Once in college, they announced that the Utah State Institute Choir was chosen to sing with another college at General Conferece. They began having try-outs for the choir. Only a limited number of people were allowed in. Everyone had to prepare a hymn and be prepared to sing for the choir director. Oh how this Minnesota Mormon prayed! I had never been to conference and I never had been anywhere near the Prophet before and I would do anything to get there! I tried out with 15 million other students and awaited my fate. I waited and waited and waited. And then waited some more. Finally, and you know it's coming, I couldn't wait anymore. I decided to go do a little "checking" of my own. The door to the choir director's office wasn't locked. I couldn't believe I was doing this! Breaking and entering! In a church owned building! But all rational thoughts had flown the coop. I was on a mission. I had to find out if i I was IN or OUT. The master list was conveniently lying on his desk. I started flipping through the list, frantically looking for my name. I got to the Ks and my breathing shallowed...my eyes scanned the list and went to the end of the section... and nothing. My name was not on the list. Crestfallen, I left the office. I noticed, as I left, that I was holding some sort of fancy pen in my hand. I realized in two seconds what I had done - not only had I been guilty of breaking and entering, I had stolen my choir director's $100 dollar pen. I ran back into his office and put it back on his desk. Just as I was coming out of the office the second time, I heard someone at the end of the hall. I quickly shut the door and kept walking and shut my eyes as I silently prayed for a invisibilty shield. The choir director was at the end of the hall but I didn't think he saw me come out of this office. I smiled and said a hurried hello, and calmly kept walking.
What is the point of this mania??
I'll do anything to get near the apostles.
I've met a few apostles in my day. Elder Scott came to visit my mission and we all got to go up, one by one, and shake his hand. I was hyperventilating in line like I normally do with famous people, and got up to meet him for the very first time and this is what came out of my mouth... "You are my favorite apostle". Who says that? I mean, really. It taught me an important lesson. When I meet apostles, I now just say "it's nice to meet you" and leave it at that.
I also had the chance to meet Elder David B. Haight. He had the softest hands ever. And his eyes were so twinkly - just like his cute wife's eyes. They were a darling pair. Inside and out.
And that's about it. Until this past weekend. The Relief Society Stake Presidency was asked to prepare a light dinner for Elder Bednar and the rest of the Stake Presidency and their wives. No one let me cook but I was able to help serve the food. My biggest concern was not spilling anything on or near Elder Bednar. We went in and there he was. Just sitting there like a normal person. He looked older to me close up. And his ears didn't look big enough for an apostle's but I could tell it was him. I shook his hand, said 'nice to meet you' and then we left. Pretty uneventful and nonchalant really, but after was the most interesting part. I've always been a few steps behind with my emotions. It seems to take a while for things to sink in. I don't have automatic reactions to things no matter how hard I try, I need to stew about stuff for a while until I really know how I feel about something. I sat there, during the conference, and I thought about what happened. And how I felt. And how I had just met an apostle. Not just some guy that was here to speak on how to be good and kind and true, but a man who was truly called by God to be a special witness for the Savior Jesus Christ. It was overwhleming the way the warmth covered my heart. And I knew, just like I knew that Thomas S. Monson was our prophet, that Elder Bednar was an apostle.
We live in a time where there is so much unhappiness and darkness. But then I have experiences like these when the light shines so brightly I know there is no way I can get lost.
The rest of the weekend was kind of a blur. I heard so many good and wonderful things. I had so many glimpes of who I wanted to become. And then I woke up Monday morning and went to work. It's the whole starting over thing I guess... something I like to call the Groundhog Day principle (see Bill Murray's Groundhog Day for details). Good thing we have lots of chances to prove ourselves and get it right.