All posts by Michelle L.

About Michelle L.

(Blog Team) never folds laundry and her car is a mess. She runs through the streets of Salt Lake City, UT, takes lots of photos, plays Uno with her five fabulous boys and buys way too many dresses for the little princess. Her husband is the most romantic man in the world because he does all the Costco shopping AND hauls it into the house (sorry to make you jealous girls). She writes at Scenes from the Wild.

GLOBAL MOM a memoir by Melissa Dalton-Bradford

First, our book reviews tend to meet with resounding silence, so I’m posing questions at the beginning for you to think about as you read.

How has living (or visiting) in different places changed your view of the world?

As emissaries of Christ, do we have a responsibility to understand other cultures?

Where would you choose to live– for a few years or forever– if given a chance?

How can those of us who are planted in one city gain a world view?

Also, if you have any questions for Melissa, she’ll be checking the comments.

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This is NOT an unbiased review.

Contributing to Segullah since 2007, Melissa Dalton-Bradford is one of our OWN. In fact the acknowledgments read, “…Segullah aided in the development of my voice and the telling of this story.” If you search her name on our blog or literary site you’ll find her gorgeous poems, essays and musings. And personally, I love and adore Melissa Dalton-Bradford around the globe and back. Continue reading

Big Ward/Little Ward: bloom where you are planted

 

My sister and I have ongoing conversations about big ward/little ward, in-Utah/outside-of-Utah church experiences. You’ve probably held similar conversations with friends and family.

Our conclusion? There are pluses and minuses everywhere.

My sister lives in San Diego in what they think is a large ward, but it’s small enough that all the Young Women meet in one class and everyone takes turns serving in time-consuming callings. Ward members treat each other like family and gather for every holiday and birthday.

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throw your stone

When I heard Kathie Lee Gifford would be speaking to us at the American Mother’s Convention, I was a bit wary. My only knowledge of her was from scanning tabloid headlines when standing in line at the grocery store. But I quickly became a fan. Anyone of faith– be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist (Kathie is a devout Christian)- earns my respect when they boldly declare, “I believe.”

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Kathie spoke with power and conviction as she expressed her dependence upon God and her faith in Christ. Continue reading

my inner voice: Mother’s Day edition

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“Be careful how you speak to your children. One day it will become their inner voice” –Peggy O’Mara.

This is not a story about perfect mothers raising perfect children. Rather, it features flawed mothers and grandmothers, broken relationships and the power of God’s grace to heal our hearts.

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My mother was hard on me. As a child, and as I grew into an adult, she criticized and chastised, compared me to my siblings and to the smart/beautiful/talented girl down the street. I weighed too much, my clothes looked dowdy, my kitchen was messy. My mother’s mother spoke the same way to her and perhaps my mother’s mother’s mother did the same. Continue reading

for missionary moms and sisters and aunts and friends

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Have I covered everyone? Because these days, I think we all know someone going on a mission this Spring or Summer. Families in my neighborhood who didn’t think they’d send out any missionaries are sending three at once and I’ve tearfully, joyfully watched many of my Young Women open mission calls.

Tomorrow, TOMORROW!!!! my oldest son will arrive home from Milan, Italy after a 737 day absence. As you can imagine, I’m so excited I can hardly think straight. But I thought today would be a good time to share mom/friend/aunt/brother/father etc. of missionary tips. I only have a few, so I hope the Segullah community will all contribute to the list. As with all advice: take what you like, discard what you don’t and do what is best for you.

1. Begin with a habit of every sibling writing every week. We did this because I didn’t consider any other way, but I learned it’s unusual for siblings to write their missionary brother or sister weekly. This habit kept my children close and created a good journal for each one of them. Because they all wrote from my email account, I was able to read their thoughts (with permission) and learn more about their hearts.

2. Email is awesome, but use snailmail too. Not every missionary has time to read email from multiple people, and even if they do, we all know the beauty of receiving real letters by post. Each time my son was transferred, I printed up several envelopes with his new address and placed a stamp on them. My children wrote quick little notes, drew sketches and often included recent photos. My second son will be leaving for Russia next month and since mail can only go to his mission office, I’ll just print up 100 envelopes at the beginning of his mission.

3. Photos and letters are better than gifts. Most missionaries either a. can find everything they need in their mission or b. will have their package stolen before it ever arrives.

4. Tell your missionary you miss them. Not in a ‘I’m going to die if you don’t come home right away” but my son appreciated hearing he was missed at home– that we felt his absence.

5. Pray for them at every meal, every family prayer. Perhaps this sounds obvious, and it’s probably intuitive for most, but those prayers lend missionaries strength and mentioning a loved one is likely to make all our prayers more sincere.

6. Create a missionary blog. I was iffy about this one, but a blog can be set up quite simply and you may be amazed at the traffic it receives. One blog reader (whom we have yet to meet) is getting baptized in April; her first real introduction to our faith was from Ben’s mission blog. You will of course, need to edit out details that would hurt or embarrass anyone.

OK, now it’s your turn. What are your missionary tips? What are your tips for helping missionaries acclimate after coming home?

And just indulge me, here are a few paragraph’s from Ben’s last missionary letter yesterday morning

Hello family-

I’m almost done being a missionary, but not quite. Tonight I’m going to teach the grandma of one of the sister missionaries at temple square. She was planning on getting baptized when her granddaughter got home in September, but in church on Sunday she came up to me and said, “You’re the first person I’m telling but I want to get baptized on my birthday- May 19.” Tonight will be the last lesson I teach as a missionary and then tomorrow I’ll go to Milano and have dinner with the Wolfgramm’s and then the next day I’ll be home.

… (editing out all the personal stuff you won’t find interesting)

Well this is it- the end. I have a solid feeling of peace. I feel satisfied. I feel like I’m in a holy place. I don’t just say it because I’m a missionary but I feel like I’ve done something of worth, something significant that not even I completely understand yet. I’m glad I came on a mission and I’m glad I stayed being a missionary despite all the times it would have been easier not to. I love you guys and I love the Lord.

Love, Ben