This week has been CRAZY! I don't even know where to really start honestly. How about in the middle of the week, that sounds like a great place!
Sister McDermott has been pretty sick this week, so pray I don't catch it!
Wellnight to we had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. I went to BelAire with Sister Beachert and Sister McDermott stayed in Harrison Park with Sister Murry. It was a really enjoyable to learn from them and get a change of scenery. Well anyway to the really exciting part of the story. So at around AM, as we were having personal study I head from the small wood burning stove a sound I am familiar with from home, but really wasn't expecting to hear... the sound of talons and wings beating along the side of the shoot as the poor bird came down the shoot into the stove. Well we listened to it trying to get out but there was no way we were going to open the door and see if the shoot opened up into the stove or if there was a grate covering it. So after lunch when we came back to the house we could still hear it in there. So Sister Smith (the member who lives there and lets the BelAire sisters live in the basement) and I went down to see if we could get to it. She opened the door shown the flashlight in and said "well it looks like it doesn't connect with the shoot, poor thing there is no way to get to it."
"Really?" I looked in and sitting at the back on a ledge was a gray bird the same color as the stove. I freaked out and jumped back. I then calmly told Sister Smith what I saw and we then spent some time trying to get it ou,t but it took refuge in a corner so we decided it was time to call in people with longer arms. Thus comes in the question of how many Elders does it take to get a bird out a stove?
Elders retrieving the bird from the fireplace
Apparently 4. We called them and told them and Elder Kemplar who answered the phones reaction was "you have a bird... in your chimney..." and then Elder Hulse cut in "Text us your address we will be there in 5 minutes." So they arrived and Elder Hulse reached in and grabbed the bird. He carried upstairs, smiled for the camera, then we opened the door, and let it go. It flew to a tree and then attempted to shake all the soot out of it's feathers.
Elder Hulse ready to release the bird!
It was quite the adventure.
And now to the really big part of the weekend. Elder Bednar came to the Derby Stake for Stake conference. The Derby Stake is my area, so I got to hear him speak 4 times this past weekend. One of the times wasat a missionary conference for just the Wichita missionaries. They brought in all 220+ missionaries for it. It was a lot of fun to be able to see Sister Schow and Sister Hafen again, Sister Hannah and I are in the same district but we haven't seen these two in 5 weeks. We were so happy to be together again.
For the mission session it was a question and answer kind of a deal. I felt strongly I was supposed to ask a question about women and their relation to the Priesthood and leadership. I felt it so strong, and I guess Elder Bednar felt the same way too because he called on me. I stood from where I was sitting smack in the middle of the chapel and talked to him. I was standing hearing his answer and responding to that answer and the subsequent that followed for 8-10 minutes. Not exaggerating here at all. I talked to an APOSTLE!!!! Can I just say, that may have been the longest most intense spiritual experience I have ever had! It really is no wonder to me now that Moses didn't have the strength to stand after being in the presence of the Lord. All I did was talk directly to one of his apostles for 10 minutes and I had a bit of a headache and was a bit tired after it. Why you may ask did I have a headache? Well I'm a bit weird, when I feel the spirit really strong I don't just feel it in my heart, I feel it in the front part of my head too. If the intensity is really strong it even effects my vision a little bit. When I was looking eye to eye with Elder Bednar for that long, it was definitely tunnel visioning a little bit, it was awesome. I realized the power and spirit this man had, it still doesn't feel real looking back. There is so much he said and I wish I had the time to send it all back to you. But since I am short on time I will give you the top 5 things he said that touched my heart.
1. Don't let our North American way of thinking stop us from realizing what matters most, the spiritual things in life. Not being busy with "good things."
2. The Priesthood is NOT male, it doesn't belong to Men; they are just the ones who are asked to carry it.
3. The 15 men that make up the Apostles are as good and better than we think they are in private than as we perceive them to be in private
4. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are real beings with Glorified bodies of flesh and Blood. The Savior Lives, the Tomb is Empty! The Holy Ghost is the third being of the Godhead, he is a spiritual being in the shape of a Man! Elder Bednar doesn't just believe these things, he testifies of them boldly with an insane amount of power and conviction!
5. The Lords Work is hastening, we cannot stay caught up on our own, so we must repent of holding onto our "traditional" way of thinking. The church can only function, and work to be part of the church that is coming forth. A Church that in 20 years or less will have less than 50% of it's members that speak English.
Are we willing and ready to embrace the new direction this church is going under the leadership of 15 called and set apart Prophets, Seers, and Revelators? I certainly pray that we are! This work is amazing, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know and love us all individually. I know this Gospel is true with all my heart! I have seen it change lives and I NEVER want to live a minutes (not even a day) without it.
Love you all