A family that speaks together, stresses together

Last Sunday, we were asked to speak in church on the talks of our choice from the 2016 General Conference. In my past congregations, children 12 and older give talks in Sacrament Meeting in front of the entire congregation so Hadley was expecting to give her first talk in our new ward. What surprised us is that younger children are also called upon to speak so our entire family shared our testimony on Sunday.

The crazy thing is Facebook’s timehop memory of the day was from six years ago when the kids participated in the Arvada 2nd Ward’s Primary Program. This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of them:

What a difference six years makes!

Bode based his talk on President Monson’s talk The Perfect Path to Happiness. Bode was so cute as he joked around while the microphone was being lowered lowered lowered and did an awesome job sharing our his personal path to happiness. My favorite lines from his talk:

I was baptized when I was 8 because I wanted to follow Jesus’ example. As I stepped into the font, I felt peaceful. When I was underneath the water, I felt like nothing could hurt me.

A few minutes later, my dad put his hands upon my head. When he said “Receive the Holy Ghost,” my head felt like it was lit up with fireworks. I felt the spirit charging through my head and body!

I’ve just started on this Perfect Path to Happiness but I know that no matter how old you are—if you’re 10 like me or 90 that you can feel the spirit. And that God knows who you are and that you are an important part of His plan.

I was really proud of Hadley because she wrote her own talk. She based her remarks on Elder Juan Useda’s harrowing experience at Machu Picchu in The Lord Jesus Christ Teaches Us to Pray. 

 Unfortunately, I realized that recently I have a very similar experience to Elder Useda. A few months ago my parents decided I should go to both this wards girls camp and my previous wards girls camp. I moved here from Denver and it happened to be high adventure week. We did a whole lot of really cool things but the big one that was really shaking every one up was the fourteener we had to climb. Colorado has 54 peaks higher than 14,000 feet—pretty amazing! To put this in perspective, Utah’s highest mountain is King’s Peak and is around 13,500 feet. The leaders did a very good job with making it high adventure!

 This was the second fourteener I had climbed and I was with the faster group so I summited fairly quickly, and was in the very first group to come down. At the steepest and most dangerous part of the trail it started to hail. A lot of the people with us were crying and really scared! I didn’t have the proper gear for hail so I used my friend’s bandana for protection—that didn’t work so well. After a few minutes of wondering if I was going to die my thoughts tuned to the slower group, and realized that they were at the very summit of the mountain. I said a prayer in my heart afraid that if I took my hands down from my head that I would get hurt, but after only a few minutes the hail lessened.

Once everyone got back to the car, their side of the story was that they were literally in the cloud getting pounded by the hail and electrocuted by the shocks. Screaming and crying someone suggested they say a prayer. Not too long after that a group of experienced hikers helped them get to a safe spot until the hail stopped. It makes me wonder what would have happened if no one prayed!?

I’d like to share my testimony that I know that prayer can help us through big and small things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

I based my talk on Elder Schmutz’s General Conference talk “God shall wipe away your tears,” a super powerful talk for anyone who has ever wondered why bad things happen to good people and why we have to go through hardships in our lives. I spoke about some of the struggles we had the last 10 months during our move and some of the miracles along the way (which is another post for another day).

The kids and I wrote our talks shortly after receiving the assignment. The Master Procrastinator a.k.a. Jamie waited until the morning of church to start pulling his talk together. As he walked into the bedroom, I asked him how to pronounce “Schmutz,” to which he held up MY topic. 

“You can’t steal my talk!” and I proceeded to go through his papers, crossing out everything I was planning to talk about.

Procrastinators never prosper…or do they? He ended doing an amazing job winging it, talking about some of his miracles in our move as well as giant pumpkins. because (in his words) is God not the Master Gardener?

At least there is full disclosure of our craziness in our new ward.

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