Last Saturday the Relief Society in our stake celebrated the Relief Society's Birthday. Sister Janice Kapp Perry and her husband had been serving in our Stake as service missionaries for the past 3 years. This was sort of their farewell too. It was such a wonderful night I only wish that men and women both could have been there but it was such a sweet experience to have just women there.
Our stake has a deaf ward, Spanish ward, native American ward and "regular" wards in it. It is really neat to attend any kind of stake event because if someone deaf gives a talk there is a English speaking person on another microphone with someone else doing Spanish translations and vice versa for a Spanish talk. I remember attending the stake event and feeling that Heavenly Father truly does love all of His children and that we were all daughters of God. It was so neat to see so many different people from such diverse histories and cultures.
Sister Perry did a AMAZING program for us. She even wrote some songs just for our stake! She wrote one about Relief Society, a special native American song, one that she sang in Spanish etc. She talked about her journey in discovering her talents and testimony in writing the Children's Hymns. She is the lady who has written most of the Children Hymns we know today. She had said that her ultimate goal was to have a group of Primary kids sing one of her songs during a Church meeting. LOL Look at her know. Her songs are what bring the Spirit and personal testimony and revelation to people around the world! She is an amazing woman with a kind, gentle and positive spirit.
She spoke of conquering personal fears. It took her years before she had the courage to speak at firesides, Church activities and Sacrament about her songs because she was terrified. She spoke of a book that I just got done reading, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, and how that helped her overcome her challenges. To think that she was terrified to speak and to see her up in front of us singing solos and just having a great time was absolutely wonderful.
She encouraged us to discover our talents and to reach for our dreams and to not let fear hold us back from our potential. Look at her as a perfect example. If she would have given in to her fears and let her fear take control of her we wouldn't have so many of the beautiful primary songs that we have today!! What a tragedy that would have been.
It was a lovely night that gave me the encouragement and love that I needed on that very night.
A few weeks ago we had another fireside from Susan Easton Black. She is an LDS Author and prominent genealogist. She too spoke of discovering yourself and your talents and conquering fear. She shared personal experiences and struggles she had to face to get where she is at today. She shared stories of two boys who knew Joseph Smith and how their courage and testimonies give her encouragement when she needs it. She shared their amazing story of faith and how they are heroes to her. She also shared another pioneer story of a woman whose story has etched in her heart courage and power and a feeling that she can do anything.
Susan is wonderful to hear speak. Her personality is so fun and her knowledge is almost unbelievable of how much she knows of the lives of the pioneer Saints and especially of Joseph Smith. She has dedicated much of her life to studying his life and doing temple work for the early Saints.
She is the lady I had an opportunity (through work) to go and stay at her house in Nauvoo, IL last May and get a personal tour of Nauvoo and learn in tremendous detail stories of Joseph Smith and the Saints. What an experience!
Last Tuesday I had another opportunity to go to a BYU devotional to hear the Apostle, Elder Richard G. Scott!! He spoke much of the Savior and how if we study and truly come to know of the Savior's Atonement and what it means to us personally how much more productive and happy our lives can be! I LOVE to hear him speak. His voice is so kind and genuine. You feel so much love from him as he speaks. You really do feel like he is speaking just to you. If anyone is looking for an amazing book to read I recommend Elder Scott's book Finding Peace Happiness and Joy. It takes a little while to get through because there is so many things to ponder and re-read and take note with etc. but it is a book with a great experience tied to it.
I really do miss all of my family so much but I am SO THANKFUL I have many opportunities to be here in UT to just take a lunch break, walk down the street and hear an Apostle of the Lord speak to me. Wow! I can't even comprehend that at times. Dust and I have done well at taking advantage of the opportunities that are here and we have been so blessed because of them.