“FYI: For Your Information,” New Era, Nov. 1979, 38–41
“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”
—C. S. Lewis
When Jesse Gneiting’s older brother James received the Eagle award in Scouting, Jess promised himself that someday he, too, would become an Eagle Scout. He earned the Star award at the age of 13 (right on schedule) and began his Eagle Scout service project—earning money to purchase an American flag for his hometown community of Lewisville, Idaho. The fund-raising part of the project consisted of collecting aluminum cans around Lewisville and out on the desert where his family farmed. Jess’s plans were continuing well and his advancement to Eagle seemed only months away. But then an unexpected obstacle appeared.
After returning from a leadership training program for Scouts of the Teton Peaks Council, Jess noticed a lump on his leg just below the knee. A preliminary examination didn’t show anything wrong, but when the lump didn’t recede and it became painful for Jess to walk, his parents took him back to the doctor.
“I may have rheumatic fever,” Jess told his mother as he left the doctor’s office. “I’m to go to the hospital tomorrow for tests.”
Soon after, Sister Gneiting took Jess to the Idaho Falls hospital were X-rays were taken and he was told he had cancer. He and his parents were advised to leave immediately for the University Hospital in Salt Lake City. Tests there revealed that surgery was necessary, and during the operation, Jess’s leg was amputated above the knee.
Five days after the operation he came home and began chemotherapy and other treatments. At times the medication made him so sick he wouldn’t recover for a week. Afterwards, however, he would return to school where he was student-body vice-president and editor of the yearbook. He also began wrestling, the only sport in which he could participate.
By Christmas, the treatments had drained Jess’s body of all energy. But he began to feel better after chemotherapy had ended, and he earned the Life Scout award.
The National Boy Scout Jamboree in Pennsylvania was held the following spring, and Jess was able to attend, even though his monthly checkup in April revealed lung cancer. Upon his return, it was discovered the tumors in his lungs had doubled in size and another operation was imperative. Afterwards, Jess’s activities were severely curtailed and he was able to complete only two six-week terms the entire school year. Though he longed to return to school and participate in the activities, he was unable to do so.
Yet more than anything, Jess wanted to become an Eagle Scout, and during this time he began in earnest to accomplish that goal. To fill his days and keep his mind occupied, he worked on merit badges. His mother helped him by calling or taking papers to members of the Scout committee. His younger brother, Tom, and members of his troop, finished gathering the aluminum cans needed to complete his Eagle project.
Finally all of Jess’s application forms were in and approval was up to the board of review. On the second Sunday in May they came to the Gneiting home and interviewed Jess. His papers were sent immediately to the National Council in the East where approval generally takes from two weeks to a month. But Jess didn’t have that much time—each day he was getting weaker, and breathing had become so labored that he couldn’t live without an oxygen supply. The Scout office in Idaho Falls called headquarters to push Jess’s papers through, and as soon as they received approval, the court of honor was scheduled.
In May Jess received the Eagle award. Almost everyone in Lewisville attended the ceremony, including every Scout leader in the district. Jess’s brother James made the presentation. Jess himself presented the flag to Bishop R. LaVon Walker of the Lewisville First Ward, Rigby Idaho Stake, to be used by the small community.
On June 15, the Gneiting family went fishing at a nearby lake. That evening, for the first time since he had become ill, Jess let his father carry him into the house, and before he went to sleep, Jess told his parents, “I won’t make it through tomorrow.” At one the next afternoon, he died.
But nothing, not even cancer, had kept him from accomplishing his life’s goal—to become an Eagle Scout—a privilege he enjoyed for almost three weeks. (Written by Joyce Lindstrom)
Five-year-old Russ Hancock climbed up onto the piano bench, made himself comfortable, and plunked out “Up We Go, Down We Go” for his teacher. She was appropriately impressed, listened carefully to his other numbers, and then gave him an assignment for the coming week. The lesson completed, Russ hopped off the bench and ran in to wash his hands for dinner. His teacher was his mom, and for the 11 years since then she has continued to be his most supportive and dedicated instructor. Music has always had a positive influence and been a favorite activity in the Hancock home. “It was during our family home evenings that I developed my love for music,” said Russ. “The six of us would gather around the two pianos in our living room and sing for hours.”
During the years, Russ has developed his talent as well as his affinity for music. He has appeared as a guest soloist with the Northwest Chamber Orchestra and the Tacoma (Washington) Youth Symphony and has performed at the Spokane World’s Fair and for Washington Governor Dixie Lee. Last summer he received first place in the Puget Sound Concerto auditions and received the honor of playing with the Northwest Summer Symphony. (He was given only a week to learn and perfect the entire Grieg Concerto in A Minor for that concert.) Russ’s family has presented concerts and lectures throughout the Northwest and has performed at various BYU Education Weeks.
Russ is the ward organist in the Kent Third Ward, Renton Washington Stake, and has earned his Duty to God and Eagle Scout awards also.
Thirteen-year-old Jens Frenkel whacked the ball with just enough top spin to send it zinging over the net. On the other side of the table, Uwe Schneider’s paddle caught the ball as it caromed off the edge of the wood, and sent it whizzing back to the opponents. Jens’s father, Hartmut Frenkel, was waiting in perfect position to intercept the shot. With a fierce stroke he slammed it, out of reach, past Wolfram Stube. Point for the Frenkels!
That was just part of the action during a doubles Ping-Pong tournament organized by the Frankfurt Germany Stake. The tournament involved priesthood holders from deacon age and older, with matches played every Saturday at the stake center. An effort was made to let fathers and sons play together and to match younger players with older players on the doubles teams.
Christian Fiedler of the Langen Branch, who supervised the play, said it was an inexpensive way to encourage fellowshipping between priesthood brethren as well as between fathers and sons.
by Annette Seaver
You are in the middle of planning your Beehive mother-daughter dinner—or best friend’s surprise birthday party—or high school senior prom. Everything is going along just great until someone mentions invitations! Suddenly a shadow is cast on the festive mood as you visualize stacks of handwritten notes and individually addressed envelopes or something equally as time-consuming and UNFUN! Right? Well, if that’s the way it’s been in the past, now is a good time to change your attitude. All it takes is a little imagination—and a little time—and you can come up with all kinds of creative invitation ideas. Following are a few that can be easily adapted for parties, dating, or even for a special family home evening!
COLORING BOOK INVITATION—Draw a picture that will help convey the evening’s activities. Put the entire picture onto a backing sheet; then retrace several of the individual pieces onto felt, colored paper, or cloth. Color or decorate both the picture and individual pieces with pens, paint, rickrack, lace, buttons, etc. Glue only the top or side edges of the small pieces onto the large picture, making sure that you can lift small pieces to expose messages underneath. Write information about the event under the small, partly glued pieces. Include instructions at bottom of paper. (For example, if you have used felt, write “Lift felt pieces in numerical order.”) Number small pieces in order so that message will be read correctly.
FORTUNE COOKIES—Purchase a box of fortune cookies in your local grocery store or make your own. Using tweezers, remove the fortunes from the purchased cookies and insert your own typewritten ones. Number cookies in the order that they should be opened and read. A possible message might include:
Fortune #1—Dear Mother, a Laurel Standards Night is being planned for May 7.
Fortune #2—It will begin at 6:30 P.M. and will include a Chinese dinner prepared by the Laurels and their advisers.
Fortune #3—Wear your favorite dress and practice with your chopsticks!
Fortune #4—I hope you will be able to attend this special fun evening …
Fortune #5—With me, your loving daughter Julie.
TOP SECRET—Make an invitation on a piece of heavy poster board, using a black felt-tipped pen. Include all necessary information: occasion, time, place, dress, etc.
Cut the poster into five to seven pieces and mail (or deliver) one piece each day for a week. Be sure to enclose a note with the first piece, instructing the invitee to save the pieces. Mail the one with your name and telephone number last.
BOXES—Collect boxes of different sizes. Put an invitation in the smallest and then wrap the box in gift paper. Put this box in the next larger box and wrap it; place this box in the next larger box and wrap it, etc. Continue to put smaller boxes into slightly larger boxes until you have the desired size. Deliver to doorstep.
BALLOONS—Place a note in an inflated balloon and tie it to the antenna of his or her bicycle, car, or locker at school.
CANDY BAR MAGAZINE CARD—Cut pictures and words out of magazines and use candy bars with interesting names to write a message or invitation. Glue everything onto a poster board and hang it on the prospective guest’s front door, locker, etc.
Now that you have your invitations made and delivered, enjoy yourself—it’s going to be a great party!