We participated in the Sarasota Stake Conference today. The visiting authority is Elder Niel L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve. The stake members have been very excited because it is so rare that a member of the Quorum of the Twelve comes here. I was told by a long-time member that it has been 25 years since an apostle came. The purpose of his visit is to call a new stake presidency. And of course, to speak to the stake members. Also in attendance is Elder Evan A. Schmutz of the Seventy.
I attended the priesthood leadership meeting. The meeting began at 4 pm, but Elder Andersen didn't arrive until 5:15. No one said what he was doing, but I suspect he was meeting with the newly called stake presidency. Elder Schmutz really had to give an accordion talk to adjust for whenever Elder Andersen came into the meeting. Elder Andersen mentioned that the new president had been called in his comments.
After dropping me off for the 4 pm meeting, Renee came back for the evening session. She brought me dinner. She came back early because we anticipated a large turnout for the meeting, and there is very limited parking at the Sarasota building. As it turned out, there weren't as many at the evening session as I had anticipated (and hoped).
Pres. Cusick spoke and talked about Elder Schmutz having been the home teacher for his uncle for 20 years. He encouraged everyone to be as diligent and develop a friendship as Elder Schmutz had done with his uncle. Elder Andersen was very relaxed and informal in his comments.
Bro. Gordon Bischoff, who was baptized on New Year's Eve and has become a friend, was very excited about hearing an apostle speak. Unfortunately, none of the other recent converts in the University Park Ward attended. We drove Bro. Bischoff home following the meetings. He said he was so excited that he would have difficulty sleeping.