This week in my new area and at the temple open house, I have seen so many different little miracles.
This Monday after a cancelation of an appointment, we were walking towards a trailer park to visit some families when we noticed a man crunched down in his lawn pulling weeds with his ear plugs in listening to music. We felt like we should talk with him, and as it turns out, his son had to come home early from his mission in Chili for medical concerns, and he was having a tough time. The father invited us to meet his son, who was throwing a football in the backyard, and they invited the rest of their family outside. We talked with them about the temple and their experience in the temple open house and what the temple and the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation means to them in their life and invited them to share that testimony they had just shared with us in those moments with someone else. There are so many people here all around us whom we encounter — in the store, at school, at work, in the street, in the airplane, bus, parking lot, everywhere — who don’t have that peace and comfort that we have–thanks to the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and our identity, purpose, and potential. In the temple, priesthood ordinances performed in the House of the Lord by those who hold His restored priesthood authority make it possible for us to return to live in the presence of God with our families, and all of this is possible through our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I am ABSOLUTELY convinced that there is a reason for so many blank pages at the back of the soft cover copies of the Book of Mormon. And I am convinced that it is space for testimonies. So my invitation this week is to take a soft-bound copy of the Book of Mormon, write your testimony of what the Book of Mormon, the knowledge the Plan of Salvation, and Eternal Families mean to you in your life, and pray to recognize an opportunity to share the Book of Mormon with someone. And I know that the Spirit of the Lord will attend you in those moments and help you know what to say and how to say it.
This Tuesday night we were serving in the English rooms in the temple, and during the last tour video of the night, I noticed a little baby girl standing on the lap of her parents, intently watching the video. And every time a photo of Jesus Christ appeared in the video, she went crazy, dancing and jumping up and down, smiling, and pointing him out to her parents. That was a testimony builder for me.
This Wednesday, while talking with people in the reception tent, I met a middle aged man. I asked him about his experience in the Temple, and afterwards I felt impressed to ask him what the temple means to him in his life. He began to cry and said, “Everything. It means everything to me.” He then told me that when he decided to join the church, his family disowned him. When his mother dropped him off that the MTC to go on his mission, she told him never to come back, never call, never write. But, through his tears, he looked to me and smiled, and said, “But they are not the family I chose. I now have a family sealed in the temple, and that is all that matters.” His life was hard, but that didn’t matter to him. Despite what others would say to him, what matters to him is that his wife and children are sealed to him by the power of God in His holy temple. And that is all that matters.
Later that afternoon, I noticed a young women crying and looking distraught. I approached her and asked how she was doing and if she enjoyed the temple. I asked about her age, and she told me her birthday was the 13th of May — we are birthday month buddies now! I gave her a hug and some words of encouragement. She smiled through the tears and told me she was excited to be able to participate in baptisms for the dead in the Payson temple soon.
Another sister asked me about sealing, with how a husband and wife are sealed and their children are sealed to them and then those children are sealed to their spouses and then to their children. And then she asked me how this would all work out afterwards. I explained what I understood about how it links from one generation to the next, but I would love a better understanding of that topic in particular.
It was nice seeing you, Dad, Elizabeth, Chip, and Eric yesterday afternoon. But afterwards, I got really homesick. I didn’t know it was going to affect me so. But I got to work with Hermana Bonilla and we saw some miracles last night. All our appointments canceled that night, and after saying a desperate prayer, we felt like we should go to a certain area and try to find one of the referrals we had received. She was not there, but we talked with the families in the street and invited them to share their testimonies of the gospel with others. We felt like we should visit one of our progressing investigators, but when we knocked on the door, she wasn’t home. We were then checking our maps to find out where another family lives and how to get there, when the investigator pulled up in her car. She told us she had been at her mother’s home when she felt like she wanted to go home. She didn’t know why, but she followed it and when she got home she found us. We were able to talk with her and she up an appointment for her on Monday and a hopeful appointment to go to the temple open house with her and her mother on Tuesday as well. 🙂
Keep me updated with what is going on. I know it sounds boring, but I love hearing about it.
Love you! ❤