For the second time I got to ride horses with Brother Norton. Abby Christensen also came. This time I was properly dressed, because I borrowed Papi’s cowboy boots. They were tight, but it didn’t bother me much since I was in the saddle. The weather was perfect and the fall leaves were beautiful. It was so much fun! Brother Norton told me that next time we’ll ride in the snow. That will be a new experience for me.
On P-day I learned a great new trick. When I pull my shirts right out of the dryer the minute they’re done—and then hang them up, it saves hours of ironing! This week I didn’t have to iron a single shirt!
My calling in the ward is Priesthood Music Coordinator. When the bishop called me to this I was really surprised. I was hoping to be called as deacons’ quorum advisor. But whatever the Lord calls me to do, I will do it to the best of my ability. So for this music calling, it’s my job to select the opening hymn for Priesthood meeting in the cultural hall, and connect my phone to the sound system. Before I got this calling, the brothers were trying to sing without music and it sounded terrible. It’s much better now, and everybody’s sings. At first I copied off the words and handed them out, but decided to save paper. So now, everyone reads the words from their phones.
One of my students was at the playground in his bare feet when I went to take him to seminary. I convinced him to put on his shoes and socks, but he didn’t want to come with me. Instead he started climbing up the slide. So I said, “Go ahead and slide down one time. Then you need to come with me to seminary. Ok, that’s enough, let’s go. No, don’t do it again.” Then I called out, “Lord wants you to go to seminary!” Finally, once he was in the classroom, he settled down and behaved.
Another student likes to repeat the words after me when we read the Book of Mormon together. I have to read slowly and say just a few words at a time, but he will repeat them after me. He has a good spirit.
Many of my students can’t understand everything that is taught in seminary, but they understand some things. And most importantly, they can feel the Spirit. That’s the most important thing.
In seminary one of my students had chocolate milk for lunch and it gave him a sugar-high during class. I had to take him out to the foyer to settle him down. I thought the fresh air outside would help, but he didn’t want to go. He said, “I’ll be good.” So I took him back in the classroom and he was good.
I’m learning how to handle hitting. First I say, “No, don’t hit,” and then I redirect him to something he likes to do, such as playing with blocks. Most of these disabled kids don’t respond to the word, “No” by itself. They have to be redirected to an acceptable activity. Gram said this also works with little kids. Maybe this mission is preparing me to be a parent someday.
After work, my grandparents and I went to the Draper Temple to do sealings for some friends from Poland. The Polish names were impossible to pronounce and the sealer butchered every name. But that’s ok because the Lord knows these people. I’m sure I mispronounce lots of names when I work in the baptistry. Foreign names are hard.
It was my turn this week to give the spiritual thought and scripture in our seminary devotional. My topic was the Holy Ghost. I told a story from Conner’s mission, and used the scripture: 1 Nephi 13:37. I bore my testimony that we need to act upon impressions that come to us from the Holy Ghost.
The best part of the week was when my Uncle Caleb (bishop in his Idaho ward) and his wife Susie brought 40 youth to the Salt Lake Temple to do baptisms. They all brought family names. I met them at the temple and helped with baptisms and confirmations. It was a great experience to be in that beautiful temple. It was Elder Hales’ funeral that morning, and the temple was closed until 2pm, so we were able to attend the funeral. It was a great experience to be in the Tabernacle. President Uchtdorf conducted the meeting, and we heard talks by Elder Ballard, President Nelson, and President Eyring. In his talk, President Nelson said, “I know Elder Hales’ heart—LITERALLY!” That’s because President Nelson performed heart surgery on Elder Hales.
Working with severely disabled students is really hard. They can’t help it, and I love them, but they’re really hard to manage. I have to learn different techniques to use with each one. I can’t mention names and specifics because of confidentiality. Some are obedient and easy. Some are stubborn. Some are hitters or runners. One day, as I was walking one of my favorite students from the school to seminary, he got frightened by the noisy lawn edger going along the grass right next to him, and he held his ears and fell down and was kicking and screaming. This student doesn’t like loud noises. I can’t believe the lawn guy was allowed to edge during school hours. Seems crazy to me.
I had my interview with the Mount Timpanogos Temple president. I will start working in the temple baptistery on Saturday, August 26th. I’ll be working with my friend from the bishops’ storehouse—we’re on the same shift. It won’t be hard because I’ve had experience working in the Gilbert Arizona Temple baptistery. Even though the Timpanogos Temple is bigger than the Gilbert Temple, I was surprised that the Timpanogos baptistery is actually smaller.
On Sunday I taught the Plan of Salvation lesson to my cousin and her husband. They are a good example of having an eternal marriage. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father has a plan for the happiness of His children. I know it’s true. This plan answers the three most important questions people want to know: (1) Where did I come from? (2) What is my purpose on earth? (3) Where do I go after I die? If you want to know the answers to these questions, click on this link: https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/topics/plan-of-salvation?lang=eng
Here is Elder Jacob Weir stepping off the plane July 31, 2017 to begin his Church service mission. He is ready to work and ready to serve with an upbeat attitude.