So about a month or so ago, we had our Stake Conference. It was exciting because we knew that we were getting a new Stake Presidency. Of course, we had no idea who was going to be called. What a surprise to find out that our Bishop was called as one of the counselors in the Stake Presidency. Well, that obviously left us with a Bishopric to fill. That week I was called in to interview with members of the Stake Presidency. There were quite a few of us called in, so while I knew I was on the hook, I knew there were other people higher on the list. Cindy and I both felt that the new Bishop would probably be a good friend of ours who is a music professor at one of the local colleges. In fact, he and I kept teasing each other about which one of us would be the new Bishop.
This went on for several weeks, and we were all beginning to wonder if we were ever going to get a new Bishop. Eventually I got another call from the Stake Presidency asking for Myself and Cindy to come in on a Wednesday night. Cindy knew I was getting a calling, but I told her they were going to call her as Stake Relief Society President. She got a good laugh out of that. So we went in for our interview (coincidentally we were also able to renew our temple recommends at that same time, one stop shopping), and it turns out the calling was for me after all, and Ross Smith (the music professor) is the new Bishop and I am his first counselor. The second counselor is one of the Colonels on base, the Chief of Safety for 8th Air Force. In fact, his office is just upstairs from mine, and he comes down occasionally now and we shoot the breeze.
All in all I'm very excited about this calling. I've always enjoyed serving in Bishoprics. Yeah, it's a lot of work, but also a lot of blessings. Cindy's also happy about it. The workload has already increased even though we haven't really done anything yet. By that I mean that we were set apart two weeks ago, and last week was Conference, so we haven't even conducted a single Sacrament Meeting yet. Anyway, I've already helped people move, picked them up when their car was broken down, etc.
There was actually a funny story that came out of all of this, and what a small world it is. A couple of nights ago the Bishop called at about 9:30 pm. He said that some guy from Minnesota had been passing through Shreveport, began feeling bad (chest pains and such) and went to the hospital. He called his wife, who called their Bishop, who called our Bishop asking if someone could give him a blessing. Our Bishop was tied up so he called me. I grabbed another brother who lives down the street and we went downtown to the hospital. We got there and met the guy, talked to him for a bit, then found an empty room to give him a blessing. After the blessing and before we left I was giving him my phone number in case he needed anything else before he left town. I gave him the number and was giving him my name (spelling the last name of course) when he said "Ortolani huh? When I was in college I had a roommate named Kent Ortolani." I said "Hey, that's my brother." I don't know if I have the spelling right, but Shannon Crouder (Crowder? I don't know how to spell it) was Kent's roommate down in Provo. That was just pretty cool and it really makes you realize what a small world it is.