Monday, April 28, 2014

Jessica receives her diploma from LDS Institute - the most valuable part of her education experience

Jessica has always been a great example to her
younger sister Sarah
Yesterday was a wonderful day.  I presided over my first Stake Conference and with my counselors, felt like we did our very best.  Feeling the spirit and conveying the feelings of your heart, is both emotional and physically exhausting experience.  However for me personally, the best part came later that day, as we traveled up to Logan, UT to watch our daughter receive her diploma for completing the requirements of Institute Graduation.  This semester, Jessica finished her classes with the exception of one this summer is set for graduation after she completes her assignments for student teaching this fall in Elementary Education.  I'll reluctantly acknowledge as a dedicated UTE fan, that her experience at Utah State has been the right choice and she has received a great education.  It hasn't been cheap or without some pain (thanks to Cathy's sacrifice to work to make it happen) but Jessica has also lived very frugally to make ends meet.  If theory holds correct, she'll graduate this December.
Cathy was looking for new wall paper for her phone and
rightfully has great pride in both her daughters
However the real joy of this whole experience has been her willingness to attend Institute and meet the requirements of her religious education.  Unlike some Church schools (including her two years at LDS Business College) where it is a requirement (rightfully so) this required her to take the classes on top of her normal class load.  None of her Utah State Grades depended on whether she followed through in attending class.  Even with attending an LDS Young Single Adult Ward, only a handful of the ward members actually received their diplomas or certificates for partial achievement.
Jessica with members of her Ward who completed a portion or all
of the requirements outlined by the Church Board of Education
Unlike her education that she'll likely to use periodically in her future employment, her religious education will be used every day of her life.  Don't get me wrong, her educational pursuits will be very helpful in her securing employment, mine was, but the benefit of her effort in religious education will be used every day in her life in how she interacts with people, in raising her own family and in sharing her testimony with those around her both in action and in word.  The cost of her obtaining this education was nominal, but the value priceless.  Congratulations Jessica!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Neil's Pro - a neighborhood gem with reliable service

Neil's Pro on the corner of 600 N and 1200 W - serving the community for over 55 years
You know when you go to rent a car and the car rental counter suggest you use your newest car's insurance and all you can offer is your 1996 Suburban that you realize someone has kept you going all these years. Ok, so I admit that I don't turn my cars over very often and until our recent acquisition of our 2008 Subaru Tribeca a couple of years ago, that was the case for me.  Part of the reason I could do it, is the honest and reliable service I've received over the years from Neil's Pro Service in Rose Park.  Originally started by Neil Draper in 1959, it has been a mainstay in our community.  They've consistently supported community events like little league baseball and now run by Neil's son Chris Draper and his brother Scott, the business continues to be a gem for those of us who are just looking for an honest answer.  Neil still opens up the shop every morning just after 7 a.m. and still does some minor repairs and helps around the shop.  His secret to longevity is a Coke and a snickers bar.  Not what my doctor told me yesterday at my checkup, but sure seems like a good idea!

In addition to my '96 Suburban and my '08 Tribeca, I have a '77 Ford Pickup.  They never wince when I bring them in (at least not to my face) and have always found practical solutions.  If they have safety issues, like my recent inspection of the Suburban, they told me.  On the other hand, they replaced my headlight on my Tribeca for half the cost of the dealership.  When my mother-in-law was told she needed a $350 car repair, I had her bring it down from Layton and Chris took a look at it.  He acknowledge the repair, but told her if she just checked her fluids on the car regularly and with the limited mileage she put on it, would be fine.  Four years later, it's still running and for a widowed mother on limited income, it was a real blessing.  Likewise, my sister-in-law had a similar experience and she lives in Murray.  We invited her to bring it down and today, she always gets her car repaired there and we take her to work.  A few months ago, we needed new tires for my daughter's SAAB before she went back to Utah State.  We checked a local discount warehouse and they couldn't get the tires in for a couple of days.  I went back to Chris at Neil's and learned my lesson.  He had them on later that day and for about $20 less a tire.  Never going anywhere else.

To the Draper Family's credit, they've made it through some tough and difficult times and weathered the ups and downs like most businesses.  However they've never cut corners, always been fair and honest.  If it's going to cost you, they give you the bad news.  If there is a practical solution that gets the job done, they give you that as an option.  I want to be fair with them, and they have been fair with me. If you haven't been to Neil's you should give them a try.  If you don't live in Rose Park, even better.  Come see what a beautiful community that has been home to a great business for over half a century.  Located at 1204 W 600 N, Salt Lake City, UT 84116 or you can call them at (801) 521-0604.  Tell them Carlton sent you.