Monday, July 29, 2013
We have been feeling the effects of the change in missionary age at the temple. Each of the two days that we serve, there are several young women who are turning 19 and are now entering the mission field and who have come to the temple to receive their endowments prior to entering the mission training center(s) of the church. There are also a great many young Elders who are ready to accept the call for the 18-year old men to become missionaries. We have been delighted at the great numbers of young people we see who are worthy to be missionaries. It is great to know that we have such wonderful young people in our family.
My service as a temple sift assistant coordinator is now over. My two years are up and we were replaced this past Friday. It was strange knowing that every leadership service was the last time that we would be doing that work. It was also a bit sad since the five of us have worked so closely together and have formed a close friendship as a result. However, we no longer have the responsibility of making certain that things for our shift run smoothly. Now the new group gets to do that.
We have been teaching the temple preparation class in our ward. We are teaching a young couple and one missionary-to-be in our ward. It is a great experience to share this special time with those who are preparing to attend the temple.
We had another missionary farewell, although we do not call it that anymore, yesterday. This young man is going to Peru and will go to the missionary training center for those Spanish speakers. He has been taking Spanish for some time now and chose to bear his testimony in Spanish. He certainly had a lot of people there to hear him. The chapel and the recreation center was filled. In fact, the recreation center was filled clear back to the stage. Mary Horrocks, Julie's good friend, spoke about her son, Ben, who is serving in Italy.
We now have eight missionaries who are currently serving from our ward. Three more have recently returned home.
We also had a convert baptism in our ward and he was asked to bear his testimony as part of the meeting. We have a young man in our ward, Clifton Taylor, who is affiliated with the American Red Cross. He has been trying to leave for a mission but has been having a difficult time getting his health to the point where that can happen. He has really low iron and cannot seem to build his levels up. He went back to help at one of the disaster areas and, while there, met this young man. The missionary-to-be (Clifton Taylor), was asked by his parents to leave his home here in Nephi when he decided that he wanted to be active in the church. He moved in with Russ and Colleen Bender, at their invitation, and he called and asked if this young (32-year-old) man could come and stay with them also. They were happy to have him and he requested the missionary discussions while at the Bender's home. He was baptized on Saturday. He said that he had attended church with Clifton while he was working with him in Oklahoma and had felt that he found the spirit that he had been searching for. He wanted to know more and was now certain that he was in the "true church."
We are having weird weather here in Nephi. Last night, a huge wind and hail storm was forecast for our area. We were listening to the radio and heard a storm warning come over the line. It reported high winds and hail would move into our area. We sort of battened down the hatches, so to speak. When it came, the winds were not as high as predicted and there was no hail. There was a lot of lightening and thunder and a deluge of rain but it was only 15-minutes or so in duration. That was a relief. Hail at this time of year can wreak a garden and ours is doing really well at this point. The corn, to quote the song, "is as high as an elephant's eye." Maybe ours is higher than that. A couple of years ago, a high wind blew limbs off of our fruit trees and split one of the big branches. Luckily, that did not happen this time.
Michael's great-grandmother, Maxine Gordon, was at the Manti Temple on Saturday and I had the good fortune to be able to spend a few minutes with her. She is an elect lady. We were able to see each other a couple of times and give hugs and exchange "I love you" words. It was great. I do get to see so many people there. I met a "cousin" of sorts also on Saturday. He was a descendent of Judge Ferdinand Ericksen. One delight for me is working with one of my bridesmaids from way back when. Gerri Page was the former Gerri Shield of Price. She still lives in Price and now is one of the assistant matrons.
Gramps and I are so proud of the work you are doing in the mission field. It makes our hearts happy and strengthens our testimonies each week when we read your letters. We pray for you several times each day and want you to know that we love you. You are great! Thanks for serving our Father in Heaven, His son, Jesus Christ, and your fellow men.
The missionary yesterday told the story of a young man who had a dream that he would go into the world and find his pre-earth life friend who had not been sent to as great a place as he had been sent. He later wrote his bishop that he had found his friend. I know that you are also finding yours.
Love, Grammy and Gramps
I changed the letter for Michael to read:We saw your great-grandmother, Maxine Gordon, who was at the Manti Temple on Saturday and I had the good fortune to be able to spend a few minutes with her. She is an elect lady. We were able to see each other a couple of times and give hugs and exchange "I love you" words. It was great.