1980—Sacrifice in Djakarta
I keep telling this story to some people and promising it to others. Mainly to folks from places like Davis County, Utah, where a half-mile commute to church strikes some locals as an intolerable sacrificial imposition. But I don’t think I’ve ever actually written it down. It may undergo some refinement, when I come across the letters in which Pappy and Norma recounted it. I may have taken some inadvertent storyteller’s liberties with it. But the essence is there.
It’s 1980. My Pappy, H Duane Anderson, and his wife Norma (Florence Norma Pardoe Wright Anderson) are winding up an 18-month mission for the Church in Colombo, Sri Lanka, when the mail brings a fat package from Murdock Travel in Salt Lake City. Turns out to contain a whole pile of airline tickets, with destinations all up and down the Pacific coast of Asia.

Pappy calls Spencer W Kimball: “Oh, didn’t we tell you? Well, we have congregations in all those places, but no stakes. Therefore, no patriarchs. You’re a patriarch, right? You wouldn’t mind giving a few blessings on your way home to Los Angeles, would you?“
Urchins Of course not. Over something like two and a half weeks, Pappy gave 82 blessings. We note, for context, that if a patriarch has to give two blessings in a week, the Church considers him overburdened and looks for another to supplement him.

Their last stop was Djakarta. If you lack a good handle on the configuration of Indonesia, please check it out; Wikipedia will tell you what you need to know.
Pre-dawn to post-dusk, Pappy gave blessings, and Grammy recorded them for later transcription. Finally, quite worn out, he looked into the adjoining room and said to the local member who was traffic-copping the process, “Well, Sister, I guess we can get a couple of hours’ sleep in the hotel, before we have to head for the airport.” “Well, almost,” she replied. “Over in the corner, if you look hard under the chairs, you’ll see a tiny lady curled up on the floor, asleep. I suggested that, ’cause she was so very tired. You see, it had taken her two weeks to paddle her canoe from her island home to the capital, to get her patriarchal blessing. And in order to get the canoe, she had to sell her house.”
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