Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What A TRIP!!

I have had the best trip in a long while, for obvious reasons. I am so thankful for all the LOVE and the fun I had visiting Brent, Will & Audrey, Jill & Drew, Jamie & Rich and all their beautiful children.
Brent met me in SLC and we drove to Draper to check out IKEA. It is massive and it takes forever to get through the whole store because you have to walk the whole flippin' store to get out. We bought a nice magazine table for Brent and some IKEA offical grandma plates, cups, bowles, dinnerware. We headed up to Will's and visited. Brent did his Charles in Charge things with the kids out back and it was so fun to watch the pure joy of Spencer being chased by Brent. Such wounderful laughter. Will and Audrey went to the movies and we stayed with the kids.

We got to Brent's little home about midnight. We hit the sackand then cleaned and organized and got settled in the next morning. By noon we were on our way to Bryce Canyon to scout out Brent's half marathon he was to run on Saturday. We stayed in Panguitch and drove the 45 min. to Bryce Canyon the next morning. Friday night we ate at the C-stop. It is just a little hole in the wall place but it was excellent food. We left Panguitch at 4:15a.m. and the race started at6:00a.m.

I waited at the finish line for Brent and was really proud to have been able to see him race. We drove back to Provo after a shower and a nap.

Sunday we were able to sleep in a little and then we went to church at BYU. I am so thankful for the experience of attending student wards. One it is soooo quiet there and it is wonderful to feel the spirit. These kids are amazing in their gospel insight and their ability to express themselves. Really enjoyed myself.

Monday was work day for Brent as he was just returning from San Antonio,TX. Only a half day though. He took me to my favorite store in Provo, the Fabric Mill. So I spent a huge chunk of my vacation dollars right there. We went up to Jill and Drew's for Family night and dinner. It was AWESOME. Thanks so much Petersons. I had so much fun.

Happy 24th on Tuesday!!! Lacy was so sweet to come and pick me up at Brent's and take me with her and her Grandmother to her Uncle Ken's for a BBQ. It was really nice and I got to see most of Lacy's family while I was there--especially Little P. After Lacy's BBQ, we went to see Auntie Marietta. What a sweety. I love her so much! Pineapple dip and Fritoes and brownies--so cute! Brent and I went to see Rachel, a nurse who worked in SV and knows Maren. Then we went to the BOCA VS. SLC REAL soccer game. It was pretty entertaining. The best part was the little 20 month girl who was seated in front of me. She only spoke Spanish and was really cute. The Game ended in a TIE, 1 to 1 .

Are you tired yet?????? We left the game for Montana. We slept in Idaho Falls, then continued on 4 hours to Jamie's.

The drive to Jamie's was beautiful. I spent most of my time with my nose in Harry Potter. The few times I did look up I quickly looked back down as I was looking at the bumper of the car in front of us . Soooo we made it to Livingston and I was so happy to see Jamie and her little family. We had lunch then went to Bozeman to visit the Museum of the Rockies planetarium, Egyptian, and Dinosaur exhibits. Then we attended her stake's 24th celebration in Bozeman. Then back toLivingston. We wanted to float down the river on Thursday the 26th, but the cool temps hit and we were happy to roast marshmallows and make s'moreson the banks. It was really pleasant at the river. Thanks Rich and Jamie for all your efforts to make our visit lovely.

Brent was the best at chauffering me around. Thanks, son, for being so attentive and making my little vacation so pleasant. I loved being with you and I hope that I was not overly-- you know , myself. Anyway, thank you so much. Here are some pictures, I hope!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

To give a mouse some rest

Hey, all you bloggers and blog readers out there. I just wanted to post a little post about something called RSS. It stands for something, but that's not important. Hey, look over there!

While you're looking over there, answer me this: Do you, like me, tend to read a lot of blogs? You do? Really?

Now, does it bother you at all, like it bothers me, that you have to click from one blog to the next or that you have to go back to someone's blog in order to get to someone else's blog? Well, I don't particularly enjoy hopping back and forth between blogs, and that's where RSS comes in.

RSS allows everyone's blog posts to be collected into one central place for you to read, so you don't have to go clicking and clicking and clicking just to see what everyone is up to. Instead of you going to the blogs, the blogs come to you! Cool, I know!

Here's how to take advantage of RSS. You first need what's called a feed reader. I use Bloglines, and Google has a good reader, too. For Bloglines, you just go to bloglines.com and in the upper right hand corner, you register for an account, just like you'd do for email. Once you're registered, you can add "feeds" (those are the things RSS makes from your blog or any site, really) just by clicking on the "add" tab on the left-hand side of the screen and then typing the blog's web address in the center screen. You then choose which feed you want (it doesn't really matter which one it is) and you're off to the races!

For those interested, you can see all my feeds here.

You may think this is a lot of work initially, but once everyone starts posting, the new posts automatically show up in your reader, making staying up to date much easier and less time consuming. Plus, your dear mouse can take a breather from all the clicking you're doing now. So, give it a whirl and see if you like it. And, of course, your questions are always welcome.

Patience Pays Off

Hey everybody....It's a YES for Portland!!!!WhooHoo!!! Mark called a little while ago and told me he had an interview with the "person" today. Yippeee!!!!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007


...anybody home? We are crazy-busy ovah here, but we had a great time last week with Aunt Lisa and this week with Aunt Marti & Brent! When I get 5 seconds to BREATHE I'll post some pix, but I hope Marti and Brent beat me to it! Love and hugs and 70-degree kisses (yes, it finally cooled down) from the Montana Melins!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Deep and Unmet Needs

Thanks so much for your words, Michael. It brought back two really special, sacred memories for me--first, when I was endowed, in the initiatory, when I was pronounced clen, I cried for a good three or four minutes because I could feel the spirit confirming to me that it was true--at that moment I was worthy to enter my Father's presence and I could do it with confidence if I kept myself unspotted from then on. What a great feeling!

The second experience was on my mission when my trainer read a scripture to me in the Doctrine and Covenants that said that as we testified, our sins were forgiven. She had a goal to never pass up an opportunity to share her testimony, and to give away a Book of Mormon every day of her mission. Following her example, I made those goals myself and they made my mission so much better!

I wanted to add something else I have learned since I have been home: generally, when people are sinning, THEY KNOW THEY ARE SINNING. The last thing they need is for people they love to bring it to their attention. Sure, it's fine to call people to repentance when that is your calling, but otherwise, you might want to keep those stones in your pocket until you're sure you are without sin.

I always loved how I would come to Grandpa and say something like, "Hey, You probably don't know, but I have been having a problem with ____ and I am doing ___ to work on it," and he would hug me and say something like, "I know, I've known all along and I am so glad you're putting the atonement to work in your life." I LOVE that, and that's what makes Grandpa so loveable and such an example to all of us of the Savior's love.

I think it's sad when people think that others NEED to be told what they are doing wrong. I am my own worst critic and am well-acquainted with my weaknesses. It hurts when I reach out for understanding but instead get reminded of what's wrong with me, especially by someone whom I know has made the same mistakes or worse in the past. It's a much more valuable gift to be able to forgive and to love others in spite of their sins than it is to go around pointing them out. That's the Holy Ghost's job. Our job is to just show each other enough love that each of us can, at some point, feel like we are worth the Savior's time and effort and love--to feel like we can finally follow that light of Christ to the place we were meant to be.

When I feel overwhelmed by the need to correct my kids or to change the weaknesses that are emerging in their personalities, this phrase brings me peace: "They're His children, too." Meaning my kids are really Heavenly Father's kids, and all he wants me to do is show them enough of the Savior's love that the Holy Ghost can someday witness to them and guide them to the truth. The only person that can change their hearts or give them a testimony is Heavenly Fatehr through the Holy Ghost. My job is to provide the environment for the change of heart to happen, and to keep praying that it does! :)

My understanding and love for those who sin repeatedly has grown immensely through reading the words of Spencer W. Kimball. The prayer in my heart lately has been that if I'm not quite ready to have a heart like Christ's, please make me more like President Kimball. Please help me to appreciate the MIRACLE that is Forgiveness. Let me be forgiving so that I may be forgiven. Please when I feel the need to bring someone's sins to their attention, remind me of my own, that I may SHUT MY TRAP. Here is the quote that has helped me the most, from his talk, "Jesus: The Perfect Leader":

Jesus saw sin as wrong, but also was able to see sin as springing from deep
and unmet needs
on the part of the sinner. This permitted him to
condemn the sin without condemning the individual. We can show forth our love
for others even when we are called upon to correct them. We need to be able to
look deeply enough into the lives of others to see the basic causes for their
failures and shortcomings and show an understanding heart.

May we look past the things that bother us to see the "UNMET NEEDS" in others (ugh! even hearing that phrase softens my heart!). Rather than reminding each other of what we've done wrong, let's try to discover and meet those unmet needs and bandage up the wounds that would cause us to break covenants and lose sight of eternal goals.

"...go, and sin no more." Please leave a comment.

John 8:7-11

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Once every six weeks we have transfers. In these Transfer meetings we always have the awesome privilege to hear our mission President speak. His words this transfer meeting was so profound. He was talking about what President Packer (quorum of the Twelve) said to the group of Stake Presidents here in our mission. He told them that there sins are forgiven them. Well our mission president stood at the pulpit of our transfer meeting and in the name of Jesus Christ told us missionaries (around 200) that are sins are forgiven us. It was so incredible. The spirit was felt there so strong that it brought most of the missionaries to tears. It was as if we had heard the voice of an Angel.

It is amazing how when we follow the Commandments and serve others, we can be forgiven of our sins. Like in the scripture above, we have no right to Judge or Condemn anyone. We are all not perfect. That is why Christ had come, to pay the infinite price for us all. I want all my brothers and sisters to know that I love you guys so much and I wish nothing more for your peace and happiness. I don't judge any of you. You all are so amazing and the number one fact that makes that statement true is that you are a child of God. Always remember who you are. I love you guys. Love your Brother and Friend, Elder Michael Drews

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Matt Surgery

Just wanted to let everyone know that Matt is out of his surgery and doing fine. (Matt had a septoplasty done this afternoon). He had a little trouble with the morphine which made him sick to his stomach but other than that and a sore shnaz he is fine. Thanks for all the phone calls from family and friends to check on him and visit for a while. We love and miss you all.

The Love Of God

I feel it to be very important that we understand the Love of God. In the past 22.5 months as a full time Representative of the Lord Jesus Christ I have had the constant opportunity to watch peoples lives change, because they have come to the knowledge of the love of God and how the Gospel paints a beautiful picture of His unconditional love. The First principal we share is that God is our Heavenly Father. Romans 8:16. With his love we are able to overcome the trials we face. He wants us to be happy. Romans 8:38-39 reads:
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Most knows the trials that I had to endure. These scriptures and the Knowledge that I am a child of God and that he loves me no matter what, has been what's kept me going.

I want to Testify of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that God is our Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world. His sacrifice made it possible to be freed from the guilt we feel when we break his commandments. We are able to Feel the Love of God through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that They both appeared to the Boy Joseph Smith to RESTORE the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are now able to receive the ordinances that will give us eternal salvation that permits us to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ. I pray the Lord's choice blessings to be upon you all. Remember the Covenants you have made at your baptism and the way you felt. Those that have not had this wonderful opportunity I invite you to learn more from the Missionaries, Servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. I love you all and say this in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Uncle Sam's Secret Cowboy Life

On Saturday night after sailing Gates of the Mountains, we attended a BBQ hosted by THIS GUY (who sold us the irrigation system for the ranch last year)... I had never seen him before and Matt (my brother) and I were cracking up at how much he looks like Uncle Sam Elrey. It was FREAKY!
I'll be uploading pictures of all the fun to my blog later...Uncle Sam, you'll WISH this was you when you see this dude's ranch...GORGEOUS! We had a great time and wish we could all be snowbirds: Tucson from October through April, Montana all summer long! It's so much fun and we wish all of you were here! :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Allred Pictures

Here is Morgan with Mom (me) in the pool

Morgan has just about zero hair, Here it all is up in a pony tail. She's silly.

Here are my two favorite people saying good morning (Matthew and Morgan)

I thought that some of the fam might enjoy some pictures of the Allred family. I love you guys and enjoy seeing your families as they've grown so much since I've seen you all last.

Love, Maren

What freedom?

As we enjoyed the Fourth of July and thought about our blessed heritage, I was saddened to realize that we are way too complacent in regard to our freedom. As the self serving elected officials at every level slowly erode what we call freedom we just happily go about our lives hoping that the next goober we elect will be better. Well, they won't.

We need to make it clear to these elitists that we demand proper representation. We need to assert our constitutional rights whenever we can. We need to make it known that we are over taxed and over regulated. The idiot Democrats will raise all the taxes they can get away with. We need to stand against them and make our voices heard. Try refusing to voluntarily self asses next tax season and see how free you are.

Why do they get away with undermining our troops that they sent in harm's way? Why do they get away with lying to the American people about progress in both Iraq and Afganestan? Why do they get away with calling our troops murders and worse?

Any how, I feel a little better now. Got that off my flabby chest.

Be grateful for this blessed country and send e-mails to all those knuckleheads in Washington that are helping to embolden the enemy and weaken our security here at home.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hey Out There!!

Hey family and friends!!

This past Saturday we got one of our Investigators married and Baptized. It was such an incredible experience. This is the second time i have gotten someone married on my mission. It is a lot of fun. It is so amazing the Blessings that comes when we are Obedient to all the Commandments!! Just to let you all know, Amy, our sister, Has a blog. If you go to Mom's blog and click on Amy's you can see it and leave comments. Hope all is well for everyone. Will update more next week. Love Elder Drews

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Amazing Grace

Today is the Sabbath and I was pondering all that was said in our Sacrament meeting about Family history, being more than names on little lines that fill a chart. I would really like to see if we could each of us write a memory about The lo' folks we remember. We would be sharing history with eachother. Momma and Papa you could writr about your grands and great grands if you remember them. What a treat to know what it was like when you were a kid. Your neighborhood friends and playing in the street, something about Ketchup and scaring Aunt Marietta...... Does that ring a bell? What about cheerleading at Wilson High Mom??? Anyway I just got to thinking what a great tool this is to keep treasured memories. Come on What about Bluie the Bear stories and the Blanket show... The bear flew over the mt.stories... Don't let em be forgotten. All contributers welcome and I'd like to make a book of stories by Christmas. Send them snail mail or e-mail but send them.
Blind Faith . Do any of us follow the Lord by blind faith?? Pres. Kimballs lesson #13 is so wonderful. I know that in our lives and learning from those around us we have learned that we follow out of great love for the savior and what he has done for us. Examples of faith are all around us and we learn from others taking the step into the dark and watch the heavenly light come on. We then are free to ponder and find out for ourselves if that step is corrrect for us and then follow with faith. There is nothing blind about my faith, and willingness to follow the Prophet. There is proof solidly engraved upon my heart that he is lead by the Savior Himself. I do ask questions and I do receive answers. What a blessing.
love you,Auntie M

Saturday, July 7, 2007

some fam on the fourth

Penelope with her Great Aunt Elaine

Thanks Sam & Elaine, Kevin & Kate and families for coming down for the S.V. festivities! All that was missing from the tradition were Sam & Kristen...next year, right???
More pics on my blog. Happy Fourth!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Real Quick

I just left a long comment below on Gramps' post...just wanted to say heloo and say what a great tiem we had with the Lehmans (and we missed the Postums) on the 4th of July. Happy 10th anniversary to Laura & Darrin, btw!

Our renters are wonderful so far! We are leaving them overnight to go camp in Cooke City and drive the Beartooth Highway tomorrow--we figure it's our last weekend without company or a commitment (swim lessons, kindergarten camp, etc.) so we better make a run for it!

Enjoy your weekend! We love you all!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Old Folks Home

We cannot let the 4th of July go by without telling all of you how grateful we are to have been born in this country and the love we have for those who have served and are now serving this country in the armed forces. We take so much for granted and do not, even a little, appreciate the history and heritage of this great democratic republic that has weathered 211 years of wierdos and ungrateful citizens yapping at its heals. Thank goodness for the restoration and the presence of the Holy Spirit and the influence it has on some of our leaders. And thank goodness for those, throughout history, who have been inspired to write and speak and act on the blessings of the Constitution and the meanings the founding fathers included in that great document. We are twice blessed to know what we know about the restoration and to have the blessing of citizenship in this country. Happy 4th to everyone and our unconditional love for each one of you on this very special day. Gram and Gramp

Take Increased Devotion...

Previously posted (Thanksgiving 2005) on the Melin's blog, from Lincoln's Gettysburg address:

"...It is for us the living...to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain."

As I read that passage over and over to myself, I realized that most of the things I treasure in my life, most of the causes I live and serve for, were hard-won in bloody battles and martyrdoms. Just about everything that's important to me came to me by the loss of someone else's life. For example, we have been reading the Book of Mormon as a family in the mornings and realized how many lives were lost either to protect the records (their scriptures) or because they would not deny their testimonies of Christ. Same goes for the Bible--from Moses to Christ and for thousands of years since, lives have been sacrificed so that I can hold those books in my hand and read and worship when ever and where ever I choose. Not to mention the military battles that have taken place to ensure that freedom, or the pioneers who trekked west to experience that freedom for themselves.

The list goes on. So I decided that the above passage will now be my November theme--it's perfect for Veterans' Day and Thanksgiving. [AND INDDEPENDENCE DAY] I might even be an uber-geek and memorize it.
We love you all & wish you a
Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Dear ol' sparky is at the vet having a cracked tooth removed. What a responsibility pets are. Ralph has a very hard time taking our pets to the vet. On the farm if they got sick or injured the just put them down. So It is a great act of love that Ralph took His best buddy to the vet this morning. Sparky is just the best dog. He is the reason that Ralph runs 3x a week and rides the bike the other tree days. He wakes us up with his pleading for attention and love. He sings us to sleep at night with the coyotes. He is there to welcome us home with his slobbery nuzzel. And he has the silkiest ears. My personal favorite part. We will pick him up later this afternoon.
The 4th. Ah, my emotions are so close to the surface this year.. To our military sons and cousins and nephews. To those who every day put their lives on the line for Freedoms sake Thank you. And that seems so inadequate to express the feelings of my heart. I love you, and I pray for you, and I am so grateful, so very grateful. I am noticing that no matter what good press the church gets that there is always some member of the church that says something negative about the church at the end of the article. This kills me. I see that Satan works in all of our lives as we give him access by our very actions. May we all be vigilant . May we all be found with the countenance of Christ. May we have the covenants written upon our hearts and may we be found speaking words that would honor our Father in Heaven and his kingdom on the earth. No bashing of the leadership of the church. We all have our faults and no one needs to bring them to our attention. WE know what they are and are working on them.
So much for being up lifting. I did not mean to get so morose. I love you all and am so thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. What joy there is in the Atonement and the very thought that we can be forgiven for our mistakes and for the sins of omission. I have Hope!!! Love Auntie M

Monday, July 2, 2007

Happy 4th of July

My Dear Family and friends,

We had a very amazing week. One in which alot of reliance and trust and faith was put into the Lord. I have witnessed the power of Satan this past week but through Obedience and hard work the Lord came though just like He promises. We have been working with a family of four the past three weeks and were to be Baptize on the 30Th of June and confirmed on the 1st of July. Well let me tell you what happened. When it came time for their interview for Baptism the Mother of this Family had to rush to Seattle because her Mother was emitted into the Hospital. We got the three kids interviewed. The Mom was finally interviewed Friday, the day before their baptism. We check up on them around noon time the day of their Baptism and they said everything is good to go. So my companion and I were way excited. We get a call three hours later. It is 3:30 in the afternoon and there Baptism is scheduled for 7pm. Beth, the Mom, tells us she just got out of the Hospital and was not feeling well. She is a diabetic and had very high sugar. She also said that her mother was to come up and take the kids for a couple days. She wanted to Cancel their baptism. Through the guidance of the Spirit we expressed the importance of this step and how it will be a huge blessing for her family. We also told her how powerful Satan is and that he would do anything to prevent them from taking this step that would be life changing for them. I told her to lay down for the next two hours that we will be over at 5:30 and have a ride there for them at 6:00 for the Baptism at 7:00. Needless to say that Family of four was baptized that night and confirmed the next day in church, yesterday. I find it so amazing when we put our full faith and trust in the Lord his end always comes out. I have such a strong Testimony of the reality of the truthfulness of the Church. I know with out a doubt in my heart or mind that God the Father and his son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith to restore the Gospel. I love you all and commend you all for the support that you have given me. May God bless you all. Have a wonderful 4Th of Jule. Much Love, Elder Drews