Our mission statement is “To beautify, maintain and improve the land and our lives. To make both presentable to the Savior.” There are ample opportunities every day to do both. Miracles are a part of life here in each area.
A few weeks back, communication between the wells and the water plant became sporadic. About the time the drilling rig started up, communication ceased all together. Some suspected the drillers were responsible. Trips were required multiple times every day to turn the wells on and off and get the usual readings. AOA history records that telephone cables were laid in trenches across the valley, but exact locations were unclear. There was even some talk of a wireless system to restore communication, but costs were prohibitive.
Last Sunday a friend of one of the missionaries here was returning from Louisiana after helping restore communication lines following Hurricane Ida. He decided to detour long enough to say “Hi” on his way home in Utah. He works for Verizon and was in his service truck. He planned to stop briefly, but Elder Barker invited him to attend sacrament meeting and stay for lunch. As they visited about what this gentleman had been doing in Louisiana, it occurred that he may be able to help with locating the break in the system here. All he needed was 6 or 8 D cell batteries to run his testing equipment. With four of us living at the four-plex, we had that detail taken care of in no time. Within 45 minutes the break was located near a pond where the cows had worn away the bank. In time the wires were exposed and finally broken. The repair would be simple, inexpensive, and easy. Coincidence or miracle? We say it was a miracle! The Lord has a hand in the work here.
Darrel was on fencing, mowing, and tree removal this week. We haven’t had rain for three weeks and everything is dry. Fall is different experience here. The leaves haven’t changed color like in Utah. There has been no frost. The leaves simply dry up and fall off. I’m hoping some of the maple leaves turn colors. Fall was my mom’s favorite season and I learned to love it as well. For me fall means bright colors, deep blue skies, and billowing clouds. I haven’t seen that combination here so far.
This week we learned some of the details of the Rexburg Temple Dedication that illustrate the opposition the comes with temple building and temple attendance. One of the elders serving worked for the temple department for many year. He told us that the dedication was scheduled for February 3, 2008, but President Hinckley passed away on Jan. 27th, so it was postponed. This was a BIG deal to those planning events and those with ordinances scheduled. President Eyring was scheduled to dedicate this temple as he had been the President at BYU-I for a time. However, he broke his ankle the week before and couldn’t attend. The new prophet, President Monson, planned to take his wife along, but she was sick and unable to go. So, his first official act as new prophet was essentially a solo. The morning he was to fly out, the closest airport was closed because of fog, so the Huntsman Jet had to land at an airport 80 miles away. The icy drive by car meant the dedication could not start on time. When President Monson arrived, the media thronged his car. Most were disappointed that Elder Eyring was not there. President Monson took time to answer their questions as only he could even though they were late arriving. All were more than satisfied. The dedication happened and the work moved on in spite of the opposition.
Because temple blessings are so essential and offer power to conquer evil and access the power of Godliness, opposition is ever present. As we plow through it, the way opens before us, often in a photo finish. This statement by President Nelson given in the October 2018 General Conference is worth consideration.
“My dear brothers and sisters, the assaults of the adversary are increasing exponentially, in intensity and in variety. Our need to be in the temple on a regular basis has never been greater. I plead with you to take a prayerful look at how you spend your time. Invest time in your future and in that of your family…I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord—to be in His holy house—then keep that appointment with exactness and joy. I promise you that the Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples.”
We’ve had another glorious week.
Elder and Sister Child came on Tuesday and took the missionaries and farmers out to dinner at Toot-Toots in Bethany. Elder Child actually issued our call, but was released before we reported. It was wonderful to meet them and feel of their genuine, kind, pure spirits. We felt their love and sensed that there was a bond between us. It was as though we had known them before. Being in a room with so many good people who love each other was a thrilling experience for us.
Wednesday the sisters had an opportunity to visit a local business to learn about freeze-drying. It seems like opportunities open for us on the basis of our calling. People’s open kindness is humbling. The business began about a year again by a member relocating from Utah. It’s called, “My Honey’s Kitchen.” With the increasing cost of traditional canning, this method may become more desirable.
Thursday we had the assignment to host the missionaries from the Independence Missouri Mission who were either going home or moving to other fields of labor. What a treat it was to see them experience the overlook and Tower Hill for the first time. One of th Elders was the MTC companion to our nephew, Bryce Kenison. Both were called to the Congo, but because of COVID Elder Pierce finished his mission here. At Preacher Rock they separated into the pecan grove to read their patriarchal blessings and ponder for about 15 minutes. We also joined them for their final testimony meeting in the Diahman Center and heard the inspired counsel of the mission presidency member. The future is in good hands.
Friday, Wayne and Robyn Allred showed up at the work center around noon. They are good friends who once lived in Levan. Seeing them here was a thrill and brought me true joy. It is similar to seeing loved ones in the temple. Somehow it is more thrilling to be together in sacred settings.
Friday afternoon we were in the temple doing sealings for family we identified over 18 months again. The family file cards have been in my temple suitcase too long. It was a rich experience to be there. I was able to act as a witness for the first time as well. I long for temple attendance to be more spontaneous and frequent, but in the meantime it’s wonderful to be able to go again.
Saturday, we waited all day for “Adam” to arrive. A call came in Tuesday to the work center from a man who introduced himself as Adam. He informed them that he was on his way to Adam-ondi-Ahman to “meet Jesus.” He indicated that he was “hitch-hiking from Colorado” and would need to “see a priest” upon arrival. He was sighted in Gallatin Saturday morning. The Elders in Gallatin met him at Dollar General because he had called Church Headquarters asking for a Bible. Headquarters called and gave the missionaries the referral, so a contact was made. Then “Adam” attended church with the Gallatin Ward this morning. He was wearing a jumpsuit, had a women’s garden hat hanging down his back, with long blond hair and a slight, thin build. He was looking for another Bible because he said a brown recluse spider had crawled across his other one and he could no longer use it. So far he has been very docile. It is suspected that he suffers from schizophrenia and remains a wild card as far as stability. We assume he’ll arrive here in time. There may be another chapter next week
Today we had Tim and Joyce Maher over for lunch and a quick tour of AOA. Joyce was one of Darrel’s high school friends. This couple has lived in the area for several years. We made connections through my cousin, Kathy Losee. They enjoyed our traditional Sunday dinner and our little Hobbit lodgings. It was delightful to visit with them and catch up for the years of separation. They are part of a pocket of valiant saints who are a true blessing to the area.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: We are not obedient because we are blind. We are obedient because we can see.
Interesting fact: There is a memorial at Mt. Piscah for four missionaries killed in an automobile while serving in the Iowa Des Moines Mission, on Jan. 28, 2000, along the “Mormon Trail” on highway 34.
Thank you for your prayers, love and support. They are making a difference.