We love you! I've thought of you all weekend. 1st Philippians 1:3-6: "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine." It was our stake conference, always a spiritually uplifting event. Our Weatherford Stake had Elder Gong present, of the Presidency of the Quorum of the Seventy, as well as Elder Villarreal, Area Authority from San Juan, TX. They were here to reorganize the stake presidency and, as your father is a Bishop, he was invited to meet with them: A quick, six minute interview. He doesn't know a lot of people outside of Granbury and Stephenville, but did offer two names he felt were worthy of the calling of stake president. His first name was who was picked. Me? I don't know anybody, but when I arrived Saturday evening and saw the shell-shocked face of a man, outside talking on his cell phone, I knew he was the new president. He's a wonderful man, and gets paid to deliver babies.
I love when one speaker quoted President Utchdorf who said, "Part of our challenge is, I think, that we imagine that God has all of His blessings locked in a huge cloud up in heaven, refusing to give them to us unless we comply with some strict, paternalistic requirements He has set up. But the commandments aren’t like that at all. In reality, Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon us. It is our fear, doubt, and sin that, like an umbrella, block these blessings from reaching us. His commandments are the loving instructions and the divine help for us to close the umbrella so we can receive the shower of heavenly blessings." Make sure your umbrella is parked in the closet.
Elder Villarreal shared an experience with Elder Bednar and said he said, "Our surroundings are orchestrated in heaven, but we choose the path we're on." I want you to know you putt putted your way right into our hearts and family, but you are the one who chose to go on a mission. And we're so proud of you.
One more thought. Elder Gong realized by the end of conference, when he would be speaking, that the children were getting antsy. So he shared an animal story, and was literally bopping up and down, while barking, all in imitation of a penguin. But his point was that while he visited his son at Antarctica, he noticed that the penguins never went into the water alone, they always jumped in together as a group. He learned this was because underneath the surface of the water lives the leopard seal, who eats penguins.
But if they stay together, they won't be eaten. Isn't that the purpose of eternal families? We're so much stronger together than apart, and we're so thankful you're in our colony.
Your father has been off this whole week on spring break: It rained the entire week. Now your brothers are off, and it's sunny and beautiful. Sometimes life is just not fair. Baseball practices were all cancelled so the home front was quiet.
I think I'll give you a taste of upcoming events: Porter's trying to get his drivers license Friday. The Granbury office closed and he and Dad will be driving down to Stephenville. I'll be in Boston, flying out Wednesday, to go to Tina's wedding. Breyer will be traveling with me. So Thursday and Friday your brothers will hold the fort down alone, as Dad will be at work. Lots of good stuff for next week's letter.
Have a most wonderful week. Know of our love for you.