I missed most of General Conference this time around because of trips to the hospital to be with my dad. The only talk I was able to really watch and get anything out of was Elder Cook's. He talked about the necessity of experiencing the bitter with the sweet. It was the talk written just for me. That is how my life has been consumed since I found out about my dad on Thursday afternoon. I am sick with worry about him, but I'm so happy that he was able to get to the hospital quickly before worse things happened. They were able to stop a heart attack while they were evaluating him. It's bitter to me that he is in the ICU, but sweet to me that he is in probably the best hospital to take care of him after what he has gone through. It was bitter that my mom could not be there with him yesterday, but sweet that I was able to leave the baby with family close to the hospital so that I could take her place in his room. For everything that I am sad about, there is something to rejoice in.
As I said before, I missed most of Conference. On Saturday morning (after the surprise that my mom was ill and could not be at the hospital) I was running late to get to my dad and arrived at my in-laws in a bit of a fluster. The first session of Conference was playing as I hurried around the room assuring myself I was leaving them with everything they needed for the baby. In a single quiet moment I heard President Monson say they were announcing five new temples. I shuffled through the diaper bag, producing necessary items when I heard him say, "...and Rome, Italy." As the congregation gasped I turned to the television and burst into tears of joy as I watched the prophet smile. I cannot adequately express the emotions I feel knowing the blessings of the temple will be coming to the people I served on my mission. The goal that all of us, members and missionaries alike, had been striving, working, fasting, and praying for has become a reality. For a few moments I stood there weeping, so grateful to hear the prophet telling the Italian Saints that a temple would be theirs.
Five years ago I was in Rome, living my last few days as a missionary. My last Sunday there was Conference. In my mind's eye I was transported back to the chapel on Via Bra and could imagine the cheering and joyful crying of the people I knew there. October 4th will be a day of joy for me. I was able to hold my two month (exactly) old daughter, be with my dad as he made two big steps forward in recovery, and hear with my own ears that the goal of my work as a missionary had finally been realized. I am overwhelmed with the blessings in my life.