Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Highlights From a Low Point: 5 Lessons Learned from Helping Our Daughter Battle Cancer





Our daughter, Faye, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in April of 2011 at the age of 3. After months of leg pains progressively worsening and multiple doctor visits, we were called early on a Saturday morning to rush her to the emergency room to confirm blood tests. This was just one week after we had welcomed our third child into the world. After the results were confirmed, we were put into an ambulance and driven to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. After experiencing every emotion imaginable, we did our best to compose ourselves and made the decision to have two basic priorities: (1) To do whatever was needed to make Faye feel comfortable and loved; and (2) to support each other as a family.


Meldrum Family April 2011

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Why I Serve, Why I Sacrifice


As the alarm rings at 5:30am, I sluggishly climb out of bed and feel my way through the darkness to the bathroom. However, just as I’m about to turn on the shower, I hear the baby fussing. After changing her diaper and lulling her back to sleep, I find myself running late—I have a meeting at 6:30am. I shower and shave, put on a shirt and tie, and say a prayer to start the day. A little exasperated at this point, I open the garage door only to find a little boy tugging my pants and asking for food because he didn’t eat enough dinner last night. I give him an apple, send him back to bed, and kiss my wife goodbye.

The action begins immediately. A short 30-minute executive team meeting is followed by a 90-minute meeting with other organizational leaders. Afterwards, I spend several minutes greeting organizational members and taking care of other matters. Then the main one-hour meeting happens with 250 organizational members in attendance. I’m in charge of conducting this meeting, and even after all my public speaking experience, I still have butterflies in my stomach.

Well, that might actually be hunger that I’m feeling. In my rush to get out the door this morning, I didn’t eat anything for breakfast. I didn’t have time to pack a lunch either, so it looks like I’ll just have to wait until dinner to eat.

We hold another couple of meetings, each lasting an hour. Then I have short visits with a few different people. In some of these meetings I extend new work assignments. In others, I check on the progress they’re making in their responsibilities or I visit with people who are facing significant challenges. I do my best to be an understanding and supportive leader, but sometimes it’s hard to know if I’ve said the right thing.

By the afternoon, it’s time to wrap things up. We need to work on finances and budgeting, update other organizational records, and make a few phone calls. Then it’s time to leave the office and make a couple of visits to members of the organization at their homes. I arrive home a little after 3:30, tired from the day’s activities and anxious to finally be with my family. I know I’ll be working more hours during the week. But for now, I’ll enjoy my time at home.


Relaxing with my girls after a long and wonderful Sunday

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Why I Believe and Belong: Statements of Faith from LDS Youth




President Thomas S. Monson has taught that today's Youth are "some of our Heavenly Father’s strongest children, and He has saved you to come to the earth 'for such a time as this' (Esther 4:14)." (The Ensign, May 2009). Similarly, President Gordon B. Hinckley taught, "You are the best generation we have ever had. You know the gospel better. You are more faithful in your duties. You are stronger to face the temptations which come your way." (The Ensign, November 2003, 82)

We invited some of our Youth in Aggieland to share their testimonies of why they believe and why they belong in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we were blown away by the powerful things they shared. We know you will feel the Spirit as you read these statements of faith from Latter-day Saint Youth:

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cancer Converted Me: 5 Lessons I've Learned Through My Journey


It’s a good bet that life will have its fair share of challenges when the first words the doctor speaks at birth are,

“It’s a girl,” and “she has Mongolism.”

Thankfully, my birth defects were not a symptom of Down Syndrome, as the physician had diagnosed, and I avoided a condition that could’ve defined my life to a certain set of challenges. As you might expect, more trials, many of them physical, inevitably came my way. Before my 3rd birthday, a cat scratch to my left eye had doctors explaining to my parents, “she’ll most likely be blind for life.” Many, many years later, another doctor confessed, “I do not know what is causing these miscarriages or if you will be able to have children.” Like many in this life, I have endured personal difficulties, disabilities, infertility, career letdowns, and other struggles. Life’s ups and downs have made up the peaks and valleys of my story.

Life has held many challenges since that first misdiagnosis at birth, but there have also been beautiful blessings—being able to use my talents in a teaching career I loved, marriage to a good man, and the birth of 3 beautiful boys who all defied the 50/50 odds of inheriting my genetic defect. After 10 years of moving and schooling, we finally bought our first home, were settling into a career and a neighborhood, and doing the best we could to live a good life, when another storm hit with the words of yet another doctor.

“It’s cancer.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lead, Kindly Light



Darkness was settling in on the last night of my first month in Yongin, South Korea. What an…interesting…month it had been. I was still a little green, no question about it. Yongin was only my second area. Three different companions in my first three months in the country; and I was about to receive my fourth companion the next day.

A month earlier when I first learned I was transferring to Yongin, I was elated to find out I would have my first native Korean companion, Elder Kuon. This would be full Korean immersion. Bring it on.