Growing up I was VERY blessed to have had such an amazing influences in my life. I had one huge influence in my life who only lived across the street from me for about 7 years or so. Little did I know how much this person meant to me... until he passed away and I began reading his journals. Still to this day, I can remember him sitting at the kitchen table reciting what he was writing out loud and typing away at his type writer..thats right people, type writer. He was not one to love the computer. I think he thought that they were much to confusing.
This man was my step grandfather, yet the only grandfather whom was really in my life. My dad's mother, Francis Beth Bussberg, married Herbert Walter Gellert on April 27th, 1985. Herb, & one of my hero's, describes my grandmother as the "rich widow whom loved jazz". My grandmother was introduced to Herb through my Grandmothers niece, Marry Lou Whipple.
There are many reasons why I admire this man. I will name a few as I go along. For those of you who are reading this, it may sound boring, or I may seem to jump around. I guess, this entry is more or less, just for me. :)
I admire Herb for his funny lines, although I think when he said what he was saying he did not intend for it to be a "funny". As he describes himself in a journal entry he writes "My growth record seems normal. When I eat to much, I gain too much, I gain and my pants don't fit."
One story that I really liked in his journal entries was as follows: "Let me illustrate some experiences of my love for Temple Work. It was during a severe rainstorm in Hawaii, the flood water was intruding into our family room at 55431 Naniloa Loop, Laie, Hawaii and I was desperate, placing the piano and furniture on cement blocks. As there was nothing else to do but pray, I went into the small bathroom, got on my knees and promised the Lord I would do 100 names in the temple tomorrow if the rain would stop! The rain increased! How about 200, 300, 500 ( thunder and lightening answered my plea) so I held my breath and said, "I will do a 1000 names" and immediately the rain decreased and finally stopped. I was overcome with joy, swept the dirty water out of the family room and replaced the furniture. The very next day I began to fulfill my promised to do the work for a 1000 deceased. Needless to say, I needed help. The following Sunday, Bishop put me in charge of recruiting patrons for our Laie II ward temple obligations for the year. I asked the temple how many "bodies" were needed for endowments, Initiatory, and sealing for each assignment, then I created a calendar with the correct blanks with their names and their spouses name to fulfill the assignment on the date they could attend. I would follow up with a phone call reminder of there obligation and it worked like a charm. I believe the Savior accepted this activity and my thousand names were completed shortly thereafter and the Bishop was pleased too."
A few other things that really drew me to my grandpa was the he served not one, or two-- but four missions. Personally I find that to be quite an accomplishment. The leads me to one more entry where he shares " I gained my testimony by sleeping in Carthridge jail, My having faith in my Patriarchal Blessing which told me that for every dollar I gave to the church, it would be returned several hundred fold......." He goes on to say in another entry " The missionary program fascinates me. Here are 19 year old boys away from there "fun and games" and put them out in the world to face hostile experiences, meet new people and situations daily, pay their own expenses, learn new languages, and stay away from loved one's for two years, and develop a testimony of what they are "selling". One must have to dig deep into his souls to come up with answers about the meaning of life ans what is really important. These are things you don't learn in college but are learned by one the job training as in bearing their testimony. I will do all in my power to help my grand kids go on missions, become Eagle Scouts and earn the Young Woman Awards. The gives me something to live for, pray for, and appreciate. Knowing the Jesus helps me live to accomplish the above and that he died that my sins are forgiven. He answers my prayers and wants me to be happy, all of this is my testimony in his holy name. Amen."