A Remarkable Week

19 November 2016
We had some remarkable experiences this week! 

On Tuesday morning we were given a rare opportunity to be among a relatively small group of people who got to sit in on a meeting of the five brethren (of the 70) who are over Family History in various parts of the world. (i.e. One brother is from New Zealand and he has stewardship over Australia, Asia and the South Pacific; one brother, from Germany, is over Europe and Africa; one brother, from Uruguay, is over Central and South America, etc.)
It was a one-hour meeting where they “counseled together” about the vision of the Family History Department. It was a regularly scheduled meeting for them, but, Bro. Rockwood, who is the staff member over the Family History Department who reports directly to the First Presidency, arranged to have some of us be there so we could observe, and begin to catch the vision ourselves. 
I’m realizing as I write this that I wanted to share more details, but I left my notes from this meeting in my desk at the Church Office Building. :-/ 
It was a wonderful meeting, however – and I left filled with the Spirit of Elijah. It was an honor to see how these good men serve together to accomplish the Lord’s work.

I also donated blood on Tuesday and the intake nurse made me smile. When she asked my birthdate, and realized it was just the day before, she said, “If anyone asks what you did to celebrate your birthday, just tell them – ‘Oh, I saved lives.’” :-)

On Wednesday night we heard an inspiring story from Sister Phillips, who is serving here in the Family History Library. She wrote a book a couple of years ago about a tragedy that happened in her family in 2013. Yet, her telling of it was remarkably uplifting. (She lost five members of her family in a plane crash in a remote area of Northern Idaho that December.) 
Her book tells about the 41 days it took them to discover the plane after it went down, and of all the many, many strangers who just showed up and offered help. Someone gave them lodging near the search area, others with planes, and even a helicopter, showed up to volunteer with the air search (during the few days the weather was clear enough for one.) Someone else set up a website so that other volunteers who were searching satellite images could post their findings for everyone to see. They were in such a remote area there was no cell or internet reception, making communication difficult - and another stranger showed up with a device that enabled them to receive these services. One man drove from California with his large snowcat! That piece of equipment is what eventually helped them get close enough to find the crash site. (Of course, much of the searching still had to be done on foot – in deep snow.) They didn't know any of these people beforehand, and yet, they all just came and helped. It was amazing! And, I’m so impressed with the strength, the faith, and the testimony of Sister Phillips and her family!

Thursday we had a wonderful session in the temple. I love this temple!!

Friday, we got three new full-time missionaries in our zone. (Bob and I are zone leaders over the Digital Imaging Processing Zone) We currently have 36 missionaries in our zone (20 full-time, and 16 part-time, church-service missionaries) and there's pretty much a constant flow of people leaving and others arriving. We've had several leave since we got here, so were really glad to get these three!

And, we got some fun news this week that we'll have company soon – my oldest brother and his wife are going to drive up from New Mexico in early December and stay a few days. We’re looking forward to their visit!

OH! We also got tickets to attend the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional. I’m excited! We've been so blessed!

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