Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 26th Zone Conference

This was the longest day we have had since entering the mission field.  We were up early preparing dinner for the conference.  We were at the church at 8:30 to set up.  The meeting began at 9:00 a.m. We served dinner after the testimony meeting which ended at 3:30.  The elders were very hungry and the spaghetti, french bread and dessert disappeared quickly.  We cleaned up and got home about 5:30 p.m. but we had to be back at the church at 7:00 for Institute.  During my class President Neku stopped by to invite Elder Stokoe to the high council meeting.  My class ended at 8:15 and I waited  until 9:45 for Tom's meeting to end.

Elders Bohn, Stokoe and  Ramashaba, among those who celebrated birthdays in August and September.
They were honoured with a song, a chocolate bar  and a card with a personal message
  from President & Sister Wood.
Sister Wood wrote,  "Dear Elder Stokoe,  Happy Birthday.  We love you both!  Your willingness to work in the branches has made such a difference.   We love your beautiful, rich reading voice too.  Thanks for all you have done for SACTM!"

Five senior couples, President and Sister Wood and thirty-eight young elders attended this area zone conference.  I was impressed with Doctor Scott's testimony.  He described how on one of his missions he shared the gospel with seven young men.  All were Muslims who had never heard of Jesus Christ.  They were open to his messaged and asked, "How can we know that what you are saying is true."  "Pray to him and ask," he responded.  They all joined the church and are serving missions.

We were taught about the three pillars of eternity, preeminent and transcendent above all others: the creation, the fall and the atonement.

Bruce R. McConkie quote: "These three are the foundations upon whih all things rest.  Without any of them all things would lose their purpose and meaning, and the plans and designs of Deity would come to naught. . .  The fall of Adam brought temporal and spiritual death into the world, and the atonement of Christ ransomed men fro these two deaths by bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. . ."

 Other instruction:  Man is not complete without woman.  "Love is not possession but participation... part of that co-creation which is our human calling. . . In the little kingdom of a family, each spouse freely gives something the other does not have and without which neither can be complete and return to God's presence.  Spouses are not a soloist with an accompanist, nor are they two solos.  They are the interdependent parts of a duet, singing together in harmony at a level where no solo can go.  Each gives abundance to the others' want. . .

Temple marriages covenants do no magically bring equality to a partnership.  Those covenants commit us to developmental process of learning and growing together--by practice.

We learned that work is an antidote for may things.  On the wall of a reception room at a well-known neurological institute hangs a card, intended not for the sick but the well.  It reads:
If you are poor, work
If you are rich, work
If you are burdened with seemingly unfair responsibilities, work
If you are happy, continue to work; idleness gives room for doubts and fears.
If sorrow overwhelms you and loved ones seem not true, work
If disappointment come, work.
If faith falters and reason fails, just work
When dreams are shattered and hopes seems dead - work
Work as if your life were in peril; it really is.
No matter what ails you, work.
Work faithfully and work with faith.  Work is the greatest material remedy available.

The Gardners drove from George and stayed with us:  E-Mail from LeAnn Gardner:

It was such a pleasure to spend time with you guys once more.  We really enjoyed being in your home again.  I told you how I've never liked staying with anyone--always feel like we're putting them out.  But it's really different with you.  We just feel so welcome and loved and we appreciate all your kindness to us.  You're an excellent cook, Elder Stokoe, and we love your meals.  Thanks again for the super delicious breakfast.

We gave the book to Sister Claasen tonight and she was so excited to read it.  We told her she has just less than two weeks, as we will be taking it back to P.E.  We really appreciate your willingness to let us borrow your books.  We will ALWAYS return them.  It's neat there's a place where we can borrow really good books.  We go there often enough that we dare bring them home to read. Thanks again for the loan.

I continue to wear your clothes, Sister Stokoe, and lovingly think of you whenever I wear them.  I was so sick of my other clothes that it's a nice change.  I can just imagine how tired I'm going to be before we return home.  Maybe I'll get a couple more things out here while we're here.

I need to tell you that Sister Scott gave me their half of the money for the snacks.  It's nice knowing the mission will pay for things and that'll help Elder Scott feel better about contributing to the dinners and snacks, knowing he can get reimbursed.

Thanks again for the wonderful time in your home.  It was once again very enjoyable for us.  We really enjoyed visiting, the food and the love we feel from you.  We love you both so much!  

The Gardners

I enjoy lending my books but ask that they be returned.  Having been a librarian,  I always ask that they be returned so I can share them with others.  I hope the couple that comes after us will keep my "lending library" on the move.

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