Monday, May 5, 2014

Small and Simple Things

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  I am having a great day so far.  And my next task is painting, so it should continue to be a great day.  It sure does help to have a good attitude.  It's funny to me how easy it is some days to have a good attitude, and how hard it can be on other days.  I guess the trick is to decide ahead of time that you are going to have a good attitude...no matter what!
I brought home a calendar from Women's Conference with pictures by Simon Dewey.  It is nice to look up and see Mary helping the little child Jesus to pray.  That is the picture for the month of May.  One of the artists at the bookstore was very pleased with a painting he had done of Joseph and Jesus in the same pose.  I like them both.
So today I am going to finish a painting from class.  It has been a difficult one for me.  Mostly because the models were behind a screen and we had to walk back to see them, then walk back to our painting and try to remember what we had seen.  And I changed the pose to fit the story in my head, so I made it even harder for myself.  But I suppose it is good practice.  I feel like I have made some rather large strides forward in my painting this semester.  Not that I have arrived or anything, but I feel like with some more practice and enough time, I can do good work.
Tonight is our empty nester family home evening.  It should be fun.  The Newell's are hosting it, and they are having a family history night.  We are all supposed to share an ancestor.  It is fun to go on family search and read stories about ancestors.  I read about Samuel Brockbank Hardy last night.  He had such an interesting story.  I may use a story from my great great grandma, Christiana Long Syphus.
 She had an amazing story of hardship and strong faith.  And I just discovered she was also an ancestor of Elder Bednar, who told part of her and her husband's story at Women's Conference in 2011.  It's great to think I am related to Elder Bednar.  And I didn't know this part of her story.  Here's a copy from family search's history.
Elder Bednar: Story of Luke Syphus "Small and Simple Things"
Contributed By Seth Frehner Waite
In 2011 Apostle David Bednar recounts the story of Luke and Christiana Syphus in a talk to Women's Conference "Small and Simple Things". Luke and Christiana Syphus and Joseph and Adelaide Ridges The second example Elder Bednar shared was of Luke Syphus and Christiana Long, who are among Elder Bednar’s forebears and who joined the Church in England, married, and then, in the 1850s, emigrated to Australia. During their five-month voyage, the Syphuses became good friends with another couple, Joseph and Adelaide Ridges, who were likewise immigrating to Australia from their native England. When the ship arrived at its destination in April of 1853, the Syphus and Ridges families lived and worked together at Pennant Hills, approximately 15 miles northwest of Sydney. During their journey from England, the Ridges had grown to admire the Syphuses for their good habits, kindness, strength, and devotion. Luke loaned Joseph a copy of the Book of Mormon and a text of the teachings of Elder Orson Pratt. Both Joseph and Adelaide ultimately became convinced of the truthfulness of the gospel and were baptized in 1853. Joseph, who as a child in England had been fascinated by an organ factory near his home, began building a small, seven-stop pipe organ in his spare time. Mission president Augustus Farnham suggested that Brother Ridges donate the organ to the Church in Salt Lake City, to which Joseph agreed. With the help of members and missionaries, Joseph dismantled the organ, packed the parts, and stowed the instrument in the cargo hold of a sailing vessel, the Jenny Lind. In 1856 the Ridges and the Syphus families and some 100 others boarded the vessel and set sail for Utah. Upon arriving in California, the families loaded the organ in a wagon and hauled it across the desert by mule team. They arrived in Salt Lake City in June of 1857. Brother Ridges installed the small organ in the old adobe tabernacle on Temple Square, where the Assembly Hall now stands. That simple instrument was the forerunner of a great organ Brother Ridges later built—the organ for the Tabernacle on Temple Square. That instrument would take more than 10 years to construct and would eventually have two manuals, 27 pedals, 35 stops, and approximately 2,000 pipes—and would measure 20 feet long by 30 feet wide by 40 feet high (6m by 9m by 12m). It would become, Elder Bednar said, “one of the iconic symbols of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
This example also shows the “profound spiritual pattern” of small and simple things bringing great things to pass, Elder Bednar said. “Acts of kindness, of righteous influence, and of Christian compassion by Luke and Christiana were instrumental in bringing to pass the conversions of Joseph and Adelaide. A small and simple organ in Australia helped to bring forth the great Tabernacle organ. … No big results occurred quickly or all at once. Rather, by small and simple things, great things were brought to pass.”
That is interesting to me.  The part of her story I had heard all through my life was how she had been converted as a young woman in England.   She married Luke Syphus and together they sailed on a vessel to Australia.  But on the way the ship met with difficulty and a three month voyage turned into six months.  They were forced to subsist on stale seabiscuits that were full of worms.  She had her first son on that voyage, but because of her starving condition was not able to nurse him enough to keep him alive and he was buried at sea in Table Bay, Africa.  Her tale goes on to include Indians and floods.  Perhaps I will include it in tomorrow's post.  Well, I had better get to work.  I hope all is happy and well in cyberspace.  Take care and HAVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

1 comment:

LeAnn said...

I am back admiring all that you are doing. I love your enthusiasm for art.
I enjoyed reading the Family History Story. I think it is awesome that you are related to Elder Bednar.
Blessings for you!