Monday, August 19, 2013

Sundays are the Best!

Yesterday we observed another wonderful 'Sunday Miracle'.  My little Institute Choir (remember me mentioning our Thursday classes?), pictured below, presented a beautiful sacrament meeting program centered on the importance of writing your personal history. They sang "To Those Who Came Before Me", "Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing", "Come, All Ye Saints Of Zion" and "The Hearts Of The Fathers Shall Turn".  And in between each piece, one of them would tell something from a journal, letter or biography of a grandparent or ancestor, telling why it was meaningful to them.   Elder Meese closed with his testimony and words about his British great-grandfather, Jabez West.

Now, this program was so inspiring and satisfying.   As I sat at the piano, I just kept saying a silent 'Thank You' that it all fit together so beautifully and invited the Spirit.   But those who have worked with young adults also know....they're long on talent and testimony - short on preparation time!   Here's what went on 'behind the curtain':  pageant performances cancelled two weeks of class rehearsals; EFY took one soprano all last week as a counselor; our bass attended one practice, assuring us 'he had it down'.   Our great alto went 'on holiday' to France and Monaco for a week.   So why did we push for this Sunday?   Because our wonderful tenor leaves on his mission in two weeks and this was his only opening!!  Oh, and two of our singers got lost on the road to Preston chapel and walked in during the opening announcements!  Thus, the beautiful and moving presentation was indeed another Sunday Miracle - a gift from above.

Here are some more 'musings' from this past week.

First, nothing is as constant as change in a mission.   Our South Ribble Elders and Sisters are working so well right now, finding new investigators and working with such obedience.   When it comes to this point, I always wish this team could stay together and work longer.  But I'm sure transfers in two weeks will take at least half of them.   I'm learning to love them like crazy while they're here...and be ready to have them leave!   (By the way, the great new elder at the back is one of the 'new batch' of 18-year olds coming out.   He's a good sport about the teasing he gets over being so green!)

Pres. and Sister Preston hosted a Senior Couples luncheon last week!   Boy, is it always so wonderful to cross paths with the other senior couples!   The last gathering was five months ago.   I know, this looks like a lot of couples.   Now take out the mission Dr. and wife, the European legal counsel and his wife, three office couples, the pageant couple,  and the President and wife. NOW count how many couples are 'in the field'. The Lord needs more!  By the way, see if you can guess who is the Dr., the lawyer, and the head office couple.   I'll give the answers next week if I can remember!

Here's some wonderful news - Jason got his recommend for a patriarchal blessing yesterday.   He was thrilled.   And I have to tell you something else great that happened to him.   It made me laugh because I assured him it would never happen!   He and I were sitting together at a pageant cast fireside listening to Elder Nelson and Elder Holland.   He turned to me and said, "I would love to hug an apostle."   I assured him that just seeing them was amazing enough and that there is plenty of security around them. After the fireside, he joined the other children and youth for a 'photo op' on stage, then I didn't see him for a while.   When he came back, he told me, "Well, I did it.   Elder Nelson was getting into his cart and shook my hand and I said, 'I love you, Elder Nelson' and gave him a hug.   I did the same with Elder Holland.  They said they loved me, too."  "You did not."   "Yes, I really did."   I'm sure neither of them will know how much that meant to this amazing young convert of three months.

Elder Meese sometimes makes the coolest connections!   Here is a picture of the oldest woman in the Preston Ward - she's 101 this December.   He just said, "Sweetheart, I'd like to visit this little woman on our records.   I think that's quite an achievement to reach that age."   Well, she'd been moved into a care facility, so we called on her son (also on our records - he is 76) to see if he could help us locate her.   It turned out their 40 year old son had recently died, and he had a desire to have a religious memorial service for him.   So we contacted the bishop, and that story will unfold some time in the future.   But to show you our original contact, this is Ellen...who has climbed the four highest mountains in England and 'potholed' down through each one!  She walked unassisted to the door of her room to let us in.

The other picture is of her late husband Isaac in his "military uniform".  (It's either him or Peter O'Toole.   I'm not sure which!)  She got teary when Elder Meese talked about her being back with her Isaac some day.   It was a sweet, sweet visit.

We love the work and all of you.  God be with you.

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