Monday, March 1, 2010
Elder Joseph Sitati
Our Stake Conference was this weekend and it was awesome! Elder Joseph Sitati, a General Authority in the 1st quorum of the Seventies came down to speak to us. Joel had to work until 5 so we missed the 4pm Leadership session. But were planning on the Adult session at 7pm. When Joel got home from work he said that he wanted to go to his parents to get the trampoline they gave us because he wouldn't have any other time to do it. So, he took the kids and left. I hurried and made dinner and got ready and they got back at 6:50. So, Joel got dressed and ate some dinner and we walked into Conference right during the last verse of the opening song. Luckily we only live 1 block away from the Stake Center. The overflow was open into the gym but was only half way full. So we sat down in the middle of an open row and Joel said, "This is perfect because they saw us come in so they know we came." Big Mistake.
Our 1st counselor in the stake, Bro. Koeven, talked about family and then the Mission President and his wife spoke and by this time it was only 7:30. So, Bro. Koeven stood back up and said, "Bro. Satati would like the following people to come forward to bear there testimony. Kevin Talbot, Joel Beckstrand and Pam Beckstead." We both froze. Joel said, "Are you kidding me?" And I started to laugh. It was so funny. Funny because it wasn't me. Scary for Joel. He slowly walked up to the front. Bro. Talbot started to talk about the trials he's had and how his health had been so bad and how the blessing that he received from the stake presidency saved his life. I thought, "What the heck is Joel going to talk about. We are really blessed. No serious health problems and he's still in employed." Then I got nervous for him. If it was me I would have done the Primary kid testimony. "I know this church is true. I love my Mom and Dad and my brothers and sisters. I know Joseph Smith was a true Prophet. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen." And then ran back to my seat. But, of course Joel bore an incredible testimony of missionary work and the importance of it. He was his humble, respectful self and it was wonderful. When he came back and sat next to me he was still in shock. It took another half an hour before he could relax. Then they called up 2 more people to bare there testimonies and then we had a rest hymn. After that Sister Sitati spoke. She looked like a African Queen. She had the traditional dress and headpiece on and was breath taking. She told of there conversion and how they knew this was the church that they wanted to be in because the people in it loved there 5 kids. She said that other religions tolerated her kids and some didn't even do that. They have been in the church for the last 25 years from when the mission was open in Kenya.
Then Bro. Sitati talked on family and the importance of FHE, family scripture study and family prayer. He was very informal and talked to the congregation like we were old friends. After he was done he opened the meeting up for questions and they brought out microphones like they used to do for testimony meeting. (remember that?) It was very weird/different because he's a General Authority. They don't open up meetings for questions. At least I didn't think that they did. I was really neat.
The next morning at 8:30 Bro. Sitati had a meeting especially for new members, members that had been absent for awhile and where returning to the church and investigators with there fellowshippers. So we (Joel, Shayne, Sophie and I) took Taylor and Dausi was already there with the Lewis's and her Mom! I was so glad to see her Mom there. In the meeting there where only about 50 of us total. Bro Sitati got the microphones out again and had everyone that was new, returning or investigating introduce themselves. It was really cool. Really informal and he welcomed each and every person. When Dausi got done introducing herself she introduce her Mom and Bro. Sitati said how wonderful it was that she brought her Mom with her. He talked on the importance of being worthy so the Holy Ghost can always be with you. I was so glad that we were able to be there.
After, Sophie walked Taylor home and we stayed for the 10:00 general session of Stake Conference. And since we were there so early we got to sit on the soft seats!! We saved room for Jan and Andy and we had another awesome 2 hours of enlightenment. This was a weekend that I had supposed to be like all of the rest of the Stake Conferences I had been to in my life and it was nothing like it. I am so thankful for the Lord and his knowledge of what we need to hear and when and how we need to hear it.