Well, the past week has been pretty quiet for me - because I haven't really felt all that well. I felt ok Sunday, and while Ellen, Paul and Max went to Idaho Falls, I went to church, not once but twice. I went to our usual church, the United Church of Star Valley, which is a union of Presbyterian and Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) congregations. It is a small congregation, especially in winter when many folks have gone south. But it is congenial. However, for some time I have wanted to experience a Mormon service, and Sunday I finally succeeded, because the LDS Church in Thayne had a 12:30pm service, so I was easily able to go after the United Church service.
It was very interesting, both familiar and unfamiliar. It opened with an invocation, but the sacrament immediately followed. The sacrament was like Holy Communion, but it was bread and water, served, however, in the same way as at Guilford, trays of bread and little cups passed among the congregation. The Bishop presided, but only started the service and then turned it over to others. There were three speakers, a teenage girl, a young mom, and a middle-aged man. The teen shared her experience of going on a spiritual retreat and discovering the Book of Mormon for the first time. The young mom shared her experience of being a first-time mom, and gave some experiential tips on parenting: e.g., be there for your kids when they need you, explain "why" they need to do something (or not do something), and don't just order them to do it. The older man talked about the meaning of the sacrament, and the atonement of Jesus. The Book of Mormon was quoted but not read from as such. There were three hymns, one of which was familiar. The hymnal seemed to be about 10% mainline, Christians hymns, 90% of Mormon origin. There was a closing prayer. There were a lot of young people both present and involved. They were neatly dressed, the boys and young men all in white shirt and tie, with black pants. There was throughout a great deal of emphasis on "right behavior" - respect, discipline, service, compassion, regularity of attendance, etc. When I came in, I was greeted with smiles, but no one actually came up to me, introduced themselves and welcomed me. Immediately after the service, children, youth and adults immediately went into classes. There was no coffee hour. They seem to take their faith very seriously.
Monday-Wednesday, I just didn't feel very good. Chills, then feverish, like a mild flu. Tired, unable to sleep, aching joints, headaches. I spent most of the time in bed, reading, working on the index, sometimes napping. I finally decided that maybe the Lyme disease which I carry was flaring up again, so I started doxycycline. That seems to be doing the trick. Yesterday Ellen and I went to Jackson and did a few errands and took a little walk in the elk refuge. That went ok. Today I took a bit longer walk up the hill and that was ok. I have finished the index to the book of stories, which feels good. This evening we looked after Max while Paul and Jenny went to the movies. Max plays a lot by himself now, so he was no trouble at all. Tomorrow we'll go to Thayne "Snow Days" and a bowling alley in Afton. A family day with Max. Sunday I think Ellen, Max and I will go to church and in the afternoon, it will be the Super Bowl. Monday we'll start back. I have every reason to feel that I'll be ok for the return trip. I certainly hope so. The weather looks good. Today was brilliant sunshine, moderately cold. Lots of snow on the ground - much more, I gather, than there is back east.
Here are a couple of shots - one Ellen took when Max was playing with the camera in the bedroom, one is from yesterday's walk.