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Odds and Ends: Funeral potatoes, documentaries and service

Published: Monday, Dec. 19 2011 5:00 a.m. MST

San Jose's Mercury News asked readers to explain "funeral" potatoes this week.

Writer Kim Boatman remarked that many of her readers knew exactly what she was talking about when she used the term "funeral" to describe the potato casserole dish.

"These are served at every LDS/Mormon funeral along with ham," Becky Prusse told Boatman. "Our family has them every Christmas — yes, with ham — and on a few Sundays during the year. A good friend of mine chops her ham up and mixes it with the potatoes. Any way you eat them, they are beyond wonderful!"

On the other side of the country, The New Jersey Herald met with 19-year-old Daniel Thompson and his family. Daniel's father hired a small film crew to create a documentary about the teen's journey through autism, and the project is almost done.

Gone are the days of screaming in church because the echoes in the building upset him. Daniel has read a great deal of the Book of Mormon and now hold's a driver's license.

"When you hear Daniel's story, you ask, 'Why is he so successful?’ ” documentary director Erika Lupo said. "We want to give that hope to people."

A southern Texas newspaper is also seeking to give hope this season with its annual "12 Days of Christmas" series. In the series, the paper works with the local United Way, running stories on local residents in need and providing information for readers to donate.

In the Day 7 article on Dec. 13, The Monitor featured Maria Resio, a single mother of four boys living in a crumbling home in McAllen, Texas.

Alhough help from readers and the United Way is still much-needed, Resio discussed the family's conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the service ward members have given them, including help with the purchase of a water heater for the family.

“It touched my heart,” Resio said of the Relief Society sisters in the area. “Whenever I had a problem they were there knocking on the door trying to help us.”

Email: hbowler@desnews.com

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