Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Memories—General Conference Weekend

I love General Conference Weekend (two-day, semi-annual meetings for all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where we are instructed, taught, encouraged and hear business conducted. The meetings are televised from Salt Lake City, Utah and we can watch it from home via TV or the Internet, or from local meetinghouses). General Conference is rejuvenating.

When I was young I was relieved when the last session of conference ended because it was finally over (eight hours is a looooong time, don’t you know), but now I wish it would last just a little longer (eight hours isn't a very long time, don't you know). It’s like opening the last Christmas present and though you really have been given more than enough, you hate to lose the moment.

When the kids were little (who am I fooling, they used them 'til they left home), the tub of Legos was allowed in the living room during General Conference. For hours the kids sat there putting pieces together, fairly quietly, because quiet Legos are better than no Legos and having to sit on the couch. I don't know which is my favorite memory, little kids quietly playing on the floor at our feet, or big kids pawing through the pile to find just the right piece. They are both quite sweet.

Our 2009 General Conference Weekend looked like this:

I’ve been crocheting a leper bandage for the LDS Humanitarian Center during General Conferences. Leper bandages are made from cotton thread and a teeny, tiny crochet hook. They are about 4 inches wide and 5 feet long and require only primitive crochet skills and time. Lots of time. I thought crocheting while listening to General Conference would serve two purposes, keep me alert and help someone in need in a small way. Though I often wondered if a strip of old sheets wouldn’t work just as well or even if donated gauze wouldn’t be more sterile and appreciated, I kept crocheting because . . .

“One of the most healing things we do with the leprosy-affected people of India is simply to touch them: to give them "high-fives", hugs, handshakes, and kisses. Greater than the suffering caused by their disease, is the suffering caused by society's declaring them to be untouchables. The bandages are one way we can begin to heal their social wounds. That is the secret of the healing power of the bandages that are so lovingly made by so many. The very fact that they take dozens and dozens of hours, testifies of the love another person has for the leprosy-affected. Instead of pushing the leprosy patient aside, the bandage-makers make a personal sacrifice of time to serve.”

Yesterday I finally finished that leper bandage after three years of General Conference crocheting. I called the Humanitarian Center this morning and they said they quit asking for them two years ago. Oh ho. I guess they don’t expect it to take someone three years to make one. The assistant told me to send it to them anyway and they would use it somewhere. Regardless of how needed it is, it still felt good to make it and if nothing else it will make a fairly cute mummy costume for someone.

Borrowing tradition, Cali, my niece Rachel (who joined us for the weekend), and I made donuts while Ray and Calvin attended the Priesthood Session of General Conference on Saturday evening. Cali also made quiche and a few extra pie shells for Sunday dinner pumpkin pies. I called Grace while we were making donuts and she was making sugar cookies for Abe. When Ray and Calvin came home we sat around the table visiting about their meeting and eating warm donuts and quiche. It was a great tradition to borrow and begin and share from one state to another.

Calvin and Ray spent a lot of the weekend out in the shop building a butcher block table for Ray and Cali’s home. It is going to be beautiful. Ray found this heart shape in a piece of maple wood and made it into a block for me to set on the kitchen window sill. Do you see Australia or a heart in it?

While we were here having fun, Ande and Ty met in Salt Lake City to attend conference in person and make new memories. They had a great time. (While attending the temple they ran into an old friend and mission buddy of Calvin's. He saw their last name and asked if by chance they knew Calvin. I love "coincidences".)

Did I mention I love General Conference Weekend?


hennchix said...

I love Conference Weekend as well! I remember going to the Stake Center to watch the broadcast, and later watching it at home. My favorite talk was Elder Holland's, as well as Pres. Eyring's. They are so wise, and gave such stirring testimonies.

Lucy said...

Funny you compare the "last present at Christmas" feeling with conference ending because as soon as the closing prayer was said, Jay's father said the same thing. I'd never thought of it like that, but, you're right. It's kind of bittersweet.

Laughing at the leper bandages. My mother made those, but, it must have been about 3 years ago:) They do need receiving blankets now because that is what she currently sends them.

Yummy donuts.

I saw a heart.

You're the best!


I love conference too! You can feel so much love from the prophet as he directs us. I always wondered about those leper bandages that Paul's Mom was always crocheting. Your stitches look perfect. I love getting ideas from you blog...consider yourself hugged!!!

andrea said...

I definitely saw a heart. The story about the leper bandages made me chuckle. At least you stayed awake for three years of conferences. I also need to keep my hands busy or (as much as I love general conference) I always drift during the afternoon sessions.

I love your donut making tradition. I thought about doing that this year but it never materialized.

Susan said...

Never mind Jane, I'm sure leper bandages will come back in style at some point, and if you keep crocheting, you'll be ready when they do! ;)

Cali said...


You forgot to tell how you were the PERFECT hostess. That we had copious amounts of delicious food. How you spent time with each one of us and engaged in personal conversation. Even that you giggled the whole weekend because dad was FIXATED on killing ALL the flies (and there were billions). You even giggled when he would interupt every conversation to say, "there's a fly right there" or "there's a fly over here."
I love you mom & dad. Thanks for making home FEEL so home-ish and wonderful. Thanks for letting us know (through your actions) that we are ALWAYS welcome.

Cassidy said...

Sadly, I saw Texas instead of either a heart or australia. That to me is sad. haha.

Becky said...

Love, love, love Conference! And then I devour the Conference Ensign for the next 6 months (it's like getting to play with those brand-new Christmas presents over and over again :) ).

Loved hearing about your Conference traditions and laughed out loud about your poor (but sweet and thoughtful) leper bandage!

Emma J said...

Oh, me too! To everything.

michelle said...

I love love love General Conference weekend. I'm so sad that we didn't have it here. Now I have a lot of catching up to do.

How is it possible that they aren't asking for leper bandages anymore? They have kits at Women's Conference for people to take and work on during the classes!

Hooray for Conference donuts! I missed doing that.