girl ‘Sara Elisabeth’ this morning.
Joanne in high spirits. She seems closer to Ronnie now and life is much more pleasant.
Got box of choc bars from Anna Kummer, she appears to be married again. Gary says he’s sure Nadja is on a mission. I hope we get a letter soon.
S P E C I A L
SUN 10 JAN
Today Ronnie was interviewed for counsellor on Bishopric to Bishop [John Philip] Scott. He is quite excited about it. Of course he will be released from High Council & Exec Sec, but will be allowed to keep his interest in Special Interests Programme. He had worried about them.
Last night I had a blessing. I was really tired and feeling low. In fact, I was losing control of my mind. Ronnie blessed me and gave me great comfort. I feel like I have been carried all day today. Everything has been made easy for me.
Read a book tonight, which we bought Gary, called "Get Ready, Get Called, Go." It’s for potential missionaries and I think everyone should read it.
Ronnie spoke at Bradford 1 today. He is their High Council Man. They will miss him very much I’m sure when he is released.
SAT 16 JAN
Poor at the shop today.
Went to Les & Audrey Dufton’s home last night. We rode with Elder [Gayle] & Sister [Ruby] Williams [from Blackfoot, Idaho] & took Peter with us. We really enjoyed ourselves talking about when we were young.
SUN 17 JAN
A very eventful day today. Ronnie was called [sustained] as Second Counsellor in the Hudds 2 Bishopric to serve with Bishop John Scott. I feel very proud of him, because I knew he will work hard and do all he can to ease the burden of the Bishop.
Gary spoke at the meeting and spoke extremely well.
We went back to our place with Elder and Sister Williams who taught Peter the first 2 discussions.
Sunday evening Ronnie gave a S.I. [Special Interest] Fireside about “Herod’s Temple.” Louise [Scholes/Fearnley ]sang “The Temple is a Special Place” and it was really sweet.
Gary spoke again about a scripture Ether 12:27. I got a much better understanding of this scripture. Gary said the Lord doesn’t give us sins, but he gives us weaknesses that make us more susceptible to sin. If we seek for our weaknesses and overcome them then we will find we cease to sin.
Example: if we gossip, it is because we want to impress. Do we feel inferior? Are our hearts full of hate? Whatever the weakness, cure it and you won’t gossip.
We went to Barrie and Leslie O’Brien’s for F.H.E.
Then later went in to Ken and Carolyn’s to see Gary before he left. He is short of money. I lent him all I had on me and Ken gave him an open cheque. Gary will never find another friend like Ken and Carolyn. Thy are very, very special people.
We went to the bus station to see Gary off on the 11:20 bus to Gatwick. Joanne was heartbroken. Poor little mite.
Thursday, 21st Jan
Young Women had a “New Beginnings” night. Joanne spoke very well. I might add she is really coming on.
Joanne went to Julie Dunn’s for the weekend. She spends a lot of time over there now.
Karen rang tonight with some exciting news. She is pregnant. This will be her fifth baby. She is really doing well. I am so proud of her.
These last three months have been very eventful. I am greatly blessed!!!
SAT 23 JAN 88
Terrible day at the shop. Peter had 2 more discussions tonight. It won’t be long before he’s baptized. He seems to have a positive testimony.
SAT 13th FEB
Today Peter was baptized.
SUN 14 FEB.
Valentine’s Day today. My card was a poem written on the back of a makeshift card given me 3 years ago. Oh well! It was a lovely poem.
Yesterday was a special day. Peter was baptized. Ronnie seemed very anxious. He said he wasn’t, but it must have been a very exciting moment for him to baptize his son. It’s the first child of his own he has been able to perform this ordinance for.
Peter’s Mum [Christine] and Dick [Webster] came, also Maurice and Linda [Goodwin]. I don’t really know how they feel. Linda tends to be defensive and Maurice isn’t really interested in religion. I think he feels he doesn’t need it. I shall continue to pray for them.
Gary stayed a week in San Francisco. His relationship with Kathy King didn’t blossom, so he caught a plane to Seattle and is now stopping with Pam for a few months. Pam rang me. She was so excited.
Joanne spends a lot of time at Julie Dunn’s these days. She came home this weekend and cleaned the house for me --- Bless her!
My back has been hurting and I can’t do housework very well.
July 10th 1988
Joanne moved into a flat a Bradford with Julie Dunn earlier this year. She and Julie have had their ‘ups and downs’, but so far they are still friends. We went over to see her on Friday and took a wardrobe for her. She is afraid to be alone in the flat. I remember when I used to be afraid all the time. It’s not very pleasant. I pray every day for her.
Tonight we had a fireside H/P [for the Huddersfield Second ward's High Priest Group] at our home. It was very enjoyable. We plan to try to get more togetherness in our ward, that we might be a Zion people. Our first project is a social evening with lots of skits that we used to put on years ago. Maybe we can have some projects for helping people, like gardening or decorating.
We have started selling second-hand furniture at the shop in Paddock this last month. It seemed to be better, but this last week takings dropped again.
I finished Institute and feel glad of a rest for the summer. It was very time consuming, and I don’t know if I would be able to do it again?
SUN 17 July
Adam was 9 years old today. I wanted to ring him, because his card won’t get there until tomorrow, but I forgot. It really isn’t because I don’t love him, because I do.
This morning I taught my Sunday School class of Carol, Nicholas [Stevens] and Sherry [Fielding]. We had a good lesson because they wanted to know things. I am getting closer to them.
I took a sandwich and stayed to Ward 1 Meetings so that I could visit Primary. What a super Primary --- so well run, so spiritual, such love. I wish all Primaries were like that.
Tonight we went to Bradford to a S/I Fireside. Ronnie spoke on Esther. It was a very amusing, but also edifying talk. He makes the scriptures live. He said Esther had a mission in life, and we all have missions.
I think one of mine is to get Ronnie to the C. Kingdom, and he me.
Wonder what Gary is doing. He will be 22 soon.
Carol Iverson put my name down for Institute today. Shall I teach it or not. I really don’t know what to do.
I am reading the Book of Mormon every day just now.
Peter was asking about being sealed today. I wouldn’t mind him being sealed to us. He is a good lad. He was made a teacher last week and seems to take the priesthood seriously.
Ronnie is trying to improve the ‘standards’ in YM and YW [Young Men and Young Women]. They are to hold opening exercises in the chapel in skirts and trousers, not jeans. There is some resistance. It may take another generation to get it right, but standards must be raised. They have been slowly deteriorating for years.
I don’t worry that Ronnie doesn’t really love me. Over the years I have come to accept that he really does. I guess it’s because he is so good to me.
TUES 19 July 1988
“Guess who’s back in Bradford,” Ronnie said. “Gary,” I said, and I was right. He doesn’t seem to know what his plans are yet. We just wait and see.
Had S/I meeting tonight. Ronnie was good, then we went to Bradford to see himself. Same as ever!! He says Pam has sent me some more knitting orders. It could be good.
SUN 14th AUGUST
Last night Dodo left this world after a week of struggling either to die or stay alive. I’m not sure which. She was 82 and a very frail old lady. She had cancer of the liver, but we don’t know how long she suffered before she gave in. We did all we could to make her life a comfortable as possible in her last few weeks.
I slept over at nights and Maurice and Linda came in the morning whilst Janet and Audrey came in the afternoons. Ronnie picked me up at night to take me over and Maurice ran me home in the mornings. Everyone did what they could.
I rang Joanne. She said she had been alright until they started singing hymns, then she had to leave the chapel in tears. Gary, who was on the stand, opened with prayer, then left the chapel to comfort Joanne.
When I rang Karen, she was upset because she said it was the last of the older generation. She had sent Dodo a lovely card and a letter last week. She couldn’t visit as she is very close to having her baby.
18 AUG 1988
Yesterday was Dodo’s funeral. I really felt her presence. It was good being with the family again. It’s a pity that the only time we get together is at funerals. We went back to Maurice and Linda’s for a bite to eat. Gillian was there and Jeanette. Gillian lives in Scarborough now. I haven’t seen her for years. Joanne didn’t know her cousins.
Ronnie, Joanne and I went to the school at the bottom of Car Lane afterwards. Barrie (Vic’s brother) bought the school a few years ago. He has made a beautiful home out of part of it, and the rest is a factory making Sooty and Sweep and a kind of Grotto of the sets from TV series with some animation. It really was quite charming. I hadn’t seen Barrie for about 18 years. He was a bit surprised when I walked in.
When I saw the beautiful home he had, I felt a bit envious. Then I realized that I had much more. I had the gospel.
We have a Chinese neighbour. He is a student at Huddersfield Technical College for a year. He works for a TV program in China that puts out university programs --- home study . He often comes in to talk with Ronnie and apparently has been telling his tutor what an interesting man Ronnie is. The tutor rang with a message for Jian Jun and said he would like to meet Ronnie.
I wish I could get him [Ronnie] to school and get some papers to say how clever he is. There is so much need for his skills as a teacher. There seems to be so much time wasted on trying to make money. I’m sure we are facing the wrong direction. The Lord looks after us.
It seems as if everything is going wrong and I feel very low. The shop isn’t taking the rent. The van has broken down. We have had to pay an unfair car repair bill. The garment I am knitting I have had to pull back twice, because I knit it wrong. Now I find the wool is 2 different shades. When I count my blessings compared with my trials I know I am fortunate indeed. Then why do I feel so low and why do I struggle not to blame the Lord? Now is the time to take my favourite scripture literally --- “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding.”
What I want to know is “Can I ask to prosper or will the Lord not intervene and allow me to struggle on in uncertainty?” If only He would give me wisdom. Do I not listen to the Still Small Voice? I know He loves me. My biggest worry is that I will get into a financial mess and not be able to pay my debts. I would hate to let people down.
S P E C I A L
Jacob Alexander Mark was born today. We went to see him on Wednesday the 31st. He is beautiful! Karen was quick off the mark again. In fact, she never got to hospital. Jacob was born in the dining room as she went to fetch her case. Lewis was as good as ever and Karen’s visiting teacher was there very quickly to give support. I guess that’s what visiting teachers are for.
I am looking forward to the blessing on Wednesday 7 September. Louise [Scholes] took me and Sis. H[ush, Evonne] down to Karen’s to see the baby. We had a lovely day.
15 SEPT 1988 THURS.
Yesterday Maurice’s wife, Linda, rang me. She isn’t very well and wanted to talk. They love each other, but have a problem which is driving them apart. Linda’s sons cause a lot of trouble at home and Maurice feels Linda doesn’t support him. Linda gets afraid because Maurice gets very angry so she tries to smooth things over.
I am grateful that Ronnie and I have got over our family problems. In fact, we never had any that came between us. Children can be a pain at times, but you just have to go on loving them.
Gary has finished his school. It didn’t last very long. He can’t get dole money or a grant this year, so he is looking for a job. Last night was an all priesthood night and Gary spoke at a minute’s notice about how a mission had helped him. I wasn’t there, but it’s good to know he was there, and doing his duty.
I have been released from my calling as Sunday School teacher to the 14/15 year olds and called as a Sunbeam teacher [in Primary]. I will love that, but regret having to say ‘goodbye’ to the youth. I was just beginning to get close to them. I must write to each one.
SUN 25 SEPT 88
The last three weeks have been busy ones. I have been visiting the wards for their conferences as Stake Inservice Leader, and I have been lucky to feel the good spirit at each one. Of course, I loved Bradford 2nd Ward. It was like going home for a visit. Everyone loved and hugged me and made me feel special. Gary and Joanne sat with me and I was able to speak for Violet.
Last Friday was a Sisters Meeting for all wards and President Jokl spoke. Unfortunately I forgot it was on and missed it. I was upset, but more so when I discovered Joanne was there. It was the first one she has attended as a member of Relief Society, and I could have been with her. Oh! For lost opportunities.
Joanne is progressing very well. She has been out with about 6 sisters who haven’t a visiting teaching companion, and babysat for Ruth and Ian [Jackson] twice this month. She is a lovely young woman and deserves a lovely young man. I pray she may find one.
Gary has a 5 week job at a _____office. It is a start, I suppose. I pray the Lord will give him some guidance.
Last Monday we took a young man [Chandra] into our home. He is a student from Singapore on a 3-year law course at Huddersfield Poly. He hopes to become a barrister. I hope he makes it. He is a fine, young man and we feel like he belongs already. Last night we took him and our Chinese friend, Chien Chune [Jian Jun] , to a show at church, “Yeoman of the Guards.”
Well, how about Ronnie. Well, we seem to be changing our lives just now and moving in different directions. Ronnie had an interview on Tuesday at Leeds University, and the man there gave him an essay to do on covenants. He has been studying all week for it. (Exciting times.)
Hopefully, the shop will be sold by Wednesday next week. I have already sent samples down to London of knitted jumpers and I hope I can get some orders from there. Pam rang and said she hopes to send me some orders.
Last week a young man from Cleethorpes wrote to Joanne. He met her at a dance. (Who is he, I wonder?) Pam and Karen were lucky or should I say greatly blessed. Will Joanne be? !!
[The day of] Jacob’s blessing. Ronnie, Gary, Joanne, Peter and I set off at 7:30 to Telford. We had a lovely day. The spirit in their ward is good and the congregation has grown a lot since we were last there.
Karen was quite amiable and we enjoyed our visit. Lewis gave the baby a beautiful blessing. He mentioned that Jacob would have the strength to withstand all the upheaval in the world which he would witness.
I didn’t enjoy the ride home. I really hate the motorway.
We sold the shop last Thursday for £2,000. We owe Peggy £3,000 but hopefully I can get my knitting business going.
Joanne is growing up. She looked very beautiful this weekend.
THURS 6 OCT 88
I have been dieting since Monday. Well, not exactly dieting, as much as controlling my appetite. Chandra eats very little, but enjoys what he does eat. No matter how much food I leave him, he only takes a small amount. I am learning to eat what I need and not to eat food just because it’s there, or someone else might get more than I do. I feel if I can control my appetite, I will have made big steps in self-discipline.
I have been asked to do a New Testament Symposium for Bradford 2nd Ward on November 5th. I at first said no, I couldn’t possibly do it. Then I realized my lack of faith in the Lord. If he wants me to do it, he must know I am capable and what I lack. If I am willing, he will supply.
Ronnie is to do one on the Old Testament.
The bishop of Bradford 2nd Ward, Kenneth Leonard, is very wise. He wants more spirituality in his ward and he is trying to get his people to study the scriptures.
SUN 16th OCT
It was the Primary Sacrament Presentation today. It is amazing how good the children can be when they want. The rehearsals were noisy and it would appear that no one listened, but all was well. I’m sure the Lord steps in when everyone has done their best.
Saturday was the Road Show. Our ward didn’t put one on as too many people pulled out. We don’t seem to have any unity in our ward. Bradford 2nd Ward won the shield. Joanne was a spider with a speaking part and Gary was a large hand. Neither of them could be seen!!
Pam rang last Wednesday. She was in high spirits and said she is trying still to get me some knitting orders. She needs another catalogue. She said that she and Karen were very good mothers who got involved with their children’s lives. How I wished I had done more.
Life wasn’t easy for me as I had to earn money to keep our heads above water all the time. It’s very tiring running a home and working and involving yourself in your children’s lives. I could have done more I feel if I had been pointed in the right direction. I am a better mother now than then, but there again I’ve had more time and experience to learn in. I find Relief Society a good teacher.
Last Thursday I filled out a form at ASDA, a supermarket, for a part-time job. I hope I can get it. I need to earn £1000.00 to pay Peggy off.
19 Oct 1988
The days go by so quickly. I hardly seem to have time to turn around. Linda came today. She seems a lot brighter. I feel it helps her to visit with me. I have promised to go over to Bradford next Tuesday.
I posted June’s [Lawrence] waistcoat today, which I have knitted for her. I do hope she likes it.
Ronnie is at night school tonight, and I may go visiting teaching if Leslie Dearnley can make it.
Last night we babysat for Silva Scott. She gave us a box of out-of-date chocolate --- who cares about the date? Will I ever get slim, I ask myself?
Ronnie wrote me some ideas out for my presentation in Bradford on the 5th of next month. I am nervous about it, but not as nervous as I thought I would be. Maybe my faith is paying off.
28 Oct 1988
Taught the Institute class last night. I hope I helped them to understand some things about conversion being an ongoing thing.
I have been busy cleaning all day. I am so much slower now I’m nearly 55. I don’t know why it surprises me, but it does.
The news tonight is about a rapist, 2 whales caught in the ice in Eskimo land, and a fight between labour and conservatives in the Bradford council. Why, oh why, aren’t they blazing the news that an Apostle of the Lord is here in Huddersfield, talking to the stake presidents.
What a spirit there must be up there in the chapel. Ronnie chief usher and Gary is an usher. President Monson is in town. What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall. Second best is having Ronnie there to tell me about it.
Had a beautiful day at Scarborough Conference today. Neal A. Maxwell (an Apostle) was there and Thomas S. Monson and President Osborn, of the Area Presidency. Friday night and all day Saturday Ronnie was chief usher at the Huddersfield Chapel where the General Authorities were meeting with Stake Presidents from all over Great Britain and Africa. Gary was an usher on Friday night, but he didn’t turn up until late on Saturday. I must admit I was disappointed.
Joanne said today she really enjoyed it. I hope she felt the spirit.
Neal A. Maxwell talked about Joseph Smith and what a great contribution he made to the world. He brought forth a Marvellous Work and a Wonder. He said how Thomas B. Marsh left the church because of Joseph’s little imperfections and later came back repentant. Lorenzo Snow said Joseph’s imperfections strengthened him, because he felt that if the Lord could take Joseph, imperfections and all, and use him so, then there was hope for himself and for all of us. I am so glad I belong to God’s church and the Lord sees fit to use me. President Monson told us to be prepared to answer when people asked us what we believe, to think about what we would say. He would start at the beginning and say we lived with our Heavenly Father and go on from there.
Yesterday, I had 2 Jehovah’s Witnesses at my door and I told them I was a Latter-day Saint. One of them asked what I believed and I wasn’t ready. I said we believed in Christ as our Saviour and that we were in the Latter Days when he would come and reign personally upon the earth. Gosh, that wasn’t enough was it. I blew it this time.
We met many people we hadn't seen for a long time. It was a very uplifting day. We say hymns on the way home, and Diane Brill sang a couple of songs for us. She has a beautiful voice.
27 Nov 1988
Just got back from London. I missed not going to church today. We usually travel early evening after going to Hyde Park Chapel, but there had been a lot of fog about the last few days so we decided to travel during daylight hours. It took 4 ½ house at about 50 milers per hour, which was a nice steady run. I do hate travelling fast.
Chandra and Peter were just finishing washing up and all was well at home.
Jian Jun, our Chinese neighbour had walked the dogs during the week and he came to help us unpack the car. He is a lovely young man, and he is coming to stay with us for a few weeks over Christmas.
I am looking forward to Christmas. We are going to Karen’s. Last weekend was enjoyable. We were at Karen’s then.
Ronnie spoke and did a workshop for the Telford Convention for the Single Adults. They do love him in that program. I feel a little sad sometimes when people ask me if Ronnie is mine, and look wistful. I remember the feeling well, when I met an honourable priesthood member and found out he was married.
It was my 55th birthday (on 19 November 1988) and with money from Ronnie and Joanne I bought a bright red track suit, from Marks and Sparks (Spencer) no less! Gosh, am I going mad?
Karen bought me some lovely earrings and Gary --- are you ready? --- bought me some perfume.
I got a chance to study for an hour with Joanne in London. She is doing Institute class. She went home Thursday morning owing to a certain young man being home from his mission, who was taking a slight interest in her. His name is John Jenkinson. What will the future hold? Who knows --- only the Lord. I hope He will guide and direct them both.
I am going to write to my grandchildren in America and send the letter once a month, but write some every day, or at least when anything happens.
We went to the temple on Friday with Richard and Betty Ellsworth from the faculty at BYU Centre. It really was a good visit. I had a couple of good experiences whist in the temple and felt spiritually uplifted.
They, that is Richard and Betty, gave us a book “Getting To Know the Real You” written by Richard and his brother Sterling. That was really nice.
We bought a couple [of copies] of Book of Mormon and left one with a testimony in it for Bernard L[ane] who we met in the temple and who will be serving in Bristol soon. We also met Sonia Muir. Both these young people are from Bradford 2nd Ward.
We had a super Thanksgiving dinner made by the students at BYU on Thursday. We are going to help flood the earth with the Book of Mormon by giving one at least once a month. If we get a chance to give more then we will.
[Sun Jian Jun came with us to Kaern's for his first Christmas. Nathan Brownlow ran and jumped on his back saying, "I've got a Chinaman who's never had a Christmas!"]