Monday, July 7, 2008

“Be yourself….a son or daughter of God.”

Quote by Pres. Uchtdorf. See below.

So here in Nauvoo we occasionally get to see very special guests. Sometimes they’re coming for the purpose of talking to us and sometimes they just happen to be on their family vacations. This week we were privileged to have Pres. Uchtdorf come and visit. He was here on vacation with his wife and his 2 grandsons that are about to go into the MTC. For those who don’t know who he is, Pres. Uchtdorf is an amazing, spiritually gigantic German man who is also an apostle of the Lord and the second counselor to the prophet today. It was way cool to see him. When he first got here he came down to the outdoor performance but just kinda slipped in the back with the mission pres and his wife. Then there’s this part in the performance where they play the anthems of the different military branches and you stand up when yours is played and they take you up on stage. Don’t worry that he gets up when they play the air force anthem. Of course, everyone goes crazy. Cameras going off everywhere. No one had ANY idea he was there before that and he just gets up on stage with everyone else like it’s no big deal. Afterwards there were of course many people who wanted to meet him and he was very kind and patient. Funny that if he’d gone to Disneyland or Hawaii or somewhere else on vacation no one would’ve even looked twice at him but since they were at Church history sites, they had to plan very carefully so he wouldn’t get too mobbed everywhere he went. But he was always very gracious and took time to visit with people as he went along. The sisters in Carthage took him on a tour. No pressure. :) For the weekend he was here we had to be on our best behavior and wear blazers and all that good stuff. On fourth of July AM we had a mission breakfast and then Pres. Ludwig worked it out where Pres. Uchtdorf came and talked to all of us and the YPMs. He and his wife were hysterical. So dang cute. Then last night after they’d left we went to president’s house and ate all the leftover food Sis. Ludwig bought for their visit. Just one more perk. :)

When he was here it was so cool to hear him testify of the priesthood powers that are on the earth today. He testified of the divine process of calling missionaries to their missions and testified so strongly of the love our Heavenly Father has for each of us. I know that because of that love, God provides us with things like the scriptures and prophets today so that we can understand Him better and work better to become what He expects of us.

Of course we had to go overboard this year cause I live in a house with an Aussie and a Brazilian. My comp thinks American patriotism is a bit ridiculous so we woke her up that AM to the National Anthem by the Mormon Tab. Choir and Sis. Granja and I stood respectfully in the room with our hands over our hearts humming along. She was not amused. :) Later we made an Australian cake to celebrate her sister’s wedding that was going on in Australia. It was very yummy….and happened to be red and white.

Woohoo! We had two different deaf couples. One was two sisters who came. They are deaf but use oral methods of communicating (lipreading and speaking). It was SO interesting cause culturally that’s VERY different from the ASL world so it was fascinating to talk with them and get their perspective. We got to do oral interpreting for them, which basically was just mouthing VERY clearly everything that was being said with facial expressions. It was a challenge but it was way cool.

Later on in the week we had a very sweet deaf couple. They had no idea interpreting was offered here and were excited. Sis. Jones and I got to go around with them to a couple different sites. I still have a LOT of room to improve with my language skills but I’m so grateful to get the practice. And we were able to have more spiritual conversations, which was a blessing cause that’s what I’m working to get better at. The coolest part was that Sis. Jones had actually been fasting that day for an opportunity to use ASL. VERY direct answer. :)

We’re getting everything geared up for pageant. The best part is that there’s a new computer-based referral system we’re using and there are some glitches that still need to be worked out but what that means is that I get to play on the computer for a couple hours a day. Yes, very fulfilling. :) The crowds are finally picking up a bit and it’s so cool to meet the pageant casts as they come in. These families are so awesome to devote so much of their time to coming out and serving in this capacity. They’re such awesome families and I’m so excited for all of the good they’ll be doing out here.

Love you all!

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