Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memoir from Marci


For the last five years I have really looked forward to summer break. My body just seems to flow with the natural movements of getting up in the morning when I feel completely rested. My eating habits seem healthier, I appreciate the small things like slowing down, not always in a hurry to get to the next thing in my life. I even like chewing my food slower. Summer is just a restful, peaceful time for me. The heat doesn't even bother me any more, although it's nice having central air in the house.

Getting outside and moving around in my  little secret garden brings so much pleasure and delight to me. My little seedlings have started to sprout and my tomatoes are growing strong in the warm sun. This past spring has been very cool and rainy. Lot's more moisture than usual! I'm not complaining, it was nice. My tomatoes have kind of struggled and haven't gotten a head start like they did last year so next spring I may keep them in the house longer by my warm bay window. Our Provo mountains are beautiful, they have more green covered all over them. I feel so blessed to live in such an amazing valley!

Last month I renewed our membership to the Provo Recreation Center since GW is now an official senior citizen. The price for a couple is $200.00 a year so I couldn't wait to get started again and use the facility more often. When the rec center first opened we had a family pass for about eighteen months but it expired about a year ago. I have missed the weight lifting machines because they seem to stretch my stiff bones and muscles.  Yesterday I found out that there is a weight lifting coach on hand three days a week. The price is $5.00 a session if you already have a membership so I'm going to budget one session a week.

Today I met my new coach. Her name is Krisy. She is majoring in Exercise Fitness at BYU and she is just a tiny young thing. It doesn't bother me one bit to have a pretty healthy gal helping me, I like her happy attitude and I think we'll get along just fine. She asked me what my goals were for the summer. I told her I usually always lose around ten pounds every summer and gain it all back on by the time the school year is over. So my goal for this summer is to lose twenty pounds and maybe keep going once school starts so I get back to my thirty year old self again. I listened to George Noory on the radio last night and his mother told him that even though she is eighty-seven years old she still feels like she is in her forties! Now that would be a nice goal to have, always feeling like I'm in my forties. Although when I was forty I was forty pounds over weight through out that age so I'm shooting for thirty. That was my ideal self.

Here's the funny thing. Even though I'm not my ideal self right now, I still like myself. My body struggles more when I try certain things so I guess in the back of my mind being lighter would probably be easier and better for me, but if I don't make it I'm ok with that. I'll just keep trying. Life is good.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sister San Diego

The title of a fabulous talk by Jeffery R Holland!
Explains my entire week...
Trails. Satan. Etc.
It just means something amazing and life changing is about to happen.
Confront your trials and face your fears.
Also... Speaking of Elder Holland, HE'S GOING TO BE HERE IN 3 DAYS.
I've already been having dreams of meeting him haha! My excitement
level CANNOT be measured.
All is well! Sister Essymba and I have literally been playing "Come,
Come Ye Saints" on repeat for the past 3 days. Life=theme song.
She also taught me a song in Kota! (One of the 13 African dialects she knows)
It goes as follows:
"Yow bay ya papay yow bay ya
Koomoo NA goo gala yo bay
Papa bung a buh bana"
Now.. Video tape yourselves reading THAT and send it to me so I can
make my companion smile ;)
Once upon a time,
Sister Essymba and I were driving in the car. She declares to me out
of the blue:
"Sister Carlson,
When my grandmother was 14, she was lost in the forest for 5 years.
She came out of this experience knowing everything about the earth.
Which leaves will heal you, which leaves will kill you. She is a wise

... I know.
The work!
Keep breathing deeply because we're still so busy I can hardly keep
up! I'm starting to think that's just how life goes in La Jolla.
It's been kind of fun connecting with those whom I knew a year ago.
For instance:
This week we had a lesson with a gal named J. We invited H
to come along since they are both UCSD students (reminder, I taught
H a year ago when she was investigating) J LOVED the Plan
of Salvation and it was incredible to hear H's testimony of when
she first was taught the plan. It struck me at that moment that I was
surrounded by converts (and a soon to be recent convert). How
beautiful this gospel is and how often I am reminded of that by my
very own recently converted companion. To hear a converts testimony is
equal to non-other. I would say that's true even in my own family.
(Thanks dad)
I am so thankful God allowed me to come back to La Jolla. We've been
visiting so many people I already had connections with and it is
bringing miracles. Drawing people back to the fold and inviting others
in! There is no better work.
With the thought of drawing others in, I would like to end with a few
notes I took at the last MTE's. President showed us a short clip of
David A Bednar, standing in front of these missionaries, telling them
how to pray ha!:
"Please bless those that aren't here his week, that they will be here next week"
Totally faithless. That is the prayer of an object. That prayer in
essence is: we're not going to do anything.
Instead- "we thank thee that we could partake of the sacrament, thank
thee for the spirit, we are now going to conclude this meeting and go
home, Heavenly Father, today we're not going to ask thee to bring
people to church next week. We're going to go do it, and we're going
to do it now. Everyone here knows at least one person that is not
here. We're all going to go get them. We're going to go to their homes
and ask them with love, why weren't you at church today? Can we help?
I have no authority, if he bishop doesn't like what I'm praying, he
can ask me to sit down, but he hasn't asked me to sit down. So I'm
going to keep going. We always talk, we hardly do. We don't need any
meetings to do this. We're going to go. Please inspire us so that we
do not now all go to the same house"
Pray with the expectation to act. 25% would come back if we acted. Ask in faith.
Cut the fluff.
Fear not.
I love you all
-Sister Carlson

Our apartment

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Jen's Birthday

 A fun gift from Sister Carlson
San Diego Padres

Had a great visit with Dr. Dunn

Lakeside 6th Ward Young Women and Young Men hiking the Y.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sister San Diego

All is well!
Crazy busy week. I am currently sitting in Costco while sister Essymba
gets an eye exam. You know what they say: "if you can see, you stop
getting headaches".
That's not a saying :)
Ha! I don't even know where to start..
Tuesday- Added D with a date.
Wednesday- Taught at Zone Meeting with Sister Schmitt.
Thursday- MTE's! Gave a STEPP talk. Went back to Mt. Woodson with Sister E heh..
Friday- MTE follow ups. Added Sherif with a date.
Sunday- R's confirmation! I gave a talk on being a disciple of
Christ. W bore his testimony at the Mission President's Fireside!
Had the chance to sing with Sister Starr!

Okay so we just spent the rest of our P-day with Sister Schmitt and it
was a blast haha!
We traveled in-between Costco and Walmart (driving the mission
president's wife places... Breath in.... Breath out) she is so
amazing. At Costco, she was talking to the woman taking her money...
And she was able to convince her to meet with the YSA missionaries in
Chula Vista. Ah Sister Schmitt. I just spent my day laughing and
loving her. At Walmart, she was cracking jokes right n' left then gave
me a pep talk about my life when I get home. Apparently she and sister
Richardson have planned my singing carrier. We get to teach with her
tonight as well! Ah :D Sister Schmitt.. Mission mom ;)

Well. No time to write anything else. Ha!
I love you all so much.
The crowning characteristic for love is loyalty. Here's some thoughts
from my talk. Don't laugh:
Now I'm here replacing sister Wilson, it's a hard task to do. One, she
is so loved, and two, I literally cannot fill in her shoes. She's a
size 10, I'm a size 5.
Once upon a time I asked sister Wilson what was the number one thing
she learned on her mission: it's kind of flipped but she learned who
she can become. What it means to be a disciple of CHRIST.
Friday we had a meeting with our mission president. He showed us a
clip from a talk Jeffery R Holland gave:
"What I need, Peter, are disciples--and I need them forever. I need
someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach
my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly,
truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned
me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It
is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the
ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to
change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last
time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify,
labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you
exactly what they did to me.”
Then, turning to all the Apostles, He might well have said something
like: “Were you as foolhardy as the scribes and Pharisees? As Herod
and Pilate? Did you, like they, think that this work could be killed
simply by killing me? Did you, like they, think the cross and the
nails and the tomb were the end of it all and each could blissfully go
back to being whatever you were before? Children, did not my life and
my love touch your hearts more deeply than this?”
My beloved brothers and sisters, I am not certain just what our
experience will be on Judgment Day, but I will be very surprised if at
some point in that conversation, God does not ask us exactly what
Christ asked Peter: “Did you love me?”"
If he love me, keep my commandments.
D&C 42:29 If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments.
Obedience burns miracles, but exact obedience brings miracles.
To do missionary work, we first have to focus on ourselves. Sanctify
yourselves. Love God. Be obedient . No growth in the comfort zone and
no comfort in the growth zone.
Once you've fixed yourself on Christ, share! Remember these people are
your brothers and sister. Remember the worth of souls.
D&C 18:10-16
Fear not. Isaiah 41
Sorry if it doesn't make sense! Haha!! Look
Revelation when I went to the temple today? "Be more like your mother"
Take it what you will. I cried.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Jess has been gone for almost an entire year. These are emails sent her to since May 2015.

May 2016

Dear Jess,

Next week we get to hear your voice once again! Our church starts at 9:00 am and goes to 12:00 noon. I am really looking forward to seeing your beautiful face and talking to you at the same time! Technology is amazing!!
Today our testimony meeting was very spiritual. The spirit was so strong you could cut it with a knife. I think my eyes stayed moist during the entire meeting. I enjoyed hearing from some of the soon to be high school graduates, like Vanessa Hinckley and Brooke Tuinei. Their testimonies really touched me. 

Dad went with me to the Finance class during Sunday School. It was awesome. I am learning lots! In fact dad liked it so much today that for Mothers Day he is going to hold a family meeting with Jake, maybe Brittany, Jen and Julz. We are going to talk about what we learned today and maybe next weeks lesson.

This next up coming week is dance week at BYU. We have tickets for Friday night. Julz will have to miss a rehearsal on Wednesday night since she has a Jazz concert. So there will be a lot of driving on my part but the weather has been so nice and cool that I don't have many complaints. 

Dad fixed almost all of the broken things around the house yesterday. It took most of the day but no matter we saved a lot of money.

Love, mom

Email to Jess April 2016

Dear Jess,

Conference just ended and we are all happy and uplifted. The spring weather is beautiful outside so I opened all the windows. My eyes are kind of itchy from allergies but I don't care. I just love conference weekend. I got a lot of cleaning done yesterday so I'm happy to have a clean house as well.

Some of the talks that stick out in my mind are probably the most recent Sunday talks. I really like it when apostle's share stories about the veil. When Elder Cook shared about the extra person in the mirror in one of the celestial rooms I went wow. That daughter was aloud to show herself from the other side so she could be sealed to her parents. I can't wait to see my mom someday, I miss her although I think I felt her spirit a few days ago. Maybe because Three Lakes finally got sold. She told me about thirteen years ago if the property ever got sold I should pay off what we owe on our house.  I'll probably do that some time in a few days! I didn't think it was ever going to happen but it has truly come to pass!!

Another talk that touched me was the General Authority from England. Not only did I love his accent but he opened my heart for the families that have to leave the Middle East. He also touched Elder Uchtdorf as well. I'm glad the church is reaching out to help all the millions of refugees. The news tends to make the refugees sound like a bread in place for terrorist. How can that be when half of them are children.

Elder Gong opened up his talk about his wife losing her cell phone which was great and Elder Hales gave a funny  story about the young man having a dream who his future wife should be. The young woman he was dating gave an awesome answer!

I'm so happy to observe that your two sisters seem to growing closer. They really enjoyed going to the new Saturday's Warrior movie last night. Jenny said the entire theater was almost all females since the show was during the priesthood session. Eliza Tuinei talked Julie into running for sophomore secretary. Eliza ran for Vice President and they both won on Friday. I now like to call Julie Madam Secretary. She also wants to try out for Concert Choir after spring break. I hope she doesn't get mono like I did when I was a teenager. So far she has been doing very well.

Any way I mailed your package on Friday and when I get paid on the 15th of April I'll deposit another fifty dollars in your account so you can go out to eat or go buy something. Thank you for being such a good example. We love you and pray for you every day.

Love, mom

Emails to Jessie April 2016

Dear Jess,

You are officially no longer a teenager. Welcome to the adult world! 

Spring break is over and tomorrow Julz and I start back at school. The good part is school only has six weeks left! Ya hooeeee!

I read three books over the break. Two that an lds author wrote about romance  during the 1800's over in England. Very similar to Jane Austin and Jane Eyre novel's. The third book is called "Wonder". It's about a young boy who was born with a very deformed face. He had twenty-seven plastic surgeries for the first ten years of his life. His mother home schooled him until his tenth birthday. That's when the story begins on how he copes in a private school some where in New York City. The book was on the best sellers list for a while and even though it's for youth and teenagers to read I learned a lot about how the parents raised the young man to have such great confidence. School is very hard for him at first but he learns to adjust to his new environment. Wonder was a very good book and now I'm ready to go back to school to try and encourage younger kids to read.

Fast and testimony meeting is always good at our Ward.  I was doing fine until Lynn Belnap got up and started talking about her newly wed daughter Hannah. Apparently her diabetes is getting worse and her blood sugar is out of control. Through all her pain Lynn said that Hannah is still grateful for all her blessings and her husband. Hannah is really trying hard to look at all the good in this world even though her health is in serious jeopardy. Lynn read a part of Hannah's text saying that God is good no matter what. I couldn't hold back the tears.

God is good.

Love, mom

April 15, 2016
Hi Jess,

Tonight was our ward talent fair. They called it a fair this year because members brought things to display that are more like hobbies. So we had it at the Stake Center because one side of the gym had a bunch of tables set against the wall with everyone's hobbies or talents. There were three beautiful quilts. I hung mine and Pam Schow's quilt blocks that we are sewing from our RS sewing quilt class. Julie made a poster of her dancing photo's from BYU and played the dance she and Kirsten choreographed back in 2014 on Jenny's computer. 

I'm sending you a photo of Jim Robertsons rock collection, it was really neat. There were all kinds of things that were displayed. Then we had another program with singing, poetry, piano (Julie did her recital piece), violins, guitars and ukulele's, even a mandolin. I decided not to sing a country song this year. Instead I entered the cupcake competition for our first annual "Cupcake of Wars. I really took some time and researched on pinterest and youtube.  I was going to do an awesome german chocolate cup cake recipe that Stacy Bell gave me at work but I changed my mind since there were so many chocolate cup cakes.

Instead I found a carrot cupcake recipe with cream cheese in the middle of the cake part and cream cheese frosting on top with sprinkled sugar pecans and carmel syrup dripped on top. Well guess what I didtn't place in any of the categories or get 1st, 2nd or 3rd place. But, I won best in Crowd Favorite!! I was so surprised since there were so many cupcakes. Everyone who attended got to vote and I tied first with cute Cambree Thomas.  Kristen Thomas's daughter who is only twelve years old. I was soooo excited I screamed when they called my name because it was the last award of the evening!! Any way it was a fun evening and I won a baking cook book to go with my small collection of cook books. 

It's kind of funny since I've never made cupcakes from scratch. I've always bought the cake mix from a box. But I found out tonight the top winners used a box mix but just added pudding mix for moisture. Go figure.

I'm now up stairs writing to you since I can't go to sleep and your sisters are down stairs watching Pacific Rim with Michael VanWagoner. Dad left this morning with Grandpa to drive to New Mexico for Dad's dam conference and meetings with other dam engineers. Grandpa will stay in the hotel with dad at night and go visit his 97 year old brother and his 93 year sister in-law. This very couple both still live at their original home from when they were first married.  Dad and grandpa will visit for a week and then maybe drive to Phoenix Arizona to visit Grandpa's 88 year old sister. Dad said it all depends on how Grandpa feels. They may be gone for ten days or come home in seven. 

You looked really cute in the photo with your new b-day clothes! Your denture photo was my fave!!

Love, mom

Provo City Temple Celebration March 2016

Dear Jess,

The Saturday night temple celebration is over and it's a good thing I didn't go because I nearly cried through the entire program. Dad and Jen should be getting home soon but I have a feeling Julie won't be home for a while. Not one seat was vacant at the BYU Marriot Center.  Wouldn't it be great if you some how got to watch it due to wonderful technology. I hope some time during the next few weeks you'll get to watch the most inspired program put on by 1,000 youth.

I cleaned out my closet this afternoon and boy am I giving a lot to DI. It feels good to get a little spring cleaning done now that the weather is getting soooo nice. This morning after cleaning our church I drove to the Provo Library and parked my vehicle like I do at least three times a week and did my walk to the BYU bell tower. I wasn't even planning on going into the Marriot Center to watch the dance temple rehearsal, but as I got closer I decided to go in and watch. Lo and behold guess who was running the entire finale? Miss Kathleen Shefield herself. Now I think I know why she didn't teach this year. The entire program moved so smoothly that I have a hunch she probably over most of the celebration.

Anyway dad and Jen just got home and they said a friend of dads met them at the Marriot Center and gave them reserved seats right behind the General Authorities! So they had great seats through the entire celebration. Tonight I need to get a decent sleep so dad and I can rise early to get to the 9:00 am dedication. We have to be seated thirty minutes early so we are planning on leaving around 7:30 am.

Your package came on Jake's birthday and Brittney really, really liked your gift! Jake liked it as well and he said he would read your letter later. That was so thoughtful of you to mail your brother as well as Hanna a gift. Your sister's and Eliza T are over there right now delivering the gift and singing a song for her that Julz wrote. I hope Jen emails you the song, it is very good and very thoughtful. Jared Ockey thinks they should put the song on YouTube and charge $1.50.

Back to Jake's birthday. Of course he wanted to go to La Casita so we could all gorge our selves. Some of us even took half our meal home but after having birthday cake from Costco we all were in a food coma. I rented a PG movie that everyone really liked and then Jacob taught Brittney how to play the card game, Exploding Cats. I still can't get over how nice Brittney is to Jake. She seems calm and laid back. They seem really good for each other.

Love, mom

March 20, 2016

Email to Sister San Diego
Hi Jess,

We just got back from the temple dedication! It was so awesome!! Since dad and I got there an hour early we got to sit in the Terrestrial room. We even got to sit on the comfy cushion theater chairs that are so beautiful. (Everyone one in the Celestial room had to sit on folding chairs except Elder Oaks of course and the speakers. It pays to be early.) I think that's why dad and your sister got reserved tickets yesterday, because they went early. They already had the regular tickets that Julz's church leader gave me, but dad ran into the man he helped build the movie theaters in the temple parking lot so they got dang good seats in the Marriot Center. Come to think of it most of the couples in the Celestial room today were general authorities and stake presidents with their wives, so I'm sure they didn't mind sitting with an apostle on what ever chair there was available.

One of the most awesome parts was the beautiful window in our room that faces east. We had been sitting for about twenty minutes listening to the tab choir and watching movies of the different temples around the world on the TV screens when all of a sudden the sun came up over the mountain and shown through the beautiful large glass stained window!! The people to my left were smiling like me, it was great! It was like the Holy Ghost was joining us for the first Provo City Center Temple dedication. 😊
After about forty-five minutes Elder Oakes and his beautiful little wife came into the room, so  we all stood up as an apostle of the Lord walked up to the  the front of the room by the veil curtain and gave us a BIG wave!! That was really awesome! Elder Oaks conducted the meeting and gave a talk right before the dedicatory prayer. His voice was so deep and powerful I truly felt a witness that God's special witnesses are on the earth today.

Jenny Morrise sang in the small choir in the Celestial room, they sounded wonderful. In all it was a very memorable, glorious morning!

We only had to stand outside in line for about a half an hour early this morning and it wasn't even that cold thanks to my new pretty royal blue jacket I got at the DI for only $8.00. I think I'll call it my temple jacket from now on. There were spring flowers every where around the temple, it was just an all around wonderful day!

Love, mom

Early March email

Hi Jess, 

Michael VanWagoner just got home. Dad and Jen just went over to say hi. He was a strong missionary to stay out for two years. About every three or four months Kathy VanWagoner would announce in RS to pray for Michael. Due to his health issues he almost came home when he would get really sick but he stuck it out and that takes courage!

I forgot to mention Peg and Jeff Carter came up to dad and I after we gave our talk in the 1:00 pm 4th Ward Sacrament meeting. Peg attends the 4th Ward since she can't come to our 9:00 am meeting. (Due to the Tab Choir Spoken Word every week). Anyway, she thanked us for our talks and wanted me to say hi to you from her since she told me she doesn't get the chance to read your emails very often. So hi from Peg.


1st of March 2016 email to Sister Jess

Dear Jess,

I looked at the San Diego weather on line. It said you were finally getting more rain, which California desperately needs. Utah on the other hand has had lots of moisture so we are looking forward to a beautiful spring!!

Glad your still finding people to teach. It also sounds like you are doing lots of singing! I'm sure you are touching many hearts. Julz informed me this morning that she had a dream about you last night. Then she got dressed and went to church to play the organ for sacrament meeting. Jenny came to our church to support Julz and ended sitting up in the choir seats next to Julz for the entire sacrament meeting. I thought it was pretty cool.

Jen also went to her church and came home with a new calling as the Ward missionary. So that's pretty cool. Missionaries are awesome!

Dad helped me sew a quilted block yesterday. I joined a quilting group with some of the women in our Ward. The first block I sewed by myself turned out terrible because I cut the square blocks wrong. I was going to quit then dad walked into the bonus room where I was sewing and noticed how discouraged I was. So he sat down and cut out all new square blocks for me only in the right size. Then he mentioned better ways to sew the blocks together and guess what?  It turned out beautiful! I meet with the quilting group this Tuesday night and I can't wait to show and tell!

I'll probably write more tomorrow.

Love, mom

February 2016 emails to Jess

Dear Jess,

I still can't believe you didn't tell me you no longer needed to take birth control. Please give us a few details on why you think your body changed. I'm sure Jen would like to stop taking the pill but she had to change her prescription due to painful periods again last fall.

I'm taking Julz to the doctors on Wednesday for acne medication. We've been trying for three months and still can't get rid of the bacteria so we'll see how that route takes us.

Dad left this mornings to drive to New Mexico to inspect a dam. He had to drive a big trailer and Jen said he called earlier today to let us know a deer ran into his trailer while driving on the freeway but he was fine and the truck he was driving was fine. Apparently his trailer is pretty smashed on one side but it still travels fine. Dad won't get back until Thursday night so we will hold down the fort until he gets back.

Next week will be Julz's first time playing the Organ for sacrament meeting. I'm a nervous nelly but she seems very calm. I just won't let her know how nervous I really am.

We are so happy about your baptism. Dad wanted me to read your email out loud to him and your sisters but I couldn't get through without crying, so from now on he can read them out loud.

Stay safe, and continue to be grateful for life!

Love, mom

Dear Jess,

Last night we had a really wonderful valentines dinner and dance over at our church. Everyone was invited over eighteen which included Jen and Hannah. The food was pretty good, but the company was awesome. One funny game was played with couples and then great music and dancing. I was so tired when I got home I fell a sleep with my makeup on.

Yesterday dad and I had our cholesterol and blood pressure taken in the morning at the Sam's Club grocery pharmacy. My cholesterol came down another fifteen points from last month and dad was shocked to see that his blood pressure was way to high.  So we are back to focusing on a more plant based diet. I've got to make more hummus dip with chick peas so dad won't eat so much sour cream or cream cheese dip.  And, he needs to cut way back on chips and salty crackers and just eat whole grain crackers. Jen wants us to get off meat but I can't really seeing that happening, although we could eat it more sparingly like the word of wisdom states.

Now that valentines is over maybe we can cut out the sugar again. Tonight was Mathew Rubows eagle court of honor and afterwards Rachel had a ton of desserts and sweets!! I just took some grapes and went out into the foyer. I've started making spinach, frozen banana, and frozen berry smoothies for Julz and I almost every day. I think that's why my cholesterol is coming down. Julz has had a surprise break out of acne on her forehead lately and it has gotten worse so we are trying to help her with diet and anything else that might help.

I remember reading a couple of years ago how a plant base diet has helped women with endometriosis. Maybe we can try and get you and Jen off drugs by trying a strict regime someday. I'm just happy that your health has been so good while you've been out in California!!

Today dad and I taught our last lessons for Ward conference. We attended the 10th Ward where Anna Casperson's dad is now the bishop.  Their choir was big and very good today. The spirit was so strong in Sacrament meeting and dad taught a great Gospel Doctrine class afterwards. Next week we still have one more Ward conference to attend but dad and I don't have to teach. Sigh

Well tomorrow grandpa Carlson turns 90 years old!! We are taking him out to lunch so I need to get some shut eye. We thoroughly enjoy your emails each week. Drive safely. The news came out later in the week that the bus driver that killed the sister missionary last week and injured another ran a red light. So there wasn't much the sisters could do. So sad for the families but I'm sure our Heavenly Father is taking great care of his missionaries every where!!

Love, mom

January 2016 emails to Jess

Hi Jess,

Just got back from Mike Carson's piano recital rehearsal. Julz is ready to perform a very difficult piece of music. When she gets done her hands really hurt. Mike is doing his recital a month early this year.  I'm kind of glad so we can just enjoy the rest of the year!!

Yesterday dad and I went to two Ward conferences so we were gone for six hours. Plus dad had an early morning High Council meeting. He was pretty tired by the end of the day so I went with Julie to her fireside.

Next week Julz gets to go to church alone while dad and I go to the 14 th Ward conference. I have a feeling she will sit with Marselle Stephenson and her five kids. Did I mention she was having another boy this May? She is one tough mommy!

Please drive carefully and be cautious where ever you go. 

Love, mom

Dear Jessie,

I'm sure you are enjoying the sunny California now that the rainy days are gone for a while. It is still really cold around here in Provo Utah. Most of the snow has melted in the valley but plenty remains in the mountains. Last night I went with Julz to a kick off fireside for the Provo City Center Temple youth dance meeting. There was a great turn out and 
Wednesday starts all the dance rehearsals. There was a lot of excitement in the chapel!

Tamra Ockey told me last night that Hanna is planning on leaving next September for China. She will be teaching English for five months. Tamra seemed OK with it since Hanna will have three years college. Hanna will be saving for her plane flight this summer. 

Jen told me she needs to take three classes this summer so she can student teach Jan. 2017. Time is going by fast and all hard work is paying off! Got to go teach.


December 2015 email to Jess

Dad and I are going on a private tour of the Provo City Center Temple tonight with Bishop Crow and Sandy! Right now Jake took Dad and your sisters to the new Star Wars movie. I'm saving my strength for the tour since I have a small cold. Yuck. 

Dear Jess,

Can't wait to find out where you are living. Tomorrow we are going to try and get dad on the Frontrunner train and head to Temple Square for a FHE activity. Hoping Sister Weidman will be there even though it will be a Monday.

Today was our Christmas program and it went very well. Mathew and Julz's duet sounded great with the choir and congregation. The primary children singing always brings such a sweet spirit. Dad went with me to our first Stake Presidency meeting with President Ouderkirk early this morning. I think he is going to like his stake calling.

Tomorrow I hope to get my cookie baking done and then all I have left is present wrapping and house cleaning. I've started eating sweets since last Thursday with work party and choir dinner party last night. I hope to get back to a cleaner lifestyle tomorrow, I really feel much better cutting out 70% carbs and 90% sweets. We'll see how strong I can be. I'm going to ask Heavenly Father for some extra help!

For this coming week the weather shows snow storms every very day except tomorrow shows rain showers. I guess we better take our umbrella's.

Love, mom

Starting May 2015 to December 25, 2015

Starting May 2015

Dear Jess,

It was great to get your email and photo's. Your on the coast!  That's so wonderful, hope your enjoying the nice weather. Nice job challenging the young gal to baptism. I'm glad your having spiritual experiences. The story about the guy finding a leg bone was weird but you'll probably meet a lot of people like that in San Diego.

 It's been really nice and cool in Provo.  Not for long, the forecast says warmer weather coming soon.
Dad and I drove for about an hour and picked up Julz at Mosida Utah yesterday where you went on your pioneer trek four years ago. The drive was beautiful with all the rain we've been having. Julie had a very good experience and all the youth talked about it today in our Sacrament Meeting.  For some reason we had testimony meeting last week.  Anyway, the talks were great today and church was awesome as always. Julz was in a family with Vanessa Hinckley and her ma and pa were from the 10th ward. Cindy Wright your former principal from Sunset View Elementary was a missionary on the trek with her husband. They helped with the pioneer devotionals and whatever missionaries do out in the middle of no where. We visited with Sister Wright for a little while, she seemed really happy now that she has retired from Provo School District.

Friday Jen and I watched Elder L. Tom Perry's funeral on TV. We saw Peg singing in the choir and then when Elder Eyring started conducting the funeral Peg was almost right behind the pulpit. That was kind of cool. The funeral was very spiritual and inspiring.

The Payson Temple celebrations were at BYU Stadium last night.  There was a big thunder and lightning storm so the program was pushed back an hour. I think I want to go for an endowment session for my birthday on July 3rd.  Speaking of July we got a wedding announcement for Nathan Giles and he's getting married on July 3rd.

Are the new birth control meds working ok?  Has your body adapted to the new environment?  Is your bed comfy?  We hung up all the BYU dance posters around Julz's room.  It's looks great!  I'll try and send you some trek photo's.  A few minutes ago it wouldn't work so I'll try again.

Looking forward to hearing from you on Tuesday!
Love, Mom

June 14, 2015

Hi Jess,

Can you believe another week just went by. Much warmer than the first week of June. Today we went to Randy and Marianne Christiansen's Mission President Farewell.  The spirit was so strong. They truly are an amazing family!! Dads going to really miss Randy but guess what, we might get a lot done around the house.  Speaking of house we had a major water crisis last Tuesday night.  
I had just come home late from a Stake RS Meeting when I noticed dad and Jen were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Then dad showed me the water that was coming out of the ceiling light right next to the furnace door.  They had also just finished filling up both bathtubs and bathroom sinks because dad had to shut the water off. 
After the water was shut off he proceeded to cut holes out of the ceiling. One in the family room and one in the down stairs hall way. Sure enough there was water every where. At midnight I finally went to bed while dad and Jen tried to look for leaks with their flash lights. In fact Jen missed work the next day because she was soooo tired. They never found the leak that night so dad put fans every where he could to start drying up the wet wood and sheet rock in the walls.
Long story short. We have had no water until yesterday except drinking water I bought at the store and bathtub water for the toilets.  I didn't know this.  If you take a couple of dips in the bathtub with a pitcher you can still flush the toilets.  Jen refused to do a sponge bath so she drove across town to use Jakes shower. The new neighbors to the south let me use their faucet to keep my veggie and flower garden from dying.  Luckily the sprinklers to the lawn still worked!! Anyway I've learned so much about how to live with out running water.  I think it's wild you don't get water for a few hours a week. Hopefully it won't get worse in California. We've already heard that they aren't watering the grass at the LA and Oakland temples. Speaking of grass they just put the grass in at the Provo City Center Temple. It looks great.  The dedication will be March 20th 2016!!
The good part is dad finally found the leak yesterday morning!! The hall way bathroom has been totally torn apart. The leak was from a pipe behind the shower not the toilet like we thought and dad found it going through the wall in the bonus room. So now we have four new holes in our house but I don't care because the water is on!!

Love, mom

June 20, 2015

Dear Jess,

Today I helped dad rip up the floor in the bathroom. Guess what, it was still wet under the linoleum. So now we have fans blowing for a few days. I guess we won't start with the new sub floor until next week.
Last Thursday dad and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with the Ockey's by going out to eat at Cafe Rio and watching the movie Cokeville. The Ockey's anniversary was while they were on trek, so we celebrated together.  I probably already told you that when I sent the photo.  
The movie was about some crazy guy and his wife holding a small elementary school from a small town in Wyoming hostage for two hours with a bomb. I remember hearing it on the news in 1986. It turns out the guy had to go to the bathroom so he tied the bomb to his wife. She accidentally set the bomb off. When the crazy guy came out of the bathroom and saw all the damage and smoke he turned right back an shot himself in the bathroom. The miracle was that all the teachers and about 100 students survived with only minor burns.  The awesome part was when the children told their parents after the blast that angels dressed in white told them to go stand by the windows right before the bomb went off. The kids even said that some of the angels looked like their grandma's that had passed on.  Cool huh.  The main guy in the movie was the cute blue eyed fella from Ephraim's Rescue.  Anyway, it was a pretty good film. I hope I didn't spoil it for you by telling you most of the plot.  Sorry.
Jen and Jake are taking dad to the yummy Brazilian restaurant, Tucanos tonight for Father's Day. I can't go because I'm taking Jewels to Sophia's musical play, Bye Bye Birdie. Last night Julie went with the young women and men to the Manti Pageant. She said the sound system was having problems. They did have fun sleeping in tents for the night and came home this morning.
Did you buy some greens this week?

Your always in my prayers.
Love, mom
PS I might write more on Monday maybe.

June 27, 2015

Dear Jess,

Did more cleaning around the house this week.  Took Pam Schow to the dollar movie Thursday. Friday night dad and I chaperoned a single adult dance with: Richard and Natalie Parke, Denna and Jim Robertson, Jeff and Peg Carter.  It was some kind of a country dance up at a church by Timpview High. Peg told me that Jesse just got transferred for the first time to an Indian Reservation. She said it's very third world country environment where he's serving so she's a little nervous. Apparently the tribe is her step-son Dakota's tribe, which is kind of interesting. Dakota's wife is going to have a baby sometime. I'm not sure when. The Carter's seem a little distant with us especially Peg. Jeff still seems pretty down to earth but Peg was sitting right next to dad and I at the dance last night and when her husband Jeff got up to go some where she got up and moved over one chair. Dad thought it was kind of interesting. Body language says a lot.  I know she is close friends with Kristen Randle who doesn't like dad very well so you can't please everyone, we just love them any way.

Today I went and helped clean nursery toys with with Sandy Crow. I sure love her. Bishop Crow and Sandy remind me of what Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother would be like. They are so kind and full of compassion. I just love being around them.  For the rest of the day I helped dad with the bathroom floor.  He finally got the sub floor in and it was a lot of work!! Mainly dad did most of the work, I just handed him tools.

I'll probably write more Monday. 

Love, Mom

July 2015

Dad is still working on updating the GPS. He's having problems getting it to work the right way.  Do you really need one if you'll be riding bikes soon?  I'll probably just go ahead and mail everything else tomorrow. So expect the package at the end of the week.

I went to Nate Anderson's farewell talk today. Boy he sure is a good kid, and a tall one at that. He seems pretty excited to go to Germany. He already has four years behind him learning the language. His sister Maddie gave a talk as well and mentioned the family is moving to a new house over by Esser's at Saratoga Springs. So there goes another good family away from West Provo.

Peg Carter shared good news in RS today. The Tab choir is going on their first international tour in eighteen years next summer. They are going to Germany, Switzerland, Paris and the Netherlands. I might have missed one more country but they will tour for three weeks. The church pays for everything including meals, room and board and there airplane tickets. She said it took three airplanes this summer for the choirs eastern tour. So it's a pretty big deal when it actually happens. I think she is pretty excited!

I've almost lost five pounds this week and I'm hoping to keep going.  I feel so good when I'm away from carbs, sweets and bread! The stationary bike really is the secret key for me. Pray for me. (privately)

I'm sending three photo's of Julie's room. My favorite photo is the front of the house. Believe it or not Julz is making sushi. Jen made a yummy sushi sauce. I love eating clean!!

Love, mom

August 9, 2015

Dear Jess,

Another great week has gone by. One of the good news is that we now have two bathrooms working!  It's really nice when you have three females in the house. Two, Julz survived her first week of band camp with two days of pretty nice weather.  Three, Jen went to the Salt Lake Temple last night with a women who was baptized in her area last year. Jenny didn't teacher her but the sister missionaries became really close to her. The woman's name is Tara and she has now moved to Utah and lives in Lehi. Tara asked Jen to be her escort, which is way cool.

I got to help at church in nursery today.  The Stephenson twins started today and they are sooooo adorable so I've kind of volunteered myself. Plus they need extra help now that the nursery is getting bigger. Yay!

That was funny to read about the fireworks at Sea World. It would be easy to think the noise was from the military base or something.  I remember when I drove you and your siblings to Disney Land ten years ago. The first night in the hotel I heard loud banging noises and couldn't figure out what was happening. I thought there was a gang war going on outside near our hotel. The second night I figured it must be the fireworks at Disney Land since we witnessed them the night before.

Family History Stuff: Just think, during the Korean War around 1950, your grandfather was stationed for basic training in San Diego. So sixty-five years ago he was there at the age of eighteen training as a marine to go to Korea to fight in the war.

I finally put all your stuff away in storage. It's just been hanging around in the bonus room all this time. (Just exactly how it was in your room).  Only it's been sitting on top of dad's drafting table.  So I put everything in gallon storage bags and put it all in the big storage tubs. Julie said you gave her permission to wear your t-shirts. That would be nice since I have no money for school clothes. Band fees alone is costing $600.00. So I appreciate you donating if she keeps everything in good condition.

I guess Jake is taking your sisters to Lagoon next week. The new ride, Cannon Ball, is now opened so they want to go and make themselves sick.  (Just as long as Julz is physically ok for school on the the 19th of August!) 

Last night I drove Julz to Provo High so she could watch DCI on a big screen with the Provo bandies. Carolina Crowns and Blue Devils were Julz's favorite of course. She said Carolina Crowns were way intense but the Blue Devils was the best!! I guess their show was from the music, "Into the Woods".  Hanna is over at our house right now making rice balls and guess what they are watching? Some how they found Blue Devils on line and I can hear Into the Woods music, only with lots of percussion and band instruments.  It sounds pretty awesome.

Love, mom

August 2015

Dear Jess,

Yesterday I was asked to give the closing prayer after a stake meeting I attended in the morning. Then Bob Manning called and reminded me that I said I would give the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting. Then last night I attended a special RS fireside and was asked to give the opening prayer. I actually wrote the prayer down before the fireside so I could memorize what to say. I get really nervous to pray in front of a large group of people who I don't know very well. All the meetings were very uplifting and spiritual which I'm so thankful to receive each Sunday.

Saturday I helped dad put up a wainscot wall in the bathroom. It took most of the afternoon and into the evening, but it looks really nice. Dad and I are getting older and our bodies suffer more aches and pains when we are doing physical labor. Boy did dad do a good job. He really has a gift when it comes to quality construction. It may take us longer to finish a project, but we don't care because it really looks nice in the end.

Saturday morning I took the SUV to get washed at Provo High. Dad took his car as well and Jenny took her car on Friday. I recognized some of your friends from marching band. I had to turn the car off which turned off the air condition in the 90 degree heat. But I didn't mind the heat so I could get my car washed by a bunch of teenagers.

This last week I started reading Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. I think it's one of my favorite books. King Benjamin's words are so powerful, and the spirit reminds me again and again how we are truly God's children and that he loves us and knows us by name. I also enjoy reading the Sunday School lesson each week since it's about the New Testament which I haven't really studied in a loooong time. Richard Parke and Bruce Barret bring the lessons to life each Sunday which I look forward to. (That's if I don't get called to sub in primary:)

I'm kind of excited to start work again on Wednesday. The kids bring so much joy to my life. But I'm just anxious to get out of debt. This is the year I'm hoping to get the burden off my shoulders and never participate in debt again.


I still can't go to sleep so I thought I would write about today.

 I made a comment in Sunday School today that everyone thought was really funny and I wasn't even trying to be funny. I guess I need to be more aware. I remember my Mission President saying that the elders and sisters need to be careful with humor in that it can invite the spirit away. 

I don't think I invited the spirit away but I was taken by surprise with the laughter in the room. Oh well, maybe someone was having a bad day and I turned it around. I just love going to church!!

Heidi came over on her new bike. Her sister now has a home up by the Provo Temple. So Jen put Heidi's bike in the back of her car and drove her home after dinner.  I thought that was very thoughtful. I love Heidi, she is such a joy. She's a little nervous about starting school tomorrow.  

Jen spent last Friday and Saturday training for her new tutoring job. We even went to BYU Education for one evening on Thursday. It cost $16.00 for four classes. Your sister thought I was sleeping, but I can still hear with my eyes closed.

We have now entered the fast time zone. Everything is moving faster now that everyone in our house hold has many places to be in a day and many things to get done. I will miss the slow pace of summer.

Kathy VanWagoner announced in RS to pray for Michael. He needs strength. Also, Sheffields home on Priest Lake has a serious forest fire near their home so Sarah asked for prayers as well on facebook.  Judy and Kevin are staying with Sarah right now since one side of Priest Lake is on high alert to evacuate!! 

Is there anyone your teaching that you would like us to pray for?
Off to bed. Love, mom


Dear Jess,

Jen and I are watching the "The Great British Baking Show" for FHE. Julz is upstairs practicing her sax and dad is in Colorado scoping out happy hunting grounds for the elk hunt in three weeks. We plan on watching Elder Scotts funeral after our baking show if we can stay awake.

Jenny didn't do very good on her test today because she spent all her time at the Comic Con with Jacob.

​Well, apparently they had a fun time so I hope her grades aren't affected too much. Julie and I went to the Women's Conference at the Stake Center. I really enjoyed Sister Reeves talk. She has 13 children and has many grand children. All the talks were very good I just think Sister Reeves touched my heart the most.

Your cousin Kevin came by last night for dinner and the watching of the Super Blood Moon. Meaning it was an eclipse and a blood moon at the same time. Dad got out his scope and some of the Rubow's and Ockey's came over.  Kevin had a cute friend girl with him as well.
Watching the funeral with Jen now. Bye😊


Dear Jess,

Wasn't conference wonderful!! Jeffrey Holland made me cry. I really liked the ponderizing talk. I'm going to try and save $5.00 every pay check and learn a new scripture phrase either once a week or once a month. There were so many good talks that for right now I can't remember them all. 

After the Sunday afternoon session dad, Jen, and I went with Julie to get her patriarchal blessing. Since Julie is our last in the immediate family I made cookies for Brother Dennis and his wife. What a spiritual high we had yesterday!!

Next fast Sunday our entire stake is fasting and praying for the same thing. Our stake president wants us to fast for someone we can invite to church.  Good missionary tool right?

Dad is out in the garage tonight trying to fix his four wheeler so he can take it on the big elk hunt this Thursday. Mark is taking his two other giant brothers and they will be sleeping in a tent some where in the Colorado mountains for one week. And yes everyone is in there forties and dad turned sixty-one last month. (I hope he survives the cold and the rigorous hiking. Maybe that's why he is fixing the four wheeler)

Speaking of weather, I always check San Diego weather after I check Utah weather for school recess.  Looks like we are finally changing temperatures this month.  We are now in the seventies and you California sisters are in the high eighties and low nineties. Make sure you drink lots of water since your meds require it during warm weather.

Julz's first band competition is this Saturday up in Idaho for the noon show and Logan for the evening show. Provo band will get home after midnight. BYU Rocky Mountain competition is a week from tomorrow night and then Davis High the week after that. Four days after Davis High is the Pleasant Grove one and I think I'll take dad and Jen to that one.  The end of October is the California trip and instead of Disneyland the band is going to Six Flags. Your sister earned all the money for the trip which means she probably will really appreciate the experience.

Sure enjoy your letters and photo's!

Love, mom


Dear Jess,

Tonight it seems like you've been gone for years. I'm looking forward to hearing your voice at Christmas but that's still a few months away. I'll try and stay focused on today and what went on this last week.

I opened your bank statement and noticed you've only spent a whole ten dollars in the past six months on Chic-Fill-A. So when I get paid on Thursday I'm going to deposit twenty dollars in your account so you can spend another $10.00 some where else yummy. Next month on the 15th I plan on depositing $30.00 so you can buy healthy things as well since it seems expensive to eat fresh produce. Why is that?

A cute young man came and cleaned our carpet last Friday. when I was giving him a tour of the house he noticed Jen's missionary badge on the book shelf in her room. He asked about it so I asked him if he went on a mission and he said yes. Apparently he is from Southern California and his name is Jake. His mission was the Salt Lake City Mission and from the looks of it he still misses it.  So I gave him some of my home made cookies when he finished cleaning the carpet.

Dad left for Colorado on Thursday. Your sister's and I are having fun keeping the fort together. Julz was gone all day yesterday with the band. She said they got third place in Idaho and second place in Logan Utah. The band got home last night around midnight exhausted. Your drummer friend Mark Wilson, ( I think that's his name) has had to miss a lot of band practice and activities lately. His mom Gloria told me at work that he is having serious stomach issues and is having test done at the hospital this coming week. She also said it's been really hard on him emotionally as well as physically. I think I'll start praying for him.
Well Jacob just got here!! Got to go. Maybe I'll find more time tomorrow.

Love, mom


Dear Jess,

It's late but I had to share what a wonderful evening we had with Sue and her daughter Michelle who is close to my age. Jen's companion Sister Andrea Shelly drove up from Snow College so she could be with us as well!

Right when we stepped into Temple Square two Sister Missionaries called over to us and volunteered to take us on a tour of the Square. Right when we entered the Tabernacle and you could hear the Tabernacle Choir music going and I immediately got chills. Right after that Michelle commented to me how she just got chills as well.  It was really neat. 

We toured for four and half hours and it only seemed like two at the most. The sisters took us to the Visitor Centers as well and then this handsome elderly man took us on a tour of the Joseph Smith building. At the end we toured the Conference Center and I learned so much about all the different sites we visited. It's crazy when I've lived in Utah most of my life! Jen and her companion were in heaven most of the evening.

Photo's are coming.




It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in northern Utah! It's been snowing all day and it's supposed to keep going until tomorrow night. We need the snow in the mountains for water this summer!!
I'm going to try and mail you one more small package in the mail some time in the next few days. Jen went and purchased a few more things so hopefully it will get to you sometime early next week.
Can't send any photo's this week. Jen fell asleep with the computer still on and unplugged, I think now it's all messed up.
Julz has been invited to go hear the Tab Choir Christmas Program this Thursday and the family she is going with is going early. I told her to go over to Temple Square and look for Sister Switzerland. I think she is going to try if the mother of the family lets her.

Andrew Giles is going to Taiwan on his mission! he leaves for some MTC on January 27th. That's not very long time to get ready but his mom tells me he is excited!

Love, mom


Dear Jess,

Can't wait to find out where you are living. Tomorrow we are going to try and get dad on the Frontrunner train and head to Temple Square for a FHE activity. Hoping Sister Weidman will be there even though it will be a Monday.

Today was our Christmas program and it went very well. Mathew and Julz's duet sounded great with the choir and congregation. The primary children singing always brings such a sweet spirit. Dad went with me to our first Stake Presidency meeting with President Ouderkirk early this morning. I think he is going to like his stake calling.

Tomorrow I hope to get my cookie baking done and then all I have left is present wrapping and house cleaning. I've started eating sweets since last Thursday with work party and choir dinner party last night. I hope to get back to a cleaner lifestyle tomorrow, I really feel much better cutting out 70% carbs and 90% sweets. We'll see how strong I can be. I'm going to ask Heavenly Father for some extra help!

For this coming week the weather shows snow storms every very day except tomorrow shows rain showers. I guess we better take our umbrella's.

Love, mom


Dear Jess,
It was so nice to visit with you today! I'm glad you are enjoying your mission and that you are happy serving the Lord. I know that our family life has not been perfect and you have been able to experience life outside our Carlson bubble. Your sister Jen has been home for over a year now and is trying to get through school so she can become more independent and serve others as well but in a different way. I feel she would love to be supporting herself and living away from home but she understands it's not possible to be totally comfortable and healthy until she finishes school.

Your dad is starting to lose more of his hearing so he becomes frustrated at times when he can't hear all of the conversation. And yes the TV is turned up louder in our house because he can't hear what the actors are saying. Kind of like what grandpa Carlson has to do. So I appreciate the silence when every one is gone at work or school. But on the whole we are trying to make the best of everything here at home since living can be so repetitive and expensive. Your dad works very hard and has given up hobbies so you and your siblings can experience life in a very rich and fulfilling way. He really does sacrifice a lot so he can support you every month until you come home. I know he loves you very, very much.

I'm so grateful I got to serve a mission because the things I learned during those eighteen months I know has helped me in so many ways throughout my life. I know we only get to skype one more time for Mothers Day so please ask your Mission President if you and your companion who ever that might be in five months can talk to your families at different times. When your companion was talking to her family it was a bit distracting being right next to each other. If the rule is you have to be together can't the families talk at separate times?  I don't think dad was able to hear half what was going on but he was a very good sport about it. We were just happy to see your face and hear your voice because we really do miss having you around.
Did you get two Christmas packages first and then a envelope kind of package later with the journal, stamps and Walmart card?  The first two packages just had clothes and treats in them. We really liked your package with all the wonderful surprises dad's going to try and find a frame for the awesome San Diego Temple photo.

Have a great weekend.

Love, mom