Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Holy Temple

Wow- this has been the most amazing, busy, stressful, wonderful, week of my mission! So many awesome things have happened I don't even know where to start!
Ok, first off- Ace's baptism on Tuesday was just.... so perfect! Most of the branch came and supported him and he loved it. Ace truly was just so prepared by the Lord and he was so happy to be making this commitment to Christ. We're really, really happy and proud of him for his diligence and grateful for the strength he will be to the branch now. He plans to serve a mission next year and is going to save up this summer to be able to go. What a testimony!
Wednesday great! After our district meeting that day, we booked it over to the temple in Kansas City and met at the stake center across the temple! All the sisters from the mission were there (it's the first time we've all been together in a year). Ahh I loved seeing all my sisters. I've grown so close to so many of them through this past year. After our hello's (and girly squeals) President Keyes spoke to us about our role in the Temple Open House and then prepared us for Elder Walker of the Seventy to come and speak to us. Shortly after President Keyes spoke, Elder Walker came in (after just getting off the airplane) and he was so awesome! He didn't talk to us for too long, but when he did, he promised us that because of this temple open house, more people will be baptized, less active members will return, part member families will be sealed, and there will be a greater abundance of the spirit in this area. How awesome is that?!!! He shared a few neat stories of people that came back into the church after being part of a temple open house. Once he finished, he opened it up for us to ask any question we wanted and then directed President Keyes to give all of us sisters our own personal tour through the temple. Words cannot describe the joy that I have had this week. As we walked into the doors of the temple an overwhelming spirit flooded me and I couldn't help but feel such an extreme amount of love from Heavenly Father. We went from room to room in silence and in awe at the beauty of all the paintings and the artwork. The final room we walked to was the Celestial room. The minute I set foot into that glorious room, I couldn't keep the tears back. Honestly, I cannot even begin to describe how magnificent it was. The chandeliers were so incredibly beautiful, and I just felt like I was in Heaven. It was in that moment that I was reassured that this is where I'm supposed to be, that all the hard times were worth it. I was called here for a purpose, and I felt so honored and blessed Heavenly Father allowed me, out of so many, to be there in that very moment. I love this temple. It will forever be apart of me now. When we walked into the sealing room, my heart was full, and I thought about my first convert, Tina, that is going to be sealed in this very temple in August with her sweet husband. If that isn't worth all the trials and tears of a mission, then I don't know what is! I really don't. After leaving the temple, all the sisters gathered and we got to take a picture together. 
My next miracle of the week is Beth. Dear, sweet Beth. We taught her Wednesday night for the first time, and when I saw her, I looked at her and thought, "I know you from somewhere." I don't know why she looked so familiar to me, but I just felt like I knew her. Beth works with a guy in the branch and has always been seeking for a church she could go to. So when we got there we chatted for a little bit and then started to teach her. I don't know if it was just from my experience in the temple or what, but I could not stop crying as we taught her...well Beth couldn't either. The spirit was so powerful and it was probably one of my most spiritual lessons I have ever taught in the mission. Seriously, I loved every minute of it and Beth happily accepted the invitation to be baptized and is going to be baptized in a few weeks! How exciting is that?! I love this Branch, they are so great! 
Thursday was our very first day working at the temple open house. Unfortunately, we didn't get to do a whole lot because it was the press day, so we kind of just sat there. Saturday was the insane day. It was so busy. From 12-5 I didn't sit down once! As Sisters, we get to introduce the short film everyone watches when they come into the chapel, and then when they return from their temple tour, we greet them in the cultural hall and ask them about their experience going through. It was pretty awesome. While I manned the film station, Elder Walker stood close to me and was directing all the volunteers on what to do... while he was standing there, he looked at me and said, "I'm going to watch some of these missionaries to make sure their introductions are brief so we can get these people moving along." 2 minutes later, I stepped into the room to introduce the film to a group of people, and there was Elder Walker standing outside my door. Yes, that wasn't nerve wracking. Haha. Luckily, he gave me a thumbs up when I finished. Before he left he came right up to me, shook my hand, and said, "Thank you so much for all you do, we really appreciate it." I know it was really simple, but it made me feel good that he would take the time to do that. 
This weekend the Edwards had a lot of family in town and so that was a party. We got to go to dinner with them on Friday night. Sunday was such an awesome Easter Sunday. Church was so spiritual and Beth came, which made it even better. The Easter Bunny even paid Sister Stoker and I a visit. Haha, I laughed and told Sister Edwards that "the Easter bunny didn't even visit me when I was a kid, how did he find me here." It was pretty fun. I love the Edwards, I honestly do not know what I will do with myself when the time comes for me to be transferred. I'm hoping I'll be here til the end of summer, but of course I'll go wherever the Lord needs me. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here in this mission and to be part of this great work. I love the temple. I cannot wait for the dedication the first weekend in May. President Monson will be coming to dedicate it, along with Elder Holland and Elder Hallstrom. How cool huh?! This next transfer is going to be so, so, so busy, so if I'm slow to write any of you back, I'm sorry, but the Lord must come first! I know this is Christ's true church. It truly is. I promise you that making it to the temple is worth it! Do not ever settle for anything less than a temple marriage. The covenants made there are sacred and everlasting. The temple is the House of the Lord and will always be. I love you all! 
Love, Hermana Conrow :)
(no, my Spanish is not good enough to do Spanish tours, but I'm working on it!)    

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