Susan's Story

I would like to take this time to introduce myself to you. I am the mother of 4. My story is probably about the same as many people. But, I have found in my life that as I have obeyed the Gospel of Christ that I have had a better time than when I have ignored the Gospel. Part of my story has to do with my conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which I am a member. As far as hobbies go, I crochet afghans and beddolls, knit dishcloths, make plastic canvas book covers, and read voraciously. I also have over 100 pen/email pals that I keep in constant contact with.

So, here goes: I attended the local community college, and majored in Secretarial Science. I enjoyed my years at that school. I didn't graduate right away. I lacked a couple courses, which I eventually took through night school.

In 1975, my son Robert was born in Virginia. I did what I could to support my infant son and myself. I worked as a temporary secretary with several temporary agencies around the area. I even had several different permanent jobs that didn't work out. I volunteered with a crisis hotline and worked on Saturday evenings, eventually working out of my home.

Eventually I woke up to the realization that I needed to make some plans for the future and find myself a career. At which time, I also found myself realizing that I needed to begin attending Church regularly.

I had learned of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while I was in high school. I had not attended meetings until I was a senior. That summer I began attending all my meetings regularly. But over the years I had become inactive, using my son as an excuse not to attend. I had been baptized a member in May 1976, but was inactive for the next 3 years. Robert had become a member-of-record in January 1976 when I had him blessed.

Now it was 3 years later, and my small son had not attended any meetings and had not been in his class. But, I was now determined to begin attending meetings and becoming active. I had decided it was now time to stop being a hypocrite. So, with that thought foremost in mind, I began attending meetings and doing my best to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My son was just as determined he did not want to be there. He clung to me and cried. He would not stay in his class.

It was during this time that I finally met my future husband. He volunteered at the same crisis hotline that I did. We met on a hot June afternoon in 1979 to work on publicity for the hotline. We hit it off immediately. We began dating and spending time together. I was surprised that he even enjoyed the company of my three year old son.

Just two weeks after we met, he proposed. We were married on a Saturday in August 1979.

After we were married, I was able to stay home and do what I had so wanted to do, be a full-time mom. Jared was born in 1980, in Virginia. Theresa was born in 1982 in Germany. Robert had been baptized a member of the LDS Church in 1984 in Central New York. Hannah was born in 1985 in North Carolina. Jared was baptized in 1988, and Theresa was baptized 1990. Hannah was baptized in 1993.

We have had the opportunity to move around quite a bit over the years. We have lived in Virginia, Southern Germany/Bavaria, New York, Maryland, and North Carolina, New York (again), Key West, Florida, and back to New York.

I homeschooled my kids for 3 years and placed them in Catholic school for 5 years. They all graduated from public schools.

I found myself quite busy during our years in North Carolina. I was quite active in my Church and held many callings and assignments. I was the Relief Society chorister, secretary, and teacher for a number of years. I also was Sunday School secretary for several years. And the membership records clerk for a year. I did anything I was asked to do, and enjoyed it immensely. I typed the weekly Relief Society bulletin and monthly newsletter, then the ward bulletin. I also found myself volunteering at school and was a lunch monitor once or twice a week. The last thing I did there was Med Drive. I would drive elderly people to and from their doctor appointments on an average of once a week. I enjoyed that a lot.

We had wonderful news. Jared received his mission call and reported to the MTC in Provo, Utah, in November 1999. He served a Spanish-speaking mission in the Argentina Rosario Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through November 2001. We were very excited for him. You can read about him at My Missionary Son: Elder Jared Alan Pixley.

I am currently active in my church. I have held various callings, among them: Relief Society President, Relief Society Education Counselor, Relief Society secretary, Relief Society chorister, Primary President, Primary teacher, Sunday School teacher, and Seminary teacher, the meetinghouse librarian. I've also taught the Gospel Essential's class and the Young Adult Sunday School class, and I have been the ward chorister. I have typed a Relief Society bulletin and ward bulletin, and a Relief Society Newsletter.

We have done volunteer re-enacting at Fort Stanwix National Monument, a reconstructed Revoluntionary War fort in Central New York. We did Civil War (1863) reenacting around the Central New York area. My husband portrayed an express agent, and I was just a woman who hung around the camp! I didn't have a role yet.

In the summer of 2002 we moved from New York to Key West, Florida. This was a major change for us. Hannah loved it, as she could bike all over the island. I began job hunting, and found a good position as an administrative assistant. I also obtained the position of meetinghouse custodian at my Church. I was asked to teach Seminary in our branch. I was a teacher looking for a class. All the youth in the branch were inactive, and my attempts to get them to attend Seminary were fruitless.

We had some excitement during the summer and fall of 2005. There were quite a few hurricanes, which meant an evacuation each time. We would barely get the house back together, and we'd have to evacuate again. Finally, we had enough of it, and decided that we'd stay in town. In October, Hurricane Wilma formed in the Carribbean, and headed across the Yucatan Peninsula, and then toward Florida. The forecast was that it would miss us, but the forecasters were wrong. The girls stayed with friends, and I stayed with a friend on Stock Island. The hurricane's eye brushed Key West, and the force of the storm sent a 10 foot storm surge over the islands. My car was under 4-5 feet of water! The Navy housing complex was flooded, 430 of the 800 houses were damaged. Our house had a foot of water inside. We lost everything on the floor, and on the bottom shelves of the bookcases. We lost everything in the desk, and the bottom draw of the file cabinet. We were put into a FEMA camper for 6 months, then learned our house was condemned.

My husband decided to retire from the military, so we made a trip to Patrick Air Force Base. We decided to have a little vacation, as well. He had to fly up to Syracuse, New York, in order to start the retirement process.

We moved in with a friend, to help her get her house back together. My husband went to work full-time at the local hospital. I decided to go to work full-time, and took a job with a local doctor.

In August 2006 our youngest daughter, Hannah, presented us with our first granchild, a beautiful little boy named Conner.

In September 2006 we moved across country, to the North Country of New York State. We bought a house in a little village close to the Canadian border. I decided to serve a mission, and was called as a missionary in the Family and Church History department. I served as live help on the church's Family Search website. I was hired as the meetinghouse custodian after the meetinghouse was built. I was called as the Relief Society President.

In the spring of 2008 our daughter Theresa decided to move back to New York, and moved in with us for a while. She presented us with our first granddaughter in August, and named her Temperance.

My husband decided to buy a second house for Theresa and her little family to live in. So, now we own two houses.

I job hunted for two years before I gave up. I think the Lord was looking out for us, because I was offered a paying job with a website that I had volunteered with for years! My daughters joined me in the work. This is a real blessing as jobs are nonexistent here.


Map of Malone, NY US

Click on the link above for a map that shows where we live.

Well, this is a rather long story, but I hope you didn't get too bored. Enjoy your day!

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Elder Jared Alan Pixley -- My Missionary Son
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History of the Church
The Family: A Proclamation to the World
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