Week 29 in the Utah Provo Mission

Here is a small group of Sisters who served in the Open House of the Utah Payson Temple.

Here is a small group of Sisters who served in the Open House of the Utah Payson Temple.

When I get back from my mission, I want to tutor Spanish up at BYU-Idaho. I love the Spanish language, and I look forward to conversing with the sisters in our home ward. I love speaking Spanish, and I hope one day I can be (almost) fluent. I’ve even thought of attending a Spanish Ward after I return. That would be fun. 🙂

I love serving here in Utah. I see the gospel in action in all stages of conversion. We are all on this path, and we are all at different places with our testimonies, and we all need help and support.

The Utah Payson Temple at night.

The Utah Payson Temple at night.

This last Friday we started serving at the Payson Temple Open House. And while I was there, I reflected back to when I was ten years-old and our San Antonio Texas Temple was dedicated. I remember seeing all the sister missionaries in our ward and stake at the open house and admiring them, wishing to be one of them someday. I remember walking through the temple open house, gazing into the mirrors in the sealing room and determining then that the temple was the only place I will be married. And then this past Friday afternoon, as I waited for the first group to enter the reception tent, I looked down at my name tag and it hit me — here I am. I’m one of those sister missionaries, serving the Lord and helping others come unto Him through making and keeping sacred covenants available in the Temple. I’m a representative of Jesus Christ. And this Sunday Elder Kent F. Richards, one of the members of the Seventy over the temples, gave us some training, and we had the amazing opportunity to walk through the temple with him. The spirit in the temple is so strong and powerful, and as we stood together in the Celestial Room, the day I received my endowment came to my mind. This is my purpose: To help others come to the temple.

The Utah Payson Temple at twilight.

The Utah Payson Temple at twilight.

One of my friends from the mission shared this story with me. She helped me get through a tough time, and this story has helped me remember why we have trials in our lives.

The Story of the Silversmith “For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” D&C 128:24

There was a woman who desired greatly to know how precious metals were formed from raw material. So she went to see a silversmith.

When she was interviewing this man, she began to draw a parallel between what he does with the silver and what our Heavenly Father does with us.

She questioned him. “What kind of conditions do you find the metal in before it is refined?”

“The metal,” he said, “is rough and impure, though a good silversmith looks for potential. It’s not about how it is now but how it can become when the process is complete.”

“What kind of process does it have to go through?” she inquired.

“First,” he said, “I have to create the perfect environment. I have to heat up the oven to just the right temperature. One degree too hot and it will damage the silver. One degree too cold and it won’t be sufficient to incinerate the imperfections.”

“And I can’t move.” he said. “I have to sit and watch the metal the entire time through. I can’t afford to get up and do something else or take my eye off the silver for a second. I have to be ready at a moment’s notice to act if anything happens or if conditions change so the silver doesn’t get damaged.”

“How do you know the process is complete?” The woman asked. To which the silversmith plainly said, “When I can see my reflection in the silver.”  And this is her comment to me: “It’s about the journey. Enjoy it. Trust Him. Surrender your soul to Him and you will be where He needs you to be to find a fullness of joy in His presence and have one heck of an adventure along the way.”

We have lived in the basement of my relative Sister Wright and her daughter Kim. Hermana Flores poses with them.

We have lived in the basement of my relative Sister Wright and her daughter Kim. Hermana Flores poses with them.

Now that all that stress isn’t clouding my eyes, I am starting to recognize what good I have done here. This Sunday during Sacrament Meeting, I looked around and saw so many people I have grown to love and care for, families we have worked with, visited, and served. And there they were in the chapel, loving the Lord and coming closer to Him through covenants and ordinances. I feel such love and joy for them in my heart. I almost cried. I look back at my experiences in this area and can see how they have helped me become more like my Savior. I feel a burden lifted off my shoulders, and I can see why the Lord wanted me to be here. I am happy. 🙂

I’m really tired right now. We just finished a Zone Activity playing soccer and signing journals and I have been writing this on and off, and it’s time to get to work. Love you!

¡Cristo vive!

Hermana Billings

Here is the whole group of Sisters who served in the Open House of the Utah Payson Temple.

Here is the whole group of Sisters who served in the Open House of the Utah Payson Temple.

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