|The Sister in front on the left taking the picture is Sister Simons|
who was on her outbound in our (Adam & Kami's) ward!
Well I guess I will start out with my experience with Temple Service!
I was so excited to be able to finally do it!
So there were 10 of us sisters, and they grouped us with a stake from Tooele that was there for service as well. They had us change into all white and then they took just the sisters up to....................The Assembly Room! Holy cow, that was so cool! The Assembly Room was originally used to dedicate the Temple, but now is used for devotionals, meetings etc. for church leadership (a.k.a. the Prophet!). We got to set up chairs in there, and then dust. Then we were able to see the Talmage room where James E. Talmage wrote Jesus The Christ. There is even a little bathroom in there haha. Then we went down and cleaned the baseboards of hallways, etc. It was really cool to be able to clean in the Temple, it is pretty meticulous, but it is the Lord's house after all. The Pioneers did 800x the work I did daily, so I can scrub baseboards for a few hours. They gave us popcorn and cookies too. Temple Service is the best!
We also got to go the the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. All the Sisters! A YSA ward covered all our assignments for us. We were seated in Plaza 11, which is the middle front section! Not really close, but real good seats. Man it was so good, I loved Elder Nelson's use of media, I had never seen that before, it was really neat. Especially the part of his grand kid's singing!
So on Sunday at church, we actually arrived really early, so we were just quietly waiting for it to start when all of a sudden I look up and Elder Quentin L. Cook is sitting on the stand!! I was like what the heck that's Elder Cook! Turns out my Mission President saw him in the elevator, and he mentioned that he wanted to attend an early church because he is always going to Stake Conferences and wants to be able to take the sacrament. So my Mission President said, well, you can come to ours, we meet at 7:30. So he said he might do that then he did! And he might come back more! He didn't get to speak to us though. what a surprise for the sisters that were speaking that day! It was so funny because one sister was giving her talk and she goes, I wanted to share this story about Elder Holland. I just love Elder Holland so much, He is my favorite-- and then she turned around to Elder Cook and everyone busted up while she tried to make up for it. Then all the other sisters quoted pretty much every apostle except him haha. But one sister spoke about Elder Cook's visit to the Philippines where she is from and I think that really meant something to him. I really wish we could have heard him speak though!
So Elder Don R. Clarke of the Seventy is doing our mission tour this week. For three days he comes and talks to us with his wife, basically helping us to become better missionaries, and more purpose centered. It was really good. My group got to go yesterday and it was from 8-3:45 so very long but it went by really fast and we all learned so much! He is a really intense guy...Also, I had to say the closing prayer. I have a cold and everyone thought I was crying, I guess I sounded like a turtle or something haha but he shook my hand after. hopefully I didn't give him my cold...
So the Sisters that speak in our Sacrament meeting are usually in their last transfer. Only sisters that are going home soon have to speak, so I thought I would be in the clear until I found out that every week, sisters get sent over to local wards to go speak and give musical numbers. And guess who is speaking in Riverton this Sunday.....yep! we are. So not only do I have to give a talk sounding like a turtle, but I have to sing like it too! Those poor people in the congregation. It will be good practice for outbound though.
I will tell you about one tour that we took this week. They were 4 men from China. We started talking to them, and took them to the Temple Model. For some reason I just started teaching about the Temple as if they already knew who God was, etc., when my companion asked them what their religious beliefs were. Turns out they are all Atheist! Well of course, they are from mainland China, where that is common.They believe there is no God. I guess my belief in God is so strong, I forget that's people even believe differently. So after that point, we tried very hard to focus on testifying and bringing the Spirit, so that they can know that God is real. The whole time I was thinking I have to help them feel of God's love for them, I have to help them know that God is there. We took them to a few places and ended at the Christus where were talked about Christ. They said they felt peace. I know they felt God's love! We were able to give them Chinese material, and Chinese B.O.M.'s however there is a strict policy with China. We can teach them while they are here, and give them material, but we cannot contact them after they go back to China. So we just have to hope and pray that they will remember the spirit they felt, and read the B.O.M. and gain a testimony of it.
It has been fun to be able to talk to lots of people with the lights. Each night is distinguishable too, like Mondays are Family Nights and YSA FHE nights,Tuesday and Wednesday are mutual nights, and Friday Saturday and Sunday are date nights, which mean awkward couples! That's always fun. But I love talking to the youth and talking about future missions with them. It's really fun to take big groups like that through God's Plan to be able to show them why they should serve a mission. It's not about Baptisms, but it's about the Temple, and it's really neat to be able to show them that.
So I have been teaching a lady named Jennifer for a couple weeks. She is from Virginia and was a former investigator until she heard some false information about the church and decided to drop her baptismal date. Anyway, she decided to call in for a free Bible, and I decided to try to help her. She became interested again, and when we called her this week, we were able to teach her about the Word of Wisdom. She knows all the lessons, and reads daily from the Book of Mormon, She is halfway through Mosiah. She says she knows it's all true, the B.O.M., Joseph Smith, Modern Day Prophets, all. But she is a chain smoker and drinks coffee. We talked a lot about the W.o.W. and explained how the Atonement makes anything possible, and we invited her to live the W.o.W. and she said yes. Then we invited her to be baptized on January 4 and she said yes. So we texted her last night to see how she was doing and she said good. Then out of nowhere, she said she didn't want us to contact her anymore. So we call her and she says that she decided it's all false and that she doesn't want to change. she is happy in her religion and thinks that our church is false. Man that hit us hard! She went from being so ready to dropping us. We think that she might have some mental disorder or something because it has previously happened with the local missionaries. But we were just really sad because we wanted to see her change. But we let her know that we love her, and that we will always be here. In the end, everyone has their agency....
Well, it has been an exciting week! Today for p-day we are going to get free scalp treatments (free for missionaries yipee) and clean our apartment. It'll be great!
I hope everyone is having a great week and is getting ready for Christmas!!
Have a great week,