With only about two weeks notice, we were told about a special member devotional. Elder Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles, was going to be speaking to us (just our district, 3 branches in Beijing and 1 in Tianjin) at our church building.
We arrived and were privileged to hear from our area authority, Elder Toronto (he lives in the district, so we see him frequently) as well as Elder Sam Wong and his wife, Elder Gerrit Gong and his wife and ending with Sister Nelson and President Nelson. Each of the speakers before President Nelson spoke very briefly (5-7 minute). Elder Nelson spoke for the remainder of the time that wasn’t music. He spoke of his history with China (he’s lived here and speaks Mandarin), a lot of this is summarized in the Deseret News article below. During his talk he offered an apostolic blessing to the congregation. It was neat because going to the fireside, Squidgems wasn’t feeling well, it was his bed time and he was sleepy and as the evening went on his ttemperature seemed to get higher and higher but he fell asleep on the train ride home and now other sign of illness ever showed itself. After his talk, Elder Nelson asked everyone to remain in their seats for a picture of the leaders, their wives and the congregation (I’m hoping we’ll get a copy of this picture) and then he invited everyone to come and shake his hand. So generous of him!
One of my visiting teachers snapped a photo at the perfect time for us. This is our family lined up to meet President Russell M. Nelson and shake his hand. Princess Sparkley is in yellow, followed by me in red holding Squidgems in red/blue actually talking to President Nelson in the picture, then Buddy, Little Guy and B.
I asked the kids to write about it in their journals. I made a point of making Squidgems look at him. President Nelson and his wife said something about Squidgems being shy and I said he was just tired. He said something to Buddy about there being school tomorrow. For the most part, they were thanking us for being there.