They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so let me start by sharing a picture of the plight of the poor daffodil here in Provo, Utah. I had planned to take this picture yesterday when the snow was still on the ground, but I guess the snow was camera shy because it is still freezing here!
Below is a picture of one of our instructors, Brother Bellingham. He is a pre-med student at BYU, originally from North Carolina and engaged to be married to his sweetheart in April. He is also a returned missionary from...wait for it.....the Sacramento, California Mission 2009-2011. He served in Laguna, Carmichael and even Elk Grove in the Waterman Ward and the Cosumnes River Ward! Obviously we can't say enough good about this awesome young man. His sweet spirit greeted us each morning as he presented his powerful and inspired lessons. As a result he gave us the confidence that we needed to do the hard things that we were expected to accomplish. We miss him already.
Our PMC District with our afternoon instructor, Sister Cluff.
Sister Cluff, the Butler's and the Simon's. Brother Simon was converted to the Church at the age of 23 and was a drama teacher by profession. Sister Simon served a French speaking mission in France, is the mother of a large family and is very musical to top it off. The people in Toronto are in for a treat.
The Spirit had been so strong during our PMG training that we didn't want it to ever end. So we invited "Lambie" to join us as we drove to the Provo Temple in the drizzling rain Friday night. After completing a inspiring session we actually had the pleasure of running into Sister Cluff and had the privilege of meeting her husband. It turned out that he is as cute as she is if that is even possible!
For many of you on Facebook, yes, we actually ate at the Purple Turtle for lunch and had dinner at Smashburger! I know, I know that's a lot of food, but being away from the MTC facility or as Elder Busath lovingly refers to it as "the compound" made us a little crazy and we were seriously in need of some comfort food to fortify us for the coming days.
Ok so it appears that all we think about is food which isn't altogether untrue. However, we just felt that you had to see it to believe it when we talked about "running" into someone at the MTC cafeteria. In fact, good news! We actually "ran into" Jacob Warren here Sunday morning. Unfortunately we didn't have our camera handy, but he is doing well and assured us that he had already written his parent's. So if you happen to see Gayle or Paul please let them know that Jacob's letter is in the mail :)
Speaking of Jacob's. Our son in law, Jake, advised us that the chocolate milk at the MTC is a little like manna from heaven so Elder Busath couldn't resist and as you can see he hardily agrees!
It is a little after 1:00 on Sunday as I post this and we have already been to four meetings and actually look forward to at least two more. I guess I really am a missionary. Our Sacrament Meeting began at 7:30 this morning as Branch #52 and was attended by an intimate group of elders, sisters and a sprinkling of senior couples. An elder and a sister missionary spoke briefly about enduring to the end and then a Sister Taylor from the Draper, Utah area shared her experiences of being called by the brethren of the Church to write a brief history of the area prior to the dedication of the Draper Temple. She told of the three years she researched and interviewed people for the assignment while still serving as her Stake Relief Society President. (For those of you reading this that are not yet members of the Church, a Stake Relief Society President is responsible for the temporal and spiritual welfare of thousands of sisters within a certain boundary). Sister Taylor then told us of the lessons she had learned just three months prior to submitting the 90 page document for printing. It was Christmas time and she had submitted it to a knowledgeable brother in her ward (congregation) for review and comments. Days passed without a word and then she called him. What she expected was a brief dialogue regarding spelling and syntax but what she got was basically advice in strong words to start over from scratch. Long story short she learned a valuable lesson which included obedience, faith being an action word and humility. Fortunately with the Lord's help she was able to complete the assignment on time.
Brother Taylor spoke of an elderly? man (60+ years of age), a shepherd by trade who had worked for many years herding sheep, and who epitomized enduring to the end. This man ran in an ultimate marathon in Australia. A course covering 500 miles over a period of 5 days in overalls and work boots. Many said he would not finish, but when others slept he ran and ultimately finished first. A modern day tortoise and the hare story and one in which we often need to be reminded of.
*Another small world announcement. The young sister who gave one of the talks this morning in Sacrament Meeting we soon learned is the daughter of an old CHP friend, Duane Samples, who Elder Busath had worked with years ago. Sister Samples lives in Utah and was recently called to serve in the San Jose, California Tongan speaking Mission.
We also had the opportunity to enjoy the Spoken Word by satellite broadcast and to hear the Mormon Tabernacle choir sing one of my favorite Primary songs, "A Child's Prayer".
But that is not all!
The Relief Society sisters had the privilege to hear from Sister Carole Stephens, the first councilor on the Relief Society General Board.
*She reminded us, as President Gordon B.Hinckley had; that women are a powerful force for good!
*We have reason for rejoicing as outlined in the Book of Alma, chapter 26, in the Book of Mormon.
*The commandments are for our benefit and that it is our duty to try to be a little better each day. *The Lord has a purpose for each one of us, but we need to take time to ask and then to listen so that we will know what it is that we are to do.
Simply put she admonished us to be obedient with exactness (Alma 57:21) and we would be blessed as promised in the Doctrine and Covenants Section 89: 18-20.
She bore a powerful witness of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, of the restoration, and of the Book of Mormon being the word of God.
It was an amazing meeting and I feel blessed having been a part of it.
Sunday isn't over yet so I am sure I will have plenty more to report in the days ahead. I apologize for the lengthy dissertation's and will try to be more brief in the future. But if you know me you know that I am a firm believer if two words are good ten are even better, sorry.