Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A letter from Mary Stock

Dear Charlene,
I believe your name is Charlene.  Please forgive me if I have it wrong.  But, I just spent 2 hrs with your son and I wanted to tell you about it.

Elder Bronson and his companion have been regularly visiting a non member, elderly woman(88 yrs) and her daughter for a number of months.  The mother is Norma, and Patricia, her daughter is in end stage cancer.  Elder Bronson may have told you about them, but I know he has not understood how sick Patricia really is.  I talked to him at length at Thanksgiving about her illness, but I'm sure he didn't understand the gravity of the situation until tonight.  Patricia has been in hospice care for several days now and Norma and Patricia are the sole survivors in their family.  Which of course will leave Norma completely alone very soon.

 Norma hasn't appeared too  interested in the gospel, but has loved having the Elders over often. She presents herself as being rather silly and fllighty.  But, as her daughter has taken a turn in the last couple of days, I have been able to have some calm and meaningful conversations with her and she has been receptive.  So, last night I talked to her about having a blessing, which I knew she had witnessed as the Elders have administered to her daughter a couple of times.  So, we made a date for tonight.  It was me, Elders Bronson, and Abramson and another, Elder Golding, and the ward Mission leader.  We certainly filled up her tiny apartment!  The very loud and incessant barking of the dog behind a bedroom door was quite a distracton for Norma, as she is hard of hearing, but we pressed on and for 1  1/2 hours we collectively preached the gospel.  

Now, when I say Norma is flighty and silly, I am not kidding.  She often says some things that are inappropriate, but you can see it is out of nervousness and selfconciousness.  Your son has handled that like a gentleman, as a lot of it has been directed at him.  I've been impressed by that and you can be proud of him for it.  But tonight, with the seriousness of the topic and the amount of time that we had been there, she was able to relax and was a verbalize that she had just realized, at that moment, that she had prayed the missionaires to her door ;That she had been asking for help and was at her wits end as to her situation and that 'all of this' could not have been a coincidence.  She had had a moment of pure intelligence.  She saw the tender mercy and began to cry.  

I looked at your son, who was sitting next to me and suddenly he seemed to have grown a full foot taller.  The funloving young man, who, by the way, I have grown to love, was gone and there sat a rightious, serious man of God who spoke with the clarity, dignity and the power of the Lord.  It was a wonderful moment for us all.  He quoted scripture and invited her to church and challanged her to baptism.  She meekly accepted.......I wish you and your husband could have been there.  It's what we as parents, pray for.....it's what we want for our young men....it's the epitome of a lifetime of the teaching that you and you husband put into this man.  I know he will always be funloving, but a boy no more.  It was the best evening I've spent in a long time and I am hapy to have been a part of this most joyous night.

with love,
Mary Stock

There is a post script to last night that I didn't mention.  When Elder Bronson began Norma's blessing, the dog was still barking.  In fact, it hadn't quit barking the whole time we were there.  So, as he began the blessing, I prayed that Heavenly Father would quiet the dog.  And so, the little mut began to slow the noise until it went silent.  The blessing could be heard by all.  I stayed behind as the men left, to talk to Norma and she let the dog out of the bedroom.  It resumed barking.  All was well and she indeed felt comforted.  I will pick her up for church and look forward to her meeting all of the sisters in Relief Society.  She needs them and we need her.  Afterall, we are not just lace tablecloths and chocolate cookies.  She will remind all that we are here to relieve the needy.  I personally look forward to the near future with her.   Again, know that your Elder Bronson is in the right place doing the Lord's work
  Don't know about you, but my buttons are bursting!!!  I had a hard time going to sleep last night as I kept reviewing the evening.  The night was grand.