July 6, 2010
All the second summer sisters came down with a bad case of deja vu (sp). It rained on dress rehearsal night just as it had last year. It was so weird to be standing there, to be doing it all over again. Sister Parker remarked, “its not real sisters, we’re not standing here”. But we were: pageant cards and pencils in hand, visitors, though sparse, in their seats and Peoria/Des Moines Elders by our side. We all headed out to speak to those waiting for the performance and as we did the skies started leaking, just as it had the summer before. And then it poured sending the visitors and family casts running for cover under the gazebos and tents that had been set up, just as they had the summer before. I approached a couple seated on the rows towards the back who looked determined to make it through the storm. They were Brother and Sister Bell from Provo Utah and as it turns out they had my sister in law in their graduate program! It really is a smaller world than we make it out to be. We talked about how all the sisters were being reminded of last summer and joked about how Satan seems to be pretty consistent in his efforts to bring us down. He doesn’t even seem to change his tactics very often! It made me think of endurance and how, if we can just endure until he’s run out of ideas, the rest will all just be repetitive. We will know how to handle the things that come our way. I spoke with them one more time before the night was over, and it was over sooner than we had anticipated. After the first down pour another came, this time with thunder and lighting ripping across the sky. The rehearsal was canceled. As we drove home, sopping wet, I thought a lot about the conversation I had had with the Bells. We were right I think, Satan doesn’t seem to change his tactics very much, but we underestimated his efforts. He may bring rain, but sometimes, he brings it harder. Last year we had rain, but the show was able to go forward. This year one could barely see through the down pour. I also reflected on how the cancellation had gone. Most of the Sisters knew we were leaving; Sister Pulleyn and I seemed to have missed the word. The other Sisters even grabbed our stuff for us. We saw them heading, running rather, out to the parking lot and decided we better follow. President Ludwig had told all the sisters to go home. We hadn’t heard. If we hadn’t been paying attention enough to see then we would have been left. It made me very grateful for the Prophet and the direction we receive from him and had me reflecting on the importance of listening to his voice and heeding his word as I sipped hot chocolate at the kitchen table after a hot shower. Satan sends rain storms throughout our lives, and some hit harder than others. And if we listen to the prophets, the one we have today and the ones who have been here in the past, we will know what to do. We will be able to act rather than be left behind in the confusion of it all.
I also saw the Lakes!!! I love the Lake family! They are here on one of the family casts for the pageant from the mica peak ward in Spokane!!!!! It was such a treat to see them! It only reiterated my thoughts about heaven and eternal families in the world to come.
Speaking of family, it has been fantastic having my mother and father here this past week. I’ve seen them more than I had expected and was able to take them through Carthage this past Sunday along with 51 other people. It was a very special experience for me and one I won’t soon forget. I know that I am very lucky being in one of the few missions in the world in which they encourage your family to come and see your mission while you are serving. The strangest part about it all is to think how soon I will see them. Life will be much different then and I have been so grateful to know that I will be doing it with Sister Morgan. I am so glad I will not be alone in the last moments of my mission. I love her.
Sister Pulleyn and I went through the temple this morning in the session before my parents did. It was fun to know that they were somewhere in the same building as I was. I felt close to them.
I love this gospel. I love this work. The summer is flying by.
I love you all. Keep close to God and know that even if you can’t see Him, He is somewhere in the same building, a face amongst the 53 ‘strangers’, and just a prayer away. Time is shorter than it seems.
“Be still my soul, the time is hastening on, when we shall be forever with the Lord”