Monday, November 16, 2009

Elder Oaks

Hello Family,

You'll never guess what happened on Saturday! I met Elder Dallin H. Oaks! Each Saturday morning we have an hour long training at the Trail Center. After this Saturday's training, we stayed a little longer because we knew Elder Oaks would be coming to get a tour. All the sisters and senior couples were there to greet him as he came in. He and Sister Oaks were so cheerful and loving. They went around and met each one of us briefly. When I shook his hand I just couldn't stop smiling. He asked where I was from and after hearing that I'm from Vancouver said that he was there just a few months ago for a stake conference. That surprised me a bit, but I was glad to have that little connection to home. The coolest thing was the way he looked into my eyes. I could tell that he really cared about me.

After Elder and Sister Oaks met everyone he said "I'd like to talk with you for a moment, if that's alright." Of course that was alright, so we all knelt in a circle at his feet while he and Sister Oaks sat on a bench in the foyer of the Trail Center. They gave us a few words of advice, but the main thing I got out of it was how much they loved us. Elder Oaks would look at each one of us briefly as he spoke, and he even said that he was trying to see into our souls. And he said that he could see the light inside of us. The whole experience of kneeling at an apostle's feet helped me better imagine what it must have been like to kneel at the Savior's feet and hear him teach. The other thing I learned was that Elder Oaks isn't as dead serious as he seems at general conference. He likes a funny story or a good joke just as much as anyone else. And when he laughs, he really laughs. His shoulders go up and down pretty wildly if he thinks something is funny.

Stake Conference was also really good. An investigator that we met on Friday actually came. Her name is Tara and she brought her 1 year old daughter. Her daughter wasn't used to sitting still so that was distracting but cute. I'm really glad that Tara got to come listen to an apostle. She even shook his hand afterward. Elder Oaks must have shook hands with at least 500 people before and after the conference. He was very friendly and genuine the whole time, wanting to get to know each of us.

One analogy Elder Oaks gave, that I really appreciated, was the gospel as a merry-go-round. If you try to stay on the edge you will get spun right off, but if you stay in the center, it's a lot easier to stay on. And if there's not enough room in the center, just get as close as you can and link arms with the people around you. To me that means that we should all work together as friends in living the gospel the best that we can.

I hope you all have another wonderful week!

Sister Bailey Mortensen

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