Elder Bednar throws first pitch to mission president, former MLB player Jeremy Guthrie at Houston Astros game

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wearing a Houston Astros jersey, stepped to the mound and from the rubber threw a perfect strike in a ceremonial opening pitch at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, on Monday, July 22. The catcher was former MLB pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who now serves as Texas Houston South Mission President, one of three missions in the Houston area.

Following their mission president onto the field were 150 missionaries who performed the National Anthem.

They were led by April Mecham of the Sugar Land 1st Ward. “They were angelic!” she said.

Elder Lisala Tai, serving in the mission from Los Angeles added, “To sing in front of the crowd and have the opportunity to help them feel the spirit was an awesome experience.”

In this month of scheduled family time and rest from travel, the Bednars brought family to the ballpark and graciously held several question and answer firesides, including one for youth before the game at Minute Maid Park. Elder Bednar reiterated his “Be All In” encouragement, which he gave in his devotional in San Antonio, Texas, in November 2018.

Elder David A. Bednar throws the first pitch, a strike.
Elder David A. Bednar throws the first pitch, a strike. Credit: Courtesy of Houston Astros

“We were able to ask questions. It was really cool to put out our own experiences and hear a prophet give us insight on them,” Spencer Garthe, 15, of the Summerwood Ward.

Marcel Braithwaite, Astros senior vice president of business operations and member of the Memorial Springs Ward, facilitated the event. He noted the importance of being “All In.”

“Being ‘All In’ applies to anything that has importance to you. It means you put all your efforts and resources towards achieving the highest levels,” he said. “You dedicate yourself physically and mentally, prioritizing and sacrificing other things to achieve your goals. This is how the players succeed on the field as well as our team off the field.”

This was the Church’s annual Family Night at the ballpark and more than 4,000 members were in the stands of this sold-out game. This game was also in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 11-1.

President Jeremy Guthrie and Elder David A. Bednar are congratulated by team mascot Astro.
President Jeremy Guthrie and Elder David A. Bednar are congratulated by team mascot Astro. Credit: Courtesy of Houston Astros