Visits from Dallin H. Oaks, his wife, Kristen & Elder Gerrit W. Gong, his wife Susan

Tuesday, May 30

We had a wonderful mission conference/tour for our missionaries, with Elder Dallin H. Oaks and his wife, Elder Gerrit W. Gong and his wife, Elder Choi Yoon Hwan and his wife Sister Koo Bon?, and Elder Jung Tae Gul (area Seventy). The time with them was so short but I was happy that at the beginning of our time with them they shook the hands of all our missionaries. Then the meeting began. With so many people speaking there wasn’t that much time left for Elder Oaks.  The visiting authorities rushed out at the end of the meeting with Dad conducting to end the meeting. I don’t know how but Dad got us to the Lotte Hotel (where they were all sleeping overnight) before they arrived even though they left before us. That is where we ate dinner; the same hotel restaurant we ate at with Elder and Sister Whiting. The buffet was delicious.  I enjoyed visiting with Sister Oaks as we went back to the buffet for more food. She shared with me about their courtship and how/when she met President Boyd K. Packer.  Back at the dinner table Elder Oaks shared with all of us their courtship.  Elder Oaks’ first wife had died of cancer two years earlier. She had prepared their children by telling them that Elder Oaks could not live alone and that they would need to help him find a wife/accept her. After each of his four daughters came to him saying it was time for him to marry again, THEN he was willing to make it a matter of prayer. One morning he felt especially inspired to talk with Elder Ballard about the matter. Elder Ballard had met a woman the week before who had come into his office applying for a job, who was Sister Oaks. They went for walks and visited family members every day of their courtship; though they did not “go out in public” for people to start talking/gossiping. They were married August 25, 2000 which was a short month and a half after meeting each other. I asked Sister Oaks what it was like telling her mom she was going to marry an Apostle/feelings/etc. Sister Oaks told me that it wasn’t quite like how I might imagine. Sister Oaks is a convert, who served a mission in Japan. During the dinner conversation she mentioned that she had been disowned (but she did not go into details that her family must have accepted her back because she now has a good relationship with them).  Her parents/family would not have thought about the church influence issue when meeting him. In fact, when Sister Oaks was explaining to her parents about Elder Oaks her father said, “Are you trying to tell me he’s a Republican?!” It was fun talking and they were very good about answering questions. We felt very comfortable around them/at ease. It was fun to see them eat ice cream for dessert just like us (we weren’t the only ones who wanted dessert as everyone at the table got some!).

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