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Monday, August 10, 2015

Brother F

Last night we were going to our dinner appointment in the lovely
little suburb town that we cover. In it are mainly people that are
enlisted in the Air Force and fly planes at the base not too far from
our own apartment. But then again, not everyone is Brother Fairbanks.

Who exactly is Brother F? Well, after meeting him, I can
promptly tell you that he is the most interesting man in the world.
Don't believe me? That is because you have never met him. At age six
brother Fairbanks was adopted into a concert Mormon family whose
father was in a stake presidency. For the twelve years of his life he
spent multiple days out of the year spending time with apostles who
came to visit his father, and he even became close enough to them that
he calls them affectionately Uncle Gordon, Uncle Russell, and yes,
Uncle Tommy. At age 11 he began to do ballet classes in upstate New
York. At age fourteen he became the youngest soloist to perform
professionally at the Washington DC opera house and ballet center. Not
only that. But he was also the first African American soloist in about
15 years. At age 19 he received a call from Uncle Tom asking if he was
going to serve a mission or continue in his prodigious ballet career.
After getting accepted to be the first American to dance in the Hong
Kong ballet troupe, he turned it down to go serve a mission in the
Philippines, where he was a branch president and served as President
Oak's assistant for 18 months. After his mission he was a professional
ballet dancer whose career ranged from playing alongside Matthew
Broderick and Hugh Jackman on Broadway, meeting 25 different
presidents and prime ministers, and beating a Russian for the title of
best ballet dancer in the world. I'm not joking. Now he is living in a
suburb in San Antonio for who mows why, and working for the
government. When we asked exact,y what he did for the U.S. Government,
he very politely said, "I work for the government." He is also on a
texting relationship with the prophet of the church.

Holy Gosh! That's amazing! Literally I don't think I met someone with
a story more miraculous! And yet here he is, talking to us and being
so appreciative that we were there,min icing the spirit of the lord
into his house. My companion from Mexico said in a jagged English
accent, "I have never seen more light in a man before" but here is
brother Fairbanks, talking to us and loving us, even as we are. What
made him most interesting is that he knew that the best part of his
life was the gospel, not anything he did in this world. Truthfully, he
was the most interesting if not the most peculiar man I've ever met.

As miraculous as brother Fairbanks is, even he realized that there is
something greater on is life. He knows that what we do in this life is
of little use if we do not have the presence of God in our lives. I
know that he loves us. I know that I am here, talking and meeting and
preaching to so many magnificent people on this mission, and that
every one of them matter to God, no matter how big or small there
accomplishments are. Today I a, rather hard pressed for time, but I
want to let everyone know that God lives, and that he loves all of us.
In Texas, Idaho, Germany, it does not matter. In happiness, despair,
sin, righteousness, he loves us. In the smallest of faiths to the
greatest of wisdoms, I know that he has a love for us.

So what can we do because of that? What will we do with this
knowledge? You can see what I have done, and I have seen what the
investigators of the church whom I am teaching have done, and now I
ask you, what have you done? What can you do? There is always room to
improve, and that is a blessing, far more than a curse. We are all
evidence of his mercy and justice.

With truthful and earnest love,
Elder Richard Hall

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