Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Framing the Hallway, Elder Dallin H Oaks at Stake Conference

Saturday morning Scott rented a couple of tools from home depot and got started on framing the hallway. Once the kids were done with their chores (and mom was done supervising those chores), I jumped in and helped Scott wherever he needed me...which usually was helping to hold the wood planks still and level as he nail gunned them in place. And I would take the shop vac around and clean up where there were messes. It made us a little nervous having him cut into our nicer, newer carpet, but it needed to be done and he did a good job and cut nice, straight and even lines.
We worked on framing the hallway and furring down the framework of the ceiling in that room where there were pipes in the way so that we're ready to sheet rock next week. The whole process took about 6 hours, a little less for me since I still needed to help the kids when they needed assistance or food :). Elisabeth was fortunate enough to have been invited to go to a city activity with her girlfriends Abby and Maddie and Maddie's family. The other kids spent a lot of time playing with neighborhood friends and they watched a movie.

Later that evening, Scott and I got dressed up, ate dinner at Pizzeria Limone (strange but amazing pizzas. Who knew thinly sliced pears and crushed pistachos could taste so good on a pizza!) and then we headed over to our church building for stake conference where Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, was presiding. What a neat experience! I've never before had an apostle come to a stake conference and it was so fun and interesting to get to hear him speak outside of General Conference. He was cracked jokes and told lots of neat stories from his past. I thought it was interesting when he said that he doesn't ever prepare a talk when he presides at stake conferences, that they're more of a holiday for him, so instead, he comes and listens to the speakers, feels of the spirit, notes impressions etc, and then he speaks at the end and he adds on to what each of them has said, giving some of his own insights on the topic or sharing stories and experiences he's had that he feels prompted to share.

I sang in the stake choir both Saturday night and Sunday which meant I was up front and I was able to shake his hand and even visit with him for a moment. I asked him if he has a daily morning routine. He said yes, that he usually starts his morning at 5am and that he reads his scriptures, gets his shoes on and goes for a walk which is usually about 2 miles, and then comes back and gets ready for the day (shower, shave etc) and has breakfast. Stephen R Covey who wrote the book, "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" would call that "winning the daily private victory" . I loved his response, and though I usually get up at 530am, since our trip to Seattle a couple of weeks ago, we've been waking up around 6am and I haven't gotten back on schedule just yet, but his response motivated me to start up again and so I did.

Sunday morning I had to get to the church building early to practice through our songs and Charles came with me, hoping he'd get to shake Elder Oaks hand. And he did. Scott arrived with the girls about 20-30 minutes before the meeting started and they also were able to shake Elder Oaks hand, as Elder Oaks came out into the audience once he arrived, and greeted people for about 45 minutes until the meeting began. Seeing him meet people one-on-one, reminded me of Christ in the scriptures, ministering to others one-on-one, time and time again.

When there is a member of the 12 that speaks, a member of the quorum of the seventy is assigned to travel and speak with him and so Elder Schmootz came with Elder Oaks and they both gave inspiring and uplifting talks that I took lots of notes on and will forever cherish. Elder Schmootz, on Saturday, mentioned that his mom passed away the week before and so I felt an instant closeness to him because the of the recent experience with my dad. After the meetings were all done Sunday, I went up and talked to him for a couple of minutes and offered my condolences and told him of my dad and he said, 'so we understand each other', and he gave me a hug and asked how old my dad was; our parents were a year a part. His mom was 89. I felt like the Lord brought Elder Schmootz to me to allow me to have another person, nearby, to relate to, who has similar feelings and emotions all of which are so new and still so at the surface. It was a good weekend, one that left me feeling uplifted, motivated and inspired to be better and to do better.

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