Our week started off with a newsworthy storm that cancelled school for the kids for two days. I woke Zac up to go to seminary but by the time he got out of the shower the news announced Fort Bend was one of several school districts that would be closed for the day. He was happy to go back to bed but the lightening and thunder was so loud and frequent all the kids were up by 7. Our area received almost 17 inches and the bayous were filled to capacity causing our roads to flood for a couple of hours. The Meyerland section of town, already hit hard from a big storm 10 months ago, was again under water. Portions of the 59 freeway and a section of Highway 6 are flooded and impassable. I sent the picture of the temple grounds were surrounded by water as the bayou in the area had risen 5 feet beyond its banks. FYI - When the temple was originally built they brought in 20k dump loads of extra dirt and raised it 18 inches higher before final construction. This extra elevation was literally the difference in avoiding the flood waters.
Aaron started quarterly interviews this week. On Tuesday, Jessie came into the office with me to meet with missionaries since she didn’t have school again because teachers is the flooded areas couldn’t get to the school. Whereas our streets would totally clear though you could see where the streets had flooded. She had prepared questions to ask them. Where are you from, who is your favorite scripture hero and why, what is their spiritual Book of Mormon message for the day and what is your favorite animal? I met with sisters to either share their spiritual bomb with me, teach me repentance or why we need a Savior. This was a very positive experience for Jessie and me. She loved it.
We headed to Dallas for the mission president seminar Wednesday night. We had the amazing opportunity to learn from Elder Holland along with Elder Robbins, Elder Corbridge and Elder Foster and their wives. Even Sister Holland joined us for the seminar too. She is so sweet and kind. We were inspired and uplifted by all of the messages shared. We are taught in ways that resonate with the spirit that moves you to want to act and be different. I know the Book of Mormon is true in every fiber of my being however after being instructed by Elder Holland there is no doubt that it is true. He walked us through 1 st and 2nd Nephi showing how the prophets received revelation and that if we followed their examples of how to receive revelation we too could and have received personal revelation in the same manner. He instructed us that we, that all, can be awakened by the word of God, the Book of Mormon. Elder Robbins spoke on the message of how the Doctrine of Christ is a powerful tool for missionaries. That as missionaries cry repentance that it does not offend people but heals people. I love that thought. Elder Corbridge shared that as we teach the most important thing (to live with God again) explained in Alma 7:7 –17 and why we need the Doctrine of Christ to do that (our route back to Him) that we invite others to Come unto to Him for a remission of their sins so they can indeed live with God again. Powerful. Elder Foster used the analogy of being yoked together and the power that comes when we are yoked as companionships with God. We and our missionaries will have a more powerful effect upon those they teach and with each other as they are patience and humble they will instinctively make up the differences of each others weaknesses. In turn God will multiply their efforts. I loved the breakout section with all the wives. The wives are such examples to me and share great insights on how to balance being a mom and a mission president’s wife but most of all that the feelings that I go through and stressful times are normal. Whew! Because sometimes Satan fills my mind with unkind, unproductive and insecure feelings.
Perhaps the most memorable thing for us from the seminar is how Elder Holland greeted Aaron. We were on break and we hadn't had the chance to shake his hand yet and so as Aaron approached him and offered his hand but instead of shaking Aarons hand he put his arms underneath his and gave him the biggest bear hug. Pretty cool! Elder Holland shared with us that his wife apparently had almost died a few weeks ago and he shared with us the thought that sometimes God will give us what we want when He can. They had all been called to her bedside and somehow she survived. He also shared with us that President Monson continues to lead the Twelve in the meetings at the temple each Thursday and always offers the prayer in the prayer circle. He asked us to pray more often, gave us his certain witness of a living Savior, and then gave us an apostolic blessing. As he gave it he said I extend this to you as if my hands were literally on your head. His blessing was for our families, direct and extended, that they might be blessed and brought together through our covenant keeping.
I was asked in at the end of February to speak at a women’s conference in the Friendswood Stake on April 23rd. I can’t believe it’s already here. I shared with the sisters how to feel and know of their divine nature. It is so important that we understand our nature as sisters so we don’t buy into the media hype that tries to define who they think we should be. As we understand our nature we realize our beauty comes from knowing whose we are and the love He has for us, our beauty shines from within. We are then able to be more confident and love the talents and skills we have been blessed with and share them with others. Others recognize them and find beauty all around us. Thoughts? I challenge you to ponder on your divine nature. Share your insights with me. While I was away Jessie and Aaron had a daddy daughter date that she had planned for them last week. See her invitation and plan in the pictures. Bode left early this morning for his soccer game in Tomball with his team. Zac also left early as well for a basketball tournament his playing in at the church. It has been a full, wonderful week that stretched me but also brought numerous blessings. We'll be speaking later tonight at the League City adult session of stake conference. I forgot to include MORP pictures of Allie last week. She had a great time with Drake and it was a fun dance too. Have an amazing week! We love you all!