Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Birthday to me!!! Feb 27 2014. New Family Amendment

Sammers....This is really for you...this was us on our Seattle vacation and I am just now thinking I didn't send you any pics like I promised? Will have to go back and check. I wish you and Megsalina were in it! Spencer posted it today( THANK YOU LOVEY)...I hadn't seen this was the perfect fix for a Momma who only wants one thing for her birthday...ALL HER BABIES WITH HER doing NOTHING...just being us....just taking a run together...eating glorious food...and talking and talking and sharing our NOW---AND dreaming our future--planning together ways WE are going to make our world an even MORE WONDERFUL PLACE!!!.

 Total HAPPINESS INSPIRATION came from this pic...I AWE at the angels as they surround and comfort me with creation thoughts! Take note: this WILL be a new amendment to our FAMILY contract!!!! (OK...I know you are laughing...MY  family contract). It occurred to me...that only ONE MORE Birthday and Sam will be with us and then I can implement the NEW ANNUAL NEVER OPTIONAL Harris Children Event.....

This event WILL occur next year...just delayed until AFTER March 11 when Sam the Beloved returns home. That actually WILL set a precedent for this event. It will NOT always be held ON my birthday...but it WILL be held in celebration of MY birthday. I don't have the exact name yet...the name needs to be WAWOWZIE so that it is DEAR on your lips and the lips of my grandchildren. Can I just take a second and interject the JOY that is oozing out of me that I GET TO CREATE MY LIFE!!! This celebration will be ONE of  our most anticipated events annually. Being able to create this for myself is why I work Do Terra. It's gonna feel like you are on Oprah's FAVORITE THINGS SHOW!!! ALL you chillins are going to gather to me SOMEWHERE we are thrilling to be...probably HOME alot... and we are going to CELEBRATE US...the creation of our family. The creation of each of us individually. I will pick my favorite new knowings, my favorite new THINGS and present  them to you at this gathering. At this gathering we will have a planning session where each of you commit some ALONE time with me during the rest of year. Where we plan the other family get togethers...whose house I get to come to for our egg hunt, for our RED Valentine's Dinner, for the Super Bowl, For....ALL THE TRADITIONAL STUFF. I swear I will be SOOO careful not to overwhelm your spouses. I swear it.Anyway. You get it. This will also be my JOY calendaring event.

I will DANCE today in exuberance of all the NEW family traditions that each of YOU will create!!! I am particularly excited for the traditions you start with me as singles out in the world. Michael...seems to me that having an Irish celebration would be appropriate! I will be in England for St. Patrick's Day...but we can dream up something. You get the drift...start dreaming and planning for me!

So...I had this dream. ALL of you were breaking the family contract of living more than a half hour drive away from 3 of you already are. (Even though I hate it, I love it that you are all so smart and brave and loving and good and heart listeners...that damn duality/paradox again) You were all over the map. I wept in grief and whoever was with me...I kept saying THIS IS NOT THE PLAN!! THIS IS NOT THE PLAN!!! I saw the incredible people you were sharing your lives with. That you had contracted to be there for them. I saw your homes and I had grandbabies racing to greet me at the door when I arrived. We've got some curly headed beauties coming our way!!!YES! YES! YES!!! You had DOGS that loved me! :) And oh so quietly my dream "friend" says, "Yes Natalie, this IS YOUR plan". And I woke up knowing it was. I hated/loved it. That was 3 days ago.

My earth brain wanted to buy a neighborhood of us ALWAYS living CLOSE together. I am learning to trust my dreams. I am going to trust my dream of the other night-- that I really did lay the living together in the neighborhood dream down in favor of the PLAN I was shown. I keep surprising myself with how my plan develops. But ANYTIME if ANYONE wants to be next door...or just 30 minutes away??? This is SOOOOOO BIG of me Lovies. I know you know.

Crazy mad to imagine all the LOVES you are bringing to each of us from all over the place. Beautiful to know that they are waiting for us like we are waiting for them. GO GET EM'!!!! All of them! This has been and will continue to be a year of change for us. A life of change for us. Duality. Paradox. Growth. Memories.  LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

SO, start sending me your ideas of WHERE the first annual__________event will be. I know Sam's vote is probably Lake Powell. Let me be clear. ALL WILL BE HOME MARCH 11th for Sam's Homecoming. YOU PUT THAT ON THE CALENDARS NOW!!! The Parentals will pay to get you here...but you MUST get here! This will NOT be MY Birthday celebration. Send ideas for the name of it as well. Just dream up the bestest you got and send it to me. Michael...could we group text on this or would that be a bug?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!! Happy Birthday to me...I have personally  participated in 6 birthdays, each THE MOST SACRED days of my life. I WILL CELEBRATE that as long as I live...and when I DON'T LIVE...there will be fund left to continue the celebration.
PS once we have THE NAME, I will rename this post :) This will long live as a favorite family document.

Monday, February 24, 2014

24 Feb 2014 from the Sammer

hello family!!
It was an incredible week to say the least, and I am absolutely exhausted. On monday we had a really good P-day and it was nice to just chill for a day, we didn't do anything special. On Tuesday Elder Unice and I were street contacting, and I started talking to a guy, and Elder Unice felt like he needed to talk to someone who was walking by, so we were seperately street contacting, and the guy I was talking to needed start walking, so I walked with him, and Elder Unice and I got lost from each other, and we only have one phone for the 2 of us. So thankfully, I found another companionship that was at the city center and I joined with them street contacting. Elder Hall, who is one of my greatest mission friends, and I decided that we would really look for people until we felt compelled to talk to someone. We ended up talking to the sickkest guy ever wearing beats by dre. headphones. We talked to him about the purpose of life, then preceded to set up the return appointment, and he was like, I would love it if you guys could teach me right now! so we sat on a bench, taught him the Plan of Salvation, and put him on a baptismal date! it was a miracle! I have never done that on my mission yet but it was brilliant. and he is really solid, he has already read most of 1 nephi. 
On WednesdayThursday, and Friday we taught Gifty to get her ready for the baptism on saturday, but unfortunately she didn't make it. however, she did come to church again! which is the 3rd time in a row, and she is developing really good relationships with the ward, so that's brilliant. On Thursday we taught lessons to most of our investigators who were qualified for baptism, and we found out that after that, only Luis, Long, and Cathy would be able to be baptized! 
Saturday was the most incrediblie day of my mission! most of the day we were making preperations for the baptism which was in the evening, making food, picking up investigators and members, etc. The massive bus took around 60 people to the baptism, and then there were about 50 more people who made it out, so we had 100 + who attended.  Cathy, Luis, and Long were baptized and they loved it! the spirit was so strong and so many of the members were feeling it. Because 7 baptisms in one week for a ward is sooo rare in England, the members were so happy. After the baptism we went and ate at Coventry Chapel, and all of the members were so motivated to fellowship the investigators and recent converts that were in the room. Yesterday at a dinner appointment, the Reynolds family who we visited were basically begging us to get them involved with the work, whether it was referrals of their friends, teaching with us, lifts to church, etc. It was so cool to see the spirit of the lord not only soften the hearts of the nonmembers, but the energy it brought to the members was almost more incredible.  It is great to be in Coventry. Enzo, Sneya, Nick, and Carol were also baptized, and they are soo good as well. 
Sunday was amazing as well. I did back to back to back confirmations for our investigators, and then after the confirmations of all 7, I got to bless the sacrament with Luke for his first time! It was such an incredible experience. President Rasmussen came to our ward and taught a little bit of the second hour for investigators and recent converts.  after church I was exhausted. I just needed a break to chill and SLEEP. I'm still exhausted but P-day will be great. 
MEGGSSS!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I hope that you had an amazing day, and you should send me an email with your email address so I can get your address and stuff just incase I want to send you something haha.
MOMMMMYYY!! happy birthday to you! how old are you now? 35? you look it!!
Tell Spence to email me so he can give me details on this mizuno thing. that is sweet! they make really good irons actually!!
For dad- I'm not sure of the full names for our investigators cause they go by their English names. all I know is that Long Wang is the full name of Long. what a sick name huh!! he's a legend. 
I have more pictures of this week but for some reason the computer I'm using at the moment won't allow me to upload them... soo I'm sorry!!
I love you all like heck, and I hope all of you are having the time of your life doing whatever you're doing! Mike and Josh, it would be good to hear from you!!
Have a great week,
Elder Sam Harris.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday February 23rd 2014

Okay. The Momma is dealing with having you scattered all over the place. Pretty much all my prayers are begging the angels to be with you and look over you like I would if I were THERE with you. I laugh at my human state that I actually think sometimes that I AM a better tender to you than the heavens. That they would even need me to ask or beg or give them ideas about what I hope would come to you!!!! I want YOU to know that I really do trust them with your care. I trust YOU with your care. I just miss you.

I wanna have you home so I can pass out copies of my newest freakazoid mind blowing read....

All those AVATAR cartoons?? You are gonna love this...they EXIST!!!!! You can listen on Audible...I will pay for each of you to download it from Audible---it will be MY BIRTHDAY PRESENT to me :)...just let me know. We live on a crazy amazing planet. I sit in awe wondering how many trips here it will take for me to experience the  primal stuff I long I can get past it and want with my whole soul the existences like these.  Will the Gods just take some of this wanting from me since my heart really is set on going the distance. I guess the real question is....IS THERE A SHORT CUT??

I am still sitting mystified that I am enjoying my DoTerra Business SO MUCH. I have spent the week in Ft. Worth and Dallas Texas training and having a symposium. I get to be with and get to share life tidbits with people who would rock your brain.I get to SEE the consequences of lives lived with choices other than I have made. FASCINATING. INVIGORATING. My team members are all  friends.

At the symposium I was with a toothless returned vet ...I am not sure if she is struggling with aspergers or if the war affected her social interactions. My eyes could not quit returning to her twisted mouth . She was a wonder. Her mouth and verbal interactions could not cover the contentment and happiness she wore like a LOOK AT ME dress. The entire time I presented she sat on the floor in the back next to the diffuser and rocked and breathed in the Wild Orange. She was happy. She was TOO YOUNG not to have teeth. She was child like. I swear she looked into me like she was Jesus in that song KILLING ME SOFTLY. I know her name. Her first name is Mary. I was shocked because earlier this week I had told someone I was MARY, the Handmaid of the Lord. No. I am not. Not when compared with her light. I felt chastised watching this woman named Mary who radiated a love and happiness I haven't touched yet...and she did it with NO TEETH.  I am a vain woman. I am your Mother. But Lovies...I wanna be Mary. Handmaid to the LOVE in the Universe.

The oils bring healers. I didn't realize before how much I WANT to be a healer.

I am in the Chicago Airport. People watching. My crazy gets real when I am in airports.  I start looking for you. I have this pounding that one of you will JUST SHOW UP and we will fly home together. I look for "saints". I look to find the ones who radiate goodness....I make up stories about what they did and do to earn that face. I am ALWAYS comforted by finding them. If I was brave I'd take a picture of this man sitting in the next terminal over. You'd be able to see it in his eyes too. He has lived a LONG life. Then there are the other expressions...I want a magic wand. I would zap HAPPY all over these people.

I wanna ZAP happy ON YOU!!! Everybody GOOD??? EVERYBODY HAPPY????

Spencer's Kasi decided she's going on a mission so they are now dating other people. Spencer got asked to rep Mizuno golf clubs and is totally thrilled with his life! Meg will get home from her cruise tonight. I get home tonight. Dad got home yesterday.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Blender bottle ground breaking

I'm famous! Kim sent this to me this morning and I don't think I have a picture of this so putting it here. The building is now complete. What an amazing life I have that I get to be on so many fun projects!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Da Bam 17 Feb 2014

Hey fam and friends!
Another great week! we have completed the discussions with da hua, Michael,  albert, frank, luis, long, cathy, gifty, and rosalyn! so those are the investigators eligible for baptism on saturday. It would be outstanding if they would all make it, and again, I ask for your prayers for them to make it! if they don't make it on saturday, I know they will sometime in March or in the near future, but I would love to see them be baptized as I might leave Coventry soon!
On Monday Mitch sent us a text basically saying that his family went balistic when they heard he was going to church, and so he's not allowed to come to church anymore. He was so exited for his baptism! so that was a huge bummer. but we are still meeting with him every once and a while at the university when we can. Elder Unice and I have now been kicked out of the University hang out we were teaching at, and the public library. so we don't have anywhere to teach besides people's houses right now, which we could use help with! we taught a couple of lessons in ikea, and it was alright, but please pray for us to find another good place to teach!
The valentine's package was awesome! I love that book with some of my closest friends! I also LOVED all of the letters from spencers friends, and their advice for me on how to enjoy my mission and continue working hard. I really needed all of their encouragement and support while I am out here! I could sense in their writing their love for being a missionary, and it makes me never want to leave! also, thank you for the goldfish and for the puzzle. however with the puzzle, there is  no picture for me to look at! so I am just putting it together with no idea what it actually is! haha
On saturday, and yesterday, we had dinner appointments with members of our church who are from India, and we had some AMAZING indian food. before my mission I wasn't a big fan, but I think it might be my favorite along with chinese food. 
on sunday we had 10 investigators at church! Nora and Sheri haven't missed a week in like 5 weeks! they are coming to the baptism on saturday so they can see it, and tell their parents about it, hoping that they will eventually get the  consent ffrom them to join the church. they are incredible and possibly two of my favorite invesigators I've had my whole mission. 
yesterday at church sacrament meeting was all about families, and so many different times throughout the lesson the spirit hit me so powerfully! the peaking moment when we sang families can be together forever. I absolutely know that to be true. all of my life I have been blessed with the spiritual gift of being very confident and sure of my belief in god, and the power of the atonement which was an excellent foundation for my testimony. Constantly on my mission I am reminded of basic truths of the gospel that will almost knock me off my chair. for example: WOW, Joseph Smith actually was a prophet.. Thomas S. Monson actually does have the exact same keys and power as Moses/Abraham/Adam/Joseph Smith etc. I love when these things become real to me, and nothing makes me happier. Seeing the people in England with and without the gospel is quite an incredible different. and I have noticed that the difference is hope. we have a hope that the church is true, and that we do have a purpose in this life. so many members of the church struggle with their testimonies in different areas and never develop a perfect knowledge, but their hope for a better world keeps them happy! and it's amazing. if anyone back home is struggling with their testimony and is confused about something, please email me! I would LOVE to help you get back on track and experience the great happiness which is the gospel of Jesus Christ!! I'm not saying my testimony is perfect because there is so much that I need to learn and apply in my life to become more christlike. My calling is to invite people to come unto Christ, not just to those in England! I love this gospel, and sincerely want everyone to hear the message and experience the hope that it brings.  Love y'all like heck!! que tenga un buen semana!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

February 9-15 2014

 Dad and Spencer went to St. George golfing...missing ALL of us of course!!
 Sam doing mission AWESOME.
 Michael is Florida...Me is hook up...  :(  but we tried!
 YES!!! Florida IS this GORGEOUS!!!
 Megan at work...feel SO BAD for how boring it always is...make sure to look through the sequence and see her hiding behind rail in the last pic!!
 See? I think she learned this behavior from having FOUR brothers!!!
Joshy...just wanted to LOOK at  you...thought the others might feel the same.

I am sad and sorry I didn't get to post to you last Sunday. I had no WIFI and my T MOBILE phone reception was incredibly awful in FLORIDA. Bizarre how great it is in the west and how poor in the south!

My Do Terra trip was everything I hoped it would be. I am overwhelmed with all the INCREDIBLE people who keep coming in to my business and especially into my life. I have 2 Florida Builders coming in for training today and then I leave Wednesday for Texas for a Symposium and will be back LATE next Sunday.
The Gods are creatively working my real estate and fund raising PERFECTLY into my trips and I'm grateful. But come June when Diamond Club is over I am SOOOO gonna be ready for a break!

I really tried to be the mom who likes that her boys are off being adult and creating their own lives. I'm DONE. You know how I feel about the mission thing. And now,  I AM SO DONE WITH SEATTLE!!! DONE DONE DONE!!!Look...we CAN VISIT there guys!!!! LIVE NEAR HOME and VISIT Seattle? Just sayin. Being AUTHENTICALLY Me.

Meg leaves for her birthday cruise this week. We will celebrate when she gets back. Josh is liking PF CHANGS. Michael is still working both jobs. It will be so fun for him to be at Paddy Coins for St. Patricks Day.

I wrote you a book below. You may look an choose not to read. I hope you will ...even if you take it in parts. I can't help myself. I'm your mom. No sitting round the dinner table ...this is my new podium.

I love you big. BIG!!!
Joshy...take some pics...Spencer send me some...Sam...send em...and I swear to take some more of me, my travels, my team, as well.


Childrens I LOVE xxooxx. This is an issue that especially pertains to you in your life journeys right now. That was silly of me to write. It pertains to ALL OF US in ALL of our journeyings our whole stay here. I did not read the article by Elder Callister. This article was sent to me by someone struggling and wanting to know if they were taking the "EASY WAY OUT" by believing and supporting this therapist because the article written by Elder Callister just FELT wrong to her, was she just not able to negotiate her shame?...her REAL question being...CAN I QUESTION the teaching of a prophet or one of the brethren?

And then even deeper...she wanted to know HOW and WHY I became comfortable doing so?

My example of questioning and sharing it so openly has made some of the church leadership and others nervous. I smile as I think of how nervous Joseph Smith would have made them in his day...
well OUR DAY. Pretty sure he is still the same guy.

 Someone turning to ME as well as church leadership can be interpreted many ways. My interpretation: Anyone turning to anyone in helping to form a life choice/belief-- means they are not clear in their knowing yet and are looking for aid to sure up that knowing,--  they  are WANTING to start out on a BETTER if not BEST path. I am so grateful that everyone of us is here for each other as we stand in our unsureness. And then STILL as we stand in our KNOWING. I love that each of our lives is pretty much an open book for others to look in and see the fruits of our labors...our happiness. How awesome that we get to choose WHO we pattern our choices after while we walk the walk!!  May we all be the disciple and example of Jesus Christ and other GREAT HAPPY CHANGE THE WORLD people. As we do so our arms will be always open to each other. We will refuse to cast stones. We will share our truth as we understand it. We will eternally seek truth. We will live peace.  We will err. We will turn. We will err again. We will keep turning. But MOSTLY...we will LOVE!!!!! We will see each other in our perfection. When we see imperfection we will note that it is a mirror of our OWN imperfections and seek to change OURSELVES and not others. My testimony is that God's way is the best way. My testimony is that the God's ways look DIFFERENT on EVERY PERSON. Yes...there is a lot of common ground....but there is so much that IS NOT.

I have not been asked to slay Laban, translate gold plates, sit in a den of lions, deal with one of my sons murdering another, part a sea, take multiple wives.

I have had OTHER tasks that have felt to me just as large.

Imagine the largeness Natasha Parker felt as she stood as a fellow Disciple of Christ with another opinion in the article below that does NOT match Elder Callister's. Each is standing in THEIR knowing. WHAT IS YOUR KNOWING??

I hope you will think on what YOUR OTHER LARGE tasks have been so far in your short lives. Loveies...I can think of a FEW for EACH OF YOU!!!! And look how off the charts incredible YOU have been and are with your choosing with them!!! Yes. YOU ARE PERFECT !!! (especially to ME!!!) Your imperfections make you take notice, turn. As do mine. YOU ARE PERFECT!!!!

There is a lot MORE big stuff to come for us.

 My GODS BEG me (and YOU) to love myself  and above all else to be AUTHENTIC. Each of us has a voice to speak, decisions to move upon, a life and LOVE to create. I know that LOVE is the key to ALL OF IT!!! I am learning that love can LOOK so differently depending on where I am standing. Continuing to move and WALK a path is critical. Wherever each of you are right now is PERFECT. If you are happy---WAWOOZIE!!! If you aren't...start walking, turn another direction/decision.

 I am the girl who asks 10 people and reads 10 books. That is not YOU. Well... I WAS that girl.  I don't NEED to read so many books or ask so many people any more. Meditating has been such a gift to me.  I ask. I wait.  I listen to my heart burn with fire. I marvel at what is plopped before me.  I KNOW. I LOVE. I BE in my authenticity. I HAPPY!!!!!!
Ok...I still love me some 10 more books:)

Childrens xxooxx...I LOVE YOU that  aren't nervous about me. I wish that for others. I LOVE that you are always open for real heart sharing with me.  FEEL my path. I LOVE that you don't have to trust ME, TRUST GOD...and KNOW that THAT is WHO I seek. I am feeling like WE haven't had as much conversation about all of my differences in beliefs as I'd this is an invitation.

Yes, above I DID  compare my WANTING TO KNOW FOR MYSELF SELF to Joseph Smith. I love that you are ALL smiling right now. It occurred to me YOU may be having some of the same thoughts as my friend who sent the article...and this article addressed it brilliantly for me.

I really really appreciated everything she says below. Even and especially her words  in the conclusion where she agrees that "there is nothing constraining in God's moral standards"... WHO interprets WHAT those standards are??? YOU DO LOVES...YOU DO. You will have a knowing in your heart. It is my experience that our entire life experience is to LEARN TO LISTEN TO OUR KNOWING. And will feel like we have been asked to part the sea. I stand in one place experiencing all the consequences and caveats of decision making according to that belief until I am moved to stand in another and then another. This has been my way of growing my LOVE and KNOWING. I have been frustrated that I moving on my KNOWING doesn't feel LOVING or make others HAPPY. I have learned that we cannot do that for others. We have to create in our best love place and then let the love ripples tend to those affected on the path. Love WILL recreate any misunderstandings with others once we are all open to takes time. MOVE in your knowing. Until it changes :)  I do not live and choose all the truths I KNOW. I am human. I think I want to act on them, but then I don't.  I am working on it.  I trust the Spirit. The Spirit KNOWS my highest self chooses the highest truths I have encountered. The spirit will guide us continually in conjunction with our choices, our study, our seeings, our hearings.

 I LOVE early in the article where she says "This is why it is so important to rely not only on prophetic teachings but also such doctrinal principles as personal revelation, intellectual study, spiritual study, and the influence of healthy approaches from therapists, parents, loved ones and others who would have our best interests in mind when coming to conclusions on such an important and sacred topic as sexual morality." And I add...any topic.

I'm always here for a conversation... this is  the good stuff.  I came here to get the GOOD STUFF. I came here to get it with YOU!!! xxooxx  No matter what I or anyone else says ...YOU have to come to your own knowing. SO MANY EXAMPLES AND WORDS out there to choose from. Gotta listen to your heart loves. Listen to your knowing. Listening...its a skill I am STILL refining. But I promise...when we misstep from misinterpreting or from not listening...YOU WILL BE PRODDED back to your path. 

This Momma LOVES YOU BIG!!!! Sorry for BOOK..make sure to STILL READ THE ARTICLE, K?? Excited for the conversations to come!

Morality? We can do much better than this…

I was shocked to read the most recent article on sexual morality that was just published in the March 2014 issue of the Ensign by Elder Tad R. Callister regarding a recent fireside he gave at BYU-Idaho, and have spoken with several other LDS professional therapists who were shocked as well.  I do not take the critique of a standing General Authority’s position lightly – but I cannot stand silent on what I see as an extremely harmful approach to the sexual education of our members.  Here are some of the things I take issue with:
  • Callister singlehandedly wipes away all evidence-based “best practice” methods or approaches, as well as any personal revelation for self or child by stating that, “One declaration (from God) trumps all the opinions of the lower courts, whether uttered by psycholo­gists, counselors, politicians, friends, par­ents, or would­ be moralists of the day.”  The problem with this approach, of course (discussed in General Conference by Uchtdorf), is that God’s “declarations” have been communicated and interpreted by fallible men – Callister included.  This is why it is so important to rely not only on prophetic teachings but also such doctrinal principles as personal revelation, intellectual study, spiritual study, and the influence of healthy approaches from therapists, parents, loved ones and others who would have our best interests in mind when coming to conclusions on such an important and sacred topic as sexual morality.
  • Callister refers to masturbation as “self-abuse.”  This is not an appropriate clinical term.  Self-abuse is a term currently used to describe unhealthy coping behaviors people use in order to manage overwhelming depression and anxiety (i.e. ritualistic cutting of the skin, pulling of hair, picking of scabs, burning of skin, etc.).  If you’re going to take a stand either for or against masturbation – please call it masturbation.  Also, to refer to masturbation as self-abuse shames a natural developmental process that begins in the womb and hinders an important relationship with self that needs to be developed in a shame-free environment in order to facilitate the transition into healthy marital sexuality.  He states that the Lord “condemns” masturbation – I have seen no evidence of this in any scriptural resource.  The only “condemning” has come from a religious culture at large (way before Mormonism even existed) and certain LDS prophets of old who have spoken on the subject (particularly President Kimball and Elder Packer).  But even Elder Packer demoted masturbation from “sin” to “transgression” in his address to young men back in the 1970′s.
  • Callister uses fear-based language and overall approach that is inconducive to healthy sexual education.  Although there is correct principle behind understanding the gravity of sexual responsibility towards others and self – using a fear-based approach to get this point across is not effective and usually contributes to problems rather than solving them.  He uses provocative imagery language (such as an Octopus’ tentacles coming to get you) that elicits anxiety, fear and gives Satan more power than he deserves in our daily cognitive existence.  When we teach through fear, we increase anxiety.  And anxiety increases the probability of unhealthy coping strategies: exactly the opposite of what we want when dealing with sexuality.  I cannot stress this enough!!!  For a culture that is obsessed with using an addiction paradigm to deal with pornography viewing, for example, we need to recognize that this fear-based approach contributes to the types of behaviors we are so desperately trying to stop.  As leaders and educators we need to knock it off!
  • Callister allows for no level of arousal or sexual thought as a natural part of being a mortal human.  He speaks of avoiding material that is “pornographic in ANY way.”  For many of my OCD clients this becomes an impossible feat (because it is defined rigidly) – they cannot enjoy a museum where fine art depicts the human body, they cannot go to work where there exists “walking pornography” through what is considered immodest dress, they cannot develop any tolerance to the sexual nature of the human experience.  This is just not a mature or realistic way to deal with sexuality and it gives sexual imagery more power than it would otherwise have if we could normalize the fact that sexuality has always been and will always be part of the human story – in art, literature, music, science, etc.   Again more fear: “No one can claim to be fooled by the effects of pornography, believing there is any such thing as an innocent glance. It is a poisonous, venomous, unforgiving snake that will strike the moment you take your first look and will continue to strike with a full portion of venom with each look thereafter.”  Goodness grief!  The imagery is just awful and anxiety producing.  If anyone spoke to my children like this about any aspect of sexuality – I would be incensed.  It uses inappropriate addiction-style language and promotes self-fulfilling prophecies which rob individuals of a more nuanced, agency-friendly approach to sexual experiences they may have had in the past or will continue to have in the future.  And even though he uses addiction language, he goes against current addiction treatment (AA approach) by stating “at some point willpower will be an indispensable ingredient—there is not a pill or counseling technique to solve every addiction.”  He is just not qualified to make these types of statements that can wreak havoc for those who are legitimately undergoing addiction treatment.
  • Callister’s statements on modest dress are sexist and offensive to both men and women.  First of all “modesty” is only talked about in the context of clothing and it is only addressed to women.  He participates in classic “rape culture” ideology where the woman is responsible for the man’s sexual thoughts and actions.  This paragraph was truly shocking: “Women particularly can dress modestly and in the process contribute to their own self­ respect and to the moral purity of men. In the end, most women get the type of man they dress for.”  I am literally left speechless.
  • Callister speaks to the LGBTQ community where a life of celibacy and singleness is the expectation as a condition to worthy participation in the service of the Lord.  It is my strong position that this is not a healthy stance for any human who naturally craves and needs the communion of partnership.  It sets the Mormon LGBTQ population up for almost guaranteed failure – being put in the position where they are forced to choose between personal health or community acceptance and participation closely tied to their spiritual development and relationship with God (also part of personal health).  Are we at all surprised that our Utah LGBTQ youth lead the nation in suicide?  But this I do not only fault Callister on – it is the current position of our church and material for a different blog post all together.
  • Finally, Callister ends by saying that if we follow the advice given in the talk we will be “eligible for a spouse of like purity.”  I cannot emphasize enough how damaging it is for members of the church who have sexually explored outside the realms of marriage, then gone through the appropriate repentance steps to still consider themselves as “impure” because of their past actions.  And regardless of how many times we tell them that the atonement covers their sins – as long as we are measuring their worth by how “pure” (translation=virginal) they come to the table, they will suffer.  They often express to me their feelings of being ineligible for a “pure” spouse (meaning a virgin) if they themselves are not virgins.  And I cannot begin to number the amount of members who have reported either lying to their prospective spouses about their past sexual experiences out of fear of being rejected or having been honest, and then actually being rejected.  We put such emphasis on this value of purity that it wreaks havoc for our young adults on every level of the spectrum (whether they have only had one impure thought or they are chronically looking at pornography as a way to self soothe or have had premarital sex).  Purity is a principle much grander than behavioral actions we may have taken in the past – and until we start teaching this principle correctly, the honesty potential between couples will suffer.
The way that sexual standards are presented in this type of talk is unrealistic and sets people up for failure.  No one will be able to achieve them at the level of rigidity in which they are communicated.  And if they can, there may be other issues at hand – such as having an asexual response (an entirely different topic altogether).  I cannot stress enough how many of these types of rigid, shaming and incorrect sexual teachings are the core reason why so many of our members struggle with healthy sexuality, the ability to claim personal authority and the correct sexual education of the next generation.  Although I enjoy the work I do – I do not enjoy the fact that this type of approach coming from this type of authority guarantees that I will have no shortage of business as an LDS sex therapist for many years to come.  This article successfully sets us back about 35 years.
I fully recognize that my authority will never trump that of a general authority in the eyes of LDS members – nor should it.  I do not hold the priesthood because I am a woman, and my church callings do not include the stewardship over the church membership at large.  Therefore, I understand that my opinions shared on this post will largely be held suspect.  I accept and recognize this.
At the same time, I would hope that we would be more open in the church to exercise the correct principle of “councils”: the ability to invite others within our midst to dialogue and help with the needs of the church.  I would hope that general authorities would be willing to sit down with the many wonderful and faithful mental health professionals we have within our midst, and be open to different ideas and processes that would aid in the healthy sexual education, development and pleasure of our members.  After all, we share the same goal: healthy personal sexual development and appropriate, enjoyable sexual expression within the bounds of sacred commitment.  Adherence to the Law of Chastity; meant for our protection, enjoyment, relational health and development towards becoming Godlike.
Ironically, I agree with Callister’s following quote: “Contrary to much public sentiment, there is nothing negative or restraining about God’s moral standards. Rather, they are positive, uplifting, and liberating. They build relationships of trust, they enhance self ­esteem, they foster a clear conscience, and they invite the Spirit of the Lord to bless individual and married lives. They are the proven standards for happy marriages and stable communities.”  It’s unfortunate his approach didn’t follow suit.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love from Sam

This was easily the quickest week of my mission!
We taught 25 lessons this week which was the most of my mission so far! On Monday we had a really good appointment with Da Hua, and committed him to everything, and finished the lessons with him! he is now ready for baptism, except he didn't come to church yesterday, because he slept in, but he's been 3 other times so all is well! 
On tuesday we had an incredible lesson with Our investigator Mitch, the only English kid. He is so cool! we saw him nearly every day this week and each day the light inside of him becomes brighter and brighter.  Our investigator from Ghana, Gifty, fed us 4 times this week. She keeps the food warm for us every day just incase we come over haha she is the cutest! an absolute miracle happened with her. We were kind of stuck with Gifty, not sure what we needed to do to help her progress. She is going back to University, being 35, she hasn't done school for the last half of her life, and so she's needed a lot of help. She was praying at night, and for some reason she couldn't stop thinking about the church, and how she probably needed to take it more seriously. She prayed and asked heavenly father to help her confirm that the things we teach her about eternal famillies are true. she went to University the next day, and became friends with the kid sitting next to her named Morgan, who is a genius. So she called us and told us that she found a friend to help her with her class work, and she was really exited. We went over to her house later that day, and Morgan is a Yound Single Adult in Coventry ward, who is every active. She took this whole thing as a confirmation that she definitely needs to be baptized soon which is terrific and we are way stoked! 
We watched the restoration DVD in Chinese with almost all of our investigators this week because they have been taught every lesson so we are now reviewing things before the 22nd! On last monday, the Zone leaders in Coventry decided that we should have a chinese activity at the church because of all of the invesigators, so we decided to have a chinese hot pot party! it was super last minute, and we ended up being able to bring 30 non-members which was a huge miracle!! I didn't take a lot of pictures, but I did take a lot of videos that you will be able to see when you get the sd card.  
church was great! we had 10 investigators at church and they all loved it! The investigators all went around the room in sunday school and introduced themselves and why they were at church. some of the funny responses were Michael and Cathy. Michael said, "I am here because Elder Unice and Elder Harris Kidnapped me, and I had no choice" in broken chinese it was hilarious. and then Cathy said, "I am here because Elder Unice and Elder Harris are so cute! and they have helped me become content with my life, and the feeling inside my heart is always so warm and happy when I am worshipping god." We went to the homeless shelter again, and then we went over to Sam Bowles house later that night and it was a great day! today for P-day we are going to a transport musuem in the city center. should be alright! love you all so much, talk to you soon! The picture is me and Nora and Sheri! The scroll that our investigator Cathy gave us, and then Elder Unice, Michael Jordan, and I on Chinese new year!  

Monday, February 3, 2014

3 Feb 2014 from SAM

This week was pretty good!
I cannot believe it's been a week since last monday! time FLIES. I cannot believe the seahawks just stomped on the Broncos. We had some amazing lessons and New Investigatos this week! so on the 22nd of February it looks like at least 6 of our investigators will be baptized, and hopefully 10 will make it! They have decided that because the font isn't going to be ready by then, the mission is hiring a coach to go to the nearest chapel, because within the whole ward, there should be about 12 baptisms! an absolute miracle in Coventry. 
We have a white investigator who is progressing!! wooo!! haha he is so cool, his name is Mitch and he's an absolute Legend. He came to church yesterday and enjoyed it, and will come again. His life has changed pretty dramatically in 3 weeks from learning about the gospel, and it's incredible to see the changes the lord can make in such a short period of time. 
On Friday we went to the chinese new year gathering at the University to watch our investigators perfrom. it was so awesome!! Ni hao ma is all I can say. I'm pretty sure the brethren messed up on my mission call.. I should have gone to Hong Kong. Just kidding, I know I'm in the right place for a reason but I wish I was sorrounded by purely chinese and their amazing culture and food and humor. 
Nora and Sheri REALLY want to get baptized, but still can't! because they still need their parents consent. so please continue to pray for them to be able to get baptized so they can have the gift of the holy ghost in their lives! This week i would love to ask to concentrate your prayers on Nora, Sheri, Michael, Da Hua, Cathy, Long, Luis, Frank, Aramide, Gifty, Rosalyn, Albert, and Jim. All possible for the 22nd of February. I love you guys so  much! so many incredible things are happening in our lives, and we are so blessed to have this time on earth to learn and grow from one another. I love you all!

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Loveies Loveies LOVEIES!!!!! Too weird to have ALL 3 of you gone! We have 38 favorites here including Sefa, Jason, Willis, Terrance, Stephen, Laura and sister, SCOTT MATHESON and his fiancee (yes..its set for the 26th of April). I LOVE that Michael and Josh are watching with MATT and HOLLAND MATHESON and that Scott is HERE with us. There are a ton more...Allie Hunsaker...

 I have had a week of MIRACLES!  It started with my finding a DoTerra builder in England VERY CLOSE to Sam xxooxxxooxx I don't need to say anymore :) She will be coming here for training in March. I drove to Grand Junction on Wednesday ---YOU KNOW how I love me a drive!!!! It was sunny and clear and me and Dan Fogelberg had a sweet reunion. I listened to a book on tape...and mostly got caught up on calls with my leaders. The ride back we just as awesome.
I shared this with you about 4 years ago...I was talking with friends recently who mentioned the practice. This pricked my heart to relearn and relisten this week --and I am recommitted to the practice. I'm excited for the day when we have all read it and can talk about how it entwines with our living. It's on my IPOD if you want a listen. I LOVE YOU. I'M SORRY. PLEASE FORGIVE ME. THANK YOU.---This process is called HO'OPONOPONO. It's about taking responsibility for everything in your life. It is a "profound gift that allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word, deed, or action be cleansed. The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past."-- Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona  Master Teacher.

Going back to Gregg Braden's SPEAKING THE LOST LANGUAGE OF GOD (Pleeeeze read)....I have thought hard this week on how instantaneous most of the healing was with Jesus. Incredulous that he held EACH of us as already in the light of perfection...and according to Gregg...holding that FEELING of ourselves and others in our perfection is what brings that state to reality. I wish I was a word smith. I want to make clear the light entwining these two books have brought to my understanding of manifesting and loving. It can be frustrating to "GET" something so clearly, but then to remain in my humanness.

Awesome pic of Mike King...this angel boy has lost 40 freaking pounds...and says "thats Tonga for ya!".
Michael , Matt and friends playing football BEFORE the Super Bowl to get things started off RIGHT.

In Grand Junction were two kindred souls...we spent our time teaching and training. The first night we talked till 4 am...the second till 1:30. Heart connecting is WHY I came for this earth trip. My soul explodes when I find others who are open and willing to share the grit and gifts of their journey...and the hopes of the path to come. Share yourselves childrens. Share yourselves.

Doterra lesson for the week. When we really have sampled the people with oils individual to their issues...they HEAR in a whole new way during the class. They have ears to HEAR. Life lesson analogy to this....when we wait for others to put down their fear...and open up their love place and experience love in other forms...they HEAR in a whole new way. They have EARS to HEAR. I will be patient and wait for love openings before I surge in wanting to share MY LOVE lessons.

Last night was the Baseball Auction!! are SOOO missed! I was surprised at how many boys I DID NOT KNOW.

I have been doing taxes all day. I could kiss Megan and Laura...they came over to help input receipts. I am still a newbie at excel. I will be done by tomorrow night. HALLELUJAH!!!  For a girl who really likes numbers, especially when it means money, I ....hey...I AM gonna put a NEW ENERGY ON IT...I get it done and get a refund :)   :)   :)  Now there is a dance I will dance!

The house has emptied since I started. Seattle is celebrating. Perk is ticked. Bronco die hard.

Tomorrow is a new week. So much ahead for us. I expect to find 3 new builders. I intend  to get the Nickle cabin under contract. MY TAXES will be turned in!!!!! I make better food choices. I smile about my Do Terra travel and get all 18 enrollments for Diamond Club.

Shine your, read, hug, pray, cuddle, dream....CREATE!!!! I love yer gutz:)
The Momma