Monday, June 24, 2013
Wow! (My letter to my missionaries.)
I am sending the same letter to both of you this week. I am hoping that you were all part of the the church's largest missionary training conference. I imagined both of you sitting there, in a gathering in your particular mission, and learning from the experience. I saw your beloved faces, in mind's eye.
I did not even recognize the Marriott Center at BYU with all of the missionaries in attendance there. I was so impressed with the conference. In our stake, all members ages 18 and older were invited. A few parents brought youth approaching that age with them. There were not as many in attendance at our location as I would have hoped. I think there were something like 220 present. We were counted, as were the members of ward and stake councils present, so the number could be reported to Salt Lake.
“To all the full-time missionaries sharing in this broadcast around the world, we say never again in your entire life are you going to be part of a zone conference this large!” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum the Twelve as he conducted the meeting. “To the many members of the church gathered in innumerable locations, we affirm that ward and stake councils can no longer say of this great army of missionaries, ‘There they go.’ No, the hour is upon us in which we must now say, ‘Here they come.’ All of us must plan for and use this heaven-sent resource in the most productive way possible.”
Of course, in my "Tears At All Times and in All Places" stage of life, I did shed quite a few. I now know why my grandmother always told me that a lady carried a cloth handkerchief. I borrowed LHT's hanky. I need to invest in some of my own--cloth ones--so that I will be prepared for the floods of my own making.
LHT said that when he went into the mission field there were approximately 5,000 missionaries world-wide. Now there are 70,174.
Our ward met for Sacrament meeting only so that we would be out in plenty of time to get to the stake center. We are the late session and we do not end until the 4 p.m. hour. LHT and I had the distinction, at 3:15 p.m., of being the first in attendance. We certainly had our pick of seats.
LHT (Gramps/Dad) and I have been wondering about our neighborhood. Perhaps we can be of service among our neighbors. The older homes around us are being purchased by good young people but none of them are active. Some of them are, likely, not members. It does take courage to invite. The fellowship part is the easy part. It has always been easy for us to be good neighbors. That is particularly true of LHT who, at the drop of a hat, is off to shovel snow, lend himself and his tools, and be of general good service.
I cried when the missionaries sang. How powerful that was and how it made me think of the two missionary grandsons I have serving and of another about to serve. My little mission of working to provide Sacrament services for the assisted living center seemed so small in comparison with what our missionaries are doing in the field. LHT does most of the organizing and I do most of the "just showing up to love." I offer a lot of prayers, closing or opening, as needed. And I cry. As we receive the weekly letters, our testimonies are strengthened. How blessed we are, as a family, by the missionary service of our stalwart two.
I also was touched by the segment dealing with teaching and the one on repentance. I learned from them answers I had been seeking.
The story of Sister Neill F. Marriott, who, at the age of 22, was converted and baptized into the Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, was toucing. One year later she married David C. Marriott in the Salt Lake Temple, one of those who helped introduce her to the church. They are the parents of 11 children.
We love you. We are proud of your work. We are touched by your testimonies. How thankful we are that you are part of our family.