This has been another of those Sundays that a grandfather looks forward to. Danny got his "turn" when he got up behind the microphone in church and gave a good accounting of himself. At the end of his talk he sorta smiled and said he knew his talk was a little bit short, but by the time the bishop made just a few remarks and Pres. Watson gave a few favorite scriptures and mentioned how proud he was of our new missionary, the meeting was just long enough.
Two long rows of future missionaries--most of them in dark suits and white shirts--made an impressive sight in sacrament meeting--and in the Taylor home afterward. As Pres. Watson mentioned that the Church has 80,000 missionaries on the books and plans for 100,000 to be in the field soon, I could not help having a thrilling feeling in my heart. Then when we learned that instead of Danny's going to the missionary training center in Guatemala on Tuesday, he will be leaving on Wednesday for a brief stay at the Provo training center on Wednesday instead, we realized more fully how the great growth in missionaries is taxing the Church training facilities. What a thrill! Surely an "armada" of young men and women is needed to carry the message of the true Gospel to the prepared souls who need to hear the message of truth.
When Michael mentioned to his family that so many young girls are planning to serve missions that the field of dating material is severely shrinking, I sent word to him that now he can save up some money so he can pay for his education and possibly start buying a home at an earlier date.
My youngest grandson Braydan was seated by me in Danny's living room after the sacrament meeting. I asked him if he were planning to be wearing one of those dark suits and white shirts in a couple of years when he reaches the right age, he responded that he didn't know. I let him know that it is a worthy goal. I won't pressure him, but I pray that he will decide NOW that it will be a part of his future program.
I'm going to shift gears and pass on to you some words which may be of help to someone in our ward missionary army. These words came from Elder Orson F. Whitney, one of the "greats" in church history. They are intended to bolster the faith of any who may be encountering a few rough roads in missionary highways. He begins, "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially if we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God. . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, oil and tribulation, that we gain education that we came here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven."
Elder Whitney's phrases "ministers to our education" and "that we came here to acquire" are particularly stimulating to reflect upon. How many of us will sit down at the end of the day and analyze our experiences to decide which ones have been sufficiently noteworthy to enter in our journal for the future reference of ourselves and our posterity? One reason I include these words is the fact that I have been asked to take part next week in sacrament meeting, relating experiences which show how my Dad was led by the Spirit in making some of the important decisions in his life. I have already decided on a couple of significant ones; perhaps I will include those in my letter to you next week.
Rest assured that each day this week you will be remembered in my prayers. Yours is a wonderful opportunity in building the Lord's kingdom!