Archive for November, 2012

Friday Favorites–Spotlight

November 29, 2012

Our spotlight this week is our own Ashley Spencer.


I consider Virginia my home but I was born and raised in South Korea. My family and I moved to Virginia when I was thirteen years old. I don’t remember much about Korea other than that we moved a lot, every year if not twice a year, and we always lived in a small apartment on the 20th floor or higher.  I have not been back to visit since I moved here but would like to someday.
My high school years consisted of band, choir, tennis, football games and lots and lots of studying. Not having all A’s on my report card was frowned upon and a total disgrace to my parents so I was studying when I wasn’t singing or playing a tennis match. And then I went to Brigham Young University in Provo and didn’t study at all. Only joking. I did study a lot but I also had fun.
As a Chemistry major, I was living in the Benson building (chemistry building) doing chem-related things that I started dreaming about chemical reactions and quantitative analysis. So I decided to do what I love to stay balanced and sane. I joined the Women’s choir and sang for a year. I auditioned for International Folk Dance Team and danced for three years. I also joined the Foot Poetry Tap Company and tapped my little heart out for three years. I loved it so much that I didn’t ever want to leave, that is until I met Deron.
I was home for the summer but only for a month that I didn’t care to go to the singles branch. One of my friends begged me to come so I went and met Deron. We spent every day together for a month then I went back to school. Two months later, Deron came to visit and proposed. I saw him again at Christmas and met some of his family. And then we reunited three days before our wedding day. Although we spent more time away from each other than together, I knew from day one that he’s the one I should marry and be with for eternity.
Since then, we have lived in Virginia, South Carolina and now Maine. We have a two year old boy, Gavin, and we have two little ones coming sometime soon (but hopefully later). I still love the same things I loved in college, singing, dancing and chemistrying. But most of all, I love being a mom and wife.
I just wanted to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers as we prepare to meet our little ones. They are doing so great and sound happy but my body is having a hard time keeping them in. I know that whatever happens will happen and I need to trust God and accept the outcome. Thank you. We are so blessed to be a part of this wonderful ward.


Wednesday Words by Pam

November 28, 2012

Our lesson on Sunday in Rellief Society was on sustaining our leaders of the church.  I am including a quote from Elder Henry B. Eyring that was shared as part of our lesson.


As members of the Church, we are invited often to sustain people in callings to serve. Years ago an 18-year-old student showed me what it means to sustain the Lord’s servants. I am still blessed by his humble example.

He had just begun his first year in college. He was baptized less than a year before he left home to begin his studies at a large university. There I served as his bishop.

As the school year began, I had a brief interview with him in the bishop’s office. I remember little of that first conversation except that he spoke of his challenges in a new place, but I will never forget our second conversation.

He asked to see me in my office. I was surprised when he said, “Could we pray together, and may I be voice?” I was about to say that I had already prayed and expected that he had as well. Instead I agreed.

He began his prayer with a testimony that he knew the bishop was called of God. He asked God to tell me what he should do in a matter of great spiritual consequence. The young man told God he was sure the bishop already knew his needs and would be given the counsel he needed to hear.

As he spoke, the specific dangers he would face came to my mind. The counsel was simple but given in great clarity: pray always, obey the commandments, and have no fear.

That young man, one year in the Church, taught by example what God can do with a leader as he is sustained by the faith and prayers of those he is called to lead. That young man demonstrated for me the power of the law of common consent in the Church (see D&C 26:2). Even though the Lord calls His servants by revelation, they can function only after being sustained by those they are called to serve.

By our sustaining vote, we make solemn promises. We promise to pray for the Lord’s servants and that He will lead and strengthen them (see D&C 93:51). We pledge that we will look for and expect to feel inspiration from God in their counsel and whenever they act in their calling (see D&C 1:38).

Monday Menus by Pam

November 28, 2012

Here is a warm soup to enjoy on a cold winter night.


Mushroom Barley Soup from Taste of Home and Pam’s kitchen

1 ½ pounds of boneless beef chuck, cut into ¾ inch cubes

1 T cooking oil

2 cups finely chopped onion

1 cup diced carrots

½ cup chopped celery

1 pound fresh mushrooms sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ t dried thyme

1 can (14 ½ ounces) beef broth

1 can ( 14 ½ ounces) chicken broth

2 cups water

½ cup medium pearl barley

1 t salt (optional)

½ t pepper

3 T chopped fresh parsley or 1 T dried


In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, brown meat in oil. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Sauté onion, carrots and celery in drippings over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme, cook and stir for 3 minutes.  Add broths, water, barley, salt if desired and pepper.  Return meat to pan; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 ½  to 2 hours or until barley and meat are tender.  Add parsley.  Yields about 11 servings.

Spotlight: Susan Grant

November 23, 2012

I have loved being in Primary and getting to know the Primary president, Sister Susan Grant. I really enjoyed reading more about her and getting to know her even more.

I was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, the youngest of 5 children. My Dad, Hayward Grant, was the first branch president in Fredericton in the 1950’s and was branch president again in the early 1960’s when we built the first phase of the  current chapel still there. We sold our TV to donate to the building fund, so when Pres. Kennedy was shot we had to go to the neighbors to watch the news on TV.  In 1962 we also traveled to SLC to be sealed in the Temple. The Salt Lake Temple was closed so we ended up going to Manti. I was 6 years old but still remember the special feeling in the temple and being taken to the sealing room to be sealed to my parents and family. We liked Utah so much that we  moved to Salt Lake City in 1965. We moved into East Mill Creek Stake where our stake president was Gordon B. Hinckley who ordained my father to the priesthood office of Seventy, in the days before the change in the organization of Seventies in stakes.

I went to Olympus High School, then University of Utah for one quarter.  I took a break from my college studies and worked for the Church on the 4th floor of the church office building in the Temple Services and Correspondence Division from January to August of 1976, and then went to BYU for a year. While at BYU my family home evening “father” was President Kimball’s grandson who I also went to high school with, and we were able to go to President Kimball’s home that Christmas season to sing Christmas carols and listen to a message from Pres. & Sister Kimball as we sat in their living room. That is an experience I treasure and will never forget as each one of us was able to talk personally to the prophet for a few minutes.

I got married in the Salt Lake Temple 1979 and had 2 girls, Natasha and Alison (Ninow). We moved to Lewiston, Maine in 1987 and had a son Christopher, in 1990. He lives with me now after graduating from UNH earlier this year. My oldest daughter lives in Brooklyn, NY and is an industrial designer, working in Manhattan.  I moved to New Hampshire and Exeter Ward in 2003 when I remarried after my first marriage ended in 1999. In 2007 I became single again and moved to Newmarket and Portsmouth Ward in 2009.

My 2nd daughter Alison married Scott Bruderer of Methuen Ward in 2008 and gave me my first and only grandchild Eliza Faith who is 2.  While in Maine I began working in a bookstore and loved it but hated the hours and having to work holidays. So I decided to become a librarian and finished my bachelors degree in history at University of Southern Maine so I could go on and get a masters degree in library science. My three children attended my graduation from USM which was very special.  I had worked on and received a certificate in genealogy from BYU in 1996 and all my credits transferred to USM which gave me an unusual degree in history with an emphasis on genealogy. I worked for 3 years at Lewiston Public Library in the Reference Department and was also able to work on the Lewiston History Database gleaning genealogy items from old newspapers.   I later finished my masters degree in library science online through Southern Connecticut State University and graduated in 2008 and became library director of the North Hampton Public Library, which is a job I love.  I was called to be Primary President in October of 2011 and I truly love working with the children and being with them each week. I would rather be a Primary teacher, but will do whatever the Lord asks me to do. I have taught early morning seminary, served as Relief Society President, been a counselor in many organizations, primary chorister, and taught Gospel Doctrine. Teaching Primary is my favorite calling.

Thanks Susan!

~Joy Gleason

Helping Hands

November 21, 2012

~Joy Gleason

(Announcements are below the video)

I came across this video a bit ago. I am so thankful that we each are taught how important it is to serve others. There are so many examples every where. I hear of sisters in our ward and services they are performing and I feel blessed to know them. Thank you sisters for your great examples of service. I pray daily to find ways to help others and pray that we each can reach out to those in need. Enjoy the movie and grab a tissue.

*No Emergency Essentials orders until Jan.
*There will be a Wheat Montana order in Dec. Details coming.
*There are sign-ups for the Christmas party Dec. 8 at 11 am. The sign-ups are for food (baking a ward-provided ham, bringing a potato dish, sweet breads/muffins/buns), and for a ward variety show.
*The next mid-week meeting will be Dec. 12 at 6:30. We will be making pine wreaths. Please sign up. Wreath forms are available for a small cost. Please bring gloves and wire cutters if you have them.

Thanksgiving Yumminess

November 19, 2012

I am very excited about some recipes that will be made at our place this week. It’s sad that I only make them at Thanksgiving, but after looking at the ingredients, I’m okay with it. After living in Georgia as a missionary and then later after Brian and I got married, I have come to love some great southern recipes. I decided to share a new family favorite, Sweet Potato Souffle. In the south, this is considered a vegetable side dish. I honestly think it is more of a dessert, but I’ll keep with southern tradition and include it as a vegetable side dish. I grew up with the marshmallow sweet potato stuff and I honestly disliked it. I dreaded when my mom made it. Once I had this souffle, I decided I would never let a Thanksgiving go by without it.

Enjoy! (If you are going to the church for Thanksgiving, this will be there.)

3 cups peeled, cooked, and mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 cup heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk


1 cup brown sugar

1 cup pecans (that is pronounced pea-can)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 Tbs. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except for cream. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Add cream; mix well. Pour into greased casserole dish. Add topping. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

~Joy Gleason~

Friday Spotlight

November 16, 2012

—by Donna Mitchell

I visit teach Joan Tracy, who lives in York, Maine. I decided that she would be a good person to spotlight because so few people in the ward have met her. It has been difficult for her to get to church because she cannot drive right now due to problems with both arms.

Joan was born in Dyersburg, Tennessee but grew up in Bell, California, which is near Watts. It was a lot different then than it is now. When she was about 14 or 15, her family moved to La Mirada, a nicer area also in California.

When she was 17, Joan married Bob Tracy. Three years later, they moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Six months after that, they moved to New Hampshire, Bob’s home state. Joan joined the Church in the Manchester Branch, though she was baptized in Concord. They lived in the Manchester area for 18 years, where they adopted their daughter in 1975. In 1979, they moved back to California to help care for Joan’s mother, who died in 1980.

The Tracys moved to Frazier Park, California, which is in the mountains between the Santa Clarita Valley (where I lived for about 15 years) and the San Joaquin Valley, the big central valley of California. It snows in the winter, so Joan had no problem adapting to the cold when she moved back to New England.

About six months after they moved to Frazier Park, their son Jason was born. This was after 20 years of marriage! Joan found out she was expecting the week before Halloween and her son was born the week after Christmas. Her cousin was jealous and upset because she felt that Joan had the shortest pregnancy on record. Joan was planning to go to an amusement park after her appointment with the obstetrician, but instead she went to the hospital and had a C-section. She is very proud of her son, who among other accomplishments was the yoyo champion of the world in 1997.

While the Tracys lived in California, they bought several video stores. Joan also worked for the phone company for 18 years. Bob died on May 1, 2005. Joan continued to care for his mother, an Alzheimer’s victim, for two and a half years until she died in 2007.

Joan has a good friend from her ward in Frazier Park whom she has known for 35 years. This friend moved to Wells, Maine, and urged Joan to join her there. In 2011, Joan retired from the phone company and came to York. She got a job as a visiting companion/helper, but after a very short time had to give it up for the present.

A couple months after she arrived in Maine, Joan broke her right arm and has been in agony ever since. She has had three surgeries on that arm and now has radial palsy of her left hand, caused by a bruised nerve which will take months to heal. Although she no longer has to wear the braces continually, she is still unable to drive, to lift anything heavy, or to open most cans, jars or bottles. Since it is difficult for her to cook, she greatly appreciates the meals which the Relief Society sisters have brought her. She especially enjoys visiting with those who have the time to spend with her. Thank you so much to all who go out of their way to serve!

Joan loves eating peaches, spinach, watermelon, shrimp and lobster. She loves reading, watching movies, visiting people, and sightseeing. In August, she and her friend Char from Wells went to Boothbay with the York Senior Center. They had a good time shopping, going for a boat ride, and attending a lobster bake. Next month she is planning to go with the Seniors to Conway, New Hampshire for three days of fun including a sleigh ride, shopping, and shows. She is also planning to go to California to visit her son for Christmas and his birthday. In spite of her handicap, Joan does her best to keep up her spirits and enjoy life. Let the good times roll!

Wednesday Words

November 16, 2012

—by Donna Mitchell

Sorry to be forever late. I have trouble posting on Wednesday because that is the day I have cub scouts. Anything other than cub scouts has to go to the end of the list. When I get home, I have forgotten what was on the list. What list? Where? You get the picture…

Our lesson Sunday was taken from Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, George Albert Smith, Chapter 21: The Power of Kindness.

From the Life of George Albert Smith: President Smith ‘taught that we should “meet our problems in the spirit of love and kindness toward all.”‘ We learned of an incident where workmen fixing the street near his home on a hot summer day stopped using bad language only after he brought them a pitcher of lemonade and invited them to enjoy it in the shade of his trees.

President Smith believed “that there is innate goodness in everyone.” On his deathbed, he told Elder Matthew Cowley, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who was visiting him in the hospital, “Young man, remember all the days of your life that you can find good in everyone if you will but look for it.” Elder Cowley stated that President Smith “did not look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, but he loved the sinner because he knew that God was love, and that it is God’s love that regenerates human souls and may, by that process, transform the sinner into a saint.”

Teachings of George Albert Smith: “The Spirit of the Lord is a spirit of kindness, not harshness and criticism.” … “As a people we are advised not to be critical, not to be unkind, not to speak harshly of those with whom we associate. We ought to be the greatest exemplars in all the world in that regard.” In our present day, there are members of the Church who “check their membership at the door” when they attend sports events, where they feel free to heap abuse on members of the opposing team. This is “contrary to the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Don’t do it.

“We should look for the virtues in others and offer sincere praise.” The lesson manual quotes President Smith praising Apostle Francis M. Lyman for his outstanding example of this behavior. He pleads with us to “be generous with one another” and “as patient with one another as we would like others to be with us. Let us see the virtues of our neighbors and our friends and speak of those virtues, not find fault and criticize.”

“Kindness has the power to lead people from their mistakes.” “Let us not complain… because they do not do what we want them to do. Rather let us love then into doing the things that our Heavenly Father would have them do. ..We cannot win their confidence or their love in any other way.”

“Love and kindness in our homes can lead our children to listen to our counsel.” “It is our privilege as well as our duty to take suffienct time to surround our children with safeguards and to so love them and earn their love that they will be glad to listen to our advice and counsel.” “Live in such a way, in love and kindness, that peace and prayer and thanksgiving will be in your homes together.” There is a long story in the manual about a sister President Smith knew whom he ran into on a train. She was traveling to be near her young son who was in the hospital in Oregon, suffering from pneumonia. He had left home at 16 without telling anyone where he was going; his family’s first clue was a telegram from the hospital. She stayed with him there until he recovered, cheering him with thoughts of good things he could do when he was well. He resolved to return home, change his life, honor his parents, and never again be ungrateful for their support.

Most of this lesson we did not cover, but instead got sidetracked with a discussion on charity (goods and services). In our present-day lives, we could all use more kindness (behavior and attitude which cost nothing), and it is good to be reminded of our obligation to practice the Golden Rule. Read the whole lesson if you haven’t already!

Monday Menus: Sweet Snacks continued

November 13, 2012

—by Donna Mitchell

As I was putting away the two recipes I just posted, I found another one. This is the one I thought I had typed first in my last post.

Nut Candy

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup water

3 cups walnuts

Pour first four ingredients into medium pot. Boil for three minutes. Pour nuts into boiling mixture, then remove from heat. Stir until cloudy, then pour onto wax paper. Cool and break up into bite-sized pieces.

Monday Menus: Sweet Snacks continued

November 13, 2012

—by Donna Mitchell

As I was putting away the two recipes I just posted, I found another one. This is the one I thought I had typed first in my last post.

Nut Candy

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup water

3 cups walnuts

Pour first four ingredients into medium pot. Boil for three minutes. Pour nuts into boiling mixture, then remove from heat. Stir until cloudy, then pour onto wax paper. Cool and break up into bite-sized pieces.