Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Conference Week-end

 Twice a year, in April and in October our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, holds General Conference.  This is a wonderful week-end when the Prophet and Apostles and some of the General Authorities give talks and advice to the people of the world.  Many people travel from all over the world to Salt Lake City where the Church headquarters are located to personally attend this great event.  Others listen over satellite, the t.v, or the radio to hear the Word.

Michael and JaNee got married just a couple of days before conf.  This also was the week that we had to move into our new home and it was also the time that everyone came over.  It was a joyeous time to be with all of our children, but also so hectic.  We didn't have appliances or even a kitchen sink.  We didn't have our stuff unloaded.  We didn't even have a pitcher to make juice.  But, we managed.  We used a vase for the juice.  We did wash and sterilize it first, of course.  We were crowded.  We laughed and talked.  We listened to conference over the t.v. but through the computer because of course we didn't have the t.v. connected yet.   The kids ran around and we loved being together.
 Saturday morning we ate breakfast before conf. began.  We watched conf on t.v. in our jammies.  We had pizza for lunch.

 Saturday evening the guys went to Priesthood Session and the girls went out to eat.  By this time some of the kids and their families had already gone home and so our numbers were few.

Watching conference.

The kids had packets to work on to help them stay interested and concentrating on the talks.

The babies played.

A few days before conference began I received an e-mail from our dear friend Patrick Boutoille.  Patrick was a member of the Stake Presidency in Lille, France when we were serving our mission there.  We became very good friends with him and his family.  In fact, it was they who invited us and took us on the London Temple Trip.  Anyway in the e-mail he wrote that he and Benedicte would be coming to S. L. C. for conf.  and would like to meet up with us.  Well, I was so excited to see them.  We were in the middle of a huge moving mess in our house and had a ton of people over, and didn't know if I could squeeze 2 more people into the house, but we really, really wanted to spend time with them.  I did know they would be staying at the Marriott and they wouldn't need a place to spend the night although we would have somehow squeezed them in.   I telephoned them on Thurs. or Fri. (can't remember).  We chatted and then Patrick said that, in fact, they had been in S.L. C. since Monday and had been very busy with meetings.  That was a surprising statement and I immediately suspected that he was going to be called to something.   We eagerly listened to each announcement and in the Sat. afternoon session we heard that he had been called as an Area Authority Seventy.  Oh the excitement!  I had already told my family that we should listen very closely so as not to miss a word and to listen closely for his name to be read.  He is such an awesome man and his family is so great.  We were not at all surprised that the Lord wants him in this calling.  He will do a great job.  He is so knowledgeable about the gospel and many other things as well and he has such a great love for the Savior.  We just couldn't contain our excitement.  We were able to meet up with them on Sunday evening after conference and spent about 4 hours together, talking, eating, and enjoying each other's company.  He told us about his calling and how he actually received it about 6 months ago.  He said those 6 months were the most trying of his life.  One trial followed another, each one more serious than the one before.  The final trial ended up with the death of his father.  They were asked not to talk about the calling until it was announced at Gen. Conf. and so his family knew nothing about it except that they were going to S. L. C. They couldn't understand how he could leave with his father on the deathbed.  Even though they are all members of the church his Mom said that she understood from the scriptures that the dead need to take care of the dead ( See Luke 9:60 "Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." , but after all this was his FATHER.  How could he leave him in his last days?  Those were very difficult days for Patrick and Benedicte.  Finally, the week before conf, the two of them decided that no matter what happened, they must put the Lord and His work first.  They told their families that they would be leaving for S.L.C. no matter what happened.  As soon as they made the decision, Patrick was able to talk to his father and tell him good-by.  The next day the father went into a coma and he died shortly afterwards.  They had the funeral on Friday and Saturday and on Monday they left for conf.  Patrick said that the Lord was testing them through these trials to see if they would put Him first in all things.  He told us many wonderful and sacred and experiences that he has had with this calling.  He is very humbled and excited to serve the Lord and to testify of Him.   We loved spending time with this dear couple and know that he will be a great servant of the Lord.Benedicte will be a loving and supportive wife standing by the side of her husband and doing all that is required of her.


Yvonne said...

Conference was wonderful--must admit I really LOVED the Saturday morning session when our temple was announced.

Loved reading your words about your friend's calling. Thank you for sharing.

Connie said...

We need a virtual tour of your new home! Isn't conference weekend the best around? Thanks for sharing the story of your friend's calling and the story behind it.
It was good you were able to spend time with them.

MARTHA said...

Loved hearing about all the detials of your conference weekend. How exciting!