What a wonderful general conference--so spiritually uplifting! While much of the doctrine we hear is not new, it is given in just a little different way so we recognize the words and know their source. Isn't the Gospel wonderful! And of course it is interesting to hear how it has touched many lives through the years and brought joy and peace to them. I have had similar blessings in my own life. I am deeply grateful for my own experiences of spiritual growth in the mission field, and that makes me think how very blessed you are-- to be devoting this part of your life in the Lord's service. I'm so happy that you made that right decision to become engaged in saving souls! You'll have precious memories to enrich your whole life. (I must mention that when my extended family gathered this evening, one little 6-year old great-grandson came over to me and said, "I'm going on a mission!")
I must tell you of an experience I had between conference sessions yesterday. One of my grandsons bought some special lighting and recording equipment to come here and have me begin a series of family history "episodes." He and his brother are both interested in preserving info I can recall about my earlier days and things I remember about some of the ancestors. I frequently wish I could talk to one of my departed family members as I am working on my updated history of Farr West. I hope you will begin your own life history soon so you can keep adding to it as you move along through life.
Anyway, I rather enjoyed the experience yesterday, which was supposed to be my recollections of how I met my wife and some details of our courtship and marriage. I decided to begin the story by referring to my own "scripture"--my patriarchal blessing. I read the section which indicated I would be sealed in the Lord's House to a worthy companion and we would be blessed with sons and daughters, who would be ours for eternity.
I was much slower at finding a mate than most of my friends. And I am glad that I did wait. I had the secret desire of meeting a returned sister missionary, and she made her appearance when I was age 28. One of my missionary friend's stepmother told me one day that she had a niece that she would like me to meet, so I gave her the go-ahead signal. Her niece lived in Pocatello, so after we met and I began to realize that she was "the one," we only had a few dates because of the distance that separated us. In those days we didn't have such things as texting or Facebook to communicate frequently. And I was a child from the great depression, so use of the telephone was infrequent. We met July 24th, got engaged 3 Oct. and married 8 December. In those days it was rather uncommon to have such a short engagement period, but Jean was as anxious as I to get on with our lives together.
I was happy that Jean and I could serve a mission together in the Oregon Portland Mission in 1986. Once again we met some very wonderful people--both IN and OUT OF the Church. Family History work had been my "specialty" in life, so we promptly joined the LaPine Genealogical Society and soon got special assignments to teach the group. When our mission was over, that society held a special meeting in which they served a beautifully decorated cake and put together 20 one-dollar bills folded and arranged to form a fan. It was so cleverly done that I hated to dismantle the gift. On the back of the fan they listed all the projects we had conducted with/for them.
I believe I had given you some of my history in a previous letter; however, this one covers a few different details. I have not forgotten the thrill of teaching and baptizing. I know of nothing that is more wonderful than seeing contacts dressed in white as they enter the waters of baptism and begin a wonderful, new life.
God bless you with success and happiness in this important work. Love, "Grandpa Taylor"