We’ve had an excellent day. Four of the Elders spent the night at our apartment because of the curfew last night, and the rest came to join us for church here this morning. We planned for church at 9:00 but by 8:30 everyone was here and ready to go. We had a very nice sacrament meeting. Elder Sorensen conducted. Elder N’cho led the music.
John read this excerpt from the Salt Lake Temple dedication give on 6 April 1893:
“Heavenly Father, when Thy people shall not have the opportunity of entering this holy house to offer their supplications unto Thee, and they are oppressed and in trouble, surrounded by difficulties or assailed by temptation and shall turn their faces towards this Thy holy house and ask Thee for deliverance, for help, for Thy power to be extended in their behalf, we beseech Thee, to look down from Thy holy habitation in mercy and tender compassion upon them, and listen to their cries. Or when the children of Thy people, in years to come, shall be separated, through any cause, from this place, and their hearts shall turn in remembrance of Thy promises to this holy Temple, and they shall cry unto Thee from the depths of their affliction and sorrow to extend relief and deliverance to them, we humbly entreat Thee to Turn Thine ear in mercy to them; hearken to their cries, and grant unto them the blessings for which they ask.”
We talked about that and these interesting times. Then we showed the new First Vision film and everyone shared their testimony of the Restoration. Then we showed this group the MTC MP Seminar training of teaching the First Vision and talked about how we can share this news. It was nice. I think the Elders really enjoyed a spirit-led conversation and a chance to share their testimonies. This may be their last time here.
Our meeting lasted 2 hours. Then the other apartment Elders went home and the rest stayed while the 4 Sisters came at 11:00 for our second meeting.
The second sacrament meeting was just as wonderful as the first. We shared our testimonies and feelings about the Restoration and the blessings we receive today because of what happened 200 years ago.
After the Sisters walked back to their apartment, all the Elders came back and spent the afternoon watching the new Book of Mormon videos. It was great to have them here.
This afternoon we went back to the office to take care of some more finance stuff and preparations for tomorrow.
Then we took the Elders back to their apartment.
Tonight we received word that the flight tomorrow WILL HAPPEN. We have tickets and itineraries for our 7 American Elders!! We’re really sad to see them go, but so happy for they can get on with their lives and their next assignments.
Our 3 neighbor Elders came back over when we got home and we celebrated this evening by watching one last movie: The Other Side of Heaven.
I think all the pictures I’ve taken of these Elders look the exact same. They’ve been living in the same clothes for the last week! They were pretty happy with the flight news that came in this evening.
I showed the Elders how to find this blog so they can save the photos I’ve been taking.
It will be a little lonely around here when these American Elders go. They’ve been excellent neighbors and friends and wonderful missionaries. We promised each other this evening that we’ll keep in touch in the coming weeks and months. A lot of good has flowed out of Abidjan this last week. And a lot of wonderful missionaries have joined us. The work will go on. As they exclaimed in the movie we watched tonight, “Hurrah for Israel!”