Woke up not tired for the first time in a long time. Figured out how to use my curling iron after 3ish months here. Made it on time enough to church to pick up a program. He was sitting on the stand. "I can't hope," I thought. "It can't be. His presence is enough. I already had a short conversation, including a hand shake. That's enough for me." But then I dared a look at the program.
"Closing remarks: Elder Holland"
I had a little spastic moment in my heart. "YYYEEEEESSSSSSS!" I had wanted to believe it all week, since Tuesday's announcement session when our director had informed us that Elder Holland would be living under our same roof. Amazing.
"When is he coming?"
And so is was. 4.25 days with the presence of an apostle of the Lord in this place I call home. I didn't want to bug him. I didn't want to intrude on his family vacation, but I craved just a few profound words. "He wouldn't leave us without addressing us....right?..........right????" Church today was our last hope because afterward, he leaves.
It makes sense, in my mind, that I wanted to hear him speak. It's one thing, I concluded, to have him living at the JC. It's another to have him grab my hand for a shake and pull it into a power-fist-grab, like we had been friends. It was another thing to have him speak to me directly, to ask me how my day had been. I wanted to be ok with just that. I wanted to be satisfied. . .but I found myself craving the sense of power I feel when I hear apostles speak. I wanted to hear him testify. I wanted a prophetic message for our little tiny corner of the world here.
It was better than I could have imagined. The meeting ran over almost an hour and I was so thankful. He apologized for intruding on our time...but he must know, O he must know how much we were pleading him to stay.
His message spoke peace to my heart: enjoy your time here. You are blessed. Not to minimize personal challenges, for SURELY there will be hard times ahead, but you MUST stand strong.
He then left us with a blessing.
I had some ponder time in the Garden of Gethsemane and sang and played cards with my close friends, along with our tradition of Sabbath Sundown watching. Wondrous Jerusalem.
I love God. So so so much. Being in Jerusalem has taught me so much...but honestly: what I've learned most is how little I know. We have a teacher here named Brother Harper. Genius. His tag line is "what do you know and how do you know it?" Super intense question. I feel like everything I have learned in my life-before-Jerusalem has been shaken. I know it may sound strange, but through the many little experiences I've had here, I have learned to question. And I love it. I feel like my eyes are beginning to open and now I must literally put everything I know back onto my solid foundation: and that is that I know I love God. I know He is real and that He loves me. And everything else is slowly being built on top of that. I'm asking why, and finding strength. I'm asking questions, and striving for answers. I'm learning how I know things, and that is: most directly from the Spirit, sent to me by my Lord Jesus Christ. That reality (along with the things that are now stemming from it) are the only sure things in my heart.
O communion sweet. Take my heart. Make me more worthy of thy love.
Most sincerely and openly, Chloé Michelle Sumsion