General Conference has always been a tradition in our family. To help Kevin be able to focus, we went to Salt Lake City. If we were in Salt Lake and there was problem on the farm, they couldn’t interrupt conference with a call for help. It was a great tradition.
All traditions have a beginning, and ours started when Rebecca was about five. For weeks leading up to Conference the two of us, would pray it would rain so we could go to Conference. At that time in my life, I didn’t think about what kind of a request we were making. But seriously, almost every General Conference had some kind of rain. It did help that traditionally around the first week of October and April, Southeast Idaho gets rain. But for Rebecca and I, it was just that our prayers were being answered, and off to General Conference we went. Soon enough, it was a family tradition. I remember one time after her dad said we couldn’t go to General Conference, Rebecca disappointedly saying, “Dad, I’d rather go to General Conference then have Christmas.” It seemed a little dramatic, but to Bec that was just how it was.
Fast forward to this weekend. Rebecca didn’t feel like she could go to General Conference. There are still 700 acres to harvest and when you get into October you are racing against the weather. This left her with the quandary of how to listen to conference. There are several recently, returned, sister missionaries and two preparing missionaries who are working on her crew. As their boss, she felt an obligation to allow them the opportunity to listen to Conference. They couldn’t be given the day off. Their help was too needed. Of course, they could listen to or read it later, but the reason she is involved in farming in the first place was her deep conviction that no sacrifice is too great to ensure that others have the opportunity to listen to a prophet’s voice.
Finally, she decided she would get the boom box that had been in the shop for years, and take it to the field. She did. It didn’t work. A quick scramble found her at Walmart buying speakers for her phone. She then dashed back to the field, set it up on the transloader and let anyone who wanted to listen come pick spuds.
It has been my experience that in the mist of the action, is not when we feel satisfaction, but when we see how our actions affect others. For Rebecca it was the same. A young man, preparing for a mission, stepped on to the transloader, looked her in the eye, smiled, and then bent his head down to start picking out the clods and vines.
The exclamation point came later in the session when the missionary choir sang, “I’ll go where you want me to go.” Accompanying the opening lines was the Spirit’s acknowledgement that her “go” was to make the sacrifice to “stay”. Her “go” would be in a field with dirt, spuds, a speaker, and a small band of followers of Jesus Christ.