Since I ‘lost’ my camera all day, I decided to put in some more pictures from the family get together yesterday. The only ones that need some explanation is the duck in the pool and flying away. Bob explained that since their pool cover was ruined over the winter, ducks going by find their pool a great place to stop. While I was taking pictures of Bob cooking I noticed this lone duck in the pool and snapped a picture. I tried to get closer but it took off and I was just plain lucky to catch it in mid-flight. One thing I must remember – do not swallow any water while swimming in Bob’s pool.
I caught Shane reading one of the books he got for his birthday. I am happy to report that almost all of our grandchildren love to read. Many times I will see one of them sitting in the midst of chaos calmly reading their latest book. Now of course they are likely to have an MP3 player plugged into their ears but that is much better than the radio blaring away as we did when we were their age.
08 June 2008 – Sunday
I definitely have a cold – so far it is just a stuffed up nose and a hack but it is a cold.
I kind of killed time until we go to the chapel at 12:45. Part of the time is spent looking for my camera and belt. I look everywhere and can not find it – frustrating but perhaps it is good to show me how much I have improved in patience. Mary and I talk for a few minutes about what we are going to say and we agreed that I could have the story about the Taylors and she would talk some about the programs. I have a rough idea in my head about what I want to say.
It is fun to greet all the members we know and meet some we do not know. A number of men come up and introduce themselves. Of course there is no chance that I will remember their name. I have a hard time remembering some of the people we have known for 15 years. I am asked to bear my testimony in opening exercises and then again in High Priests. I take too much time in High Priests and Dave Blackhurst has little time for his lesson.
As usual I sat in the back and as I looked at the multitude of heads before me, I realized that except for the addition of some new people, there was little change in the view that I had 18 months ago just before we left for our mission. Gary Carlson now needs a walker but the sparkle in his eyes is the same. Bey Hutchings is still trooping on. It turned out that Joe Seathaler had been very sick but he was out today and looked great. Cline Black is the same…and on and on.
Later I realized what had changed was the youth. I do not know hardly any of them. Except for those I had in the teachers and priest quorums, there were few that I knew before we left. I will probably just get acquainted with some of them before we leave again.
For SS we go with the Alexanders to a class that is usually taught by the Griffiths but today Jeff Cottle substituted. The lesson was on Mosiah chapter 29 and the first four chapters of Alma. Basically it was about the changing of government. Jeff pointed out that we have this lesson every year that there is a presidential election. I wonder why Alma was not made the King instead of Chief Judge – I do not remember anything that would suggest that it had to be a direct descendant of Benjamin or Mosiah.
Sacrament meeting was great. Besides all our family except Brian, there was Mel Anderson, John and Fae Dahl, Daniel and Becky and the best surprise, the Rebers. As we walked into the chapel I noticed a couple sitting on the main aisle and said to myself – we know them but why – and then it came to me that it was the Rebers who we saw via Skype.
Krys Gardner and Tess Kelly were the youth speakers – Krys did an exceptionally good job of speaking about youth conference and tying it into some of his thoughts. While the sacrament was being passed, I was looking at the card we have for D&C 4 – in English and Indonesian. I noticed that in verse three where the English says ‘desires’ the Indonesian could be interpreted as ‘stirred up.’ I was inspired to use this as the opening thought of my talk.
Mary gave an excellent talk about some of the programs and people we experienced on our mission. She especially talked about the Intensive English class and Vita. My talk felt good to me from the start. I could feel the spirit reach out as I talked about that I wanted to help ‘stir up’ the members desire to serve God. As I spoke about brother Augus (who I mistakenly called brother Lucas) from Jogya and his faithfulness in bringing his family to church on their bicycle in two groupsl, the Taylors and their multitude of health problems but also their determination to serve missions as long as they are healthy, Lukito’s willingness to rearrange everything to do the Lord’s work, and finally the many faithful saints who save for much of their lives to get enough to take their family to the temple to be sealed, I could see tears in the eyes of some of the people as the spirit and not my words touched them. I felt that I was a tool in the hands of the Lord for those 15 to 20 minutes.
After the meeting we talked to a number of old friends. I was especially happy to see that sister Hoopes had recovered enough to be there and look great. I was very sorry that Sam and Marion Monson could not be there because of Marion’s fracturing her hip. Bishop Petersen came up and thanked us for ‘stirring up’ the members a little. I mentioned that Jerri Berge said that they would go if they were called and he said that he could do that. I think Bishop Petersen is going to be pro-active in extending actual calls and not just suggestions that couples get ready to go.
So this does not go on for pages, let me summerize the balance of the day as a joyful gathering of family and friends to eat lots of tacos – Taylor and I fried some 70 tortillas, Bob cooked 4 ½ pounds of hamburger and a good size portion of chicken, the rest of the group prepared all the fixings – including guacamole. Mel Anderson joined us. As did the Alexanders and later Daniel and Becky. The Rebers came by for a minute but had a birthday party to go to so they could not stay for dinner.
After dinner the adults talked, some folks played card games, and the younger cousins ran all around having a great time. When it was approaching time to leave we took lots of pictures – I didn’t because the elusive camera was still elusive. I knew it was going to turn up someplace obvious but I had no idea where. Mary then handed out more goodies to the group. Mostly to the young women but she gave the boys the plastic toys that when you throw them down hard the spread out like they were destroyed but then regain their shape. They love them and were throwing them everywhere – I had to stop them from throwing them at mirrors and glass cabinet doors. I thought it was amazing that a $1 toy was probably the favorite of the young men.
At 7:30 or so the Salt Lake contingent left and then at about 8:30 Jim and Tom’s families went to their hotels. That left Mary and I to finish cleaning up some and then I came up to write. I finished yesterday’s entry and while I was doing this Mary walked up with the pair of pants I wore yesterday with my belt and camera hanging from it. I had hung them up in the closet – I was being neat and see what it got me. We both walked past them a dozen times today and never they never registered.
I wrote all the above from about 11:45 p.m. to 12:25 a.m. I woke up coughing and could not go back to sleep. I decided that I might as well use the time for something useful and not just toss and turn. I imagine I will be able to go back to sleep at about 1 or 2.
During the evening I talked to Jim about starting a new section of the blog and calling it ‘Between” because hopefully we will be going on another adventure in about 7 months. Which reminds me that we need to make an appointment to see the bishop and get things started.
The whole day was a blessing from the Lord. Even the “lost’ camera gave me a chance to learn to have more patience and trust in the Lord. I felt my talk – at least the most spiritual part – came directly from the Lord. I had prayed that I would say things that were needed to be said and I think that is exactly what I did. Not just in sacrament meeting but also in Priesthood. I am not sure I realized how deeply the mission affected me spiritually. Perhaps I was a better missionary than I thought I was. I know that I loved serving and loved many of the people we served with.