So the morning wasn't too exciting although either Monday night or Tuesday morning we checked the mail and I had three things actually, two packages from my mom and a small letter from Shiloh. Then that morning we got a txt from Tyler that said he'd finally gotten it scheduled he was going through the Temple for his endowments at noon, so we got ready made some plans for after, and headed off to the temple. Going to the temple is always awesome, but taking him through was pretty special. Haha he was so excited. When he came into the endowment room early before everyone else in the chapel he literally just sat in the seat with his head turning back and forth and back and
forth as he took it all in. It was great to watch.
We got some pictures outside then headed to the hospital for lunch. I might've thought that was weird but everyone at Southridge does it all the time so I'm pretty used to the concept :P however, that's when some of the really specialness happened. An older lady came up to us as we were eating and asked if we were there doing the rounds for blessings. We explained where we had been and she asked if, when we were done, we could come up to her husbands room and give him a blessing. Of course we said yes, and we brought Tyler with us to give him an opportunity to exercise his newly acquired priesthood authority, which he received less than 2 weeks before hand.
There we met Brother Palmer, in the intensive cardiac unit in recovery. We don't know all the details, but he put on a brave face for us, and seemed in a good humor. His wife explained how difficult it had been lately and today especially, she expressed her gratitude and appreciation of the miracle that we were there, we just randomly decided to eat there after the temple.
When we entered the room and met him, after his pleasant surprise and some chatting he expressed to us his incredible gratitude, that he had been praying all day for help and relief. We talked to him for some time, then Elder Connelly offered a prayer to bring the spirit, I anointed, and we gave Tyler the opportunity to pronounce his first sealing and blessing for the sick and afflicted. He was nervous but he listened to the spirit and was ready and worthy. He did have to do it twice, but I know that both of those blessings were from the heart and from our Heavenly Father.
When we finished Brother Palmer asked why we were there, assuming, as his wife did, that we were there to give blessings. When we explained that we had simply stopped for food after the temple, the spirit testified so powerfully that we had been sent and that our Heavenly Father had listened to his prayers that there was no longer a dry eye in the room. His daughter and wife were both in tears, and his wife especially clearly displayed her gratitude for this beautiful tender mercy of the Lord. We also made Tyler give them both hugs since as Elders we couldn't. After leaving the room, his daughter took our picture and shared it with our mothers I believe. What a blessing to be guided by the Lord in such a way to uplift his sheep and guide them to safety and peace and comfort in affliction.
Friday was ZTM which was awesome as usual. Goal setting was great, as a zone our baptism (gate) goal was 17. If we add up all the goals from each district we actually expect up to 23 this month in our zone alone! White Christmas anyone? So yeah we're pretty excited, then we had an awesome training from the Sister Training Leaders about the Book of Mormon and the gospel being preached to the Lamanites. That was super cool. All I could think of was when Louie's dad bore his testimony in Sacrament meeting just after Louie came home. He talked about the power of the Book of Mormon in the life of a Lamanite. Super cool. "And if someone wants to get offended about it they can fight me."
We also talked a ton about spiritual knowledge and growth. If you ever wanna receive better understanding, knowledge, light, or revelation, read Richard G Scott's talks. Get this, the Zone leaders told us to read a talk by him, 'To Acquire Spiritual Guidance' for Zone training meeting. Then that morning I'm reading in the beginning of PMG (Preach My Gospel) and it has a quote from him that says 'Knowledge carefully recorded is knowledge available in time of need." From an Ensign article in 1993 entitled 'Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge' and the chapter focus for this month is chapter 2, how can I study more effectively?. Revelation much? Anyway Richard G Scott, spiritual knowledge guru.
After the training and lunch and everything we just had more people to visit. We did have a great lesson with Braxton who is preparing for baptism on Christmas Eve, did his paperwork today, he should be all good to go. Then we had way too much food at a Christmas party and got a lesson with a new investigator plus dinner on Tuesday. Woot! We also again made great contact with a bunch of people we haven't been able to so yay there too.
Soooo... I know I am about to get soooo much crap for this... sorry Sis. Tolman. In my defense we've been working with some other Tolmans for over a month now and we see them at least twice a week so when Sis. Rubow said Tolman... And I DID figure it out before she told me she had texted you... it just took me a while. (of course if SOMEONE was writing/emailing me, I might have made the connection sooner).
So for those of you who have no idea what's going on... several weeks ago we ate with the Rubow family. They're super awesome, but we only ate with their youngest son, their daughter, and Bro. Rubow because everyone else was gone and Sis. Rubow was out milking the goats. We had a great meal and a wonderful time then right as we were leaving Sis. Rubow returned from the goat milking... I thought she looked kind of familiar... but at the same time ever since I entered the MTC I've been thinking people looked like people I know so I didn't think about it. Then we'd taken her son Matt out several times with us to teach, and at their ward Christmas party Friday night we sat with them and she asked where I was from and told me she had a sister in Kennewick and did I know the Tolmans? All I could think of was the family we were teaching (again in my defense, we've been teaching them a ton, and mostly I'm on a first name basis with you so.... :) ) so I said no, but I looked and saw they were in Palouse Ward which I have a bunch of family in so I said I'd ask them if they knew them. She also asked if we'd already talked about it and I vaguely remembered talking about her sister so I said maybe but she didn't think so.... then when I was writing my draft that night, I checked LDS tools again... and some of those names looked awfully familiar... then I checked the picture. Yep. Smooth Elder.
Then when we returned to the Rubows the next day to save Matt from his English assignment... Sis. Rubow reminded me that yes I had had that conversation... in the foyer of the stake center... in the Union Building... with her sister who yes said, I have a crazy older sister in Provo, she's shorter than me and has gray hair... oops. And I did tell her that I probably wasn't gonna remember because do you have any idea how many people told me to go find their relatives? But she did say she had a feeling I would run into her in my first area... and here we are. What are the odds?! And we're having Christmas with them too if we don't get transferred anyway. But yes, I am dutifully ashamed... and that's my embarrassing story for the week. Now hopefully Sara and Cleo and Cera (or little Cera as your aunt calls you) won't crucify me... and I can serve the rest of my mission in one piece ;P
So yeah... Saturday was super laid back cuz we had six hours of stake conference... I did get some really cool revelation and prompting but I'm not gonna tell you about them until I know if I can even maybe get to do them :P and it was fantastic. And we knew all the people who spoke in the adult session which was cool. Then Sunday was just morning session, and like 6 lessons. And baptismal paperwork. A lot of it.
p.s. I am NOT being transferred
|Elder Connelly and Elder DeFord at Goblin Valley|
|Elder Connelly and Elder DeFord at Goblin Valley|
|Elder DeFord, Tyler, and Elder Connelly at the hospital|
|Elder DeFord, Tyler, and Elder Connelly at the Temple|