Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Mission President Sherman L. Doll Describes Elbow Rubbing Experience at Mission Presidents' Seminar

President and Sister Sherman L. and Linda Doll, the new Illinois Chicago North mission president described their experience attending the new mission presidents' seminar on their new blog A Marvelous Work and a Wonder:
The accompanying photo is of the name tags we received the day we entered the MTC. This was an especially emotional moment for me since I haven't worn one for nearly 36 years. It's humbling to be counted among the full-time missionaries.

The experience at the MTC really can’t be described but must be experienced. The main building of the MTC is completely dedicated to the New Mission Presidents Seminar. All of the members of the Twelve and the First Presidency have been here and many have given talks. Most of the breakout group instruction is handled by members of the Seventy. It’s just so interesting to rub elbows with all of these brethren during and after our sessions, including eating with them. They’re all very gracious and kind, and they so much want us to be successful.

The term rubbing elbows is a reality since shaking hands has been prohibited due to a recent swine flu problem at the MTC. Many of the people here have adopted the custom of rubbing elbows as a substitute. We’ve been segregated from the missionaries as a consequence of the flu situation.

The amount of instruction and inspiration has been incredible. Elder Perry describes it as "feeding us with a fire hose." This is a very apt term.

An especially tender moment occurred in the Saturday morning portion of the conference as Elder Boyd K. Packer was ending his talk. He left us with an apostolic blessing that included a promise that those who had children who had strayed would not lose those children but would see them return as a consequence of our service and sacrifice. I noticed quite a few people with tears as he treated this tender subject. Ours were included.

The Sunday sacrament meeting was quite inspiring. All three members of the First Presidency and all of the Twelve (minus Elder Packer who was ordered by his doctor to rest) were in attendance. Elder Perry conducted the meeting and the sacrament was blessed and passed by missionaries from the MTC. Over 300 people were there to hear an inspirational talk by President Monson. It was loaded with advice and counsel for all of the 108 mission presidents and their wives.

The closing hymn of the sacrament meeting was especially difficult. We all sang together "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again." In the three and one half days we were at the MTC we quickly made friends with a number of the mission president couples. So many have had similar experiences as we have had in being called, preparing, and leaving jobs and families. And, of course we also share the daunting task of leading a mission. Sunday ended with tears, handshakes (OK, we broke the rules), and hugs. I expect some of these people will be lifelong friends. Others we may never see again.

We've been blessed, inspired, counseled, loved, and instructed. We leave with confidence and a little anxiety of the unknown.

I found a great picture on a family member's blog of President and Sister Doll's setting apart by Dallin H. Oaks.

I like to see new mission presidents and their wives that blog. I hope this proves to be another vibrant and dynamic mission president and his wife who are blogging.

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