…but everything is going to be ok.
I still get mail like this with all these cute meme cards that came this week from a sweet lady I don’t know. She wanted me to know how grateful she was for Amos’s influence in her daughter’s life when he was the bishop. I’ve had a lot of people tell me about things he did for them but it’s amazing that years later and in the most difficult circumstances, they are still showing gratitude.
It’s 1am and I felt like writing. I’ll get to talk to Porter in the morning. It’s unclear right now if he will be returning to the U.S. to be reassigned or if he will remain in Brazil to finish his mission. Things seem to be changing daily and I only get to talk to him once a week.
As much as I’d love to have him walk through my front door like many of my friends whose missionaries have just returned home, I have reasons for wanting him to stay. Aside from the fact that he loves his mission and he is happy there and has prepared for this his whole life, the weather is hot year round where he is and it would be difficult for the virus to survive. They, unlike us, have food and supplies on their store shelves and have had no cases of the virus in his area as far as we know. Porter’s mission president is a medical doctor so that helps me feel a little better. If he were to return, he’d be around tons of people while traveling. Of course if he does end up coming home, my heart will leap out of my chest for joy because I miss him so much.
We are all living this crazy story together like in books or movies, but this one is real or maybe just an unfinished game of Jumanji.
Daily life has been wonderful for us so far during this self quarantine time. Michael and the girls are all home. Searching for things to stay busy can be interesting. Our new puppy is making it easeir. Our days all blend together but we are growing closer as a family and I have seen my girls change in good ways. Being less concerned about friends and more bonded as sisters has given them a better confidence and increased sense of belonging. We study scriptures and pray together every day and Sundays are so special as Michael has been able to administer the sacrament to our family at home. We try to be active even if its just running up and down the stairs and doing push ups. We (mostly Michael) work on the garden and try to keep Porter’s snake fed for him. Michael has become a gardening expert and it’s so handy since we may need to rely on garden food one of these days. Gathering our family close has brought so much joy.
Things seem surreal right now as our entire lives are changing every day. This reminds me of feelings I’ve experienced before. When Amos was sick, everything changed. It changed again for us when Evie went on America’s Got Talent. It changed again when he didn’t recover and passed away. It changed again when she made it to the finals and it seemed for a short time we had the attention of the whole world at the most vulnerable moment of our lives. Those great and terrible days didn’t feel real either but I felt peace and saw all the ways I was being prepared and blessed as I do now.
Many believe this is the end of the world with financial collapse, plauge, earthquakes, locusts, fires and floods. A specific recent earthquake left the gold angel on top of our historic Salt Lake City Temple without his trumpet, standing with his arm out as if he’s checking his watch.
There is a prophecy in the Bible found in the Book of Revelation that speaks of a plauge in the last days before the second coming of Christ that will kill 1/3 of the population of the world. Could this COVD-19 as it continues to mutate be that plague? The growth rate data I’ve seen of this one compared to other historical viruses make a pretty convincing argument that it could be. The apostle John who wrote the Book of Revelation is still on this earth waiting for the Second Coming of the Savior. Since not even he knows exactly when Christ will return, I can imagine him perking up at the signs we’ve seen lately.
The living prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knew (of course he did – Amos 3:7) and warned millions last October in a General Conference that things were coming. In fact, not only did he tell us to take our vitamins (which at the time I thought was the strangest thing I’d ever heard a prophet say in General Conference. I assumed it was figurative but now we’re literally taking vitamins to keep our immune systems strong) but he also decreased church service time for the world-wide church of over 16 million members and implemented a program for us to begin home-centered gospel study. That kind of change may seem insignificant but our church had been on the same 3 hour Sunday schedule for 40 years before this change. The prophet also said that the next conference (coming April 4th and 5th) would be memorable and different from any previous conference. We assumed it would be special just because it will be the 200th anniversary of the 1st Vision – when Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ came to earth in 1820 to begin the restoration. Now we are finding out that General Conference is going to be different in many other ways including the fact that no one will be there in person except those speaking and that it will be broadcast by satellite and internet only. That has never happened!
There are a few more prophesies I am waiting to see be fulfilled in Jerusalem and Missouri before the end of the world, but he may have already “loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible, swift sword.” I, with my family will continue to serve and help those around us and those we’ve been assigned to minister to within our church. We’ll mourn and pray for and probably become anxious about the suffering that will close in but, I’m not afraid. Elder Holland – one of our modern day apostles says it best and helps us understand why we need not fear the ending.
“The FUTURE of this world has long been DECLARED; the final outcome between GOOD and evil is already KNOWN. There is absolutely no question as to who WINS because the VICTORY has already been posted on the SCOREBOARD. The only really strange thing is all of this is that we are still down here on the FIELD trying to decide which TEAM’S JERSEY we want to wear!”
The Savior Jesus Christ is the reason we need not fear. He has broken the bands of death and Hell. I had a friend say the other day, “It seems we are all pretty well stocked up on everything but faith these days.” That may be true for many but it’s not too late.
“However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.” – Jeffery R. Holland
It’s now almost 4am and after 52 revisions of this blog, I should probably get some sleep. Thankfully I have no where to go tomorrow.
Update: 10:00 AM Arizona Time – Elder Abplanalp, through tears, just relayed the direction he got from his mission president that he is coming home THIS THURSDAY!!! Porter will have a two-week self quarantine with just his family then be reassigned somewhere in the U.S. to finish his mission. We are all in shock and so excited to have him home just in time for General Conference. This is incredible.