Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many: not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

—Charles Dickens

Basketball Champ

Peter Davidson, 16, a priest in the Ott-Burlington Ward, Cody Wyoming Stake, was recently voted Class C Basketball Player of the Year by the coaches of the state following his first year on his high school varsity squad. An honor student, Peter also enjoys his responsibilities on the family farm and is studying to prepare himself for a mission.

Young Women Totes

An attractive cardboard tote for carrying a girl’s My Personal Progress book and her scriptures to appropriate meetings is available at the Salt Lake City Distribution Center. The Young Women organization has made the tote available to help each 12-year-old girl feel a part of the worldwide organization of Young Women.

The totes sell for $.70 each, stock number PXYW4363. An accompanying pamphlet is free, but it should be requested when ordering the tote. The totes can be ordered by placing a mailed request to: The Salt Lake Distribution Center 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104

Make a Memory Book

If you would like to do something special for a brother or sister going on a mission, try putting together a memory book. These little notebooks come in handy when missionaries are trying to duplicate favorite family recipes or write letters or Christmas cards and are often used as an ice-breaker in getting to know new contacts.

The book can be any size, but since a missionary has to be mobile, it’s best to keep it small. A 4-by-6-inch ringed notebook works well. Gather up some favorite family recipes; addresses of ward members, family, and friends; and take pictures of your house, the backyard, the dog, the neighborhood, and, of course, all the members of your family. Mount them on paper, reinforce the holes, and put them together in the notebook. It can be a memory of home plus serve as a missionary tool.

Recipe Section Keep this section short. Just pick a few recipes that your brother or sister especially enjoys like a special recipe for brownies or homemade dinner rolls. It’s best to choose things that have simple ingredients readily available in the area where they will be serving.

Address Section Be sure to include addresses of grandparents, aunts and uncles, special neighbors, and ward members. It’s easy to overlook addresses of those your missionary brother or sister is in touch with all the time at home. It’s only when they’ve gone that they realize that they don’t know the exact address by memory.

Picture Section Pictures of your home and scenery around your hometown can serve as a pleasant conversation starter when your missionary sibling is making new contacts. Include pictures of all the members of the family. It might be fun to take pictures of them doing the things they like to do around the house instead of a formal picture.

Have copies made of a few snapshots taken on vacations or outings that you’ve enjoyed as a family. Include scenes close to home. Often missionaries are working in a country where the climate and terrain are much different from their home area. The pictures can be useful as a conversation starter when your missionary is getting to know new investigators.

Conclude the notebook with a special message from you. Tell your brother or sister how much he or she means to you. It’s a good opportunity to tell the missionary the things you’ve always wanted to say. And in this little notebook, you will have made a memory for your special missionary.

Life—One to a Customer
Bookcraft, $5.95

A new book by Elaine Cannon stresses the fact that sometimes we are so busy existing that we forget to live. Her book is a collection of short essays dealing with four aspects of living—growing, choosing, remembering, and linking. Each short essay is lively and filled with stories and examples. Life is a onetime adventure, an exciting adventure!

Hooper Haller
Deseret Book, $6.95

A 17-year-old from Hooper (does not rhyme with Cooper), Utah, is taking the big leagues by storm. With an incredible pitching arm, Eldon Haller is quickly becoming the star of the Kansas City Royals. But Eldon has more to think about than baseball. He faces challenges that test his preparation both on and off the field. A new novel by Dean Hughes, Hooper Haller is the story of winning in the most important game of all—life.

National Future Homemaker Named

Lynette Roper, 16, of the Pleasant Grove Eighth Ward, Pleasant Grove Utah East Stake, has been elected as one of 14 national officers for Future Homemakers of America.

As part of the national officer team, Lynette will travel to planning meetings in Washington, D.C., plus visit chapters in other states. Being elected to the officer team is the highest honor a member of Future Homemakers can receive from the organization.

Lynette is also active in her high school seminary and spends time as a volunteer at the local hospital.

Brain Battle and Basketball

Chad May, 12, of the Silsbee Ward, Beaumont Texas Stake, has been making his mark. He was one of four on a scholastic brain battle panel that took the championship over other area teams on the local television station. Chad also likes to play basketball. He was chosen as an all-star Little Dribbler basketball player, and his team won the Texas State championship and went on to place third in the national tournament.

Outstanding Oklahoma Student

Recognized as one of eight students to receive the Five Star Award from his high school in honor of his accomplishments in leadership, scholarship, sports, character, and service, Jeffry H. Winter, 18, received the award from Memorial High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

As the only Mormon in a graduating class of 600, Jeffrey is a member of the Tulsa First Ward, Tulsa Oklahoma Stake.

A Sports Rarity

When Madison High School in Rexburg, Idaho, swept the state championships in its division in basketball, football, and baseball, three Church members were teammates on all three winning squads. Brian Holloway of the Archer Ward, Rexburg Idaho East Stake, and Kyle Christensen and Shane Rydalch, both of the Rexburg Ninth Ward, Rexburg Idaho Stake, participated on the top team in each sport for their high school.

Donating to Dallas Temple

The Young Women of the Bartlesville Oklahoma Second Ward, Tulsa Oklahoma Stake, have been working for several years to earn enough money to make a temple trip. They originally intended to make the trip to Utah to do baptisms for the dead in the Salt Lake Temple. But when the announcement was made that a temple was to be built in Dallas, Texas, they decided to donate the money they had earned in money-making projects to the temple fund.

Although their temple trip has been postponed until the new temple is completed, the Bartlesville Young Women are excited to know that the temple will be close enough to make more frequent trips.

Touring and Performing Groups

In a special announcement from Church headquarters, comment was made on assisting touring and performing groups. The announcement reads: “An increasing number of touring and performing groups, directly or indirectly associated with Church organizations, are attempting to schedule tours to various parts of the world. Some of these groups apparently are soliciting support from priesthood leaders and members in the areas they would like to visit. Occasionally they ask members to arrange housing and other accommodations for them.

“Touring and performing groups should not solicit support and tour accommodations from priesthood leaders and members. Local leaders should feel no obligation to respond to such requests.”

Exploring Castles in France

by John Jarvis

It was the first day of spring in the Rhone Valley in southern France, and the young people of Avignon celebrated with an exploration trek to an authentic castle—St. André.

Hanging on a cliff face, St. André overlooks the Rhone River in the small, medieval city of Villeneuve les Avignon. Crossing the “Bridge of the Kingdom” from Avignon to Villeneuve brought the car caravan of young Latter-day Saints into the old, narrow streets where the width of each car barely fit between the ancient walls. Members, friends, and missionaries enthusiastically greeted the magnificent guard towers of the castle entrance. With slits in the stone for archers and guard stations at the top of the towers, it was easy to understand why few would-be conquerors were able to withstand the rain of arrows and boiling oil to win the castle.

“My ancestors could have been soldiers here,” said Cathy as she explored the ins and outs of the fortress-castle that was built in 1360. The only entrance to the castle is between the guard towers where enormous wooden doors can be lowered to seal off the entrance.

Entering the castle courtyard, the group felt as though they had stepped back in time. Inside was a small village complete with bakery, homes, and stone chapel, all abandoned now. They thoroughly explored the castle including the dungeon. The group was impressed by the medieval French devotion to God. They discovered that the castle was actually built on the ruins of a 10th century abbey.

“It’s great to get out,” said Sylvie, “especially with other young people who believe as you do. There is always such a good feeling when we are doing things together.”

After the castle had been thoroughly explored, fun-loving Michele broke out the soccer balls she had stowed in the cars. In France, the only thing a group of young people like better than a good soccer game is two good soccer games. They organized the matches on the large, grassy plain just below the fortress.

It was an ideal day, and good company made it an exciting youth activity. From the castle high on a cliff overlooking the Rhone River Valley, some young members of the Church in France had learned something about their heritage and each other.

Photos by Jed Clark