Wow this week was amazing. Here's the main reason.Backstory: The temple here in Fiji is about 14 years old. Last time I went, the ceiling was leaking in the changing room. It needs to be renovated very badly. And so, they decided that they would close it for a year. But after they went through and inspected it, they decided that it would need to be closed for two years. This is a good thing, because it means that the temple will be better taken care of, and there will be another open house and dedication. That'll help with the missionary work so much! People are so curious about the church with a golden man on top up in Samabula. However, it will also be devastating. The people here in Fiji love their temple. They receive so much strength from it. And so do a lot of other people from neighboring island nations, like Kiribati and Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. If it is closed for two years, the people will have to scrimp and save to go to Tonga in order to attend the temple there. It'll be hard.
What an incredible experience. I was filled with love for this family, and with gratitude. My entire life I had taken my parents' sealing for granted. As a child of the covenant, I never had to be sealed to my family. I was born that way. But as I watched those little girls kneel beside their parents around the altar, I was just overcome with happiness as I was reminded of the covenants that my parents had made 21 years ago. Oh how I want that for my own future family. How could anyone ever even consider being married outside of the temple?It was perfect, because the man who performed the sealing was Elder Watling, who had taught them the temple class. He was very emotional about it, because he had been right there with them as they had been preparing for this day. We were all crying together. This family had come so far.
Now the temple is going to close. This Saturday is the last day that it will be open. It is sad, but I am so grateful that the Lord provided a way for me to be able to attend at least one more time before the end of my mission. Usually the outgoing missionaries would be able to go to a session, but by the time I leave, it will already be closed up for renovation. This really made me sad. I thought I would never get to go the Fiji temple again. But the Lord provided a way. At exactly the time that I needed it.
I have such a love and respect for the temple. It is the very best place to be.
We worked hard this week. We laughed and we cried. It was a good one. How grateful I am for my companion, who is only one month younger than me in the mission. She is such a strength to me. (It's a relief to not be training for once! Haha.) How grateful I am for the gospel. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to not have it at all. But I often relate to our investigators just how jealous I am of them, that they get to hear about it for the first time. I give them their first Book of Mormon, and I say to them, "I wish I could be in your shoes. I wish I could read the Book of Mormon again for the first time." But how grateful I am to be able to read it every day, and to understand it differently every time. What a marvelous book. I am currently trying to finish reading it in Fijian. I don't think I will finish it before I get back, but that's ok. I will continue, regardless.
AH. It's hard to be a missionary, but so incredibly worth it. I do not deserve all the blessings that I have received thusfar. I am such an unprofitable servant. But I am so grateful to be serving, nonetheless.
I'm a little scared to go home. I am excited, but I am scared. What if I go back to my old ways? What if I forget some of the things that I have learned? I am terrified of this. I don't want to lose the person that I am now. I pray about this every day. I ask for Him to guide me, to keep me moving forward. Not backward. I know it will take work, but everything worthwhile takes work. That's one thing that I have learned.
Errol should be getting baptized on the 18th. General Conference is next week. I have so much to look forward to. And so much to be grateful for.
I love my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I love this gospel so so much. I can't even describe it. I love my family. I love Fiji. I will always be indebted to this little island nation, and the people that live here.
Haha I'm getting emotional over here. This is silly. I love you people.