Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sunday, August 11th

Because it was Stake Conference today, we were able to sleep in again today. Ohhhh that felt good!!
Our Stake Conference was wonderful. Elder Thompson, the Area 70 from New Zealand, was our visiting authority. He and his wife did a great job, but in reality I felt like the Stake President and the Stake Patriarch did every bit as well, if not better. These Tongans have such faith and such a beautiful way of expressing their testimonies. They really go straight to my heart. The Spirit was strong. The Lord loves the people of the isles of the sea!!

The music was also BEAUTIFUL! They asked us to come and sit on the front row, probably because no one else would, but it made it so that when they sang the music just surrounded us. It really is breathtaking and I love every minute of it. I really cherish every minute of the time I get to spend listening to the Tongan’s sing the hymns in their own language. There is just nothing like it in America.

When the meeting was over Elder Thompson came down to meet the people. He walked over to talk to us as we were talking to Henli and his wife Akata. Henli is the young man that went through the temple for the first time the other night. We introduced them to Elder Thompson and as we were visiting Elder Thompson asked them if they had any children. Henli said, “not yet”. Elder Thompson casually said, “keep practicing.” I about died! Alan’s mouth dropped open and Henli and Akata both turned scarlet red. We were all speechless --- AWKWARD!!
After church we spent the rest of the day catching up on our journals and wishing we were home so that we could go to church with our kids tomorrow!!!!! While I was feeling sorry for myself and thinking about “Sacrifice” and how serving a mission really is a sacrifice when you miss out on these very special moments in the lives of your family members, I had another “Tender Mercy.” I have been praying for comfort and peace. The impression came into my mind of the Pioneers and the sacrifices they made as they crossed the plains. I also thought of Emma Smith and suddenly my sacrifice seemed so small in comparison to burying children on the plains and losing so many babies and your husband, all for the gospel. I was humbled and I repent. I hate not being there to see Jake ordained a High Priest and set apart as a Bishop. And I miss spending that special time with my family, but we are so blessed to be able to call them and talk to them about it and love and support them instantly from half way across the world. It is no fun to be chastised by the Lord. I will do better.