[illustrations] Illustrations by Scott Greer

Sharing Dinner, Sharing Conversation

Macaroni and cheese. Top Ramen. These sometimes become the food staples of young adults living on their own. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. When I was a student, my roommates and I decided to take turns preparing dinner. (You could also form a dinner group with neighboring students.) Each of us had one night during the week when we cooked a delicious and somewhat nutritious meal. It didn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. The food tasted good simply because we enjoyed one another’s company while we ate. Even though we are no longer roommates, we still reminisce about the good times we shared around our apartment dinner table. Stefanie Rasmussen, Utah

Rewind to Relief Society

After my sixth child was born, I began to struggle with various health problems. At the same time, my husband’s employer relocated us to another state. New to the area and often homebound, I have struggled to attend Church meetings. During this challenging time, the Relief Society sisters have done many things to reach out to me. One particular act of service has been especially beneficial. The sisters record the Relief Society lessons for me to enjoy at home during the week.

Each recording arrives with a label identifying the teacher and lesson date. Not only do I know who each teacher is, but I can also learn about many of the sisters in the ward through the experiences they share. And if I don’t recognize a particular voice, I remember to ask when a sister comes to visit.

These recordings have been so beneficial to me that the Relief Society also circulates them to other homebound sisters. In addition to recording the lesson, the sisters include all the songs, announcements, and introduction of visitors.

My health continues to improve, and I attend Church meetings when I can. Thanks to the taped recordings, I’m beginning to match voices with faces—all of whom belong to a loving sisterhood. I feel that I’m an integral part of Relief Society. Cheryl Burr, Utah

Emergency Information

Would you know how to drain the pipes in your home if you needed more usable water in an emergency? Or what if you had to evacuate and needed drinking water? Would you know how to purify some? Even in calm situations, many of us would not recall each step required in life-saving measures such as these. We may vaguely remember something we’ve read or heard in a lesson somewhere. But in the event of a real emergency, we would probably be at a loss to remember how to do things correctly.

One possible solution is to organize emergency information ahead of time so you can quickly refer to it if you ever need to. For instance, pamphlets and handouts could be stored in protective plastic bags in your emergency kit. More extensive information could be organized in sheet protectors, stored in a binder, and placed in an easy-to-reach locale in your home.

Many helpful emergency preparedness guidelines are available. Scouting handbooks and information on providentliving.org are just a few of the resources available. Check your local library and bookstores, or go online to discover more. Someday you might be glad you did.

Family Home Evening Helps:

Family Night—MTC Style

“I want to be a missionary now. I don’t want to wait until I’m grown” (Children’s Songbook, 168). With a house full of six boys, from teenage to Primary age, several missions are on the horizon for our family. So we decided to create a home evening mini-MTC experience to help jump-start their preparations.

To begin, I typed an “official” letter for each boy, mentioning him by name and the prospective years he would be called to serve as a representative of Jesus Christ. The letters informed them that their missionary training experience would begin that very evening at the Early Missionary Training Center (EMTC), located in our basement. At the appointed time our youngest son, acting as courier, rang our doorbell and presented a “special delivery.”

With calls in hand, our boys lined up near the basement steps while their dad and I gave them name tags, notepaper, and pencils. We began with a spiritual devotional. Then, working in stations, the boys learned how to sew buttons onto scraps of fabric, how to properly tie a tie, and how to do a short door approach. We even practiced this last part in a few languages and emphasized the importance of maintaining good eye contact, speaking clearly, and having a firm handshake. We also asked each of the older boys to share an impromptu sacrament meeting talk with us. They used available resources such as their scriptures and Church magazine articles, and they shared their testimonies.

Since there’s much to teach our missionary trainees, our family will continue to host EMTC family nights. We encourage everyone to get an early start—right in your own home. Heather Lee Lyman, Colorado

[illustration] Illustration by Beth Whittaker