This week has been absolutely life changing, beautiful- exquisitely filled with the Holy Ghost. So much revelation and guidance and grace filled moments.
Monday we received training from President Cleveland from the Indianapolis mission before meeting with Elder and Sister Richards, Elder and Sister Sinclair and the Temple President and his wife- the Chismans? Sister Richards invited us to take the time as we walked through the tour with them to ponder about ourselves- what the temple will mean to ME- in my life in the lives of my family. Wow. It was a whole new experience than the day prior. He counseled us to not focus too much on the symbolism or the motif throughout but on the power and blessings of each ordinance. It was a great lesson for me to learn because I always get lost in the symbols-- It is magnificent. The pictures DO NOT do it justice. The feeling-- whenever I speak with people in the Reception Tent after their tour I try to bring up the FEELING- How did your FEEL? One non-member woman said she felt a spirit of serenity. I loved to witness people not of our faith testify of the temple without realizing they are. But back to Monday- my brain has not been very organized of late ;)-- I realized once again that there is nothing more important on this earth than the work that is done in the temples. I will never jeopardize the privilege of entering the Lord's house.
We had another training with President and Sister Porter on Thursday- He asked me to conduct which was a cool experience. He is very much led by the spirit. It is so amazing working with him so closely. The training was letting us in on the Church's standard for Temple Open House sisters-- pretty intense ;) haha! I am working on being more articulate... and not TOO energetic... haha! Don't want to scare the people away... :)
We worked Friday and Saturday presenting the pre-tour video-- "Welcome everyone! My name is... and my companion is..." It is all scripted and we pretty much have to say it word for word. All with SMILES on our faces and such... I really enjoy it... I LOVE working the tent!! What struck me the most is I was led to specific people- the spirit was move my body to who I needed to speak to- put words in my mouth and they would reply and the spirit was so STRONG!!! Everything we do has a specific purpose. I am so blessed. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Only 2% of sisters get to work in a Temple Open House-- 12 of 60 in our mission are able. Its a great responsibility. The training invited us repent- to never allow the spirit to be lessened in us-- to study and ponder the blessings of the temple.. So we can have that light in our eyes. They promised us specific things- We would have more Godly confidence, we would have the light in our countenance and we would have sincere interest in each person who attend the Open House. I can go on and on... I just love the temple.
OH-- Sister Peatross is doing amazing!! We have officially learned sometimes you just have to go and do it and learn from mistakes!! :) Thank you all for your advice and love concerning training!!
Miracles. The first people we met- when we were lost in Arcadia, stopped for gas and saw some people on a porch- are our most progressing investigators. Bryce, Mark, Justin and their uncle -who is their same age- Race. We taught them about the Book of Mormon (lesson 2) on Saturday and they committed to be baptized on August 15th!! Which doesn't really hold unless they come to church... which they did!!!! We love these boys-- they are BIG. Long hair down their backs, dirt in their fingernails, cut off shirts- smoking bearded boys. all around 20 yrs old. They came to church. You should have seen the congregation when they walked in... Bishop told us afterwards he loved watching the open looks of astonishment and old ladies grabbing their bags! haha! A member after church came up to us and said it was a miracle they came. The boys have a well known reputation of being hooligans. One didn't finish his 9th grade year.. It was amazing to see all the ward council come and swarm them after sacrament-- they were like 15 minutes late to sunday school because everyone wanted to meet them. What is so wonderful is they may be hooligans and have a dark past- BUT they want to know for themselves if there is a God. They have never been taught. They know the world- all it offers. and they are unhappy- they want to know if there is more. We love teaching them because they never miss an appointment. They know how to work-- they work full time at a factory- probably since they dropped out of school-- they are good boys. They have ooey gooey insides. We received some negative jabbs towards their character- but man. they have been one of the most welcoming people we've met since being here. Even more in some cases, than members. Jesus loves the sinner and condemns the hypocrite. Just sayin.
We were worried how they would respond to such a structured, reverent church- I was praying for them with all my heart during the sacrament. and I felt such an overwhelming sense of peace. I heard the words- "they'll make it." they will make it all the way- it may not be next month but these boys will be baptized. Bryce texted us last night and said he wants to share his experience he had at church- it was a positive one. Prayers are answered. I don't think these boys ever said a prayer before 2 weeks ago... God is so powerful-- He hath all power to the fulfilling of ALL his words (2 Nephi 9:6)
Well I could go on another 2 hours on these kids but I will refrain. WE are going to the Temple Open House on Thursday with them so pray they'll recognize the spirit :)
We're working with several other families but I'll have to share their stories with you next week :) I noticed how much I used the word Overwhelming..... lots of emotions. There was a time on my mission where I turned off feelings... yeah. overloaded- my heart just thrashed so I pulled back because it hurt too much. and I was absolutely miserable. We HAVE TO FEEL! and cry. and hurt because then we know we've loved. Pain is a Christ like Attribute. Caring enough for others to mourn with them- about their broken lives, relationships and bones. Just like what Kell taught at church this sunday- that is what we covenant with God to do when we are baptized.
I love you family. I know God has the power to change hearts. He is changing mine- I know He is real.