Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Side of Nashed Potatoes: Part 1

So I promised I would write about our General Authority interview. I've been procrastinating because I just told everyone how I can't write and I'm so worried that I won't be able to do it justice. Well, that may be so but I need to write it down anyway so here we go.

Our appointment was at 3:00 and we were instructed to arrive 30 minutes early to make sure that we could get parked and through security and stuff like that. We waited at the entrance to the parking garage for a parking pass and then were directed to a glass wall foyer. We told the security guard who we were, who we were there to see and when our appointment was. He called someone to double check and then told us to have a seat.

We sat waiting for a little while talking to try to ease our nerves as we watched the guard open the doors for others who obviously had clearance. It was so quiet and I commented to the guard that he had a nice quiet job. We chit-chatted for a minute with him until he stood, suddenly becoming very on-duty listening on his earpiece, checking a monitor and then lifting the phone and telling whoever was on the other end to bring a car. Within two seconds a car was waiting right outside the foyer and President Packer exited the building and was assisted into the car. I glanced over at Jeremiah and could tell that it took all his restraint to remain seated. "It's so hard to be so close to someone you admire so much and not be able to do anything," he lamented. Not even two minutes later Elder Scott walked into the foyer and waved a friendly "hello" before entering the double wooden doors into the building. Again I noticed the awe on Jeremiah's face and I commented, "And we're not even in the building yet!"

Before long we were finally given the go-ahead and allowed in the building. We were to meet with Elder Nash on the 5th floor - the very top. When we stepped off the elevator we began searching for room 503 and noticed that several of the rooms were not numbered. We thought it a little peculiar but hurried to find Elder Nash's office.

We were welcomed in by his secretary and then Elder Nash escorted us into his office. The first thing I really noticed about Elder Nash was that he was a kind man. He just had gentle manner and the softest face. I could feel that he was not looking at Jeremiah and I as a prospective Seminary teacher and his wife, but as children of God. It was so humbling to be so tenderly reminded of our Divine Nature simply by being in his presence.

We shook hands and then he asked if we could begin with a word of prayer, to which we both said, "sure." Then he asked me to pray and I almost peed my pants. I thought for sure he would have said the prayer but since I had already nodded I folded my arms and bowed my head. I prayed from the heart and, among other things, asked our Heavenly Father to please bless Elder Nash to know the questions he should ask to best get to know Jeremiah and I and to know of Jeremiah's desires and abilities to teach the gospel. My eyelids were fluttering so fast I thought I might take flight. I never thought that I would be asked to pray in the presence of a General Authority, it was a little intimidating, but I suppose each time we pray it's before the Lord and we should be far more intimidated by Him than any other being so... Anyway, our nerves were quickly set at ease as the interview began and I really felt like we were able to be ourselves.

After my prayer Elder Nash looked at me and said, "Thank you for your spirit." Then he asked me to tell him more about Jeremiah's desire and abilities to teach. It brought tears to my eyes to let him know how proud I was of Jeremiah for all his hard work in getting through school while being a father, a husband and a full-time student and employed. I told him how Jeremiah never changed his major in college and that his goal to become a Seminary teacher has not wavered. I also told him how I felt Jeremiah truly has a gift for sharing the gospel and is always well prepared simply because he loves it and is open to the Spirit.

He asked us how we met and I looked at Jeremiah and asked him to retell the story of how I dated his brother first. Elder Nash chuckled and said that he was glad that situation had worked out for all of us. So he asked us where we were from and about our families and just some general questions.

After a while he asked me if it would be okay if he talked with Jeremiah alone for a minute. Elder Nash escorted me to the door and waited until I was seated in the secretary's office before returning to Jeremiah. I could only hear a little bit through the door and some of it sounded like a temple recommend interview. I was soon invited back in and when I entered both Jeremiah and Elder Nash stood. I was kind of confused for a minute and then finally sat down. After that they both sat as well and Elder Nash said, "We won't sit until you sit, we honor you." Wow. He then explained that the reason he asked me to leave was because he needed to conduct a worthiness interview with Jeremiah and he wanted Jeremiah to be able to answer freely.

I could not believe how much I was made a part of the interview. This is basically Jeremiah's job and yet I felt as though I were just as much a part of it. I am so thankful that he is interested in a career that recognizes that there is an entire family behind him.

This post is getting pretty long, so I'll have to finish up later.


Katie said...

I can't wait to hear the rest! It's so good that you're writing this down. When will you know what's been decided?

Gwen said...

Not until April.