Sunday, May 31, 2009

Easy Affordable Meals

Up to this point, this blog has only contained copies of the messages emailed out to each sister every Sunday. That is about to change. We would like to see the blog used to get all kinds of (hopefully) useful information out to the ward sisters.

Since we are living in exciting economic times, we have discussed in Relief Society many times the need for all of us to live more frugally. Here is one of my family's favorite VERY economical, so easy it's embarrassing, recipes. We fondly refer to them as "White Trash Burritos."


Canned Chili (We use whatever was on sale the weeks before and is in our food storage. Right now, it is Dennison's turkey chili.)

Shredded Cheese (We like medium cheddar, but I think that jack would be really good in this recipe.)

Flour tortillas

For 8 burritos (enough to fill a 9x13 pan) use 3 cans of chili (or 2 cans of chili and one can of refried beans.)

Warm the chili. Spoon chili into a tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll the tortilla and place seam side down in a 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam. Repeat until pan is full. Pour any remaining chili over the top of the tortillas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 until warm all through (only about 20 minutes since the chili was warm when you put it into the tortillas.)

Serve with salsa and sour cream. Today we ate this with Caesar salad (Huge heads of Romaine lettuce are on sale at Henry's for 77 cents) and corn.

I buy my Chili when it is on sale for $1.00 or less per can. My last big purchase was when Ralphs had it on sale for 50 cents a can a few months ago. I bought 3 dozen cans and used the end of them today.

This is really frugal if you make chili from scratch (dry beans) and use the left overs to make burritos the day after. I have a great recipe that makes in the crockpot if you want it.

Okay! Time for you guys to share your frugal recipes. Just press the comment button and type!

Visiting Teaching Conference

What a great day in Relief Society! It was wonderful to see most of you there with us for the Visiting Teaching Conference. Here's a re-cap.

We took our theme from a talk by Elder Joseph Wirthlin.

"Jesus Christ is our greatest example. He was surrounded by multitudes and spoke to thousands, yet He always had concern for the one."

Our first speaker was Becky Cox Henderson. She started us off with a couple of beautiful stories of times that her Visiting Teachers (Kathy Aliaga and Deanna Andrews) have blessed her life by being there when she needed them. She spoke of how important it is that no-one is forgotten and that every sister is contacted every month. She read a short story/poem about how important our sisters are to each of us. She explained that sisters are ALL the women we surround ourselves with, not just our biological sisters.

Michele Carnohan then spoke. She took many of her comments from Elder Wirthlin's talk. You can find it here. Elder Wirthlin first taught "For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost. He said, 'What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?"

"This instruction applies to all who follow Him. We are commanded to seek out those who are lost. We are to be our brother's keeper. We cannot neglect this commission given by our Savior. We must be concerned for the one."

As Visiting Teachers, this is our role. We are given responsibility for a few of our Heavenly Father's daughters. We are to be concerned for each of them. We are to pray for them daily, to watch for opportunities to serve them, to be their friends, to LOVE them.

Elder Wirthlin gave 3 examples of reasons people get lost: "Some because they are different, some because they are weary, and some because they have strayed."

Some are lost because they are different - Elder Wirthlin states, "They feel as if they do not belong....Tied to this misconception is the erroneous belief that all members of the church should look, talk, and be alike. The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world." I LOVE that quote. Many years ago when I was a young(er) woman, I read an article by Louise Plummer called, "Thoughts of a Grasshopper." It spoke to my heart because I am a grasshopper in a church full of ants. Take the link and enjoy a visit into my heart.

Some are lost because they are weary - Elder Wirthlin said, "It's easy to feel overwhelmed. With all the pressures and demands on our time and the stress we face each day. it's little wonder we get tired. Many feel discouraged because they have not measured up to their potential. Others simply feel too weak to contribute. And so, as the flock moves on, gradually, almost imperceptibly, some fall behind.

Some are lost because they have strayed - Elder Wirthlin states, "Except for the Lord, we have all made mistakes. The question is not whether we will trip and fall but, rather, how will we respond? Some, after making mistakes, stray from the fold. This is unfortunate. Do you not know that the Church is a place for imperfect people to gather together - even with their mortal frailties - and become better?....I know that each of you bears a concern for a loved one. Give encouragement, service, and support to them. Love them. Be kind to them. In some cases, they will return. In others, they will not. But in all cases, let us ever be worthy of the name we take upon ourselves, even that of Jesus Christ.

The Bishop then taught us some principles. The first was:

"The busier we are, the more we can do." Although that sounds illogical, it is true. As he said, "When you need something done, who do you call - the busiest people."

Another principle was "The spirit will never fail us." The Bishop quoted from D&C 84:85, "Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man."

If we keep our Visiting Teaching sisters in our minds by praying for them every day, the Lord will give us to know what we can do for them.

Finally, Kerinda Van Wagoner closed the meeting with her testimony of Visiting Teaching. She quoted Sister Julie Beck,

"Visiting teachers minister in behalf of the Savior. Our hands are His hands, our love is His love, and our service is His service. Good visiting teachers know the sisters they visit. They love them, serve them, and help them learn the gospel by the Spirit. They focus on fortifying homes and lives. There is no greater privilege than to watch over and strengthen another person—it is truly the business of salvation."

There is a wonderful song in the animated video of The Good Samaritan. I tried to find it on Youtube, but had no luck. Here are the words,

My hands are the Lord's hands.
Without me, how can his work be done?
I will reach where He would reach, Lovingkindness in my touch.
I'll be His healing hands to everyone.

My feet are the Lord's feet.
Without me, how can He walk with the poor?
I will go where he would go blessing others as I do
For Him, I'll walk where I've never walked before.

Help me Lord, Let me give to my neighbor what You would give if You were here.
Help me Lord, Let me live so my neighbor knows that You are always near.

My mouth is the Lord's mouth.
Without me, how can His voice be heard?
I will say what He would say, speaking love and life each day
And every one who's near will hear His word.

We love you sisters. Keep on doing good. With your willingness to serve, you bless the lives of everyone around you.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Becoming Provident Providers

Happy Sunday, Sisters!

I'm sorry it has taken so long for me to get back to writing this email/blog each week. I promise that I will stop letting life interfere and I will write regularly each Sunday. When I don't write, I miss the feeling that we are in touch with each one of you at least once a week.

Today I taught a lesson taken from Elder Robert D. Hales conference talk, "Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually". A link is Here.

This is a GREAT talk. It is one of those talks that can speak to all of us where ever we happen to be in our progress toward becoming a Provident Provider for our family.

Elder Hales began by speaking of President Monson and reminding us that he grew up during the depression and because of that, he learned how to serve others. He stated that President Monson's "service to members and neighbors throughout the world has become the hallmark of his ministry."

Then Elder Hales said, "....our children are growing up in times of economic uncertainty. Just as our grandparents and great-grandparents learned vital lessons through economic adversity, what we learn now, in our present circumstances, can bless us and our posterity for generations to come." (emphasis added.)

Elder Hales goes on to speak of excessive debt and the desire to live beyond our means as an addiction. He compared it to addictions to food, drugs, or pornography. He explained that "additional debt is incurred when we cannot control our wants and addictive impulses." He then explains, "...the hopeful solution is...we must turn to the Lord and follow His commandments. We must want more than anything else to change our lives so that we can break the cycle of debt and our uncontrolled wants."

In class, we then talked about how we can begin to break habits that lead us to spend more than we make. We discussed how the Lord can take our struggles during this difficult economic time and make them for our good.

In his talk, Elder Hales told two stories from his life that taught two great principles he lived by financially. If you have not read the talk, you need to read it just to read the stories. They are great.

Elder Hales finished with this quote:

We must want, more than anything else, to do our Heavenly Father’s will and providently provide for ourselves and others. We must say, as did King Lamoni’s father, “I will give away all my sins to know thee” (Alma 22:18). Then we can go to Him with steadfast determination and promise Him, “I will do whatever it takes.” Through prayer, fasting, obedience to the commandments, priesthood blessings, and His atoning sacrifice, we will feel His love and power in our lives. We will receive His spiritual guidance and strength through the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Only through our Lord’s Atonement can we obtain a mighty change of heart (see Mosiah 5:2; Alma 5:14) and experience a mighty change in our addictive behavior.

With all the love I have in me and with the Savior’s love through me, I invite you to come unto Him and hear His words: “Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted” (2 Nephi 9:51).

I testify that the appetite to possess worldly things can only be overcome by turning to the Lord. The hunger of addiction can only be replaced by our love for Him. He stands ready to help each one of us. “Fear not,” He said, “for you are mine, and I have overcome the world” (D&C 50:41).

Words of Mormon 1:18 reads:

18 Wherefore, with the help of these, king aBenjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the bfaculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land.

Sisters, we must labor with all the might of our bodies and faculty of our souls to establish peace in our families and homes by teaching our families to live within our means and pay off our debt. When we are not in the servitude created by our debt and financial obligations, we will have much more time to serve others and serve the Lord.


Your RS Presidency