Easter came right at the beginning of April and we ended up spending it down at Virginia and Joel's since I wasn't feeling recovered enough to host an Easter party this year and she graciously offered to host.
On Saturday we drove down and ended up going to a Glo Zone place with the family that had all kinds of activities that you did in semi dark with everything glowing around you.
The next day we woke up and watched General Conference and had an egg hunt with the kids and then ate a nice meal.
This was Paisley's first egg hunt and the boys helped "hide" the eggs for her (they were empty, ha ha) She didn't mind and had a fun time picking them up.
It was great hanging out with the sisters and their families.
This month Ashley finally got her license over her spring break, after lots of DMV appointments including mistakes I made that made it so she couldn't take her test and then failing her first test after turning right on a no turn on right light in Palm Springs (we don't have any around us). We ended up visiting the Riverside, Riverside East, Palm Springs and Redlands DMVs. She says she has DMV PTSD but all that's over now she passed.
She even got 100% on her test!
We celebrated by going to downtown Redlands and going to ice cream and checking out some of the cool things down there like an alley way filled with hanging umbrellas.
The March Air Show happened in April. The kids weren't interested so Jeff and I went on our way to do grocery shopping. Its always fun to visit for a couple of hours and check out everything going on.
One of the Saturday's in April it was warm enough to go to the beach. It was a little taste of summer and we took advantage of it with Elsa and Jolene. We didn't get to the beach until mid afternoon but we ended the day at Spaghetti Factory so the kids were happy.
In April we were able to attend Jenise and Sean's baby blessing. Tessa is adorable and makes a great addition to their family of boys.
We got to bond with a couple of her boys during sacrament meeting. Jeff liked spoiling Zander. Jenise and Sean make some cute kids!
Steve and Tahna are the best grandparents and love all their grandkids!
After church we went back to Sean's parents house and had food and hung out with family.
Josh and Darby were in town for the blessing and a visit and we had fun seeing their son Carter. He's such a cutie!
The same night as the baby blessing Ashley and the mascots had a cheer competition an hour away on a Sunday night. The best part was just hanging out with the mascots and their parents before they had to perform. They were the last performance at 9:00 at night (on a school night). After they performed they realized that they weren't being graded or up for any awards, I guess it was just and exhibition, so we left to make the drive back home.
It was a crazy long day that day.
That Friday was Taylor's 22nd Birthday!
Steve and Tahna had already asked if we could do a family swim party/get together since Josh and Darby were in town and we combined celebrating Taylor's birthday with the party.
Taylor Rose even made him an apple pie for the occasion!
The weather was still a bit chilly so most of the swimming was in the hot tub only.
We had fun playing a new(er) game Code Names. It made me remember how fun family game nights can be. We'll have to do them more often.
The next night we took Taylor, Taylor Rose and Ashley to dinner to celebrate Taylor's birthday together.
Jeff and I also celebrated our 25th Anniversary this month. Actually it was on May 1st but since that was on a Tuesday we celebrated the weekend before.
Jeff and I hadn't planned anything too much in advance other than dinner and a flamenco show at Savilla's which is a local Spanish restaurant. Last minute we decided to book a night at the Mission Inn and stay in down town Riverside that night to celebrate our anniversary.
We enjoyed walking around town and looking in the shops and eating lunch at Simple Simons. Across the street from the Mission Inn they city of Riverside was having some sort of insect festival and Jeff and I went over and learned about bees and beekeeping and other bugs.
Our room looked over a courtyard. When we first checked in I wondered how loud it would be because there were a lot of people all over the hotel. We realized that a lot of them were prom go-ers who were taking pictures and it died down later.
It felt like we were in Europe for the night and we could hear the sounds of fountains, people eating and music playing which reminded me of Paris.
That night we went to Savilla's and watched the Flamenco show while we were eating Paella. The food was good and the show was good though only one of the dancers really captured the tone of the flamenco dancing we saw in Spain (she had just flown in from Madrid). The rest of the dancers were all different ages and nationalities and looked like they did flamenco dancing for fun. It was still a great night.
After we got back we explored the hotel at night. There is always something to discover around every corner.
When we got to the staircase and where the meeting rooms were we realized we were locked out from the rest of the hotel. After walking around a bit we exited through a restaurant patio and had to walk all the way around to the front entrance to get back in, ha ha. The next morning we ate our free breakfast and then had to race home because Jeff was speaking in sacrament meeting that morning.
Since I've had more time at home I've been spending more time sewing. I've been sewing bereavement pillow orders for Vitas (which is a local Hospice Center) about once a week and I've sewn blankets for Beds and Blessings (a organization that provides beds and bedding to keep kids out of foster care), and bereavement buntings and diapers for Kaiser. I've been working through my stash of fabric and its nice to feel like its going to good use.
Ashley texted this picture to all of us and said "Our family hasn't changed a bit"
I didn't think much of it until I looked closer and realized that she had photo-shopped a beard on Taylor a book of Mormon on Jacob and added Maddie. Ha ha.
Updates from Jacob
April 1, 2018
Happy Easter Everybody!
Wow! What an amazing conference! I want to start off by saying, congratulations Jared! I am so excited for you, to hear where you are going! Who knows? It could even be this mission!
That was such an amazing conference though! I am proud to say, I didn’t fall asleep at all in it! We didn't do anything too special, except watched the Saturday afternoon session at a members home, and had dinner afterwards. It's amazing though how much has happened! And not only that, the wonderful inspiration of the leaders! I came in with pretty specific questions, i had them all written down next to my notes, and every one of them were answered! Some answers were so specific and direct to my question it was kind of scary!
Something I’ve noticed with a lot of the changes the church has made recently, it has been moving towards principalities over practices. Also being more focused on the people rather than the report. A very similar change happened in the mission field over a year ago, where the reporting was lessened to be more focused on the people. And there were no longer specific things you are told to do, except for find, teach and baptize. It used to be reporting on how many lessons taught, member visits, and service hours, in addition to others. It's so great to be able to be a part of this ongoing restoration! And with principalities over practices, that’s the way our mission president is. He really encourages us to follow the spirit of the law, in addition to all the rules were already given.
An observation I’ve made with the missionaries with this change, is that it really divides the wheat from the tares. It leads to Receiving personal revelation for the individual instead of achieving a number. I've seen it help missionaries grow, and seen others waver with the unsurity of what to do with being compelled. I think it will be a great sifting moment for the church, in really helping those who want to be better, to be better. BUT, that's just my two cents, now for the fun part!
First off! Thank you so much for the package! I love the ties and the socks! I succumbed to the candy portion partially, but then I have put away, to lose weight before I leave! I actually wore on of the ties to zone conference on Friday, and I saw an Elder who I used to be his zone leader, and he was wearing the exact same tie! So that is the picture!
I had such a spiritual weekend! We had zone conference on Friday, then general conference on Saturday and Sunday! It was very uplifting and strengthening! However, this time, I'm going to try my hardest to keep studying the conference talks! One thing that really hit me, was President Nelson talking at the end about consistency, combined with President Oaks talking of small and simple things, it is something I need to work on more.
We did a lot of walking this past week! The people in South Carolina are very interesting ha-ha. They are so fun to talk to, and you never know what you're going to get! The weather has been perfect for it as well! There was one day this week we walked 1.7 miles to an appointment, and it turned out she was busy. However, right before we got home, we saw someone in the distance that looked like one of our investigators we lost contact with. Elder Olson joked saying "hey there's Perry," and it turns out, IT WAS PERRY! Miracles happen when you’re out and about!
And about school ma, you could just apply to LDS BC, and I'll go there or BYUI, and then go from there. And I was thinking, because I kind of want to go into business, of working with dad for a month or two before I leave!
I'm at the point now in my mission, where missionaries tend to get "trunky" if they’re not careful. I've been blessed though, because our area has been struggling, so it's taken my mind to focus wholly on it and the District. I've also been praying to be able to focus, so I don't fall into the same trap. There is great blessings of adversity! I love you family! And it's crazy that I'll be talking to y'all soon!
April 9th 2017
What a week! Gladys Knight was this last Saturday and it was amazing! We had one of the less active members in the ward invite his family of nonmembers, and they all loved it!
It was strange at first because it was in the chapel, and it felt like we were at a Baptist church. A lot of amens and hallelujahs, and clapping at church! It was great too, because they had a couple speakers who shared their testimonies of the restoration, and the spirit was so strong! It was a blessing to be able to be there.
In our branch, I may have already told you this, but our branch president took a business job in Armenia a few weeks back. Well we have a new branch presidency finally! It's going to be nice working with them, and also the new Elders Quorum President! Who is the new Elders Quorum presidency there?
So transfers are this week! We have no idea what's going to happen, but we should find out in a couple days. We would usually find out Tuesday night. However, President Alexander has been super busy lately with the Gladys Knight event, so we will probably find out sometime on Wednesday.
I love being here in Lancaster! It is a tougher area, and the people are pretty crazy. But I love that because it makes me think more about the area. It keeps my mind occupied with the work, and not on other things. (like home) This transfer has been a refining one, and I will be ready to Sprint at my last 3 months! (That's something we do here) there are little Sprint letters we get, to motivate us to push out everything at the end. I think I will be ready! I love you all! And I'm glad you got my letters! Ha e a wonderful week!
- Elder Beaulieu
April 17th, 2018
Transfers were this last week, and I did not get transferred! I love it here in the branch, and I’m excited to be able to spend more time here! My new companion is Elder Dell'ergo. He is a super fun man! He likes to talk, which keeps everyday interesting, and he has been out a transfer longer than I.
Sorry mom, i answered those questions in my head, but i never got them onto the email,
Ward Package: I think i need a new toothbrush. I have no idea what other snacks or things, but if it's any help, its always fun to get things or snacks that are unique or exotic
Food Representing here: A Pulled Pork sandwich with vinegar base BBQ sauce, Coleslaw (vinegar or mayonnaise), and Texas Pete in the sandwich. Collard Greens, Hushpuppies, and Mac'n Cheese. Or you could just make some fried Chicken
The weather here has been heating up lately! Summer is just around the corner! Yesterday was a little different though, there were some tornados around the mission! We are fine, they only lasted about 10 minutes, and were small, and we were inside at that time. Not looking forward to the humidity ha ha.
I got to try something new recently! Last Thursday, the first dinner with my new companion, we had Avocado Pie! I was skeptical a first, but then it tasted really good! There's so many foods here that are so different but are really good! I have a few food places i will take yall when we come back and visit.
We just got a new Branch Presidency! The last was great, but these people are also so great! We were able to meet with the new branch president, and it seems like a lot will change with him here! He has already made a bunch of plans to get the missionaries more involved in the work. He wants us to speak in Sacrament meeting next Sunday, and wants to have us teach some of the classes occasionally. I am super excited to work with him, and ward council last week was amazing! I can tell a lot of great work is going to be coming here to the branch!
The work here has been a little slower lately, which is alright. I've been praying a lot for the work here, and I know we'll see great success soon. I think this area has been one where I’ve turned to the Lord the most, so it's a great learning experience! The people down here are wonderful! They have great southern hospitality, but they don't want to commit to things. It is nice to have so much kindness, but it makes it tougher to identify who is really elect.
I've made a couple goals to change myself, to help the area! ;
1. Talk with everyone! It's one of the simplest ways to exercise faith, however it's one of the most difficult things to do. It's easy to say hey to everyone, but it's hard to get more of a conversation.
2. Treat everyone like their best self! I though about this when working with the missionaries, that if I treat them like a missionary better than they think they are, then they will become that missionary they're being treated like. And i think it's the same for everyone else! If you treat everyone as elect, then maybe it will help inspire them to become elect!
Just some Elder Beaulieu thoughts.
I will say that the mission does not get easier as you go along haha. I'm still pushing just as hard, if not harder now. I feel like ive changed a lot though, and im grateful for that! I've seen on many different occasions the hand of the Lord, and i'm grateful to be able to give every ounce of energy in this last few months!
I love you all! I hope your week is wonderful!
April 23rd, 2018
The weather out here is great! This last week has been sunny and in the 70's! However, this whole week will be cloudy and rainy, so let the humidity begin!
This week we did more walking. We drove down to a town near the bottom of the area, about 40 minutes away, and spent time walking around there. It's an old country town with a small population, and they were not used to seeing little people. We had some people ask if I have been on TV, others got out of the car to take a picture with me, and some got a little frightened when they came to the door. I love the south! It's so much fun with the people here, and I think the best part is seeing my companion’s reaction. It's great though, because that's a better chance of people remembering the missionaries!
The work here in the branch is really picking up. We are working with a part member family who came to the Gladys Knight event, and the wife wants to join the church! She came to church yesterday, and brought her 7 kids, and they all loved it! The Branch is amazing here when it comes to people coming to church. I'll put it this way, before, we always relied on the Relief Society because we knew as soon as people got in there, they would be accepted right away! However, in this branch, the whole branch is like that!
We also gave talks yesterday! We were told 15 minutes to talk of a doctrinal principle of last conference and relate it to member missionary work. I decided to talk about the new ministering focus. It really helped me to understand ministering better, and it was a testimony to me that this new change is inspired! I learned that missionary work, is just ministering to people who aren’t members of the church! Sometimes we overcomplicate things, and think we have to do something big, but if we do something for someone with a purpose to bring them closer to Christ, then we are ministering! It's crazy how the Spirit works too, because i talked about a lot of things I hadn’t planned on, and i didn’t look at my paper i wrote my notes on once! It's amazing how to mission will change you!
I really love the mission, It has been the hardest thing by far that I have done, but it changed me some much! And now that I've changed, I’ve seen how much i needed to change! Something I really loved from last conference, is the talk about 70 times 7. I'm someone who is really hard on myself for mistakes that I've made, and I love the perspective the talk gives! To get here today, I haven't made 1,000 mistakes, it just took 1,000 steps to get here! I've also learned about how much the Spirit plays a role in this work! If I just give it my all, and am worthy, then the Spirit will take care of everything!
I also was able to get a priesthood blessing this last week from one of the zone leaders! I didn't know why, but I felt like i needed one. It was very powerful, and a very memorable experience I will not soon forget. It seemed everything said was an answer to prayers, or specific worries that I had. So! What I leave with you this week family! One, the priesthood is real! Never turn down a time to ask for a priesthood blessing. If you feel you don't need one, but haven't gotten one in a long time, then just get one anyways. Two, Heavenly Father is very aware of each of your circumstances. Let him help! He wants to! Read your scriptures! Pray! Make Sacrament a spiritual experience! As a missionary, I promise you family that as you do these small and simple things consistently, then great things will come! That's what happened to me! I Love yall! And i want you to be the best you can!
PS Happy Birthday Bro! Crazy to think your 22 now! I love you man, and good luck in your last year of college!
April 30th 2018
Crazy Week! First off, wow! I said that! I am kind of embarrassed now haha. It's fun to see how much I've changed on the mission. To answer your question, i LOVED being a zone leader. It was a wonderful opportunity to serve the Winston-Salem zone. However, by the end of my time there, i was getting a little complacent. It's a lot of administrative work, which comes easier to me than administerative stuff. So it is more difficult being a district leader, with more time to just focus on my area. I love it though! I've been super humbled and i feel I've learned a lot here, and things are really picking up in the area!
We found someone recently who came to our branch president and told him she wanted to turn her life around and be baptized. Super exciting for the branch! They are amazing people here, and are so loving and welcoming. I hope I can be a worthy missionary to help this branch grow! I love my companion too! We are working well together, and he is a very happy person. What makes this companionship great though, is we've been doing a lot lately to involve the Lord more! We have some great plans, and we're excited to see the miracles that will happen here soon!
Let's see...... exciting things that happened this week:
Revival! We drove by this revival going on, and we decided to pull over and hear what was going on. It was crazy! Lots of people yelling and screaming, preaching to the crowd. People standing up and waving their hands as they sang. Very interesting to see how other people choose to worship!
Crazy People! The first guy we met was on Thursday. We were walking away from this house, on our way to the car, and some guy stops in the road and asks us what church we're from. We told him, then he told us to leave, and some unnice words, and told us he would follow us to our car. Luckily for him, we were already heading to our car. I had to calm my companion down after that lol. And the next guy we met the next day, and long story short, he was yelling at us and everything for like 10 minutes saying he hates white people, but he loves us, because whites are descendants of the fallen angels. It was interesting, a very interesting week! Very memoriable though!
Tennis! We have a tennis court! And we've been playing tennis for morning workouts! It's fun!
About the BYUI thing, I will ponder and pray about it, and we can talk a little more about it on mothers day. AHHH! Thats only in a couple weeks! I am so excited to talk to yall in just a little while! Prepare your questions now, and i will prepare mine so we dont miss anything!
This week is also going to be a fun one! Tomorrow we are going to a mission leadership conference in Charlotte, and the next day is District Meeting, and the next day is Interviews with my mission president! It's sad to think that he will be leaving in just a couple of months. He will be missed.
I love you family, and look forward to hearing from you soon!