This week has been so crazy but absolutely amazing!
Wednesday we had exchanges. Hermana Mena went with Hermana Ortiz to serve in Highland, and Sister Taylor came here with me to serve Spanish speaking in American Fork. That day we went and visited different families, and the spirit guided us to those the Lord was preparing. We felt impressed to go visit a family, and while we were there the mom began to cry and shared with us her recent struggles. We shared the video “Why We Need a Savior” and testified of the healing power of the Atonement. She was very grateful for our visit and for having followed the spirit.
Another night we felt impressed to go visit a sister, and she let us in. She opened up to us, and we answered her questions about how the Book of Mormon came to be, and, using scriptures from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, we explained where she came from, why she is here on earth, and where she will go after this life. She agreed for us to come back, and she truly has a desire to come to know these things for herself. It is an inspiration to me, especially when she received multiple calls during the lesson, and she told the people on the phone that she was with the missionaries and wanted to learn with us at that moment. They hadn’t even eaten dinner, but apparently the spirit she was feeling was more important than food. The Lord is working miracles in the lives of His children.
Here on the mission, I am learning about the power that doing the little things brings into our lives: going to the temple, praying, and reading as a family, a couple, and individually helps us keep in mind the eternal perspective.
I am truly grateful for this time with which the Lord has blessed me to serve here in the Utah Orem Mission. This afternoon I received an email with a link to the My Plan program, something that I will do during the last 6 weeks of my mission. We have transfers this next week, and it is starting to become real that I don’t have a lot of time left on the mission. But that experiences I have had in the temple help me go forward. This coming week we are going to be at the Provo City Temple every day with the families we teach and visit. The spirit is so strong within those walls, and it hasn’t even been dedicated yet. The open house will begin with a new video that introduces the tour, and it talks more about the purpose and power of temples. As we continued through the tour this morning, a feeling came over me, and I almost heard – “Look around you. This is the Provo Temple. Remember what I told you in Rexburg? This is where you are bringing these families. Don’t give up.”
I almost began to cry, as now I reflect back at all this time I have spent, and with this new year beginning, I can testify that the Lord knew what He was doing when he prepared me throughout my life to come and serve here. He blessed me with my companions, and each one has changed me for the better. On my mission, more than anything, I am developing a greater love for my Savior as I walk here by His side in this marvelous work and a wonder.
Thursday morning we had lunch with a sister, and she told us that she wants our addresses/emails, as her goal this year is to be sealed in the temple, and she wants to invite us to that special event. (All of these families are so precious to me. We truly come to love the ones we serve.)
Thursday afternoon we received some training in preparation for the Provo City Temple Open House, and we got to see the other sister missionaries from the Provo Mission. (I have not received my temple open house schedule yet. I won’t be receiving it until next week on transfer day). It was nice to get together with the Provo Mission sisters again, and I was able to hear from the missionaries who currently serve in Provo Slate Canyon about the progress of families I taught while in Provo.
During the training, the director over temple construction talked about Lehi’s vision and our role as missionaries in that vision. He said that once we grab hold of the iron rod, we will find that it leads to the doors of the temple where we can find the tree of life. The fruit of the tree of life is literally the ordinances of the gospel. He then invited us to ponder our part in this process. I am helping others come to the iron rod and take hold of it, and it will lead them here to the temple. It is what they feel — the spirit of the temple — that will touch and change their hearts.
Later on that night we got together as a district and watched the movie 17 Miracles. I cried as I watched the one couple who kept their eyes on the temple, serve each other — even one giving his life for her — and the light that glowed in their eyes as they put the Lord first in their relationship. Their dedication and true love brought tears to my eyes, and that is what I want for these families here as well.
Sunday we visited a family. The father had been praying, and he accepted the baptismal date that we extended to him. He wants us to send him daily scripture references to help him read every day. We testified of the help the Lord will provide him and his family as he continues to follow Christ with the purity in heart and work towards the temple.
The temple truly is the house of the Lord. It is within its walls that we make sacred convents with our Heavenly Father, where families are organized by the power of God. It is the celestial university that helps us prepare for eternity. It connects heaven and earth. As we enter its doors, we leave the world and enter a place more sacred and divine.
Keep your eyes fixed on the temple! (Mosiah 2:5-6)
2. Being prepared leads to less stress and more peace.
4. “Through the ordinances of the gospel the power of godliness is manifest” (D&C 84:20-21). This past week I was having more ups and downs. Yesterday I came to church with a heavy heart. During the Sacrament, I poured my heart out to the Lord, and after partaking of the bread and water prepared, blessed, and passed by priesthood holders. I felt a burden lifted from my shoulder. And through the talks given in Sacrament Meeting and the lessons in the classes in Gospel Principles and Relief Society, I received the answers to my prayers.
5. The Priesthood power has been restored to the earth. On Tuesday at the end of the Mission Christmas celebration, we asked President Killpack if he could give me a blessing. I will never forget that blessing and the feeling of love and comfort. In that blessing the Lord reminded me of my purpose and also gave me counsel and a warning: I need to remember who I am. And Satan will try to deceive me and try to make me feel that I am not of worth. Those are lies, and I need to dismiss and repel him. Tears streamed down my face and President Killpack’s face, and I know that what he said came straight from my Heavenly Father. I did not tell President Killpack about any of the problems I have been having. I just asked for a blessing of comfort. And everything he said came directly from my Heavenly Father. I know that Christ has restored His priesthood to the earth, and I am grateful for worthy priesthood holders who can be conduits of God’s power and be in tune with the spirit in order to receive this precious counsel and blessings in our lives.
Today we received Temple Open House Training, so we are running tight on our schedule. So more pictures and less words this week. I love you! Have an amazing New Year’s! 🙂