Archive for March, 2010

I was going through some papers the other day and found a few things that made my heart skip a beat.  They were either things Susan wrote or had her name on them, and seeing them unexpectedly filled me with a flood of memories for my sweet friend.

I’m going to post a couple of them here.  When Susan disappeared, she had been serving for over a year as part of the Relief Society presidency in our ward (church congregation), a job she enjoyed very much and was quite good at.  The first one today comes from a message Susan wrote for our ward Relief Society monthly newsletter handed out to all the women in our congregation: 

Relief Society Presidency Message, October 2009

In the September Ensign visiting teaching message:

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “…The reason we pray, study the scriptures, have good friends, and live the gospel through obedience to the commandments is so that when—not if, but when—the trials come, we are ready.”

I like that so much let me repeat it, “When—not if, but when—the trials come, we are ready.”  It really is so simple!  Try to do the right thing and be prepared for WHEN not IF it happens.  Trying to do good things is like getting spiritual exercise.  I often equate regular church attendance to therapy; it is counseling and you can choose to let the messages be as broad or as personal as you want.

The September First Presidency Message in the Ensign by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf was talking about the influence of a righteous woman when he said, “May I invite you to rise to the great potential within you.  But don’t reach beyond your capacity.  Don’t set goals beyond your capacity to achieve.  Don’t feel guilty or dwell on thoughts of failure.  Dont’ compare yourself with others.  Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest…. Wherever you have been planted on this beautiful earth of ours, you can be the one to ‘succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees’ (D&C 81:5).”

–Susan Cox Powell

Susan Cox Powell. Photo courtesy of Friends & Family of Susan Powell.


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I’m so enmeshed in every bit of news that comes out about Susan and the search for Susan that I sometimes forget: not everyone knows where to look to find the most recent articles, especially if you’re not on Facebook and a member of our Friends and Family of Susan Powell Facebook group.

So here’s a recap of the past few days’ latest news regarding efforts to find Susan:

Here’s an ABC-4 article and video clip about concerns arising for the April 10 ground search.  The video is in the top right corner.  The video is well worth watching because it has a man talking about Josh Powell making a comment about mine shafts during a Christmas party in 2008.

This is a blog post by Brent Hunsaker, reporter for ABC-4 news.  He talks about his ride to Simpson Springs with Chuck Cox on March 19.  It’s a wonderful post and insight into the Cox family.

Here we have another excellent article by Examiner.com’s Isabelle Zehnder, who has done a wonderful job highlighting Susan’s disappearance and really digging deep to help find what happened to Susan.  This article is about Josh’s mine shaft comment and also gives comments from the April 10 search organizers.

In this article Isabelle speaks with a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) official who details the concerns with searches of the west desert and lists precautions and necessary preparations for anyone planning to search there.

The Salt Lake Tribune updated their lawsuit story, reporting that their lawyers dropped the suit against unsealing the search warrants served on Josh Powell’s DNA, the family van, and their house.  It’s a very interesting read.  Isabelle from Examiner.com also reported on this article, here.

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A kind group of people in northern Utah—who don’t know Susan or her family—decided that they wanted to do something to help find Susan.  They’re in the process of organizing their own ground search for clues to Susan’s disappearance. 

This search will take place on Saturday, April 10, in the Simpson Springs area of the Pony Express trail.  This is the place that Susan’s husband, Josh Powell, said that he went camping with their two small boys the night Susan disappeared on Dec. 6, 2009.

Though this ground search effort is not organized or sponsored by either Susan’s family or the West Valley City Police, many people have responded with wonderful offers of help, support, and teams to help with the search.  The incredible outpouring of love and offers of help have touched many lives, including my own.  There are so many good people in this world.

Here are some links to websites, news stories and video clips about this upcoming search:

ABC-4’s report on local crews volunteering for the search

Deseret News article about the search

Examiner.com article by Isabelle Zehnder

ABC-4 report: the police’s view of the search

Salt Lake Tribune article about the search

Examiner.com article with police comments about the search

Fox13 Video clip on the search

KSL’s report on the search effort

If you’re on Facebook, you can access more search information at this group: Friends and Family of Susan Powell.  The organizers of this search are still putting together search information and details and I will post it here when it’s available, for those who aren’t on Facebook.

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Cox family spokesperson Shelby Gifford posted this press release yesterday:

March 3, 2010
4:15 PST
Contact: Shelby Gifford, Cox Family spokesperson
SUBJECT: Candlelight Vigils Scheduled for Susan Cox Powell

Friends and family of Susan Cox Powell will host two simultaneous candlelight vigils for Susan at 7 PM on Saturday, March 6, 2010. This date coincides with the three-month mark since Susan’s disappearance December 6/7, 2009 from her home in West Valley City, Utah.

In Puyallup, WA, the vigil will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ridgecrest Building, located at 12407 Military Rd East, Puyallup, WA 98374.

In the West Valley City, UT area, the vigil will occur at 7 PM at the Centennial Park, located at 3050 South 5600 West in West Valley, Utah.

We invite everyone to join us and request that those in attendance bring a candle or two to light on Susan’s behalf. We will be meeting outdoors so we encourage you to dress warmly.

On behalf of the Cox Family, thank you for all your good wishes, prayers and notes of hope and support.


Style Note: At the family’s request, please refer to Susan as “Susan Cox Powell” in all electronic and print media references as of February 15, 2010.


Download links for invitations to the vigil:

Puyallup, WA

Salt Lake City, UT—English

Salt Lake City, UT—Spanish

If you live near these areas, please download and print these for your family, friends, and neighbors.  We hope to see you at the vigils!

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I want to apologize for not updating this blog for the past couple of weeks…the tension, worry, stress, and exhaustion got to me finally and I have been pretty sick. 

Now I’m better and back at it and glad to report, finally, some stats from the Week of Service.  We only had a very few people report in.  Many preferred to keep their service quiet, or didn’t have much access to computers.  But I did get reports from a few people and the service given touched and warmed my heart and the hearts of Susan’s family.

Hours spent in service: 422

Hats: 53

Booties: 3 pairs

Blankets: 42 (many more have come in since this report)

Scarves: 3

Other items: 21 (including a huge gift basket consisting of women’s beauty supplies and necessities, art projects and gifts for children, and more, donated to a local women’s shelter)

Medical dolls and gowns: 24

UPDATE from Jennifer Graves:

I have a final count for our service project. We completed 47 baby and children blankets for Primary Children’s Hospital! Total with all people involved we put in over 130 hours! Thank you to everyone who helped with this project!
–Jennifer Graves

This is a very small sampling of the actual service performed this week.  Not only did it cheer the hearts of Susan’s friends and family to do things in her name, but it also brightened the days of many others who didn’t previously have a connection to Susan.  One group of people in a senior center felt neglected and like their lives didn’t have much purpose.  After several Week of Service crafting afternoons were held in their building, they made new friends, felt renewed and lifted, and like they had a purpose again.  This picture of one sweet woman at the events says it all:

Puyallup event

Photo courtesy of Laurie Nielsen

If Susan knew of these efforts in her name, she would be so touched, inspired, and grateful. 

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