Protecting Your Food Storage

Whether you are just starting your food storage or have your year’s supply, the following tips from the Church’s welfare Web site——will help you protect your supplies:

  • Avoid heat and sunlight. Optimum temperatures are 70 degrees or cooler. Freezing should be avoided for wet-pack items. Storage at temperatures below freezing may be detrimental to the germination quality of some seeds.

  • Protect against moisture. Food containers should not come in direct contact with concrete floors or walls. Instead, place them on shelves or raised platforms. If you live in a particularly humid climate, consider providing ventilation to avoid moisture buildup.

  • Keep rodents and insects out. Instead of leaving dry goods in the original packaging, consider storing them in number 10 cans, foil pouches, glass canning jars, PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles, and plastic buckets.

  • Rotate. Generally, wet-pack items can be kept for two to three years. Dry-pack goods have varying “best if used by” recommendations. Referring to a retail product’s label, which usually includes a company’s toll-free number, can also help you decide how soon products should be rotated.

For more information, consult your ward or branch dry-pack specialist or visit

[illustrations] Illustrated by Joe Flores

Our Sabbath Picture Book

“Mommy, what can we do on Sunday?” my daughters used to ask. “Here, let me show you” is what I now say. By photographing my youngsters doing appropriate Sabbath activities, I created a simple picture book. Even my children who can’t yet read can see that participating in family home evening, reading scriptures (with help from Mom), and making crafts are some of the many appropriate Sunday pleasures. To help us keep our focus on the Savior, we placed a picture of Him on the first page of our book. Sunday is also special for our family because the children can choose our activities. They have my undivided attention, and we truly enjoy our time together on the Sabbath.

Cheryl Winward Panoussi, Granger West Third Ward, Salt Lake Granger West Stake

Bridging Language Gaps

Bienvenidos. Wilkommen. Welcome. No matter what language we speak, it is essential to our Church’s worldwide unity that we welcome our brothers and sisters from other countries. At my bishop’s request, I tried to help the sisters in my ward who were learning English as a second language. Some of the insights I gained from this experience might help others better include everyone when there are language and cultural differences in a ward or branch.

  • Increase awareness of other cultures. Our Relief Society planned a special lesson entitled “No More Strangers and Foreigners.” The international sisters were invited to share their testimonies and personal experiences in that meeting, as well as in the ward newsletter and at sacrament meeting. A ward activity also encouraged members to share their heritage through food, song, dance, or display.

  • Visit the new international members. Learn of their conversion, their testimony, and their hopes for the future. Help orient them to the ward and community. Through these home visits you can informally assess their language ability and offer to find translators, if needed, for occasional clarification. Sometimes the new member may want help in locating community courses for language instruction.

  • Invite them to your home. We organized a weekly, informal gathering in a member’s home to practice conversational English, introduce our country’s culture, and establish friendships. The activities varied, based on the sisters who attended. Some of the topics included learning gospel vocabulary, going to the doctor, grocery shopping, cooking, and explaining weights and measures.

  • Provide lesson materials in their native language and second language. When possible, our ward offered Church materials to adults and youth in both their native language and English.

  • Involve them. Though one Portuguese-speaking sister was apprehensive about her ability to communicate in English on the telephone, she accepted a calling to be a visiting teaching supervisor. We helped her prepare a simple dialogue and also suggested ways for her visiting teaching leader to use clear questions and comments, thus helping the new sister to report back easily and accurately.

There are many ways to serve our brothers and sisters. Above all, serving with love and an attitude of acceptance will lift both the giver and the receiver.

Florence E. G. Hawkinson, Provo Fifth Ward, Provo Utah East Stake

Family Home Evening Helps: Family Scripture Time

A couple of years ago, my husband and I wanted to help our children increase their appreciation for the scriptures. We had been reading the Book of Mormon as a family and were slowly making progress, but my husband and I agreed that the children needed to read more than just a few verses at a time. So we had them bring a blanket, pillow, and their own set of scriptures to the living room. With snacks nearby, we made ourselves comfortable on the floor and spent an hour taking turns reading from the Book of Mormon. Our children are young, and I was surprised that even our toddler enjoyed the activity. Depending on your children’s ages, you could easily incorporate family discussions as topics or questions arise from the reading, and you could use selections from Book of Mormon Stories (item no. 35666000; U.S. $6.00) or other illustrated scripture readers to help young learners.

Our scripture activity helped us to progress with our family goal of reading the Book of Mormon together. But the best part was feeling the Spirit in our home and helping our children recognize that special feeling.

Jennifer Dale, Riverview Ward, Mesa Arizona Maricopa North Stake

[illustration] Illustrated by Beth Whittaker