Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Temple Celebration and Dedication. Also known as Hob knobbing with celebrities.

You're probably wondering why I'm emailing today instead of yesterday. I guess that the Monday before transfers we do normal missionary activities and have pday, Tuesday. Yeah it makes sense with the way the elders going home and coming in are planned. Anyway here's my special week

So Hermano and Hermana Mendoza are friends with Mom on fb? Man they're my favorite. She thinks that I have too young of parents. They are some solid members who are always willing to feed us and go with us to lessons. 
Yesterday on exchanges Elder Perkes and I decided to walk since all of our appointments and finding was within a 4 mile radius. That was a pretty fun experience. Alex Hutchison from Nibley, told me that really random stuff happens in Arizona and I've seen it, but its even more true when you're walking. There are some odd ducks here. And some sketchy places that seem fairly normal till you step inside. They could do a season of hoarders. 

On Tuesday we decided to push back the baptism date for Taylor (16yr old guy, see older emails) so we make sure he's fully ready. Also we're teaching him at a park by his house now because his member girlfriend is super insane and told him he couldn't get baptized since he drank tea this week. It's been tough to have to reteach/correct everything after she speaks. Needless to say our lessons go quite smoothly now. We got a new ward missionary and I'm really excited to work with him. When he was on the plane home from his mission, he promised God that nothing would get in his way to share the gospel. He started up two companies that he hopes to sell soon so he can spend all his hours doing missionary works. As it is he already eats and breaths Preach My Gospel.This Sunday he wants us to get him a list of all the people on the ward roster with checks next to people we want to talk to so he can invite them over for a party and eventually take the lessons with their friends. Como un jefe.

In our spanish branch, things are as complicated as it seems to be on La Gata, the popular tv show on TeleMundo which happens to be playing in 60% of hispanic homes we go into. For example, one of the investigators that we got from the new area is living with a member who's ex-wife is in the branch. Church is so much more exciting now that we're involved with the members.
The cultural celebration was sweet. We showed up at 12 and didn't leave till 9. In the recording, I'm the one holding the Spain flag in between the front and the middle. If you can even see it idk. The backdrop was a real prop, I didn't expect something as cool as it was. It was a rare time where the whole mission was in the same place for so long. I feel like I've been spoiled this first transfer with awesome and unique events.


The real highlight was the Temple Dedication. Temples really are sacred buildings but we invite everyone to be worthy to enter. How cool is that? The night of the cultural celebration we got a text that our zone would help prepare the temple for activity. You can imagine us freaking out in a professional manner when we read that one.
Due to some miscommunication, we arrived an hour earlier than they needed us. We got to the temple grounds right as the third dedication session was ending. That was one of the happiest places I've ever stood in. All of these people were waiting outside for Pres. Uchtdorf and Elder Oaks to come out and we just happened to be in the right spot at the right time. A member from Elder Anderson's old ward got a video of me shaking Uchtdorf's hand. Pretty cool moment. Even cooler was when he came back after everyone left to take pictures with his wife and we were waiting for our assignments. He spoke to the ten of us assembled about our callings and what a blessing we are for the church and him. I needed a chair after that. 

The few hours we spent in the temple was a memory I'll never forget. My testimony of temples has been strengthened ten-fold and I felt a little closer to heaven. But don't mistake me for one minute. You don't need to have the experience I had to gain an appreciation of the Temple or feel God's presence. What we all need is to actually go to the temple or prepare ourselves to be worthy enough to enter. How sad is would be, to never get to go inside when it is dedicated to the Lord. 

I love this work, every day I see mighty miracles happen. It is absolutely stunning. 

Elder Bryan

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