Friday Jan 23rd

Today we got our travel plans changed. Rather than being in transit over 35 hours, it has been cut way down. We were going to go from SLC to Dallas, to London, then Johanesburg, and finally Kampala. That was about a bazillion air miles with crazy-long layovers like 12 hours.  Our new plan takes us to Seattle, Amsterdam and Kampala. Our longest flight is 10 hours. Sweet!  We leave Monday at 10:40.  Just thought you’d like to know.

Had a great experience today at breakfast with Scott Seamons, the executive secretary of the MTC. He is also executive secretary to Elder Clayton of the Seventy. We shared some very personal thoughts together and we three were all tearful sitting at breakfast. As we left him, I told Mom “It doesn’t matter whether a person is a non-member, an inactive member, or a general authority. We can help lift anyone and we can be taught by anyone”. That was pretty profound to me because it erases the lines we tend to draw. It doesn’t matter who a person is because we are to invite all to come unto Christ. If that person already knows Christ, we can still lift them.  Our new friend at breakfast told us he needed to be lifted today and had prayed to meet someone that could help him. I would never have guessed that a man like that would need a lift, let alone that we could be the lifters. It’s a pretty cool thought. So erase those feelings that you can’t hang out with someone if they are not in your ward or stake, if they are not a member or if they have other standards than you do. Touch everyone – even those who are figuratively higher than you are. There is no score keeper in heaven giving you points only when you help a “qualified” person.  They’re ALL qualified for a lift, and so are you.

This week has been a great experience. In addition to the instruction from our teachers and role-playing our teaching skills, we heard from two senior couples today that really helped bring things into focus for us. One couple had served in Nigeria and had great stories to share.

We also met Clark E Hirschi who is an area director for Public Affairs for the Church in Africa. He took our card and promised to contact us once we’re in our mission. It may prove to be fortuitous. We’ll see.

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