Working in the temple has been an amazing experience, but it was really hard going from teaching 10 lessons a day to teaching about 3. With our temple schedule we wake up at, get ready and head to the church. We don't even have time to study. Not the scriptures, and definitely not language. We try to read on the combi but the ride is so bouncy it's really easy to get sick. I can't remember ever having been car sick in all of my life before this thing... but it's something special. We all stagger out and practically kiss the ground when we arrive at the temple each morning. After working at the temple we get home around 4 or and eat. Then we procelyte until . I try to sneak in some personal study when we get home at night, but it can't replace the hours of time that we used to dedicate to studying each morning.
Needless to say, I was ready for something super spiritually uplifting. And Heavenly Father really nailed the timing, because this past week Elder D. Todd Christofferson came to visit us! It was so amazing! It was also the first time I saw the whole mission together! THERE ARE SO MANY OF US. Sometimes it feels like my district are the only ones who share the crazy, amazing, and sometimes difficult experience of being a missionary here, and it was an amazing strength to talk with the other missionaries. Anyway, the meeting with Elder Christofferson was in the form of a Q&A. We had known this before hand and had the opportunity to fast about questions we could ask. I didn't physically ask a question during the meeting, but I definitely had questions answered. It was all in Spanish and I swear, this weird thing always happens where I feel like I understood everything, or at least 80% or so, and then other missionaries start talking about "when he said this...." and I wont remember him having said that! But Spanish is definitely coming, although it is a process.
After the meeting, we took a mission picture with the Apostle. Lets just say I'm very happy to have that forever (: But after the picture we were lingering and talking to other missionaries for a moment and who comes up to me and starts rubbing my back and asking how I am?! Elder Christofferson. I really don't think I've ever been so starstruck in my life. One of the Elder's from my MTC district would always talk about great moments in his life where "he knew he was doing something right" and this was one of those moments for me (:
A lot of times on the mission, I have had experiences with people where we have felt like God lead us to them and like everything was going to go perfectly, but then we haven't been able to find them again or they haven't ended up deciding to accept the gospel. A few weeks back I wrote about a golden investigator who isn't really progressing now. Those things are tough, and a reminder that people have their agency. I fully believe that God does lead us to people, even if they don't accept the gospel. He allowed us to give them the chance to learn more and he allowed us to plant a seed.
However, sometimes we have the opportunity to see people change their lives and let the gospel in and that is just the most amazing thing. The joy we feel is unlike any other. We have been teaching a family that was found by the Hermanas that taught English class in our area before Hermana Wong and I came. For some reason, they weren't visited for a while. About 4 or 5 weeks ago, we ran into them and were able to set up an appointment. And they are SO PREPARED.
We've been meeting with them for a while now and they have been attending church and gaining more faith and the desire to be baptized. We were planning on waiting at least 2 more weeks for them to be baptized, but with the temple being rededicated so soon we are looking into having them baptized early and interviewed for temple recommends so that the can attend the rededication. There's a rule here that someone needs to attend church 5 times before being baptized, and they are only on their 4th week, so we aren't totally positive, but they have a ton of faith so we are hopeful.
One thing that they have really taught my companion and me is that the gospel really does bless families. They have a really great family, but they aren't without their problems. However, everytime we meet with them we feel more and more love and unity. It's been a miraculous change! Last night we had planned to teach about fasting and tithing, but the spirit lead us to teach about how the gospel blesses families again. It was amazing to remember our first lesson with them (a great lesson and we could tell they were very receptive) and to compare it to our lesson last night. Their testimony that the gospel helps their family is so strong. It was a moment where I felt that God had sent me to this mission not because these people needed me, but because I needed to see this.
ALSO, we got to take our investigators to the temple open house this past week! We were already at the temple because we had been working there all morning, but when we saw a bus FULL of the investigators from the misisonaries in our district, words cannot express the joy! We went to the visitors center and watched a tear jerking movie about families and then got to take the tour through the temple! It was so amazing to get to see our investigators there and imagine them in a year or so, dressed in white, making eternal covenants in those very rooms. Ahhh the temple is so great and everyone can feel how special it is.
As always, we are having a blast here. The Hermanas I live with and I have been studying Moses a bunch and the other day Hermana Lambert was getting all excited telling me that she thinks she knows what the "secret combinations of Lemek" are. She has taught me a lot about how to study the scriptures. She is truly someone who feasts upon the words of Christ and reads to learn and to understand. I'm so grateful to be surrounded by such great people who teach me so much. I'm also really grateful for all the people in my life before my mission. I love you all so much. Thanks mom and dad for teaching me so much about the gospel and being such a strength in my life. I've met people from all over the world and from various family backgrounds and I've come to see I couldn't have wished for anything better. So thank you so much (:
I hope life is exciting and fun there! Keep me posted!
|Mexico, Mexico City Southeast Missionaries|
|A full mission picture!! We were all together because.... Elder Christofferson, yes, THE Elder Christofferson came to visit our mission!!!!!!|
|My roommates at the moment.|
|In the Reception Tent at the Open House.|
|In the combi!|
|This sweet lady from Riverton, UT was vacationing in Mexico and came to the Mexico City Temple Open House. She snapped a picture of us and sent it to our moms!|