Stake Conference this weekend. Good stuff!
California Sacramento Mission President James Jardine's father served as a mission president in Canada. He loves the Canadian national anthem. Whenever he meets someone from Canada, he sings their anthem. Not that he has a fine singing voice! When President Jardine was set apart as mission president by President Monson for the California Sacramento Mission, his parents were there. Knowing that President Monson had also served in Canada, Dad told him that he had as well and started singing. His family was a bit embarrassed, but President Monson put his arm around him and sang along.
One of President Jardine's best friends is just completing an assignment as mission president in Australia. When he was a youth, not a member of the church, his friends invited him to Seminary and to play church baseball. Because he lived outside of his friends' ward boundaries, the team was told that if he played, their team would be disqualified. The team talked it over privately and decided that they would rather include him and forfeit every game they played than to leave him out. So that's what they did. Their love and unselfishness inspired him to learn more about the gospel which led to his conversion and joining the church.
Elder Spencer J. Condie talked about friendshipping a neighbor and sharing the gospel. At one point, the neighbor told them that he could not start the day without 2 cups of coffee. You aren't going to keep me out because of 2 cups of coffee are you? Elder Condie said, "I'm sales, I'm not management." Of course, you know, that after further discussion and prayer, a testimony grew and his friend joined the church.
Elder Condie also related a story that Presidenty Hinckley told of a friend whose co-worker came to him for help quitting smoking. He gave her a Book of Mormon and told her to read it. The next day she came back a bit irritated and said "I read (I forget how many- 170?) pages of your book and there is nothing in there about quitting smoking." He told her to read the rest of the book. Two more days she came back after reading late into the night, more and more irritated that there was nothing about addiction or smoking. He just told her to keep reading. The fourth night she finished the book and read the promise in Moroni 10:4-5 "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." As she prayed, she felt a wonderful warmth spreading through her. She had the best night sleep in four nights and awoke free from the desire to smoke.
Both Saturday night and Sunday morning, Elder Condie told us, "Your Stake presidency are wonderful men. They are not perfect, but they are good enough for you."