Sunday, March 1, 2009

Apostle Oaks & An Old Friend

Today was a special day in many ways. First we drove 1.5 hours north, with three sister missionaries as passengers, to the city of Zwolle for a Stake Conference of the Apeldoorn Stake. All of us missionaries had been invited to attend since Elder Oaks was going to be the visiting authority. Prior to the conference, we lined the foyer of the rented conference center to shake hands with Apostle Dallin H. Oaks. He asked each missionary where they were from and asked us how long we have served. I mentioned that I had returned back to my youth mission field. We were touched when he said to us, "God bless you for your service." Sister S. and I were not prepared for the tender emotional impact of his words. It was manifest to us that he was a living Apostle of the Lord. The conference talks were wonderful, including that of our Mission President, Paul Woodland. He is fluent in French, which is great for the other half of our mission, but he often surprises us with bearing his testimony in Dutch. The new Temple President, Pres. Van Rij, is from Utah and was the mission president here many years ago. He encouraged all members to increase their temple attendance. It was also great to visit with our many missionary friends too.

After the conference we drove about an hour to the city of Zutphen to visit an old friend, Jan Steenstra. Forty two years ago, we baptized him and his wife into our church. It was so good to see him again! We also got to meet his wife of 15 years, Adina. She is a wonderful woman from Romania. We had a great time visiting for a few hours and them having dinner with them. I think that Jan and I both are realizing that somehow we have both grown a lot older, and hopefully wiser.

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