Monday, December 12, 2011

Week 41: Thanks Elder Bennion, For Baptizing My Mom

Guess what?! Thirteen days till Christmas! It seems to be approaching so fast! Part of me is excited for Christmas, mainly because we get to call home. It's unfair slightly that the international missionaries get to use skype to call home but it is pointless to cry over spilled milk. Other than getting to call home I just wish it would stay Christmas longer. I love all the lights at the Temple and Christmas trees in people's houses. It is not like home where everyone has a real Christmas tree. Come to think of it, I have not seen a single Christmas tree lot in St. George.

This past week was really hectic for some reason. We taught a total of 55 lessons; we had 13 people at church, and two baptisms. I think ever since last transfer with Elder Hayden I've had this permanent twitch on my right eye lid from the lack of sleep. We usually don't get to bed any earlier than 11 pm and we are always up by 6 am. As grandma says though, sleep when you are dead right? ;)

Our first baptism was on Sunday at 5:30pm for Manuel. Manuel is a really great kid that just was so ready for the gospel. We found Manuel driving through a subdivision and I saw a Hispanic boy playing outside. Call it what you want, but I call it guidance from the Lord. I wrote down the address and came back a week later. We were warmly received and now about a month and a half later Manuel was baptized. This was one of those times where Heavenly Father directly guided us to the place we needed to be. I loved this baptism because it was more than just Manuel's baptism. It was his family that needed it just as much as he did to re encounter the road that leads to the Temple where they can be sealed as a family for eternity.

The second baptism was at 8:00pm For Juana. I met Juana six months ago when I was first in this area. Juana has three kids who are all members, but she has faced a lot of challenges in her life. When I first met Juana my hopes of her joining the church were slim, but these past months though, she has made tremendous progress. I'm so proud of her breaking her smoking habit and making the decision which she has known to be right for so long. The best part of the night didn't come before the baptism while we were taking pictures. It didn't come while we were in the baptismal font. The best part of the night came after almost everyone had left the chapel when we were shutting off the lights. Rene came up to me, I gave him a hug, and he said, "Thanks Elder Bennion for baptizing my mom." It doesn't get any better than that.

This past Monday, Elder Valdez and I went to the Temple. It has only been two months since I've been to the Temple because we made a mission Temple trip not too long ago but there is something special about dedicating P-day to the Lord. After getting out of the Temple I looked up at this magnificent building that is over 100 years old. I looked around at the surrounding buildings and just thought to myself how incredible this one house of the Lord is. This one building is responsible for every other building in St. George. It is quite awe-inspiring when you come to the realization of the grand importance of Temples. So many have no idea the blessings that come from entering the Temple. I know that if more people did, it would become a desire of their hearts to become worthy to enter into the House of the Lord. As the children's hymn says, "I love to see the Temple I'm going there someday, to feel the Holy Spirit, to listen and to pray. The Temple is a holy place where we are sealed together. As a child of God, I'VE LEARNED THE TRUTH: a family is forever."

I know this church is true and I know because we have Temples families CAN be together forever. During this time of the year we are blessed to remember the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, which without him, nothing would be possible. I'm truly livin' the dream. Vaya con Dios.

Dios es amor,

Elder Bennion

He really loves this town.....

 If you look carefully he made a scripture case out of photos...One was of him, Kodi and I on the steps of the St. George Temple when he was just 4 years old... Isn't he a handsome missionary? ;) just sayin'!!!

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