Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The New Stake President Is WHO?

The WHO is no other than this WHO! ↓

The Day That Will Live In Infamy - Insanity - In.our.hearts - Indelibly Forever 
~December 7, 2014~

Due to the upcoming change of our current stake presidency, Dave had an interview with an apostle.  Elder M. Russell Ballard to be exact.  As well as an area seventy general authority, Elder Laing.  His interview was on Saturday Dec. 6th at 11:37 am.  I had been listening to everyone telling me that he is going to be the new one for a couple of weeks,  but I just brushed them off telling them that is NOT going to happen!  When I asked Dave if he has had any inklings of being chosen, he just brushes it off telling me that he wouldn't say either way.  He has always been good at keeping things to himself.  Too good!  As for me, I was just hoping for this weekend to hurry and get over so I could quit worrying!   It did end, but I didn't quit worrying.  Instead I gained a whole lot more to worry about!  

On Saturday I was with my friend Robin at a local Christmas home tour.  I had text Dave asking him how his interview went and the only reply I received was, "It was good.  What do you think about putting LED's on the tree?"  I took that lack of information as he wasn't too worried and so I tried to quit worrying as well.  About 20 minutes later, I was in a very old home in Willard that was part of the tour when I got a call from Dave telling me that I needed to get to the church as soon as possible.  My heart stopped.  My stomach fell.  I am pretty sure I also stopped breathing.  I knew what that meant.  Since Robin had drove, I had to have her take me to meet him half way at Shopko.  On the way there I kept saying to her, "I am going to be sick! I'm going to be sick!"  Oh, the nerves!  And the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach!  She also knew what it meant.  I told her I wasn't good enough of a person for this job.  I meant it.  She was so kind and told me how much she admired me and that I am good enough for it and then some.  I wasn't believing her, but she was so nice.  She told me how kind it was for me to ask Ethan if we could take a picture with him while we were at the boutique earlier and that she wouldn't have even thought of that, and that I am always doing things like that.  Not true, I should be better at it!  She went on to tell me how much she has admired me for how I have handled losing Tyson and that she has a friend who also lost a son but never recovered from it and now her other kids are a mess and so is she. She said it would be the hardest thing in the world but we have handled it so well.  It was hard, I agree, but it doesn't make me a saint!  Nothing I do makes me a saint!  I didn't respond much to her words mainly because I was unable to get enough air for a breath in order to speak.  But she did help me feel a little better (if that's possible) and so I was glad I was with her when it all happened.  Only good friends know exactly what you need to hear when you need to the most.  

We met Dave and as soon as I got in his car, I said, "Ohhhhhhh, I am gonna be sick!!!" He was pretty calm and mostly worried about if I had time to run home and put on a skirt.  He said we better just get there because they are waiting.  I knew, but still had to ask who "they" were.  He confirmed it was Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder Laing.  I thought I was going to hyperventilate right there.  I just kept saying, "I can't do this, I can't do this!"  He was nervous as well, but kept much more calm than me. I was also worried about not being dressed up.  He told me to remind him to tell me a story about that.
Like a lamb going to the slaughter!  hahaha
 Dave took this picture of me as I am about to enter my fate for the next TEN years!  Possibly even longer!  As you can see, I was not necessarily a cheerful chipmunk!  The truth is I was feeling very green! I thought I might lose it at any moment.  I walked in and he followed me and we sat on the couch until Pres. Davis came out.  Well, the truth is, Dave sat on the couch, I paced the floor like a caged animal.  He asked Dave to go in his office and then Pres. Davis came out and talked with me.  He could tell I was a "bit" nervous and tried to distract me by asking me about my boys.  I kept telling him I was so embarrassed I was in my levis and not a skirt.  He said it would be okay, it was more important to not keep them waiting. Then he told me a story about one sister who had been in the same situation and the apostle (can't remember which) waited and waited and finally got a little stern wanting to know where in the heck this woman was.  She finally walked in and apologized for being so late, but she said she had to go get her hair professionally done because she couldn't meet an apostle without it done professionally.  I laughed.  I assumed that was the same story Dave was going to tell me.

Then Dave came out and said that they wanted to see just me.  I took a very big breath and walked into the lion's den.  Sitting at Pres. Davis' desk was Elder Ballard.  Next to him was Elder Laing.  Oh my.  They both shook my hand as I told them I was so sorry I was in levis but I had been clear out in Willard at a home show and so just rushed over.  I also said, "But at least I didn't stop to get my hair done!"  I laughed nervously and they smiled.  I think I told them that two or three times.  I found out later they weren't there when that story was told and so I'm sure they just thought I was strange. haha   The whole thing is so surreal.  I sat down and Elder Ballard proceeded to ask me just general questions mostly about my family.  He wanted to know about Tyson and then each boy.  I don't really recall much of what we talked about other than that.  I'm surprised I even remember that!  I honestly was in shock.  He did ask me what kind of a husband and father Dave was and I told him that I knew it sounded cliche, but he treats me like a Queen.  He really does. I told him he was also an amazing father.  Elder Ballard was very personable but also very serious.  This whole thing seems so surreal.  There I was sitting with an apostle...talking about my levis no less!  Who would have ever thought! 

Then Elder Laing had Dave come back in with me and Elder Ballard told us that after a long deliberation process and prayer, they would like to extend the call of Stake President to him.  He said that since he was able to keep his medical practice running smoothly while serving as a Bishop they were sure he would be able to also do this very well.  He said several other things about the whys and they officially extended the call to him.  Without hesitation Dave accepted.  I took a huge deep breath once he accepted and then exhaled it out wondering what we were getting ourselves into.  Elder Ballard then gave him some suggestions and recommendations on counselors and told him they needed to be in place by 4:00 p.m.  It was pushing 3:00 at this time.  They then left the room and told us we could have some time alone to talk and to work on the counselors.  

Boy, that was crazy.  We both starred at each other with a deer caught in the headlights kind of stare.  Actually that was more of me, Dave seemed to be pretty calm.  I kept saying, "This is too big!"  I had a little cry and just felt so inadequate and overwhelmed with it all.  We discussed the counselors a bit and he pretty much knew already who he wanted.  Then Elder Laing knocked on the door and peeked in and saw me wiping my eyes.  I told him that I was sorry but I was having a mini meltdown. He laughed and gave me some counsel about how the Lord will make me equal to the task and he will qualify who He calls.  I thanked him and then they wanted to talk to Dave about counselors and so I left to go home.  I walked out to the car wiping my eyes and noticed someone out there in a car and thought to myself, "If they know that the Stake Presidency is being reorganized today, then they will know who it is now because of the stunned look on my face."

I came home and that's when it hit me.  I was still trying to contain the tears when I walked in and as soon as Taylor took one look at me he said, "So Dad's the new Stake President huh?"  I asked him how he knew, and he just told me that he knew I had been at the church and if I come home like that then he must be.   McKay was surprised when he heard us talking about it, but he said he thought it was pretty cool.  Cool is not how I would describe it.  More like HUGE and ENORMOUS.  An unbelievable responsibility.  I have no doubts Dave will be amazing, but I'm not so sure about myself.  I tried to gather myself, but my head was just spinning.

Dave got home and told me who his counselors were and how Elder Ballard counseled him a bit with that as well.  He chose one that he wanted but not the other because of Elder Ballard's comments.  He said he wasn't going to question an apostle's recommendations!  I was happy with them.  I think they will be great.  They called them and their wives over to the church and they both accepted. We then got ready and headed back over to the church for dinner.  All of the Bishop's and Stake Presidency were invited.  It was great when Elder Ballard walked in and went around and shook everyone's hand.  He was pretty good at not revealing too much but he did give my hand an extra squeeze.  We then had a wonderful meal that the Stake RS prepared.  Soup, salad, hot rolls and dessert. 
 I took this sitting at our table.  The man on the left is Dave's first counselor and you can see Elder Ballard in the middle.  It was amazing having dinner with an apostle.  I was still reeling and spinning but luckily I sat by Nadine who is married to his first counselor and so she knew it was Dave and so I felt like we could chat a bit.  She was also overwhelmed, but still pretty calm.  Of course, I was as well on the outside, but on the inside...there was a raging storm churning up my stomach! 
After the dinner we headed into the chapel.  The meeting wasn't to start for another 45 minutes, but the entire place was full.  It's so rare to ever get an apostle to come to Stake Conference that everyone wanted to be there.  The Bishop's and the High Council were asked to sit on the stand with their families to make more room.  I really did not want to, but we did.  I feel like I am on display when sitting up there.  Our boys got there late - well they got there 15 minutes before the meeting started but it seemed late because everyone was already there and there were no seats left.  They walked up to the seats on the stand as well and I felt every eye on us.  I am sure there was a lot of speculation going on in everyone's heads wondering who it would be. 

The meeting was wonderful!  Every talk was just for me!  Every song was just for me!  I needed it all so much and I was so moved and touched by it all.  I was on the verge of tears the entire meeting.  Elder Ballard asked to be excused before everyone left so he could get home to his wife who was ill.  We all stood up as he left.  It was a great meeting. 

We came home and called Bryce and Sky and let them know the scoop.  Neither were too surprised. Then Dave had to run back to meet with Pres. Davis again. I called my parents and invited them to Stake Conference in the morning.  They were pretty excited. 

 Then the doorbell rang and it was the missionaries looking for Dave.  I fed them some pizza and then took their picture to send to their moms.  They are such cute Elders.  I really enjoy these two.  Dave made it home and talked to them while I stressed and stressed worrying that I would be called to bear my testimony tomorrow even though Elder Ballard said there would not be time for the wives to this time, but plenty of other opportunities later on.  I was so relieved when I heard that, but not 100% convinced and so I still worried.

The rest of the night is a blur...but we both were wide awake at 4:00 a.m. talking about the whole thing and what Dave was going to say during the meeting.  He had been given five minutes. I'm not sure why he worried because he always does such an amazing job when he speaks.

Then off to Stake Conference (with a stomach full of butterflies) we went.  We arrived 45 minutes early but the tabernacle was already packed.  Obviously everyone wanted to come and hear Elder Ballard and who the new Stake Presidency would be.  We found a seat and settled in and then my Dad came over and said he had seats on the other side, but we told them to come over to where we were.  They did and I'm sure anyone who knows them immediately knew Dave must be part of the presidency.  His parents were also there.  Big clue.  He went to invite them the night before but they said they were already coming because his sister invited them to come and hear Elder Ballard and so he didn't tell them he was being made the new President!  They found out when everyone else did!  I'm sure they probably guessed when they saw my parents.

When Elder Laing stood up, I grabbed Dave's hand and nearly squeezed it off as he got ready to announce the new President.  He read Dave's name and as he stood up, I took in a deep breath and tried to just breath.  It was crazy.  His counselors were sitting by us too.  All three within about five pews.  As he left to take the stand, I said, "See ya in 10 years!"  They all took the stand and then Dave spoke first.  He sounded like a Stake President right off the bat.  He told how he asked me if I was blown away and how I said, "Oh, you have no idea!"  and that we had been up since 4 a.m. talking about the whole thing.  He did a good job as did his counselors.  It was just so surreal.  Still is!  Sister Davis spoke and told how as the Stake President's wife you have to feed the visiting authorities and put them up for the night.  She talked a lot about cooking for them and how she was always so nervous because she thought she was a good cook until she had to do that.  My Mom leaned back to me and said, "Just make Dave do the cooking!"  I just said, "Gee thanks!" and we both laughed.  Sister Davis also said she saw me walking in with my boys to the meeting and thought I looked nervous and so she asked me if I was.  Then she explained she had no idea it was going to be Dave, but just thought I looked nervous.  It was kind of funny.  When she said that to me, I wasn't sure if she knew or not. 
 Elder Ballard did a great job on his talk.  All the talks leading up to it had an Elder Ballard story, starting with Dave's. One of the things Dave said was, "I also have an Elder Ballard story", because Pres. Kotter told one last night.  He told about how he visited his mission and told them they had to work harder or something and he said he thought GA's were supposed to be nice.  Everyone laughed. Then he said that because of that remark all the missionaries worked harder and he knew it was because they had to be prepared for the announcement that came just a couple months after that all worthy male members could hold the Priesthood, which affected his mission a lot.  From there on out, every person had an Elder Ballard story.  Pres. Kotter started it off the night before with a story of his inactive brother meeting Elder Ballard.

After the closing song Elder Ballard stood up and announced that tomorrow night he wanted the entire stake to attend a FHE at the church to thank the outgoing stake presidency and to welcome the new ones.  He told everyone to be there at 7:00 and count it as FHE.  That was a first!  It's such an amazing experience to have an apostle visit! 

After, I had several people come up and congratulate me. I am pretty sure that is not the proper word for this, but it was said a lot.  His counselor's mom came up and gave me a hug and told me I was perfect for the job and that she had admired me for many years from afar.  Perfect for the job?  Oh my!  That is stretching it a bit!  Johnny came from behind me and gave me the biggest hug I have ever had!  He was so excited!  I told him I needed some of his enthusiasm!  Robin came up and told me she was dying all day after she dropped me off wondering what happened.  She told my parents the story of how she was with me when I got the phone call.  We visited a bit and then Pres. Davis got our attention to head up to the setting apart room on the upper floor of the tabernacle in the back.  We made our way up there with both sets of our parents and McKay and Taylor.  The counselor's had their entire families there as well.  It was crowded.  Elder Ballard was very business like and got things going quick.  Dave was set apart first by HIM!  Oh my, I couldn't believe he was getting set apart by an apostle!  That doesn't happen to very many Stake Presidents!  He was so fortunate!  We all were because he also blessed us in it.  He blessed me by name!  And he also blessed my children and grandchildren "as they come".  That brought me to tears!  It was such an amazing blessing. SO. AMAZING!  Then Pres. Davis set apart his first counselor and then Elder Ballard asked Dave to set apart his second counselor.  That had to be nerve racking with an apostle in the circle!  But he did an great job. 

After, Elder Ballard told us that we could stay around and love each other as long as we wanted, but he was going home! He did shake everyone's hands first though.  He mentioned to Taylor that he was very tall and he told my Mom that she had a wonderful daughter.  Oh my!  That totally made my day!

I had really wanted a picture but I was not going to ask him if we could take one with him.  Dave told me he would make sure I got my picture.  But then he left and I just figured it was okay and I was just happy I got to be near him for so long.  As we came down the stairs, Sister Ballard was sitting there and waiting for Pres. Ballard who was in the restroom.  I went over and introduced myself to her and we chatted a bit and as we were walking, Dave got out his phone and just snapped a photo.  We told Sister Davis to get in it and so she did.  Then Elder Ballard came walking up behind us and so I said something like, "Oh let's get Elder Ballard in here too."  So he did!  It all worked out so well and not awkward at all.  Then I told Dave to come get in and so he did and gave his phone to the chauffeur to take it.  Pres. Davis got out his phone to take one and I told him to grab Leslie and I would take one for him.  So he did.  Elder Ballard said something about let's make this quick (or something) and we just laughed.  IT WAS GREAT! 
 Sister Ballard is so sweet.  She has the prettiest smile.

I'm still looking like a deer caught in the headlights

With President and Sister Davis.

And THIS!  Oh my! I am so happy to have this photo!  I think I will frame it so I will always remember this day!  What a blessing to have this!    
 As he was walking out, he kind of punched my arm and said, "Now Jodi behave yourself and don't run yourself to death.  You don't have to run a marathon every day."  I just laughed and was surprised he knew I ran marathons!  Dave told him I was a runner but Pres. Davis must of told him I ran marathons.  It was so cute.  He is like this sweet grandpa.

We all walked out together to his car.  Just us, the Davis', Elder Laing, and the chauffeur.  That was it.  The entire place had cleared.  We walked behind them and it just felt like family.  It was so crazy because it felt like it.  I can't even explain it. I truly felt a bond with him.  Who knows why or how?  He was just so down to earth and personable, nothing like I thought he was from watching him at conference.  Then as we got closer to his car this man came walking up and got his attention and it was really bizarre.  He reached into his pocket and Dave and Elder Laing kind of stepped in between him and Elder Ballard, not knowing what was going on.  He took out an envelope and told him that he wanted him to read it.  Elder Ballard told him he would later but the guy insisted he did right then.  He told him again he would later.  It was pretty strange. He said something about he needed to read it because false doctrine was being taught.  He was obviously an anti Mormon of some kind. But then the guy left.  Crazy things like that must happen all the time.
President Davis later told me that as he was getting in the car, Elder Ballard told him that the stake was in great hands.  Pres. Davis said something like, "Are you sure?" and he said that yes it was in very good hands.  Then he added, "That Jodi is a spunky little thing!"  Oh my!  I am not sure what that means!  haha  But it also made my day! 

Sadly my boys had gone to the car instead of hanging around and so they missed out on the picture.  That is probably WHY they went to the car.  When we got in the car I said, "Wow, I was blessed by name by an apostle!"  Taylor said, "That's nothing!  He blessed my kids!"  That kid is always so funny.  He reminds me more and more of Tyson all the time.

We got home and immediately the doorbell rang with great friends bringing us treats and cards. 
 It was such a big day!  And Dave had to leave again to go meet with Pres. Davis to get oriented on some things.  I tried to take a nap but couldn't.  Our neighbors, the McCarley's invited us over for dinner to pay Dave and Bryce back for helping them re-do their bathroom.  Too bad Bryce isn't around because they fed us steaks!  It was really yummy!  We were on a time crunch though because Dave had to be back at the church at 7:00.  They are great neighbors.  We tried to do a little missionary work and hinted that the First Presidency Christmas devotional was on at 6:00, but they didn't seem too interested.


One that will go down in infamy! Hah!  Isn't that what was said about Dec. 7th?   

Here's what I posted on Facebook:
Well, today is definitely a day that will live in infamy. We couldn't help notice the irony of today's date as the day chosen to reorganize our stake presidency. It's been a very stressful and overwhelming two days (to say the least). My heart has finally started to beat again. Thank you to so many for your love and support in sustaining us in this huge endeavor we are about to undertake. Being able to visit with an apostle of the Lord and feel his amazing spirit has strengthened my testimony in ways I didn't think possible. The past 30 hours have left me with no doubt in my mind that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and he is at the helm. We are both feeling VERY inadequate and under qualified, but we are counting on the Lord to somehow miraculously make us equal to the task set before us as Dave now serves in this new calling. The worst part of the whole thing is realizing how old and decrepit we will be when he is finally released. Prayers most welcomed and appreciated. ~~~ Deep breath..

I got so many great comments that I want to add them all here but it would take too much room. But they made me feel so much better and strengthened me so much. I will need to go back and read them when I start to worry and doubt. 

This is what I posted with the photo:
The calm after the storm. Taken after the setting apart yesterday. A treasured memory that will remain forever in my heart. After he set Dave apart, a huge feeling of peace overcame me. What an honor to just be in Elder Ballard's presence. That alone may make this all worth it.  ☺— feeling blessed.

It really was so amazing how I felt after being in Elder Ballard's presence.  It was such an incredible feeling like I was on a spiritual high, but also like I had been purified or something.  I felt like I had just been baptized.  It was so strong. I felt like I had been given an apostolic blessing.  Then I realized that I had!  I had been given an apostolic blessing through Dave's setting apart blessing and I could tell.  The feeling was so being in heaven.  This whole thing has made me stronger and more determined to be a better person and really try and live so I can always feel that way. 

On Monday night, under Elder Ballard's instructions, we had a stake wide Family Home Evening where everyone could come and thank the outgoing stake presidency and welcome the new one.  We had a huge turnout!  People had to wait in line for over an hour!
 It was packed!
 We also had McKay's football banquet at the high school during this and so I was running back and forth between the church and the high school.  I had to be a quick change artist to go from pants to a dress.  I just kept it easy and left my levis on under my skirt!  Efficiency was key because trying to be in two places at once is not easy!  Dave went to the banquet from 6:30 to 6:50 but he really couldn't leave the FHE once he got there.  But I knew I just had to be at that banquet for the important part when they spotlighted McKay.  So I just drove back and forth.  I am happy to say the Lord worked it our perfectly so I didn't miss McKay's special part at all.  After a while I did have to go down through the line and talk to people instead of waiting for them to get to me because it was moving too slow and I knew I had to hurry.
It was fun talking to so many people - many I hadn't ever met.  The Stake RS Presidency arranged for the refreshments.
 My Jaida came!
The outgoing on the left and the incoming on the right.
It's going to be a long, tough, and probably overwhelming challenge.  Kind of like a marathon.  I told Dave we have to take it ONE day at a time.  I told him when I am running a marathon, I can't even think about those last miles or I will feel defeated before I even get to them. I have to take it ONE mile at a time and be IN that mile without looking too far ahead of those still ahead.  I try and focus on how far I have come instead of how far I still have to go, otherwise it feels too big and overwhelming.  

Just one day at a time...

I know we will be made equal to this challenge and in some miraculous way we will be able to do it...together.  When we were first married, we once talked about what our future would hold and felt that we were going to experience something big someday.  Maybe we were brought together for such a time as this.  

All I know is that I have felt the spirit so strong since being in Elder Ballard's presence that I feel like I will be given what I need because of the Savior.  I have felt Him so near this entire weekend.  When I even heard the Savior's name mentioned, I teared up immediately. I know He loves me and will be with me through this.  I know He knows me perfectly and knows what I need in order to accomplish this work how He wants me to.  I mentioned that every talk and song was meant for me.  In one of them it was mentioned that when you feel alone or heart broken ~~~ the Savior will be your best friend.  He will be there when you feel empty and need strength.  I'm counting on that.
I KNOW through Christ I can do all things.    

Here's a few quotes I needed:

I LOVE this one and look WHO said it!


Deep, deep, deep breath...

I can do hard things...right?


Cole N Brooke said...

Oh Jo! You are so amazing! I loved reading all this and felt like I was living it! You are amazing and I have no doubt you will be great! You may have to really hire a secretary! Huh? We need tk do something soon!

Cole N Brooke said...

Ps... so sad I didn't get to see your sweet parents...loves!!!

Nancy Mc said...

I am not surprised that your Dave is the new Stake President. In fact, when you blogged about it last time, I had the thought that it would be him...easy to say now.
So enjoy your blog and upbeat attitude. I look forward to new blog posts.

Jodi Wilding said...

Brooke, do you hire out? haha I already know you are an amazing secretary from YW's!!!

Nancy, that is great! haha Love your blog too! Thanks!

Dawn said...

You are wonderful and perfect for this calling. When we have mentioned that your Stake would be changed I always felt it would probably be your hubby. If only you could see yourself as others do..then you would know. (I believe that is true for each of us...we are so much better than our eyes show us) I love you my friend. Thanks for sharing your awesome experience!


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