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Front Page » August 7, 2007 » Opinion » Letter to the Editor: Labor of Love
Published 3,485 days ago

Letter to the Editor: Labor of Love

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Hello. What a great feeling to be writing once again for the Emery County Progress; but it is just once this time. My future stories, two or more, will be by the Editor. This is something that has been planned for a long time.

This time, I want to share with the readers a few things that have been happening since I wrote my last story for the Emery County Progress in December 1985. It was Dec. 13, 1985 when we were run off the road by a young new driver, in order to avoid a head on collision.

So our pains were much less than they could have been that dark December night so long ago. The biggest hurt was the months of recovery, and having to give up my driving and my interviews for my stories. But it did not keep me away from my computer and my labor of love called From Babel to Cumorah: an Overview of the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

This was a project so close to my heart that it just had to be completed. It began as a little Sunday School class activity, a little slide show of some of the lessons we were studying each Sunday morning. All winter we had been studying the Bible, then we started our lessons from the Book of Mormon.

To arouse interest in the Book of Mormon, I suggested a little slide show. It was such a success that the next year they wanted to do it again. Never did anyone in our Kanarra Ward in Kanarraville (our retirement home after 24 years in the Navy, and several years of civilian work after retirement) even think of this little activity continuing on and on. And of it being done in Spanish.

Some of the Spanish copies are in Guatemala and a few are in Paraguay, and wonder of wonders, it has been translated into the Guarani Indian language, the official language of Paraguay. This is thanks to the efforts of my sister-in-law Mirta Canova, whom my brother Stanley Canova married while in the Peace Corps. Mirta made arrangements for the translation. She explained to me that a translation into Guarani could not be made from English, but had to be made from Spanish.

Now to get back to my story. This labor of love has filled nearly a third of my life. It began in 1975, and started again in 1976 when 13 year old Bryce Bugler excitedly said, "Let's do it again." For details watch for the Editor's stories about From Babel to Cumorah.

This 23 year long labor of love is ending in 2007, when the Spanish and the English are being reprinted on pages opposite each other, using the original Spanish 1998 printing of the book with its 180 or more role-playing pictures taken from the 500 slides of the slide show.

The pictures on the Spanish side leave a blank space on the English side. So, we have added typed captions and some names to match the pictures that are on the Spanish sides. English captions are now ready for the English readers.

Because of a suggestion from my husband, Bob Owens, the sweetheart of my youth, we have also made a Spanish-English student handbook. It is a smaller booklet with exactly the same message, but fewer pictures, and easier to carry and to copy.

The third book has exactly the same message, and also some special notes for the Samoan people and Isles of the Sea. It also has a little epilogue of interest to those same people.

Book number four is a reprint of the small English booklet printed in Cedar City in 1989 after my return from a mission to Louisiana. I had lost my husband of nearly 54 years, Walter A Staley of Clear Spring, Md., in January of 1988. I was permitted to take my transcript of From Babel to Cumorah with me on my mission.

The fifth and last From Babel to Cumorah book is called A Fireside Visit-a Labor of Love. This little book will contain an epilogue pertaining to the end of my 32 year experience with my overview of the Book of Mormon that is ending my 94th year of life right here in Ferron, UT, P.O. Box 936, zip 84523. Life in this beautiful nursing home and the loving care here.

And it is beautiful. Bob and I try to spend at least part of every day on the long front porch with its shrubs and flowers. The benches and wheel chairs have plenty of space for many to spend time there where they can face two enormous willow trees which seem to come to life with their curious swinging movements in even the slightest breeze. But when the wind is strong, they appear to be very angry as they whip about as if their different sections are quarreling.

Yes, the outside is pleasant and beautiful; and so is the inside with the brightly polished floors, the many pictures, plants, garlands and lights everywhere. There is music to fit any mood, or any year, especially the oldies that so many of us grew up with.

Then we have the nurses, certified nursing technicians, housekeepers, cooks, maintenance men, laundry workers, department heads, and activity personnel. All of these fine people, including the administrator and his staff all contribute to the pleasant attitude of love and caring.

This story would not be complete without mentioning what the townspeople also do to make things pleasant for the residents here. It is amazing how many people and groups from not only Ferron, but from all of the surrounding towns, come here to entertain for those who cannot go out into the world for pleasure. It is not possible to mentions all the names.

In fact we had two very special visits just this week. Their delightful toe-tapping music was loved by all. It was family home evening night and was delightful and enjoyed by all.

Then two nights later, the Baptist Church from Ferron came to visit and sang gospel songs and gave a beautiful talk from the New Testament. I was especially impressed with the young boys in the front row who sang the parts usually sung by the men. I loved it.

Now I must leave you. It has been like old times, visiting with readers of the Emery County Progress, but I have other duties that are pressing. First, sharing this precious time with my husband, and finishing the assembly of my five books that have waited for so long. It is with thanks and gratitude that I have for the Emery County Care and Rehab Center for making it possible for me to have my unfinished work here with me, and for making it possible through their facilities for me to be able to keep in contact with BYU by phone and by email as they put my five books onto CDs and into files to be printed into books.

BYU has advised me not to send all five at once. I am glad to have a little more time to take care of details. Now the plan with the Emery County Progress is for the editor to tell the rest of the story in one or possibly two or more sections the first to be printed when the first book comes off the press. I can remember how we celebrated at BYU the day the first Spanish edition went to press in 1998. That one had taken 14 years from the time I was told it must be done in Spanish before we could get all the translations corrected and printed.

I must stop now. I deeply appreciate the editor of the Emery County Progress for letting me tell my part of the story this first week of August, the month of my 94th birthday. Thanks Patsy Stoddard.

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August 7, 2007
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