This pastwe were able to watch the Cultural Celebration that the youth put on. President Monson and President Eyring came to dedicate the Temple and to also watch the dedication. The before the Celebration, 12,000 youth were practicing at Discovery Park (right across from the Temple) and the dust was so bad, 5 kids had to go to the hospital. It hadn't rained here in the valley since December. On the day of the celebration there was a 100% chance of rain. It rained the night before and it didn't start raining until 20 minutes into the celebration. I'm sure rain was a lot better than inhaling dust for the whole day. And we were actually able to see the kids because there wasn't any dust being kicked up. Right as the celebration ended it started to down pour. The Lord had kept just the right amount of rain to fall during the celebration. Also during the entire day's practice, there were rain clouds all around them but at the park. This is the Lord's work. He knows what's best. The Celebration was amazing and I'm glad I got to see it since I had never seen one before.
The Gilbert Temple has now been dedicated to the Lord! What an amazing experience to be a part of the dedication. We got to watch it at the stake center with all of the common folk (because we are the common folk :D). I kind of remember when the Nauvoo Temple was dedicated because I was able to go to that, but the Gilbert Temple Open House and the dedication I will never forget. It was an amazing experience. I know it is the House of the Lord and I am so glad we got to participate in the Open House. I'm a little disappointment President Monson and President Eyring didn't talk with us as missionaries, but I know perhaps it wasn't supposed to be (President Monson looks like he's getting really old and it's hard for him to move around). The Spirit I felt during the dedication and the impressions I felt will never be forgotten. I can't wait to do a session in the coming weeks.
This week we had a very successful week because we saw a lot of miracles. We saw a lot of people and I had meetings again this week. We had great lessons with both Sierra and Valerie. Sierra and her little brother Preston are getting baptized on the 15th of this month. They're super excited for it as are we. Since there was not regular church, President Nattress said in order to count them as at church we need to have a lesson with a member present at a church building. To make it fun for Sierra and her family we did a scavenger hunt/church tour. We hid sticky notes with scriptures of them throughout the church and they led them to different parts where we had a mini lesson with them about the principle. We taught the rest of the commandments in a creative way. Like for tithing we had the scripture Malachi and the next sticky note was hidden where you get the Tithing slips by the Bishop's office. They had a lot of fun and we ended in the kitchen were we had made brownies.
This week for Valerie was kind of rough in the beginning of the week because when we had our lesson with her she hadn't been reading and she hadn't come to church. We were praying and fasting to know what we could do for her so that she could receive her answer.we took her to the Mesa Visitor's Center where we watched the Restoration Video and the Gospel Blesses Families video. She was touched by each of those and we went inside the Temple in the foyer since she can go that far. We wanted her to feel the Spirit of a dedicated Temple. We invited her to be baptized again and she said not yet and she didn't want to set a date right now. She just said she wants to learn more which is perfectly fine, but kind of frustrating at the same time. I kept of getting the feeling it was her family who was holding her back. during our companionship study we were pondering about Valerie and we knew we needed her to pray specifically about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but we didn't know how to put it in a different way so she would understand and actually do it. We asked her to read page 11 out of the Restoration and to pray that night specifically if Joseph Smith was a prophet. We had asked her before, but she had never done it. For Valerie's lesson yesterday we gave her a church tour, since she hasn't come to church yet. The Spirit was super strong as we led her around. We can tell she wants it so badly. She prayed about Joseph Smith being a prophet and she had received her answer that he is a prophet of God. She was very happy and having the church tour eased her fears of coming to church. As we sat in the Relief Society room with the baptismal font open we asked her again to be baptized (in Preach My Gospel we are supposed to invite them to be baptized every lesson). This time she felt comfortable enough to tell us her real concerns. She said she wants her whole family to support her in getting baptized. She said she wants to be baptized, but not until they support her in some way. We invited her to pray specifically for a baptismal date and to know what to say to her family members. We know with the Lord's help everything will work out in the way He wants it to that's best for Valerie. If she doesn't get baptized then I'll be sad because I know of everything she'll be missing in her life right now. I know if she doesn't accept it now then at some point in her life she will and that gives me peace.
I have been reading this months Ensign and there are a lot of great articles in there. This morning I was reading the article, "Trials, Tribulations, and Trust in the Lord." I love this quote: “Sometimes we will face things for which there is no earthlyexplanation. In those moments we need to erect a sign that reads, ‘Quiet: God at Work.’ Meanwhile, hold on, child of God.Keep believing. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Let God do His work in you. The greatest tragedy is to miss what God wants to teachus through our troubles." I want to have a sign in my future house that has that quote on it: "Quiet: God at Work." I pondered today how God is in our daily lives all of the time. We wouldn't have been able to get into the Rice's home or meet Valerie or start teaching Mercedes without His divine help. It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures, "Be Still and Know that I am God." I invite all of us to be quiet and reflect at how the Lord is working in our lives at that moment. We must maintain an eternal perspective. Everything we go through is for our eternal benefit. How blessed we are to have a loving Heavenly Father who will help us become our best selves. We have to be refined so we can be who God wants us to be. "Quiet: God at Work." I know He lives and He does miracles every day of our lives. I have seen His hand in my daily life.
Sis. Collins, Valerie, Sis. Beach
Sis. Beach and Sis. Collins