One of the things we enjoy about living in Oregon is the trees! There are so many varieties and they are everywhere. As I type this I am looking out the window and watching the beautiful maple trees softly swaying in the wind. So their leaves will appear and they will once again provide us with shade and a green canopy over the street where we live. These maples are tall with beautiful straight branches and lacy leaves. Just down the street are oaks with their gnarly branches and hard wood. Just a short 5 minutes from us I can find the mighty redwood trees. Straight, so tall, reaching toward heaven with their feathery greens, resistant to rot and the dampness that is Oregon. I've thought about these trees a lot lately. I've wondered how old are they? What have they witnessed as they've grown so tall 4 and 5 stories some of them. How many children have climbed their branches and played in the shade they've provided. How many birds, squirrels, possums and other critters have made their homes in these trees. What have they had to endure to live long enough to grow that tall - wind, rain, drought, heat and cold? The words that come to mind are "noble" and "great".
Recently we attended a Couple's Conference for the mission. It's a wonderful quarterly activity that gives us the great opportunity to spend some time with the other senior couples of the mission. We get to know each other better, re-connect with friends, offer encouragement, share ideas, laugh, eat and above all share our testimonies of truth. We left this conference uplifted and feeling blessed to be in the company of these "noble and great ones"! These 8 couples have left home and family to spend 6-18 months here in Oregon sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They have sacrificed the comforts o home and time with friends and family. They are not unlike the trees - they have endured much and have grown straight and tall! They are noble and great. It's humbling to be among them. We are so blessed.