There were several investigators who watched General Conference with us on a semi-big screen in the Relief Society room. The Spanish language version was in the chapel. As always, we enjoyed the feelings of the Spirit as we listened to the prophets and apostles and other leaders speak. I was particularly moved by President Monson's talk at the end of the first session on Sunday which was on the two great commandments which are to love God and everyone around us.
President Bria (our branch president) asked Sister Shaw and I to speak in our next sacrament meeting using one of the conference talks as our subject. Without hesitation I chose President Monson's talk mentioned above and Sister Shaw picked the talk given by Jean Stevens who is the first counselor in the General Primary Presidency. Her subject was fear not for God is with us. Sister Shaw enjoyed that talk because so many people feel alone and need to know that we are not alone because God is with each of us.
Missionary work continues to move forward in our branch. Last Sunday (April 13) we had a baptismal service for John Doe from Pakistan. I am not identifying him by his real name because he was a Muslim and therefore his life may be at risk. In order to be cleared for baptism he had to be interviewed by President Jeppson, who is our mission president. He and Sister Jeppson attended the service which I was asked to conduct at the very last minute. Oh well, I have done it before. Surprise, surprise, Sister Shaw played the piano. It was a great experience to be there for the baptism of this humble man who is literally risking his life for his new-found faith.
The baptism of John Doe underscores the international character of our branch. As mentioned previously we have members in our branch from all over the world including China, Korea, The Philippines, Hungary, Africa, South America, Mexico, Utah, and now Pakistan. I am sure there are others, but these are the ones I can remember.
The Church is truly filling the whole earth as Joseph Smith prophesied it would as recorded by Wilford Woodfuff. ". . . I want to say to you before the Lord, that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and kingdom than a babe upon its mother's lap. You don't comprehend it. . . . This Church will fill North and South America--It will fill the world."
It is an amazing experience to be a part of the fulfillment of this prophesy.
During the break between sessions of General Conference we visited the Great Falls on the Passaic River in the city of Paterson, New Jersey.
One week later we visited the Paterson Museum. Paterson is a very old industrial town founded by Alexander Hamilton. I believe he is on the ten dollar bill.