Dear Elders and Sisters,
As you know I suddenly became ill during the week between Christmas and New Years Day. I heard one rumor that "Santa" delivered one too many sacks of toys just before Christmas and that contributed to his illness--although I don't think that had anything to do with it. In fact, seeing each and every one of you on the same day (Friday before Christmas) and being able to wish you each a joyful and blessed Christmas was the highlight of Sister Lewis and my Christmas.
I have had two major surgeries and have been hospitalized all but a couple of days since the 29th of December. I have received the very best care available and more importantly I have felt the healing and sustaining effect of your prayers and priesthood blessings during this time. Nevertheless, I am still not well enough to leave the hospital and to resume my responsibilities in this great work.
I met with Elder Stephen Allen of the Missionary Department yesterday. He came to see me and Sister Lewis at the hospital. He was sent by members of the First Quorum of the Seventy and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. After a careful review it has been determined I have a better chance for a faster and surer recovery by returning to a hospital in Salt Lake City that is near our home. Therefore, today I am being transported to a hospital in Salt Lake for further care.
I am not being released as President of the Mission. But, during the next few days the Church has asked President Spencer Weston of our Mission Presidency to take the lead in my absence. Following that time the Church will assign another experienced brother to serve on my behalf until I am well enough to return. Once that person is identified and arrangements have been made for him to come to Sacramento you will be among the first to know.
I am reminded of the scripture in Proverbs 3: 5 & 6: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." I have no doubt that this is the Lord's work. He will continue to direct it. He loves each of us beyond our ability to understand. If we approach each experience and trial in life with humility and patience He will bless us.
Sister Lewis and I have great respect for you; we trust you and have confidence in you. Please give your very best. We look forward to being back with you soon. We love you!
President and Sister Lewis
Obedience is the price, Faith is the power, Love is the motive, The Spirit is the key and Christ is the reason.
The picture is with my companion, Elder Harral. He's crazy :)
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