Elder Carl B. Cook and his wife Lynette visited the Port Alfred Branch on December 21st. This is the first time that a general authority has made a visit to our little branch. Our members were giddy with excitement, and VERY nervous.
We first met the Cook's at a Zone Conference in the Fall of this year and invited them to visit if they could work it in to their schedule. At Zone Conference we found out that he was from Liberty, Utah and my sister Ruth was his teacher in Junior High School. He also knows my brother Jay and served with him for a short time in the First Quorum of the Seventy. They are delightful people. The best way I can describe them is to use the word "gentle", and "genuine".
The Cook's were in Port Elizabeth to attend the FSY Conference the previous week. Normally, he uses his secretary to do his scheduling, but with his visit to Port Alfred he made all of the arrangements himself with Elder Wheeler. That proved to be a mistake in that we had him scheduled to arrive the previous week. Our calendar had him coming in on Sat. evening at 6:00 pm December 13th. I had made all the preparations, the Thomas's were here, and the appointed time for arrival but no President Cook. We started to worry and gave him a call. He was in Johannesburg (12 hours away) at a missionary conference. He was so embarrassed and apologetic. We had put his arrival in the local newspaper and our members were so excited, but we pushed everything back another week and it all worked out just lovely. We had a delightful visit. He shared many experiences with us. We talked and laughed and just had a nice evening together.
Sunday, he and his wife spoke in church. He was interviewed by the newspaper and actually taught the plan of salvation to the reporter. After church we took this group shot.
I love these good people. What a treasure this day was for us all.