Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Medley

Sunday morning November 24th, 2013
Eric and I moved io Gilbert over 26 years ago., we are both natives of Arizona, me from Phoenix and Eric from Mesa. We moved into the 6th ward when Haleigh was only 18 months old, now she is married.  We raised all 4 of our children in Gilbert, everyone of my children were baptized on their birthdays in this ward--6th ward will always be home to me.  I will never forget our 1st Sunday attending this ward, we met in the Val Vista Stake Center building.  Elouise Cluff was our Relief Society President, she came up to me with that big huge smile of hers, put her arms around me and said "You must be sister Williams, let me show you where the Primary and nursery children meet......" I felt special, she already knew who I was, I have to say even my children who are married and gone say there is no ward like the 6th ward.  Bishop Wally Slade welcomed us with open arms and a giving heart. This ward was exactly what I needed at that time in my life. I distinctly remember sister Harbertson bearing testimony, when she spoke it pierced my heart.  One of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard came from a young adult in this ward, Ally Packard visiting from BYU, her testimony of Christ and his teachings touched me.  I connected with her without her even knowing, she said she was searching for a testimony, her own, separate from parents or teachers,   through her study and prayer she had come to know for herself that HE lives. I could go on forever about the examples of faith and hope in this ward I live in. I have loved every gospel doctrine teacher, Brother Steve Peterson and Brother Stephen Phelps taught me so many lessons about the Savior and the Atonement of Jesus Christ-- I realized this morning I have been in Gilbert longer than I lived with my parents.  I have always had a testimony of Christ, but I would be lying if I said the men and women of the 6th ward haven't helped me to anchor it, keep it burning in my heart.

This morning when I prayed I asked if the Lord would please let my mom and dad see a glimpse into my life now, let them see the woman I have become.  I'm trying so hard to do what is right, live a Christ centered life and make them proud of me, please let them know I really do have a forgiving heart, that I enjoy the simple things in life and because of every trial, bump or bruise I have learned to be a fighter, to be a survivor and to lean on the Lord for guidance.  In other words, I am who I am because of the good and bad I've experienced and will yet experience in my life.  I don't try to fully understand what happens between the period of death and the resurrection but I have to believe we have a chance to redeem ourselves for mistakes we've made, especially those that concern our eternal families.  I have seen the reaction and tole PRIDE takes on a body, physically it can destroy lives, it makes me want to say I'm so sorry to anyone I've ever hurt, my heart has really changed, and I think this is yet another experience I needed in my life--I Will Never Be The Same--

I'm not feeling very good , my ear is pounding, I don't know if I can make it through the meetings today.  I love the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and for the 20 years we have been in this ward I have sang  with the choir--The  Thanksgiving Medley- arranged by Stephen Phelps and Eloise Cluff.  Today, I won't be able to sing, nasty sore throat and pounding ear, does not make for a good combination--

Sunday November 24, 2013 4:30 pm
I decided there was no way I could miss hearing the choir sing or Stephen Phelps play the Thanksgiving Medley--they announced today Stephen Phelps has played this arrangement 32 years in a row in 6th ward, I'm so glad I didn't miss it.  I teared up, like I always do, some because I couldn't sing today and mostly because  no arrangement of music has ever touched me like that one....I love it.