Today we attended one of the most powerful, spiritually uplifting testimony meetings of my life. These people are so humble and sweet. The EQ president does not have a car, so we pick him and his family up in our truck on the way to church. They could walk but it is a mile or two and they have some very little kids. There are usually a few more people that need a ride, too, so we are happy to help. Three of the families in the branch just returned from the temple in Dominican Republic and they can’t stop talking about the trip and how it has changed their lives.
Sister Glasgow is a wonderful example. Her husband is the counsellor to Frank Kalama in the branch presidency. There is only one counsellor and no clerk. They have at least four kids ranging from 18 to 1. The little girl is named Faith. Here is why. During the pregnancy Sister Glasgow found out that she had breast cancer. She needed surgery and chemo, and the doctors were quite insistent that she terminate the pregnancy. She refused. She said today in our meeting that “I am happy. I have no job, I have no money, but I have the message of Jesus Christ, a son on a mission, I have been to the temple, I have a healthy daughter, I feel good and healthy, and I know God loves me. I am happy!” I could not hold back the tears. In fact, they have another son working on his mission application papers. She is just one example of several who bore simple and powerful testimony today. It is an honor to be around them
I never knew non-white skin could come in so many beautiful color combinations. They are all beautiful. White is rather boring. Really, they are physically beautiful people, but the glow that comes from their souls lights the place up. The EQ president is as dark-skinned as people come, but his spirit shines with the Gospel glow. We pale-faces are accepted without any reservation. We are just part of the same family. To the young gneration skin color is nothing. To us of the old generation, June 8, 1978, is one of the most significant days in our lives. At least it sure is for me.
|EQ President Pollard and Daughter|
I offered to get a little choir together and President Kalama, the president of the branch, said to go for it. We will sing Silent Night, just as it comes from the Hymn Book. It is a simple melody with lovely harmonies and everybody knows the tune. I thought it would be quite simple to put it together. There is one 50+ year old lady who has a very deep voice. She was sitting behind me and singing as low as I sing. I don’t sing low for a guy, but she was right there with me. So when I asked who would like to sing in the choir she was a little hesitant but joined in. It turns out that she can’t read music and she can’t match pitch. She sings almost an octave and a minor third below the soprano melody line. Sort of. I thought she could sing the tenor line but she can’t find that line, either. So I stand by her and sing the tenor and she sings the diminished parallel third harmony, and it is wonderful. Most of the other ladies in the branch do fine with the soprano and alto parts. The men don't want to sing, but the kids do. One of the young missionaries sings the bass. We will sing next Sunday and it will be heavenly. Gaye and I only have four months here before we will be transferred and we want to do as much as we can while we are here.
|Orlando playing There Is a Green Hill|
The piano lessons have taken fire. We have two lessons every day this week and I think most of them will keep going. This is really exciting.
The kids are getting all juiced up about the Christmas social coming up next Saturday afternoon. Last week the teens made snowflakes to hang from the ceiling. Yesterday the primary kids made snowmen and decorated them with glitter. The sparkles will probably never come completely out of the carpet, but that’s okay. We are having turkey dinner, playing some games, and then everybody will sit down and watch the Christmas devotional that is being broadcast tonight, but it is too late for us to watch it here (it starts at 6 pm in Salt Lake but we are three hours east of Mountain Time) so we will catch it next Saturday.
|Frosty Wearing Big Boots!|
|Primary Activity Making Snowmen|
|Cruise Ship at Night|
We had a heavy rain this morning. It woke us up. The view out our deck window is never the same twice. What a place.