This morning I was reading from Elder Carl B Cook’s conference talk of that name, where he shared how President Monson redirected his focus to look up to God where he could be healed and strengthened through Christ’s atonement. Elder Cook said ‘That is what prophets do for us. They lead us to God.
This brought back the memory of an experience I had during the last month that I served in the Provo temple before we were to go into the MTC and then on to the Durban South African mission. The temple had been closed for a couple of weeks for cleaning and some remodeling. President Bateman pointed out that the original chandeliers Â had all been replaced with new ones featuring beautiful crystals from Austria. He suggested that we take the time to go to the Celestial room and see the one there.
Later I did that and the chandelier was gorgeous but as I looked up at it my eye traveled to the right and the large painting of the Savior coming down with his arms outstretched in welcome caught my eye. I was immediately overcome with the spirit. It seemed to me that he was reaching out to me and telling me to trust him. At that moment any concerns I had for what we would experience in Africa or for the rest of my life left me. I decided there and then I would trust the Lord and as Alma 37:37 says, I would try to counsel with him in all my doings.
It seemed to me that this was my better to look up to Christ moment. Â Thank you Elder Cook for reminding me of this special experience.
We received a call from Elder George on Monday saying that the District Meeting on Tuesday was going to be moved from it’s regular 11:30 time to 4:00. When we got there at 3:45 we found the reason it had been moved was so that it could be recorded for use in training other District Leaders.
Due to technical difficulties – and the sisters getting tied up in a lesson – we did not start until around 4:30. Before we started, Elder George threatened fire and brimstone to anyone who deliberately look at the camera. Since the camera was sitting just behind my right shoulder I was told I was not to raise my right hand – I only forgot once!
As always it was a very good DM. Some of the numbers for the week were disappointing and Elder George showed his disappointment but challenged the district to do better and tailored the lesson at how the goals for the coming week could be met. He also committed the district to an unusual request. He had them commit that if they found themselves in a lesson where they could not feel the spirit that if they could not quickly get it there they would quickly end the meeting andÂ leave. He asked them to text him if that happened.
On Friday when I saw him again I asked if anyone had, had to do that. He said that so far no one had to do that for a lesson, but that he and elder Smoot ended a blessing visit when they felt opposition to the spirit. Instead they sang a song and prayed. When they were done the man felt the spirit and asked them back.
Mary made her famous chocolate/Ritz Cracker/peanut butter cookies and they quickly disappeared. I think Elder Neeley came out from interviews just so he could get another one.
As always it was one the spiritual highlights of our week. We loved to feel the spirit of the missionaries and they have accepted us as a real part of the district. We could not ask for more.
Elder George before the meeting starts. The Zone Leaders Elders Beard and Clark…we found it was Elder Clark’s birthday on the 4th. Elder Meredith makes a point…it may be his last transfer here. He is a good missionary and I think he has learned a lot while in the district.
Sister Hong is not texting Elder Clark. Sister Holder did not want to be left out of the picture so she stuck her head in front of sister Hong. Elder Clark looks on. David Bastias is a convert of a few months and willingly used his great Cannon EOS camera to record the meeting.