Enough said. (:
You may remember Heather from my "everyone needs a Heather" post. She's also the author of my favorite blog and one of my bestest friends. But have you met Kim and Vanessa yet??? These three girls have brought me so many smiles and laughs and good times in the last eleven years. They flew out to visit me TWICE while I lived in Tennessee and have been with me through the good, bad, and ugly.
I LOVE them.
We had a great time at the conference, came back to our hotel, where Vanessa starting throwing free scarves and sweaters and hats our way (she sells them), stayed up WAY too late (4:30 a.m.), laughed, shared advice, and filled each others' buckets. I don't know what I would do without friends like these.
I probably shouldn't mention, because I'll seem TOO spoiled, that Jeremy offered to let me stay an additional night in the hotel. BY MYSELF. I don't think he thought I would accept, but I sure did! That meant he got all 8 kiddos to 9:00 church by himself. I'll give him a pass on the girls' hairdos. (:
I slept and slept and slept some more, read my scriptures, and ate ALONE. It was nice. It was needed. (: Sunday afternoon I drove a few blocks and stopped at the first church I came to and went inside. LDS churches in Utah typically have wards (congregations) that meet at 9:00, 11:00, and 1:00 (all for three hours) so I knew it was likely that there would be a Sacrament meeting I could attend. (Of course, it was 1:00 after all that sleeping!)
So, don't lose me here...
A few days before, Parker had asked me if I could meet anyone in the world, who it would be. He chose President Monson (president of our church and a prophet of God.) I told him that was a great choice, but that I would have to choose Jeffrey R. Holland. He is in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and one of my favorite people in the entire world, even though I've never met him. My dad got to meet him a few months ago and I was pretty darn jealous.
You can see him HERE and HERE. I LOVE the second one. (Go ahead and watch-- you don't have to be a member of this church to enjoy these messages ;)
Anyway, that afternoon as I prayed before leaving for church, I remembered the talk given by Brad Wilcox, in which he shared an experience where he was struggling with his testimony. He told of asking, "God, are you there? And do you know me?" I found myself asking those same questions during that prayer. Does He know the desires of my heart? Not that I didn't know, just that I love getting reassurance now and then. (:
So anyway, I sat down in the chapel and waited for the meeting to start. A sweet lady came and sat by me and we began to visit. Then the meeting started. The brother presiding over the meeting mentioned, "We'd like to recognize so-and-so (naming three men) who are on the stand with us presiding at this meeting." I recognized one as a general authority of our church and assumed the other three to be as well. (I know I'm losing you here if you're not LDS. Just bear with me.)
Then he continued to say how grateful he was for the presence of so-and-so (naming two other men and their wives) who have served as general authorities in the past.
At this point, I turn to the sister sitting next to me and whisper, "Just HOW MANY general authorities do you have in this ward?" She laughed and said, "Well, besides the 6 men they mentioned, we have Elder Holland."
I was like, "You have got to be kidding. He's the one person in the world I want to meet more than anyone else!" I remembered my prayer from just minutes before and thought, "Of course God knows me! He sent me to Elder Holland's ward!!" (: It was just like a little wink from heaven. By the way, there happen to be over 28,000 LDS wards. Not sure how many in Utah, but a pretty high number. So it really is pretty cool to randomly show up where I did.
But, alas, Elder Holland wasn't there that day. Apparently he's too busy serving people all around the world to be at his own ward every single Sunday. (:
Maybe another time... (: I still felt loved. (And I may be stalking that particular congregation!)
A perfect weekend. Thank you, honey.
(The first picture is with Brad Wilcox, one of my favorite speakers ever. He's like a big teddy bear and has been since I first met him as a young teenager. He hugs everyone he meets and is just full of the light of Christ. The second picture is with Hillary Weeks. She is basically AMAZING. She and Heather are neighbors and friends. (Makes me feel kind of cool, to know someone she knows. Ha.) You can see one of her videos HERE. So good. Her newest album is #6 in the Christian music charts. The video also has footage of two other ladies that were at the event, one who almost died in a plane crash (you've likely heard of Nie Nie) and one whose family was killed in the wars in Africa. Both inspirational.)