Tuesday, December 1, 2015

October 27, 2015 A Morning in the Temple

Well, I’ve now been in Casa Grande for 25 weeks which is definitely longer than I originally anticipated and I will be here for at least 5 more weeks.  Being here such a long time has allowed me to form a lot of friendships here and is making Casa Grande feel like home.  After passing through many changes in areas and companions, it certainly has been nice to come here to Casa Grande and settle down from the craziness that was going on in the beginning of the year. This past week has been Spirit filled as we’ve passed through some unique experiences to which the Spirit’s has been ever present.  The Spirit is always present when we are obedient and prompt to follow spiritual impressions and I suppose that as set apart representatives of Christ it is the Spirit that gives us power and authority to truly act in Christ’s name in his great and marvelous latter-day work.  How important it is to live worthy of that Spirit and to be prepared to recognize and follow his promptings.  I imagine that in part that is why we’re here, to learn how the Spirit works, to learn how he will guide us in all that we do for the rest of our lives toward eternal life if we let him.
     Last Monday was a very relaxed P-day which we spent with the rest of the district. Since we’re all training new missionaries, no one was transferred impeding us from having a district P-day and so we met up in Ascope and watched “Minions” then played a little soccer.  I hadn’t played soccer in about 10 months so it was a humbling, fun experience for me. I might need to practice a little bit… However, to cap off the night we got to enjoy 2 excellent family home evenings with the Yesquen family and Yajaira’s family.
     On Tuesday all the trainers and trainees from the Casa Grande zone headed down to Trujillo at the end of the day in preparation for the “5 weeks” meeting the next day.  After a night’s rest in the assistant’s apartment, we left at 6:00 a.m. to a 6:30 a.m. temple session!  The famous “ hora peruana” (Peruvian standard time) played out and we got there before the temple workers, but it just gave us some time to take some photos.  Entering the temple to start off the day was certainly an experience to remember.  The calming influence is ever present in the temple like I’ve mentioned before, but this time the Spirit was ever more present than I’d experienced before. It was as if all my worries and concerns were wiped away by a nearly tangible peace.  What an edifying experience to start the day with even though I still consider myself to be the opposite of a morning person.  The meeting that followed for trainers and trainees was also pretty cool and it helped remind me of the importance in simply listening and to how simply taking a step back to listen makes all the difference.  We also got to eat some spaghetti and garlic bread which equated to a tasty lunch.
     About 4 months ago the bishop suggested that we meet and work with 2 less actives. The first was 13 year old A who we’ve since reactivated and through whom we got to meet his mother E. I’m sure many of you will recognize their names from my past letters. Now the second less active member the bishop mentioned was a younger grandmother named M. She’s in a modest home where she also has her small physical therapy practice. When we first met her 4 months ago she expressed a fear that she had errored in her decision to be baptized and that she was a firm believer of the virgin Mary.  However, we persisted in these past few months and she’s received us more and more with a bettering attitude.  Her attitude now towards the Book of Mormon has changed completely and is reading it now for the first time. She even has been offering us several treats from Cajamarca as her attitude has gone 180 degrees.  She now is excited to see us knocking on her door and actively participates asking lots of questions.  So with all that progress she came to church this week for the first time and left with the biggest smile asking us how often she could come to church in the future. She wanted to go more than once a week, clearly the Spirit impacted her, touching her heart.
     This past Sunday was also pretty special in that we got to see a special broadcast from Salt Lake City in which several seventies spoke along with Elder Anderson to the countries of Peru and Bolivia. The messages were clearly inspired and directed to Peru and led to a very special day.  Also, after working hard with  the stake through the zone leaders and our bishop, our ward finally got an Elder’s Quorum’s president and a second counselor in the bishopric which the ward’s not had for a long time and so it was cool to see fruit from our efforts.


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