Monday, November 21, 2016

Ambitious for Christ Talk

We are ambitious for Christ as we accept our difficulties and trials with patience and faith and find joy in our covenant path.

My dear brothers and sisters, we are ambitious for Christ when we serve faithfully, accept humbly, endure nobly, pray fervently, and partake worthily. Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita

Deborah and visiting all non members in the neighborhood.

Margaret Stewart
Margaret Stewart grew up in Perthshire Scotland. She was the sixth child in a family of seven, and spent her early childhood in one of the most beautiful and romantic regions of Scotland. We visited there last year and found it to be storybook beautiful.

Eventually her family moved to Dundee Scotland. It was here Margaret was baptized in a river one night at 15 by James Uri on January 25, 1865. She was surprised some time later when her home teacher, Robert Gardiner, began writing poetry to her. The friendship ripened into love and he purposed to her. Her father said, “He is a fine young man, Maggie, take him.” She was 18 when she quit the linen mills of Dundee.

They engaged passage on the sailing vessel, the EMERALD ISLE, which was to set sail the 20th of June 1868. It was on this vessel, as it was about to sail, and on the 20th of June, that Robert and Margaret were married, the ceremony being performed by Elder Aurelius Miner of the Liverpool office. Saturday, June 20, 1868, the packet ship Emerald Isle, sailed from Liverpool, with 876 saints, under the direction of Hans Jensen Hals.

Shortly after leaving port, great gales arose on the ocean, which buffeted them about for many days. The waves were mountainous, and many times the passengers feared they must be engulfed in the depths. In one of these terrible storms they were driven far off their course, carried by the impetuosity of the wind and waves near o the Bay of Biscay off the shores of Spain. To add to their discomfort they found that the machine used to distill salt water into fresh could not be operated, and they were under the necessity of using water stored in large casks, which no doubt, became contaminated. Only by boiling it were they free from contagion. The use of this water may have been contributing cause of so many deaths on the journey. For days, it is related; shoals of sharks and birds followed the ship awaiting the time when another poor unfortunate creature, wrapped in a canvas shroud, would be slipped over the side to become a repast for these scavengers of the sea.

When they arrived in New York Margaret had to dispose of many choice articles of linen and other cherished possessions which she acquired in Dundee, on account of the strict restrictions placed upon the emigrants, to lighten the weight of the luggage they were permitted to carry on the long journey over the plains and mountains.

Much has been written of the terrible hardships and harrowing experiences of the Pioneers while crossing the plains, “Where bones of the dead men lay,” but Margaret never referred to any of these unpleasant things. The railroad had been completed to Fort Benton, Nebraska, and from that point ox teams were attached to the 54 wagons, which reached Slat Lake City, September 15th 1868. She often related how she and her young companions walked beside the teams, plucking wild flowers which bordered the road in rich profusion, as they sang the songs that carried their memories back to their native land of “brown heath and shaggy wood,” or the songs of Zion, which had awakened in their souls the anticipated beauties of their prospective home in the mountains.

Many years later one of her children asked her: “Would you not like to go back to Scotland?” “No,” she answered,- “O, maybe for a visit; but this to me is the land of Zion, and here I wish to live in the fellowship of the Saints of God.”  

Emma goes on a mission

My grandmother was a small woman.  She stood only 4 foot ten.  Her own mother immigrated from Switzerland.  My grandmother kept a detailed journal for most of her life.  She grew up in Eden, Utah.  It is a small town next to Huntsville up the canyon from Ogden.  She made her way to Portland and eventually Los Angeles where she was a bookkeeper. 

In 1913 she records: We attended Church in a rented hall at 10th and Grand Avenue. It held all the members in Southern California, not a large congregation. Joseph E. Robinson was President of California Mission.

Grandma married in 1915.  She had my aunt in 1916 and my mother in 1925.

October 1st 1939, I received a call to be a Stake Missionary from President David H. Cannon. I was set apart by Stake Counselor Rulon Cheney, October 1, 1939, in the Glendale Chapel, then our Stake House. Leland Gillans was Hollywood Ward Mission President. My first partner was Susanna Parkinson Nielsen. She had great faith and has since been one of my dearest friends. Mary Birnie was another of my companions. I also went with Henrietta Reed, Mada Peery, Alfred Price and his wife and Mittie Green of Elysian park Ward.

The two summers I spent in Utah, my sister, Bertha Stallings and I visited people in Farmington. I held 16 cottage meetings in the two years, one in Farmington and one in my own home in May 1941, at which Charles Norberg spoke. Mathias F. Cowley was the speaker at one cottage meeting held at the home of his daughter, Elna Austin.

I kept a record of my mission, all the calls I made etc. The only week I missed going tracting two part days each week was a week I spent in Logan Temple in July 1940. I was released from the Stake Mission November 2, 1941, at the Los Angeles Stake House. The missionary work took a great deal of my time, but I am very grateful for having filled a Stake Mission.

During my two years mission from October 1939 to November 1941, I went out doing tracting 230 times, put in 795 hours, entered 283 homes for first time, made 233 revisits, had 496 invitations to return, held 1108 conversations (five minutes or more, I believe) gave our 2666 tracts and held 16 cottage meetings. In cottage meetings at our home, Angus Elmer Peterson offered prayer. William and Ruby Lund were there. Charles Norberg spoke on Joseph Smith. Brother Norberg was a very inspiring speaker.

Ryan keeps the Sabbath Day holy

I have a son who was very unmotivated during his teenage years.  Even after his mission things came so easily to him that he put in very little effort.  In 2005 he returned from his mission to Chile.  Then he got married in 2009.   From that point on his motivation went through the roof.  While at BYU he decided he wanted to be a dentist. 

The competition to get into dental school is extremely stiff.  He worked hard, got good grades, shadowed a dentist in Provo and was accepted to UNLV Dental School.

In 2013 they have Luke who has a down syndrome.  I travel to Vegas for Luke's blessing.  Now I have heard thousands of prayers.  Many of them in trying or touching situations.   Ryan's blessing of little Luke was the most beautiful pray I have heard in this life.  I turn to Ryan's father in law and he says the same thing. Before he begins dental school Ryan decides But he didn't actually want to be a dentist he wanted to be an Orthodontics.  Only the top couple of students in dental school are qualify for this honor.  Not only that but  Ryan decides he will not study on Sunday.  He make it his family day.  He also gets up each morning and reads the scriptures.  It is a habit he has had since his mission.  He told me he needs the companionship of the holy ghost in his studies because there are smarter people in his school and he wants to be in the top of his class.  Last year he is in the top few of his class, graduates and after traveling all over the US going to interviews he is one of two people accepted at LSU Orthodontics School of Dentistry.

In talking to him lst Sunday he did some figuring.  In order to get into orthodontics school he has gone to school  20,000 hours, and spent $300,000.  Putting the Lord first hasn't made his life easy but it has made his life good.  He now has two sons.  His second son is healthy.  But Ryan and his wife love both of their children.  They view them as gifts from God.  Ryan has been ambitious for Christ.  He still reads his scriptures daily and for Ryan and Stephanie Sunday is a family day.

Kelly gets to know her ancestors

Over the last year we have witnessed a number of miracles in our Family History Class.  My friend Kevin Large used to say that family history is like popcorn.  You heat it up a bit and suddenly the Lord multiplies your efforts and you see great dividends.

I'm sure you young mothers can appreciate how busy Kelly Hall is.  She has a family to care for, a husband to support and she is the Relief Society President.  In spite of the demands on her she has had an interest in family history and temple work.  She heard of some family records owned by her father and grandfather but has been unable to obtain them for many years.  Earlier this year her father came to visit and brought a box of important family records.  Deborah, Kelly and I went to the BYU library and digitized them.  Next year Kelly is planning on visiting her grandfather who she has never met in Hawaii.  Not only that but he has an interest in family history and will surely be able to add much to Kelly's knowledge about her family.

May we be ambitious for Christ as we accept our difficulties and trials with patience and faith and find joy in our covenant path. My dear brothers and sisters, we are ambitious for Christ when we serve faithfully, accept humbly, endure nobly, pray fervently, and partake worthily. Elder Kazuhiko Yama-shi-ta