Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Twenty Year Run Ends

I wanted to post something about Tony's last Seminary class in the Los Angeles California Stake.
For the past twenty years Tony has taught Home Study Seminary for the Adams, Hollywood, Olympic and Wilshire wards. In 1992 when we moved to the Wilshire Ward in downtown Los Angeles from Rancho Cucamonga, CA, we had no idea what kind of journey the Lord would lead us on. We just thought we'd move there and blend in with all the other ward members and serve as we always had. Tony had spent the better part of his ministry as a Seventy, serving stake missions,etc. But a little more than a year before we moved to LA Tony was called to be the High Priest Group Leader in our ward in Rancho Cucamonga. At that time there were five former bishops and two former stake presidents in his group - he suddenly became very busy with Priesthood administration. This prepared him for what would await him when we moved to LA. Two months after we moved here Tony was called to be the Young Men President, a role not unfamiliar to him. Then seven months later he was called to be the bishop of Wilshire ward. In the interim between the two callings Maria Montalvo Lagos, a member of the Wilshire ward came and asked him to organize a Seminary class - so with Bishop Woodhouse's permission he did.
(Cupcakes for after the last Seminary Class!->)
He was called to be the Seminary teacher by then stake president Howard Anderson. Seven months later President Anderson called to meet with us and asked him to become the bishop of Wilshire ward. Tony told President Anderson he'd be happy to accept the calling if he could continue to teach his Seminary class. The president told him once he was bishop he could decide who should teach Seminary thereafter - Tony has always said he just decided to not release himself! Ha! And since he was bishop for seven years he didn't release himself, and all the succeeding bishops didn't release him either.
So on June 8th Tony held his last Seminary class because we are leaving on our mission July 9th. He ended his calling teaching the Old Testament this year. I am so proud of him for all his years of service, and he has blessed the lives of so many young students who were preparing themselves for work or college. Many of his students went on missions and BYU as well - some of them did both. He loves each and everyone of them, and will hold them in his heart forever. (Left is a picture of the 2012 Seminary graduates.)

1 comment:

Jen said...

Oh how I love and miss those kids! All 4 of them are great!

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