Monday, October 06, 2008

Conference Weekend Happenings

Well, amid the cinnamon rolls, cleaning the playroom, cuddling on the couch, answering "Is this guy an Elder?" questions, crying tears of guilt and joy, we had ourselves a marvelous General Conference weekend. All the information is now lumped together in my mind; don't ask me about who said what and what did so-and-so say! because --for me -- everything flows together by the end of Sunday afternoon. But I listened; I learned, and I will take this with me:

I need to have more Faith.
I need to have more Hope.
I need to Serve with Purpose.
I need to Listen.
I need to Stop Contending.
I need to let myself be Loved.
I need to be Grateful.

What did you learn from Conference?
Dear reader, I have to tell you about Friday (Oct. 3rd). It was fabulous. As in fab-u-loso!

It started around 2PM. I had been lazy all day, reading my book for book club. This month we are reading A Train To Potevka by Mike Ramsdell. Have you ever heard of it? The book is autobiographical; Mike worked for the U.S. State Dept. during the Cold War and was often sent into Russia for covert operations. Basically, he was a spy. This book talks about his last big operation in Russia and how his cover was blown and he found himself on the run from the KPG and Russian Mafia. The book also talks about his family, his religion (he's LDS and served a mission in Germany), his failed marriage, and his chance for love again. As I was reading the book, I kept thinking "This would make a fabulous movie!" It's a good tale; not the best literary piece I've ever read (it's obvious this was his first book, written for his family, not meant --at first --for any kind of fame, etc. and so forth), but because the experience he had was real and very personal, it's actually quite gripping. I would categorize this book as Historical Fiction --he obviously had to re-make conversation, but the details of the Cold War and different aspects of the world scene at the time are accurate. It's safe to say I enjoyed this book and I'm glad I read it (I finished it on Saturday).
Anyway, around 2PM, #1 got home from school, I jumped into the shower (now that she could watch the kids) and we got ready to run some errands. We stopped at the library and went to Costco (all within an hour! I told the kids to be obedient and fast; we had to get back home in good time. We parked the car at Costco at 3:02PM and we were back in the car with all the groceries by 3:25PM. Can you believe it?!) and made it home by 3:40PM. Our babysitter arrived at 4PM --we had Brandon's mission reunion to attend! Brandon has been helping plan the APM mission reunion for a year now, and it was being held in Riverton (UT) at 6PM. We decided to go early and help set up. We didn't realize we had forgotten to bring some food to contribute until we had already driven over the Point of the Mountain, so we decided to stop at the Costco right there in Sandy. As we walked in, there was a very large sign that said (sort of; I can't remember exactly):
A Train To Potevka
Signing by the Author, Mike Ramsdell, today!
Being made into a Major Motion Picture for Fall of 2009!


I was borrowing my copy of A Train To Potevka, and I was so happy to be able to not only buy my own, but to meet Mike and have him sign it! He was a great guy; very personable and I have to admit I was a tad star-struck. I don't meet authors very often, but when I do, it always feels surreal to me, especially if I enjoy their writing. We talked about the new movie coming out (and how the producers are trying to get Russell Crowe to play Mike in the movie; no joke!) and Australia missions; Brandon's to Perth and Mike's son's to Brisbane. It was a nice exchange and I was over-the-moon we picked that particular Costco to buy our pinwheel sandwiches for the reunion. Even better? I got Brisingr on sale. Whoo-hoo!

The reunion itself was a smashing success. It was so fun! Even for me, the spouse of Elder Brandon (ha!) who had no missionary memories except those Brandon has spoken of over the last decade. This APM reunion was very significant; it was the first official reunion for the missionaries who had served under Pres. H (1995-1998). Since President and Sister H live in Sydney, Australia, it took them some effort to get there, but they did! They brought two of their children with them (their 11 year old daughter was born while they were serving in Perth) and plenty of tim-tams. Hooray for Australian chocolate!
Over 100 people came to the reunion; the food was great, the testimony meeting was better, and there were promises of staying in touch. We talked well into the evening and were one of the last couples to leave. I think we got home around 1AM? And, of course, instead of going to bed right away, we had to watch at least the first quarter of the BYU vs. USU game (which we obviously missed because of the reunion, although they did have a TV set up for those die-hard fans --a.k.a. Brandon. Ha!). Oh, and btw...Go Cougars! Yeah. They won. :)
Happy Meets Crazy Business:
This week is going to be crazy. I'm going to have to let some things go, and although blogging tends to be a priority for me, it's gotta be the first thing to slide. Why? The agenda:
* The Parents are coming into town for BYU Homecoming Weekend this weekend.
*I've started accompanying the elementary school choir; rehearsals start today!
*I've signed up to help with some politicking (yep!).
*I'm making some things for #2's classroom.
*The office will be unpacked! And organized! Because the parents are coming!
*Regular chores and laundry.
*So. Much. Laundry!

I'll see you later, okay? Don't forget me while I'm gone!


Annette Lyon said...

Very cool weekend! So awesome that the stars aligned and you ended up meeting him. Good luck getting all that done this week. I'm already tired just thinking about it all.

Melissa said...

Cheryl, welcome to 2 degrees of separation...Mike Ramsdell and his wife Bonnie...only like best friends with my in-laws! SWEAR IT...and he is the reason Nate learned Russian. SMALL WORLD MOMENT!

Rachel and Nathan Fisher said...

It was great to hear about your weekend. Sounds like a marvelous three days. Have a good week and enjoy the doing and the getting done!

Susan M said...

That is really cool! BTW, love your new flower pic.

Jeanette said...

Guess what Cheryl? My husband served in Melbourne! We get TimTams and real Cadbury fairly often because there is this really cool international grocery store not too far away. I am also going to try to make a Pavlova this week. Ever made one?

Julie said...

Melissa - are you kidding me? That really is crazy cool. I'll just say it for Cheryl. :)

Cheryl, I kept saying to Stanton all weekend -- I wonder if Cheryl is here in Logan for the game. I think I'll call her cell. Oh, I don't have her cell, crap! Man, I wonder if she's in town.....
No kidding. Glad you weren't in town because then I'd be sad I didn't see you.
And I was proud of the Aggies for at least scoring a few points on the Cougars. That's not always the case for the Aggies.
Glad your weekend was so great. I loved General Conference, too. It was a much needed recharge. I especially appreciated the thoughts on prayer and unity.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like all kinds of good times and happiness. Yay!

And Julie, at first I read your comment as "prayer and nudity", and then the double take revealed the "unity", which obviously makes much more sense.

Julie said...

Well, Thank you, Dr. Freud. I'm glad I bring such supple thoughts to your mind.

Leslie said...

Sounds like you have a Happy Crazy week ahead! Enjoy it, OK!?! I think I'm going to have to pick up that book and give it a read.

BTW - my cousin went to the Perth mission...when was Brandon there?

JustRandi said...

Well, you've got a lot going on this week!
I hope it all goes well AND I would never forget you!
But come back soon, K?

Alisa said...

Well, this is Alisa again...APM mission you say? Arizona Phoenix? If that's the one, I served there from 98-99. I would love to get to a reunion sometime but being WAAAY out here in Wisconsin it's not that easy. Oh're weekend sounded fantastic.

Brandon said...

I was in the Perth mission from Feb 96 to Feb 98.

Alison Wonderland said...

Mission reunion until 1am! You party animals!

sarah said...

Yay- I found you. I love your blog! It's so fun and personal. It was really nice meeting you at the reunion- I'm anxious to read more and peek into your world!

Amber said...

Girlfriend, you are BUSY! My only solace is you'll have many great stories when you get back. :-)

Anonymous said...

General Conference was pretty awesome, eh? I missed the Sunday afternoon session, but I loved Pres. Eyring's talk and Elder Ballard's. Good stuff. Good stuff.

That was some serendipity meeting Mike Ramsdell at the Costco. Almost you persuadeth me to be a Costco member. :)

alisa said...

After I posted I racked my brain for other missions, because I didn't recognize the mission pres. I realized it was probably Australia then! Thanks for responding.

Lizzie said...

How sad, I was scrolling down, lightly skimming because it's been a while since I've had time to read your blog, and something caught my eye and I immediately had to scroll back up to read: cinnamon rolls. Sad. In a post about sonference my eyes catch on only to snack cakes.