Farewell to Mary Ann, Former LDS Department Manager

I wanted to give a fond farewell to all my Book Table friends. I have loved working here. Really! How perfect is it to work in your favorite store.

My husband and I are off to Brazil, to serve in the MTC (missionary training center). This is scary in the extreme, working in a language training center with my total ineptibility (It isn’t a word, but it sure should be) in the Portuguese language. I usually come fairly close to the word needed… just not close enough.

I think back on my other tenures in Brazil. The first jaunt there I got as far as the airport in Sao Paulo on a transfer when I ran into my first disaster. I found myself locked in a stall in the restroom for an hour until they managed to take the door off and free me. The sign on the door had read “not functioning” instead of “now functioning,” as I had stupidly thought.

My next assignment there, I anounced to the gas station attendant that I was “pregnant” instead of “Please, fill it up.” But my third sojourn in Brazil contained my worst malapropism. I just about wiped out the cute little temple president when I announced that my husband was going into the temple on Mondays to “make pregnancies.” He actually was making recordings on the organ there.

With these few examples, you can see why I am a little nervous to face was awaits me.

Now, to get to the point of all this… what books do I think are musts to take with me. Here is my list of recent purchases:

  • Increase In Learning by Brother Bednar. An absolute must in teaching how to recognize guidance by the spirit.
  • Teachings of Thomas S. Monson–perfect reference book. Laid out by categories.
  • LDS Beliefs, A Doctrinal Reference. This represents a lot of research.
  • The Infinite Atonement. In my mind, the all-time greatest book on the subject.
  • How We Got the Book of Mormon. Makes a great gift, especially coupled with one of the replicas of the first Book of Mormon which we also have.
  • 40 Years of General Conference compiled by James E Kerns… Also by categories.
  • Satan’s War on Free Agency by Greg Wright. Excellent treatise of agency.
  • Keep the Bar Raised. Not only an excellent book for returning missionaries, but the author–my husband–is amazing.
  • Carving Angels. A sweet Christmas story that I am throwing in because I love the message.

Thanks again for your patronage of our store and your friendly smiles. It has been a pleasure working with you.

Con amor,

Mary Ann Degn
LDS Department


  1. Oh Mary Ann, I will MISS your posts on here and GREAT suggestions of books to buy. They are always very thoughtful. I love it how you gave a plug for your husband’s book. He must be a great guy as well.

  2. Oh Mom, HOW can you forget the story of you trying to tell the guy at the grocery store that you wanted to buy a turkey?!?! And you sat there flapping your arms around (w/ your badge on) trying to show him what turkeys do!!! HA HA HA.
    A bit of advice, if a stall has a sign on the door REGARDLESS of what you think it says, DON’T USE IT. Just wait until you get home.
    Much love

  3. Hi Mary Ann!
    Thanks for sharing your stories! I wish you all the best as you return to Brazil! Thanks for the book recommendations, I will be sure to check them out! I hope you and Ralph have a wonderful mission!

  4. HA HA HA!! I laughed and laughed at these stories. Thank you for sharing a good luck to you on your adventures in Brazil. What an inspiration of service you are, and thank you for the book suggestions. I must add them to my library.

  5. Great read. Thanks for the laughs, however you SHOULD’VE signed it, “Com Amor, and still not pregnant”. Good luck Mary Ann, and I hope you come to the Book Table after.

  6. Good luck on your venture. May the Lord’s spirit attend you while you serve and prepare other missionaries for the same.

  7. I don’t know if you remember our family, (Phil and Vickie Boling, your son was in my class at Graded) but my mom had quite a doozy herself when trying to buy my sister a birthday present at a toy store. My sister (Mimi) was turning eight and wanted a large, cuddly, stuffed animal. My mom couldn’t find them in the store, and so stopped to ask for help from an employee. She had all the words right, “large” “cuddly” “to sleep with at night” but for some reason when she tried to say “stuffed animal” what came out meant “gay man”. My mom said the aisles could not have cleared faster as people gave her the strangest looks. She was always a little timid about asking for help in stores after that. Good luck!! You can do it! – Amy

  8. Oh Mary Ann, what have the Brazilians done without you?? I’m sure they are counting down the days until you arrive prego!! The natives always have a favorite worst speaker in the mission!! Sounds like you’ve got that knocked up…I mean wrapped up! By the way, I will have to check out the Bednar book just because you recommended it.

    Good luck

  9. Oh Mary Ann, that’s so Mary Ann of you! I still tell people about the infamous “i hate my children” RS lesson and I still giggle when singing “Love At Home”. I miss you dear friend. The MTC in Brazil will be blessed to have you and Ralph! Love you! LaDawn

  10. What about the time you honked and ran a stop sign when you came back from Brazil (I think it was for a wedding)?
    Vou sentir tua falta. Boa Sorte!
    Sister Kieffer
    PS your recommendation for Elder Bendar’s book was made to me yesterday–I’ll have to get it!

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