Today is the anniversary of my dear Daddy, Paul K Edmunds. He would have been 114! I don’t know if they have celebrations in Heaven, or if they even keep track of “age,” but I’m thinking of him this morning. He lived several weeks past 95, so I had a lot of time with him before he went HOME. Yesterday my youngest brother, Richard, turned 60. On his 4th birthday I went to the Temple for the first time. So yesterday I went to the Temple again – I try to do that on the “anniversary.” I was 20 years old on 23 October 1960. We were in the Manti Temple district, so that’s where I went. And I was HAPPY with that – my Daddy was born in Wales, and I had people who helped build the Manti Temple. I’m excited to have some “Sanpete County blood!”
On Friday the 21st I had a speaking assignment which turned into a great blessing for me – not the giving of the talk so much as the preparing for it. I was asked several weeks ago to return to the MTC – to Room B-101 – to share my missionary experiences. While I’ve shared experiences “here and there” before, I’ve never put the whole thing together chronologically. I had an hour and 15 minutes, so I had to do some major “condensing.” Now I’m going to take the “skeleton” and fill it in. This will be a great addition to my personal history. I’m so glad I was asked to do this.
It was an amazing feeling returning to where I had spent so many years. I drove down early and “looked around” outside the place, and WOW!!! The new buildings are AWESOME, and apparently they are almost finished. They’re classroom buildings, and my friend Travis (who met and “hosted” me) said the classrooms are so large and wonderful. He said they’re going to “take down” 7, 8, 9, and 10… and 7 is where I spent a couple of months when I was preparing to go to Indonesia on the 4th mission. I told Travis I want a brick when they take 7M down – the Heber C. Kimball building (he’s one of my FAVORITES!!! I love Heber C. Kimball stories!).
Interestingly, it took me almost 15 minutes to get through Security. Those who invited me assured me they would give the info so I could “get in” … but that didn’t happen. It was so WEIRD being blocked from going in after I had done so for so many years (before the fences, before the walls, before Security). “Well who invited you?” “Do you have his phone number?” “What’s your first name?” “What are you supposed to do here?” ETC. I was calm, but it wasn’t a good way to start what I had looked forward to with such happy anticipation….
It was especially sweet to be in that room: B-101. I spent hundreds of hours in there (maybe thousands) – it’s where most of the welfare missionary training took place. We called it “BE ONE – OH ONE!” (Like “if ye are not one ye are not mine”)… that helped us celebrate and remember that the goal of the gospel principles emphasized in welfare services is the establishing of ZION.
One hilarious thing happened at the end. I received a large, beautifully-wrapped gift at the end of the presentation, and I asked Travis “chocolates??” But no… it was THE SPANISH LADY!!!… I screamed and ran across the stage with it! OK… many years ago, probably starting in the late 1970’s, our LTM (then MTC) team was relatively small. At first only language-learning missionaries came to the new LTM. Then, in the Fall of 1978, the English joined the “family.” Our small group would have fun gatherings throughout the year, including a Christmas party. We’d share “white elephant gifts,” and I wish I had some of those events on DVDs…. One year someone had two framed pictures of “Spanish ladies” as their gifts, and one “survived” and got handed from person to person for several years. One of the surprise gifts I remember best is when I took the Spanish Lady to Joe and Barbara Christensen at Ricks College in Rexburg (he was the president there and had been President of the MTC when the Spanish Lady was “born”). I had it wrapped beautifully, of course, and it was SO MUCH FUN seeing their response! I think it was Nancy Ostergar who added lace so that the lady (the “picture” is not a painting… it’s kind of a “sculpting” in a frame) would be more modest. (Nancy and Allen are at the Provo City Center Temple now; Allen is the president and Nancy is matron). It was always hilarious and a bunch of fun when someone got surprised! And now… at least 35 years later… she’s with MEE!!! I’ll be “plotting” how to hand her off to someone when they least expect it….
One of the highlights of the past few weeks was the blessing of visiting the Sacred Grove and other Church history sites with some of the TOFW presenters (we had a “Time Out for Women” in Rochester that week-end). We went a day early so we could spend Friday, 07 October, with Michael Wilcox as our teacher. UNFORGETTABLE…. One of the MANY things I’ll remember and cherish forever is when Michael reminded us of 5 WORDS Joseph said after the First Vision. Michael said they are some of the most important words Joseph ever uttered, and I agree! He came back to the log home after his incredible experience and his Mother asked if he was alright. He said he was and then came the 5 words [along with others]: “I HAVE LEARNED FOR MYSELF….” That is an INVITATION, isn’t it. Each of us must know that: that we have LEARNED FOR OURSELF what is true. I could share a LOT more, but this is getting long, and I need to work on a lesson for Wednesday (for our stake religion class). But I wanted to share a few things this morning. I know I haven’t posted anything on the Blog for quite a while… but I’ve been busy (BUSY!!). And so have YOU. So let’s keep DOING GOOD and BEING GOOD. May this be a beautiful Sabbath Day for all of us, especially when we have the blessing and privilege of partaking of the Sacrament. LOVE, MEE