Sunday, November 19, 2017

Minnie Kartchner Stratton

MINNIE KARTCHNER STRATTON, daughter of William Decatur Kartchner and Elizabeth Gale, was born December 26, 1870 in Overton, Nevada. The family moved to Panguitch, Utah and then to Snowflake, Arizona. Minnie often recalled the hardships the family endured. She told of grinding their own wheat, which was often scarce, to make biscuits each morning, sewing, and doing the washing by hand.

Minnie received a limited formal education but worked diligently through life to educate herself. When she was young, she was constantly singing while she was working. One day her father said, "Oh, Minnie, for goodness sake give us a rest." After she married and returned home he said, Minnie, it's been so lonesome. Sing us a song. I'll never get tired of your singing again."

In October 1886, Minnie married the neighbor across the street, William Ellis Stratton. They made the two-week trip by team to the St. George Temple. Their 54-years of married life would hold its challenges. Minnie and Ellis had 13 children but lost 5 of them in infancy. Minnie honored Ellis' two-year mission call by remaining home and caring for six young children.

Irene, Minnie's daughter and the 10th of the 13 children, wrote" "Mother was intelligent. Ordinarily, she was gentle and considerate in every relationship but she could be firm. No one could bring about unity and harmony in a family of varied personalities like she could. She was tender, loving, and had true compassion and charity for all."

There were hard times as the younger children were growing up brought about by scarcity of money, the economic depression, and the loss of life savings when the bank in Snowflake suddenly closed. For nearly fifteen years, the family took in boarders, 68 in all, to supplement the family income.

Irene continued, "Mother's life was that of a true pioneer. Sharing her substance was part of living. Many came to our door. Friend and stranger alike surrounded our table and partook of its goodness. Life was full of farming, cooking, children to get to school, ironing and washing, church work, family home evenings and singing together. Our parents worked together to accomplish the necessary tasks of each day. When sorrow came, hand-in-hand they comforted each other. Were were taught well in the gospel truths. Tithing and family prayer were never forgotten."

Irene described her mother as, "teaching patience because she was patient. She never shouted or lost her temple. She stressed honesty and square dealing."

Minnie served in the ward and stake Primary organization and for several years was the president of the Snowflake Ward Relief Society.

In 1940 when Ellis passed away, she did not realize that she would go on alone for 29 years more. During all those years, she lived with her daughter, Mabel and husband Jesse, in Mesa during the wintertime. She spent the summers in Snowflake moving every two or three weeks from one of her children's homes to another. It was always special for the grandchildren to have Grandma Stratton in their home. Into her advanced age, she would help with the dishes, she would sew, and be part of everything that was happening. She was pleasant, grateful for her blessings and never complained even though, due to macular degeneration, she was legally blind for many years. Her mind was quick and she had the ability to show a special personal interest in each one of her posterity. With her beautiful silver curly hair, her ready smile and a bright twinkle in her eye, we were proud that she was our Grandma.

Minnie kept a daily journal for over 30 years. Even after she couldn't see clearly, she was still writing in her journal. She wrote poetry and honored many with special poems on birthdays, other special occasions or just to give a word of encouragement or advice. One of her friends wrote a poem to Minnie, in return:

"Sweet winsome lady, cultured and elect,
So gentle in the things you say and do.
Of all the epigrams that could be framed,
The title "Ladyship" was coined for you."

Minnie passed away on December 24, 1969 - just two days before her 99th birthday. Her posterity of 366 - including 7 great-great-great grandchildren - at the time of her death called her blessed knowing how through the years they had been privileged to have her as their dear Grandma.

Irene, wrote on Minnie's passing, "She endured with faith and humility to the end. She discovered happiness in toil. She chartered the course for all of us to follow. 

William Ellis Stratton

WILLIAM ELLIS STRATTON was born on January 28, 1862 in Virgin City, Utah (near the entrance to Zion National Park) to Anthony Johnson Stratton and Martha Jane Layne. His school was limited but he became self-educated as he enjoyed reading throughout his life. His parents were of modest means and he worked with his father to sustain a large family. When he was fifteen, they accepted a call from Church leaders to help establish Mormon settlements in northern Arizona.
The Stratton family arrived in Snowflake in early 1879. The Silver Creek Valley had been purchased with an improved breed of cattle from Utah. Ellis helped William J. Flake and others to drive cattle and horses to Arizona. Ellis participated in nine different cattle drives over the next several years. These drives usually originated in Beaver in southern Utah down to the Colorado River where the cattle were pushed on to ferry boats to cross the river then by the Tuba City area and across Navajo Indian lands then crossing the Little Colorado River and on into the Silver Creek Valley.
In 1886, he began to notice a curly haired girl that lived across the street. He was eight years her senior. He would go to see Minnie Kartchner whenever possible. On October 20, 1886, Ellis and Minnie were married in the St. George Temple. They made the trip by wagon over the 300-mile "honeymoon trail," with chaperones. It usually took about ten days each way. Several couples would travel together and be married the same day in the temple. Ellis recorded that he was 5 feet 7 inches weighing 130 pounds on his wedding day. He remained pretty much the same throughout life always being of slight build.
William Ellis and Minnie started housekeeping in a log house in the southern part of Snowflake. He earned a living mostly from farming and freighting. For many years, he had a contract to move freight by team and wagon from the railroad siding in Holbrook to the Bureau of Indian Affairs offices in Ft. Apache. His children said when he would return home, he would open a sack of sugar and give each of them a teaspoon and let them eat as much as they wanted.
Ellis built a beautiful red brick two-story home that stood on a corner lot on Main Street a block south of the Church meetinghouse. He and Minnie made it a special place for their children and grandchildren. Later, many of the single school teachers boarded with the Stratton's.
In 1899, Ellis went to the post office for the mail. Without any prior notice and to his surprise, he received a letter from Box B in Salt Lake City calling him on a mission to the Southern States. He accepted the call and thought it an honor. He served for two years spending most of his time in eastern Kentucky. Minnie faithfully carried on alone at home caring for six children.
The Stratton's had their trials. After one month in the mission field, Ellis received word that one of his eleven-month twin daughters had died. This was hard for him to accept but he was determined to continue in the work. That was not their ony sadness. Prior to the mission, they had lost an infant son then, in 1903 after he returned, two more children died on the same day from dreaded diphtheria that struck many of the families of Snowlake. A fifth child, six years old, passed away in 1910. Their family of 13 children was reduced to 8 that lived to maturity. Four children between Lena (born in 1895) and Irene (born in 1907) passed away. It was as if there was an older family of four - Mabel, Zella, Raymond, and Lena and then, a younger family of four - Irene, Lorum, Leona and Lynn. These eight children were devoted to one another and to their parents.
William Ellis Stratton was mild in nature, tender hearted, and completely converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He did not become bitter from the trials of life but always acknowledged the will of his Father in Heaven. He honored his priesthood. He and Minnie were widely known for the love and devotion to each other. They were united in all they did.
In 1935, they began spending their winters doing temple work in Mesa. They lived with their oldest daughter, Mabel, and husband, Jesse. They would return to Snowflake to spend their summers. In June 1940, Ellis passed away. He has always been remembered by his children and grandchildren as a man of love was was always kind and considerate to all.
Their daughter, Irene, wrote of her parents, "Hardships, joys, tears, laughter, determination, devotion, prayer, and plenty of good hard work are the material from which great lives are fashioned. From these qualities, William Ellis and Minnie Kartchner Stratton fashioned their lives serving as examples to their descendants."

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Legacy, by Jay Richardson


          THE LEGACY

My life is like a legacy,
                  A gift from other lives.
It is what I do with who I am,
Why I believe and  strive,
A legacy that lifts and loves          
                  And lets me find my way;
It is a gift to keep and hold
To keep and hold today .


A legacy is having faith
                  To that I cannot see;
A quiet voice compels my feet
                  Down paths of sharp degree,
I take a step, but not alone,
I know he stands nearby,
His legacy is love.


As legacy is ours to share,
                  It resonates within;
It carries on from where we are,
                        The future to begin,
There is for each this legacy
                  That comes from holy spheres,
The blessedness of this great gift
                  Will carry through the years.


Remember, oh remember,
Remember and renew,
Remember, remember
The blessedness of these great gifts
That God bequeathes to  you.

                        --Jay M. Richardson

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Missionary Journal entries by Jay M. Richardson

JAY’S MISSIONARY JOURNAL ENTRIES 
January 8, 2017
June 20, 1956     Salt Lake City      Owen Lunt drove me to the mission home in Salt Lake.  Got registered this morning and assigned to my dormitory room.  Attended first class at 1:00 am in Barrett Hall where President Childs of the mission homemade assignments and gave us a good talk on what it means to be a missionary.  In the afternoon we had a less on the missionary plan by Elder Cottrell, had a group picture and instructions on going into temple.  At night Elder Lynn McKinley of BYU gave a very spiritual talk on preparation for entering the temple.  We well all filled.

June 22, 1955                     Spent a wonderful morning going through the Salt Lake Temple.  Elder Mark E. Peterson addresses us in the chapel session and explained things pretty w ell.  Enjoyed a regular guided tour of Temple Sq are and a class on directing singing in the evening.

June 27, 1956                     I went on a tour of temple square and attended the noon organ recital with Elder LeBaron.  Went to setting apart meeting on 3rd floor of church office building.  Saw many general authorities.  Elder El Ray L. Christiansen set me apart, tell me to keep busy, obey the mission rules, be optimistic, keep myself clean and he blessed me with health to fill my mission.  Elder Sterling W. Sill addressed me afterwards.  Boarded train at 5:30 pm for Denver. 

June 28, 1956                     Spent a hard night on the train, arrived in Denver about 8:30 am.  Ate breakfast after meeting Pr4sident and Sister Ellgren.  The house is as mansion built by a beer dealer long ago.  We sleep above the garage.   Elder Kleinman and Campbell pt us through the Godhead lesson and door approach and assigned us scriptures to memorize. 

July 6, 1956 -Denver                        We traded all day got 6 meetings, 3 good ones.  Our last meeting in the evening was with a dear old lady Mrs. Ogle, form a hard-shelled Baptist family from Tennessee.  She’s almost 80 years old, but as friendly and big hearted as can be.  She’s crippled but still works in house and yard, while her grown daughter works in town.  Bought a Book of Mormon and welcomes us back any time.

August 17, 1956                Walked up to Mrs. Chervrout’s and gave her the Book of Mormon lesson.  Received it very well.  She is going t o be stubborn about quitting her coffee though.  Attempted some call backs on Lincoln Street.  Still no luck.  Gave Godhead and Book of Mormon lesson to a Catholic family. Gave two Godhead lessons in the evening.  Just before the last one we were very rudely excused from the door of a fellow watching the convention speeches.  Feeling hurt, we almost turned to go home, but the next door was Mrs. Whyte and two boys, who seemed t o be “waiting” for us.  They really seem like good contacts.  We’ll see.  Anyway, it always pays to go to the next door.

August 28, 1956                Gave Apostasy lesson to the Wallace’s.  She thinks we’re too “sneaky”.  Said they wanted to hear about our Restoration before they would argue.  People just can’t help contradicting themselves in the lessons if they don’t want to go along with us and we present t hem clearly. 

September 5, 1956          Our best day yet, as far as points go.  Gave two apostasies and two restoration lessons.  We still lack something, though can’t seem to get their testimonies started.  Seems to me that we shouldn’t wait so long between meetings.  We give them too much time to cool off.

September 17, 1956        I read in the book of Judges in the Old Testament.  The Old Testament, just as the New, contains more gospel and good sense than we realize.  Hope a little of it will sink in. 

Oct 12, 1956 Colorado Springs     Had a very good day.  Gave three Apostasy lessons this afternoon.  One of them took, at least.  We knocked on the door of an insurance salesman this morning who works for New York Life and know Elder Sterling W. Sill very well. He was just leaving and didn’t have time to talk, but he said when we get through with our missions to look him up for a job. Said we have a “good approach”.  His isn’t bad either.  Stopped to talk with Brother and Sister Barrett this evening.  She is going to try to help us get Mrs. Davis (a contact) out to Relief Society.  She’s really a good gal.  I surely appreciate working with Elder Tueller .  He’s so good natured and not afraid of doing too much work.  Am learning al lot from him.    Thant handshake after our evening prayers is mighty warm.

Oct 15, 1956        Held a Godhead meeting with Mrs. Phebing and it turned out well.  She met with missionaries several years ago and said she agreed with practically everything they said, but she’s a staunch Lutheran and the message just didn’t sink in.  We’ll have to shake her up with an apostasy lesson, really forcible!

February 23, 1957            Received another special delivery letter today saying that I’ve been called to open up the missionary work with the Jewish people.  It’s a wonderful privilege.  Hope I can do it justice. 

May 3, 1957 Denver        Finally got another Jewish lady who’s the real agnostic type and she wouldn’t budge an inch either.  I think that by concentrating we will improve the firs t lesson a great deal to give it more punch for everyone we talk with.  It‘s just like the Godhead lesson of the Gentile plan. It must be made to stimulate some life in its hearers.  Learned today that Mrs. Granger (the invalid wit h arthritis) has asked for baptism. I’m surely thrilled.  Will have to write Elder Judd, I guess. ``

Sept. 5, 1957                      Went to see Mr. Jultake the florist with Sister Rose Marie Reid as my companion to make a date for her to speak to his men’s club sometime this winter.  A visitor who was there got all shook for fear she’d convert some of their “ignorant” people.  She surely bragged up the job we had done in Mr. Jultak.  Drove her, President and Sister Elggren, Elders Hebdon and Smith to West Denver to hear her speak to a Hadassah group.  She was marvelous.  President Elggren really enjoyed it.  Elder Hugh Pinnock, former second counselor of the mission was here as a visitor and spoke to us.  Sister Reid is on a campaign to get an integration program organized in the church. Won’t she ever  quit?

September 6, 1957          Had testimony meeting all day.  Long, but wonderful.  Sang a solo “Beside Still Water”.  My voice is in good shape.  Former companion Elder Teller said he’d rather work with me than any other companion he’d had.  Got my new companion Elder Verl Smith tonight.  He’ll be good.

September 28, 1957        Elder Verl Smith baptized Bobby and Billy Jorgason of the member family just moved in from Georgia.  They‘re shipping out to San Antonio tomorrow.  A great family!  After the baptism we cleaned up and found ourselves locked in.  Had to go out through a window.  Hope no trouble comes from it.  Our district had seven baptisms, west Denver three.  Hope things we’ll pick up. 

April 1, 1958                       Had quite a round with Elder Counder this morning.  He's so big and likable and so convincing.  Has had some poor companions though that haven't been the best for him.  I think he's going to do all right now.  Went on up to Albuquerque and worked with Elder LeBaron and Draper this evening.  Elder Draper has a good spirit and I  think will make good.  Elder LeBaron has had difficulties at home, and was in bad spirits for awhile, but is picking  up now.  Is still as unorthodox as always, but a terrific missonary.  Baptized a former Presbyterian minister last Saturday and is really proud! Who wouldn't be?


April 22, 1958                     Went down to the train station this morning to meet 7new elders and 2 new lady missionaries.  Sister Crawford is as small as a 10 year old girl, but is eager to learn and work as anyone.  Sister Spell from South Carolina isn’t much bigger, and is awfully homesick.  Worked till midnight getting out a very complex transfer.  Why mission presidents go gray! Had a lot of fun training them today.  Elder Wells is very good as enthusiasm and propaganda of the beneficial type.

May 13, 1958                      Seven new elders and an elderly couple, the Brinkerhoff’s, came in today for training.  Elder Wells and I should get good at this, but it’s hard to do much with such a large group. It’s lots of fun though and this is as very good group!  A large transfer went out tonight, one of the largest ever.  So we sit back and watch the repercussions!  Wish that all missionaries could have this experience.

July 3, 1958                         New missionaries went out to work, and we stayed home.  Worked on material for Wes state News, etc.  Held the regular sacrament and testimony with the new ones this evening.  I’ve being blessed with lots of farewell testimonials here.  Guess these compliments won’t hurt me as long as I don’t believe them.

July 4, 1958                         My mission ends today.  It has been a marvelous experience, much different than what I’d expected.  I’m blessed at every turn – surely have a big debt to pay to Savior. Hope I will soon be settled and able to be normally active. My biggest mission is ahead now. I’m charged with the job of finding a wife and making a home.  May I be as well blessed in this calling.  Didn’t celebrate much today for Independence Day.  New missionaries were trained, the office very busy.  Went out this evening and said goodbye to Dr. Abrams and wife, our Jewish contact of last fall.  We’ve made a good impression, there and it may yield fruit.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Missionary Journal Entries by Lavona Richardson


MISSIONARY JOURNAL ENTRIES FOR DALES FLIP CALENDAR
Lavona Richardson
January 8, 2017

October 11, 1955 – Tampico, Mexico       I was thrilled beyond words this morning as Brother Anthone R. Ivins laid his hands jupon my head and set me apart as a missionary in the Mexican Mission.  It was the realization that my lifelong dream had come true and I know it all came about only through the power of prayer.

October 16, 1955              President and Sister McKay were visitors at the Lamanite Conference at the Mezona today and what a spiritual feast. After the meeting Mother and Daddy and Leona and I got to shake hands with President McKay and talk to him for a few minutes.  He remembered staying in Daddy’s home.

October 17, 1955              Never have I heard the temple ceremonies explained so simply and yet so beautiful as they were this morning by President McKay in the chapel service at the temple.  I know his talk will stay with me forever.  His talk was mainly to not be blinded with the physical actions of the ceremonies and fail to grasp the spiritual symbols.

January 28, 1956               We had a total of eight visits for the day.  I gave the first lessons in Spanish today without a big of help from my companion.  I must have done okay because she understood and accepted. 

January 29, 1956               I came home tonight knowing that we are not alone in this great work.  This afternoon a lady asked us if we would start visiting her.  She had got a hold of one of our folletos and was very interested.

January 29, 1956`              My first baptismal service here in the mission field.  What a happy occasion.  After Sunday School the majority of the rama boarded busses and later the train for the Playa.  There they had a short meeting with the baptisms following.  The spirit of our Heavenly Father was certainly there in rich abundance.  I ‘m so happy for these six wonderful people who have now taken the necessary step of baptism.

February 2, 1956               I don’t think I’ll ever get warm again.  Last night and all day today it’s been just freezing.  Today has been the realization of another mile stone reached.  I gave the Apostasy lesson to my companion at noon and evidently passed the test because I gave it this afternoon without any help from her too.  Of course, I want to get it a lot better but it’s a start.  Each day feel more as part of this work as I learn so that I can help more. I’ve got to work and study harder to be able to serve Him better.

February 5,1956                Imagine my surprise when after the second song the counselor got up and said first we’ll hear from Hermana Flake.  I was scared stiff but I know I was blessed in having the words I wanted to stay. I talked on the responsibilities we have as members of the church and how the marvelous work did come forth quoting most of Section 4 in the Doctrine and Covenants.  I finished by bearing my testimony.  I felt so good when the members came up afterward and sincerely told me how well I had done.  I came home and thanked the Lord because it was only through His help that I was able to do it.

February 6, 1956                I gave four of the seven lessons today.  I know of a surety that the Lord is our companion here in this wonderful work if we but do our part.  It is only through His help that we are able to do these things.  Today has been one of those days that I wanted to tell everybody how happy am and my testimony of this work.

February 17, 1956            You sure find that every investigator r is different and must be taught the gospel in a different manner.  One of our investigators today had to show us all of her two little girls’ dresses before we could go on with the lesson. 

February 19, 1956            I think we’re doing a little bit of good in this wicked world.  At least things are really looking up.  We had eight investigators out to meetings today.  We walked out to Morelos this morning and showed another Senora the way to the capilla.  She tried lat Sunday and couldn’t find it.

February 23, 1956            We have more visits right now that we have time for.  We have been leaving earlier, taking a shorter noon break and still we haven’t made it to all the places where we have appointments.  The people seem ready to hear the gospel and it’s a real wonderful opportunity to be able to take it to them.

February 25, 1956            This morning when we visited the mother of Regina she was making tortillas so we pitched in and helped her.  The tortillas were so good.  I wouldn’t mind eating like that all the time. For Primary this afternoon the room where we usually meet was occupied so we had to meet in a separate room without any benches or chairs.  What a job to keep the 44 children ranging in age from two to twelve interested and quiet.

February 29, 1955            With my scrubbing board and bucket I washed and ironed all of my clothes and all of my companion’s clothes.  I am so tired tonight.

March 22, 1956`                It’s surprising the opportunities you have to preach the gospel if you are but looking of them.  We gave the first lesson and a tract of Joseph Smith to the place where we get out shoes fixed.  T he man seemed very interested.  We were commenting today on the friends we’ve made in the different professions of Tampico.

April 21, 195 6                    Rain, rain I’m so tired of it.  It’s rained all day and we’ve waded around in the mud.  We tracted here b the house this morning.  This afternoon we left early for Col Morelos to track for awhile before Primary.  We knocked on ten doors before we finally got in but it was a good visit so it was worth it. 

May 9, 1956                        Today when we told one of our investigators that the casa de oracion had been moved she said “you mean the other church isn’t the true church?”

June 15, 1956                     Conference was just wonderful and really gave me the desire to go forward striving harder to make a good missionary.  I know this work down here is the work of the Lord and that we are being blessed.   Early this morning we went to each house where we have been visiting and with pictures of the General Authorities reminded them of conference.  The conference for the district started at 7 in the evening.  I had just arrived at the church when I was met by Apostle Kimball and without introductions or anything he said that I looked like Sister Flake from Snowflake and that my sisters in Mexico sent their saludos.  He said that he remembered his stay in our home and to send his love to the folks.  Our investigators were arriving so I didn’t get to talk with him more at from that time on I was his personal aid and called on to translate for him and be his side.  ..I was so thrilled that so many of our investigators came out.  Just as the meeting was ready to begin President Bentley mentioned for me to come up to the stand and told me he was going to call on me to say a few words. I had never dreamed of being called on and was really surprised.  I was the first speaker and the building was packed.  The spirit of Heavenly Father was r ally with me and the only way I was able to say the things that were in my heart and express my testimony of the truthfulness of the work.  ..I could have listened to Apostle Kimball al night and not t ire.  It seemed like he talked for one minute and I was really surprised to find he talked for close to an hour. He gave a very good talk for investigators and almost half of the large group were investigators and a lot of them were ours.  Each member of the Novara family was out- eight in all.  The old couple that owns the store left the store open because it didn’t have a lock with enough faith that the Lord would watch over it for them if they both came out to her His servant.  I know they will be blessed for their faithfulness.   ..It was as thrill that I will never forget to translate for Elder Kimball and for our investigators and members as they had an opportunity to meet and talk with Elder Kimball.  I could hardly hold back the tears when they said that they knew he was an apostle of God and that this church was the real church.  Elder Kimball congratulate d me over and over again on the good work we are doing here and the numbers of investigators that came.  He said that President Yanez said that every time that Sister Flake came out she had more investigators that came.  I think about the most wonderful; blessing that I’ve heard was the blessing Elder Kimball gave a crippled member from Col. Valles. 

June 16, 1956     We were up bright and early this morning and all ready to be at the church at 8 o’clock.  The conference was in English for Elder Kimball and so I translated everything into Spanish for the other three sister missionaries.  I was kept real busy but I was thrilled to help others understand and was thrilled to be able to translate almost word perfect.  The only regret is that I didn’t get notes of the talks.  Elder Kimball started out the day giving a wonderful talk on the importance of meeting together and bearing our testimonies.  President Bentley also bore a strong testimony after which we all gave our reports and bore our testimonies.  I haven’t spoken much English for the 6 ½ months and also I was about the last one and had been translating into Spanish all morning.  I just couldn’t express myself in English and find the words in English to say what I wanted to say.  I felt almost worse that the first time I spoke in Spanish.  Elder Kimball said I spoke English like he spoke Spanish.  I felt real bad but President Bentley and Elder Kimball seemed pleased that I was so into the work.  Elder Kimball was pleased with my detailed report for 6 ½ months here and copied it to take to Salt Lake and commented on it to the other missionaries.  I am copying the report for my journal.  It seemed like all day I was called on to do everything- play the piano, help by being the investigator in the demonstrations and then translate for the interviews de mis companions. But it was a big thrill.  When Elder Kimball interviewed me he said he didn’t have to ask if I was happy because he knew I was by the kind of work I was doing.  President Bentley said the members had said to please not change Hna. Flake but that he needed me in the home.  So I will be there in the next week or so. 
At noon the mission served refrescos, sandwiches y ice cream. Then they had to leave to meet another schedule for conference in Victoria.  Hna. Villinuevos had never seen the ocean or playa so we went cut there for a little while.  They left on the bus at 9:30 pm

January 12, 1957- Monterrey , Mexico    I had dinner all ready when President and Sister Bentley arrived with Elder and Sister Mark Peterson at noon.  It was as real honor for me to cook dinner for an apostle.  They enjoyed it and commented on my homemade bread so I felt good.  I, along with all of the missionaries chose to fast until after our testimony meeting. I especially enjoyed the advice of Elder Peterson.  I could certainly feel the spirit of the Lord with us and I know his words were inspired.  It is a real experience to associate so closely with an apostle of the Lord.  He stressed many times the responsibility to give everyone an opportunity to hear the gospel to all who will accept.  Afterwards we had our testimony meeting during which I was called into the president’s office for a personal interview with Elder Peterson.  H congratulated me on the good work I was doing and encouraged me. 

January 30, 1957               We had a good visit with an investigator that we hadn’t met with for a long time.  I really felt inspired to give her an overall view of the gospel plan. 

Septembert11, 1957- Aguascalientes.-We were tracting out in Saint Marucs this morning when we had another experience to add to our growing list.  We finally got in one home and were giving the lesson when some people in another room started making fun of us and yelling in bad things.  The lady was interested though so we finished the lesson, bore our testimonies, gave her the tracts, and left .  We were up the street knocking on another door when I turned back just in time to see the tract flying back at us.  I went back to pick them up with a street full of Senoras watching me.

September 27, 1957-      I’m now a good missionary because I’ve had as pan of water thrown at me.  Missionaries  have always talked about it but until today it had never happened to me.  We went on tracting and got it he next door and had a good visit. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Our Legacy

 James Madison (1815-1850) and Agnes Haley Love Flake(1819--1855)            
Each lived only to be 35 years old

What if James and Agnes Flake would not have opened their Mississippi door to the missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Saints?
What if James and Agnes would have decided to not be baptized yielding to pressure of family and friends to not do so?
What if James and Agnes would have not sold their home and land at a sacrificed price and freed their slaves to move more than 670 miles to join the Saints in Nauvoo?
What if James and Agnes, after two years in Nauvoo, would not have left a new home to move again over 300 miles to Winter Quarters, Iowa?
What if James and Agnes would have said in Winter Quarters after losing three of their six children, “We won’t move again, more than 900 miles to the Salt Lake Valley.
What if James and Agnes would have said to Brigham Young after two years in the Salt Lake Valley, “We are just getting started and James can’t accept your call to look for where Church members can settle in California”?
What if Agnes, when informed of the death of James would have said, “That exempts me and my children from the prophet’s call to relocate in San Bernardino; another move of more than 600 miles?”
What if Agnes would have accepted the offer of her brother to return, with her children, to the family home in North Carolina agreeing to, “All you have to do is give up your Mormonism.”  She assured him that would never happen.  Her dying counsel to her children was to always live true to the faith.
Now, nearly 175 years later, more than 15,000 descendants honor James Madison and Agnes Haley Love Flake for being steadfast and immovable, for keeping their covenants, and becoming the foundation of our eternal Flake Family.
Will we, their posterity, carry the torch they so brightly carried?  Will our testimony of the gospel continue to sustain us as it did them?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Special memories of Nauvoo and Carthage

NAUVOO AND CARTHAGE MEMORIES
Lavona Richardson


I am grateful for the opportunity Jay and I had to serve together in Nauvoo and Carthage.  I have so many special memories of serving at Carthage, walking down Parley Street, visiting the old Nauvoo cemetery, seeing the temple on the bans of the Mississippi every day, serving at a different historic site every day, making gingerbread for the bakery, morning devotionals, the huge flowers at the Family History center, making bread at the Family History Center, the re-enactment of the founding of Relief Society at the Red Brick store, being a narrator for the wagon rides, delivering the mail, carving pumpkins for the Halloween Walk,, directing the choir of missionaries as we sang on the steps of the Nauvoo Temple at Christmas time, serving as an ordinance worker at the Nauvoo Temple and so many more.

I have a special memory of serving in Carthage and giving tours there of the jail.  I always felt a special spirit in the martyrdom room as I testified of Joseph Smith.  Jay and I served a mission in Indonesia before serving in Nauvoo.  We felt as urgency to put in our mission papers again to serve.  I didn’t put on my papers that I served as a missionary in Mexico fifty years before and spoke Spanish.  Jay wasn’t fluent in Spanish and I wanted to go to a mission where he would be more comfortable. 

One morning we were serving in Carthage when a family from Spain came that didn’t speak any English.  The site leader turned to me and said “You were called for such a time as this”.  I prayed fervently that I could teach them in their native tongue to help them feel the spirit of Carthage.  As I gave the tour I was saying words in Spanish that I didn’t even know and they understood. These were words that I didn’t use as a missionary when I served in my youth.  It was truly the gift of tongues.  I was an instrument in the Lord’s hands in bearing testimony. We all could feel the spirit so strong as I testified of Joseph Smith.  

A short time later while we were still serving in Carthage a bus load of people from the area where I served in Mexico came and I was able to give them a tour in Spanish.  I saw more of my friends I had known on my mission that day than I could have ever seen visiting Mexico.

After that for the rest of my mission I was already assigned to be a narrator on the wagon ride or at a site when someone would come usually without scheduling ahead of time that needed to have their tour in Spanish.  Sometimes I would go with them to the different sites to give them the tour in their native language.


Another favorite memory is translating for a sister that didn’t speak English at the Nauvoo Temple for Sister Wirthlin as she visited with her before her temple marriage.