Week 34 in the Utah Provo Mission

Hermana Kathleen faces the Christus statue at the Payson Temple.

I love looking at the Christus statue at the Payson Temple. The statue reminds me of how the Savior opens His arms to all of us!

Monday night we visited the De La Cruz family. (Dedos poderosos, ¡reúnanse!) We showed them how to do a FHE. Within a few minutes we broke the ice and all were laughing and having a great time. We sang “Las Familias Pueden Ser Eternas,” one of their young daughters gave the prayer, and then we began the lesson. We started with the lesson about the importance of partaking of the Sacrament every week.  We did the illustration with water and dry black pepper in a bowl and sticking your finger covered with dish soap in the center of it, and the pepper flees. We connected this to the power of the Sacrament by reading 3 Nephi 18:1-12, and later on when we asked the children about what we learned, their answers showed that they understood what we taught and they were all determined to go to church every week. (And they all came on Sunday!)

A rainbow reminds me of God's sign of His covenant

A rainbow reminds me of God’s sign of His covenant.

Tuesday night, in the rain, we were trying to find a referral we had received a few days earlier about a family from Argentina who just moved in and wanted to learn more about the gospel. We were out there for an hour looking all over the trailer park trying to find the address, and we couldn’t find it anywhere. The trailers were numbered in order, and we could only find up to the number right under the one we were look for. We prayed, desperate for the Lord’s help. And then it started to rain. (The weather in Utah is so crazy — in one day you can see so many different climates, and it can change all of the sudden from one to the other.) We felt that we should ask a family, and as we walked there, we met a man riding his bike. We asked him about the address, and he told us he would ride around and look for it. Afterwards, we felt impressed to knock on one of the doors and ask them as well. We prayed, and then as we walked up towards the door, a man came out. He spoke Spanish, but was late to his gym class, so we couldn’t speak for long, but we could tell from his accent that he was from Argentina.

The man on the bike found us after our talk with the man, and he told us that family had just moved in. The man on the bike also told us that he had found the address we were looking for — it was off around the corner out of order with the numbering. We knocked on the door, and we met an older sister who is a member of the church and was super sweet but couldn’t talk for long either. Later that week we found out in one of our coordination meetings with the other WMLs in the stake that this sister was struggling, and it would be good for us to visit her if we were ever in the area. It’s interesting how the Lord helped us figure out where the family is and along the way met and talked with other families.

Wednesday the 20th was my halfway mark of my mission. And it has really started to hit me that I will not be on my mission for forever. I have been praying about this, and during my studies in the morning of PMG and the Book of Mormon, the spirit illuminates my mind (I love those aha-moments!), and I can see a vision of who I want to be and continue to be after the mission.

Hermana Kathleen in front of the Payson Temple

After serving in this temple’s open house, I will always have a love for the Payson Temple.

Thursday afternoon we were at the Payson Temple Open House. We started out in the Spanish Video Room, and while there we saw the Acosta family from the Slate Canyon ward! And later that night while in the reception tent working the photo booth, the Kaouk family came from the Slate Canyon Ward as well. I was almost jumping for joy! It made my day to see them. We gave lots of hugs.

Friday morning we weren’t planning on serving at the temple, but that morning we received a call from the sister coordinating leaders saying that they had us scheduled to work the morning shift. We were flabbergasted. And we had a lesson planned that morning in just 30 minutes from that moment. We called one of the senior missionary couples to see if they could help us out. They were able to give us a ride to our lesson and afterwards to the Payson temple. That night I felt stressed and didn’t feel motivated to go out and work. I prayed, asking Heavenly Father to help me feel a part of His love for His children to help me have that motivation. We prayed and got on our bikes and headed out. A little after we started biking, I felt invigorated. I was so happy, and I felt that love for God’s children and thy desire to go visit them and share God’s love with them. That night, we saw miracles. It was a testament to me of the power of prayer.

Saturday morning was our last day working at the Payson Temple Open House. We started out in the Spanish room, and it was super busy the entire time — almost 50 people every 15 minutes. While there, I got to see the Torres family and the Hortal family, two families from the Slate Canyon Ward. I got a big hug from Hermana Hortal — it felt like I was home. 🙂

The Payson Temple during the Open House

The Payson Temple during the Open House

(Dedicamos los templos al Señor, y en la fachada de cada templo verán estrictas las palabras  “Santidad al Señor.” Es Su casa, y Su espíritu está allí. Vamos a ese lugar para estar cerca de Él. … Para mí, simplemente no seria el cielo sin ellos. Tal vez, piensen que son deseos vanos. Hay mucho mas. Hay algo eterno en la declaración que dice que en El Señor ni es el varón sin la mujer, ni la mujer sin el varón. Este no solamente es buena sociología. Este sociología es una verdad eterna. …. Es en el templo donde hacemos convenios sagrados con Dios y donde se enseñan el plan de salvación. temple nos edifica y nos exalta, y es como un faro que nos guía hacia la gloria celestial. El templo es un lugar de paz, de amor, y de luz. Esperamos que cada uno a su manera disfrute de la paz y la serenidad de los cielos al visitar hoy la casa del Señor.) haha, I feel like we could be the commentators of the video.

Then later on, we were watching the temple video when I looked through the window of one of the doors, and my heart stopped. There was Rebecca Santa, standing right there, looking and smiling at me. We went out, I slammed her with a hug, and began to cry. I have written her all her mission and had missed her so much, and now here she was, a return missionary flowing with light, and here I was a set apart missionary. She didn’t tell me she was coming and had been looking for me everywhere and wanted to surprise me. She told me to keep going — I still have 9 wonderful months of my mission ahead of me with a lot of hearts to touch. She told me she could feel the Spirit strong around me. And that she was proud of me. I am so grateful for her visit. She was an answer to pray and helped me regain that strength and motivation to keep going. (If she sent Elizabeth the photo of her and me, I would love to have a copy. Maybe it’s on Facebook or something.)

I am so grateful for this time I have had to serve in the temple open house. It’s been wonderful to get to know the other sister missionaries in the mission and to meet so many wonderful people and testify of the temple.

At "L"'s baptism

At “L”‘s baptism

Saturday night Lupita was baptized! The baptismal service was absolutely lovely. (When I got there, I was looking at the program and noticed my name listed for playing the piano. I wasn’t even aware that I was going to play that night! I said a prayer, asking Heavenly Father to help me so Lupita could feel the spirit in this special occasion. And He helped me. He truly did.) Later on after her baptism and while she was getting changed, Hermana Bonilla and I taught the Restauracion. The spirit was strong, and we taught in unity, testifying of Christ as representatives of Him and of the First Vision and restoration of the priesthood in the earth, through which we enter the covenant of baptism and the covenants of the temple). And when Lupita walked in, we spoke directly to her, bearing witness of the Book of Mormon, as it was written by her ancestors specifically for her in this time of her life. The spirit is true. There is no doubt in my mind about the reality of Christ and His restored church. The spirit testifies to my heart that the words I am saying are true. And I cannot deny it.

Sunday morning Lupita was confirmed! She just glows now! But later on, during Gospel Principles class, Hermana Bonilla started to feel really sick, and she began to cry and told me she was trying to ignore the migraine she had, but she couldn’t any longer, as she couldn’t see and the pain and nausea was horrible. She asked for a priesthood blessing, and afterwards we asked for a ride home. She went straight to bed. I was worried about her and fell on my knees praying that she would feel better. I stayed by her side, rubbing her back, getting her water or whatever she needed. She couldn’t take any medication because it made her more nauseated and would just come back up. Later on I had a feeling to check my Doterra oils, and I found that I had Peppermint and Lavender. When she woke up a little later, I let her use them, and for the next 3 hours she slept while I wrote letter to families, coordinated some work with members, and took a small nap. At around 5:30pm she woke up feeling better. That night we worked on weekly planning, and she thanked me for all that I did for her and for being there for her that whole time — she said she felt like I was her sister and she was home. She also told me that after her second transfer here, she didn’t want to stay in the area, but now she enjoys this area and loves serving with me. Later that night a sister from the ward dropped by with dinner for us, and she thanked us for the lesson we shared at the baptism. She told us that we were confident and taught in unity, and she felt the spirit. (I was humbled. The Lord truly works wonders. He is helping me learn Spanish. He is the one in charge of this work, and we have the privilege of being instruments in His hands.)

Now it’s Monday. And we’re going to go take a nap. Love you!

Hermana Billings

Hermana Kathleen meets up with Hermana McDermaid (companions at the Mexico MTC)

I was able to see Hermana McDermaid (who was my companion at the Mexico MTC) during the Open House.


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