Tuesday we were at the Longenbough building for Zone Conference. What a wonderful faith promoting day it was. The subject was endure to the end (the "5th" principle & ordinances of the gospel - faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end). President Hansen told us of a tender mercy of the Lord. He received a phone that morning from a mother of one of our missionaries, that his grandfather had passed away. This elder did not have his father in his life at all, so it was his grandfather who raised him and was so very close to him. President Hansen worried all morning how he was going to tell this young missionary the sad news and worried just how he would react. In Zone Conferences the AP's write the names of the companionships on slips of paper and before the meeting starts each companionship is pared up with another companionship for the practice teaching exercise that follows later in the morning. President Hansen goes around to the various rooms where this practice teaching is going on just to observe. He found himself standing outside the room of the missionary (& his companion) he was going to have to break the bad news to. This companionship was being taught by two other missionaries. At this point only President Hansen and a couple of the senior missionaries knew of the grandfathers passing. Well, as the teaching progressed one elder told of an experience growing up that had given him faith to endure to the end. He told of being raised by his grandfather and how close he was to him. His grandfather got sick and this missionary prayed that he would get well, within a few days his grandfather died. He bore his testimony of how the Lord blessed him and comforted him to be able to endure the heart ache and sadness of his grandfathers passing. Pres Hansen stood there and could not believe what was happening. About 10 minutes later President Hansen took this young missionary into a class room and told him of his grandfather's passing. He just cried and cried and Pres Hansen held him as he sobbed. After he composed himself this young elder said "I can do this, I will be OK because of Elder so and so's testimony. We all shed a tear, Heavenly Father is really aware of all His children and what they need. I mean really, what are the chances of those two missionaries being put in that exact situation at that exact time for all that to happen?
When we got back to the office later in the afternoon, Sister Young said that while we were all gone Elder Martin came in and asked her to call his mother. When she asked what he wanted her to tell his mom he said "I received a letter from my family and they are planning to go to a water park today and when I was praying this morning I had a very strong impression that my family should not go to the water park today". Sister Young called this mother and told her what her missionary son had said. Sister Young said this mother got very quiet on the phone and finally said than when she was praying this morning she also had an impression that they should not go to the water park, but she put it out of her mind as they were going with other families and what could go wrong?? Well that mother said, "I will call you back after I talk to my husband". In a few minutes she called back and said, "we are not going to the water park". I suppose no one will ever know what might have happened. It is so important to act upon the promptings we receive.
Wednesday - our anniversary - 41 years we have been happily married - what a blessing. Zone Conference was at the Hafer building which is right next to the mission office and employment center. One of the parts of ZC I like best is the testimonies of the departing and the newly arrived missionaries. They are all so very good. What wonderful young people we have in the church. We went out this evening for a raspberry shake to celebrate our anniversary.
Thursday we drove up to College Station for Zone Conference. Sister Lish from the employment office went with us, she goes home on July 17. Elder and Sister Chesnut go home a couple of weeks after that. We have enjoyed so much our association with these senior missionaries. Their testimonies the past few days have blessed our lives (I hate to think of when our time is completed here). Another very wonderful day to be a missionary. The remnants of the hurricane brought lots of rain, but very little wind.
Friday it rained hard most of the day. It is amazing how quickly the water level will rise in this flat place. No flooding for us, but lots of standing water on the roads and in the fields. We had our regular interview with President Hansen this morning before staff meeting. He is such a wonderful man. At the conclusion he offered a prayer and prayed for our children and grandchildren. We felt great comfort for you all. We worked on apartment paper work and paid bills. We are so blessed to be on this mission - it is the best!
Saturday we went in the office for a few hours. We did some shopping and then went up to Kent and Diane's (Chamberlain) for a hamburger cook out. It was fun to visit with them. It was too humid and rainy to go to the outdoor concert that they had planned to take us to so we just stayed home to chat. We had a great evening with them, they have been so kind to us since we have been here in Texas.
Today it seemed the testimonies in sacrament meeting were very good and to the point and short. It must have been the note in the bulletin about bearing testimony. We are going over to the senior sisters apartment in a few minutes for pie and ice cream - we do love to get together.
Thanks for your prayers. We just love this experience. We pray all of you can serve a full time mission with your eternal companion when you get to that stage in your life.
May the Lord bless you
Love Dad and Mom