Maria and Mack got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!! They had a great service and everything went according to plan. I don't have the words to describe how amazing it feels to have them baptized. I don't even know how amazing they feel! They're letting us know that they're in this for a lifetime and are getting ready to serve. The high priest group leader has really taken good care of them and they have the best home teachers the world has ever seen. And Mack is now a home teacher as well! Maria has her visiting teachers and they're loving every minute. After their confirmation yesterday, Maria came up to us and said "What are all these tears about? They won't stop! Is this normal?" They're definitely feeling the Spirit. These two are the perfect example of the power of fellowshipping and being patient until the timing is just right. I'm excited to work with them more as they continue to progress. They are looking forward to going to the temple in a year from now! We were in the celestial room in the Phoenix Temple and Mack said "WOW. I can't wait to come back!" They have an eternal vision with a strong desire to learn. Love them!!
Most of our week was spent with Mack and Maria preparing them for their baptism. We went over a lot of last minute details and talked a lot about what was going to happen after their baptism. We went to the Phoenix Temple open house with them and LOVED every minute of it! That temple is AMAZING!! I think I loved it more than the Gilbert Temple! The Gilbert was too flashy and sparkly. This one was full of color and I could just feel all the thought and detail that went into it. It felt more like a home. I loved it. The Celestial Room was oval and had 4 beautiful chandeliers that were simple spectacular. The artwork in the temple was stunning. I felt that there was a large emphasis put on the Savior (at least during the tour). My favorite painting was one of the Savior in Gethsemane with the angel comforting him. I've never seen anything like that before. It was surreal to see an image that depicted how intense and excruciating the Atonement was. Christ was called and prepared to perform this life-saving task, but he couldn't imagine how hard it was really going to be. Heavenly Father always is merciful and sends someone at just the right moment to come and lift us up. What kind of person was the Savior REALLY to put himself under that much pressure and pain? I'll let you know when I find out. :)
Here's my favorite "Angela" moment: "Missionary, I'm going to be a missionary just like you!" Doesn't that just make your heart cry because she's so sweet?? I always feel better after a little chat with dear Angela. :)
Both of our wards had their Halloween parties this week and many nonmember neighbors and friends came! A member in Stonebridge had a huge success at her party. For the party we were asked to set up a table with Book of Mormons and pamphlets. This member has been trying to get this friend to at least learn for years. She finally had success and her friend took a Book of Mormon, all the pamplets, and an appointment to meet with the missionaries. Miracle! She shared her experience in Relief Society and she's walking on cloud nine right now. There is a but.... this friend doesn't live within the ward boundaries.... But you know what? I'm going to take that as progress because nothing has been happening up until now. I'll take whatever miracle or tender mercy I can get!
I think good things are also going to start happening in Stonebridge.... I think.... Most of the auxillaries got new presidents in the past two weeks and we have a plan to go with our ward mission leader and meet with them and get things going.... Pray for us to have success!!
My new favorite food is sushi! After the baptism on Friday, our bishop and dear wife took us to get sushi. I love it so much. It's like a tortilla. You can put anything in a tortilla. Well, you can put anything in seaweed and rice! I got some wasabi rolls and had the time of my life clearing out my sinuses.
I'm looking forward to this week! I can't wait to go to the temple!!!!!!!!! My soul has been yearning to go! President Jenkins gave us permission to go do initiatories and endowments on Halloween!
I got to see one of my really good friends from Vista Peaks yesterday (she's only been a member for a year and is getting ready to go on a mission to Australia) and she's going to come to the temple with us!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait!!!!!!!
Las Sendas had their primary program yesterday. I think out of all my favorite things this world has to offer, the primary program is in my top 10. These kids are so funny! One was yawning, another had their face in their hands and occasionally giving a very loud burst of noise, and one fell asleep. I mean, how priceless is that? But more than the comedies that come from 100 children, the music and the messages that they share are powerful. I remember sitting there and feeling the Spirit testify to me of how much Heavenly Father loves each of us by giving us families and a Savior. How lucky are we to have both?!
I've been studying a lot about trials and going through them joyfully rather than with resentment. Today with studying Mosiah 24, I found a quote that perfectly describes Alma's people during their trials and what we each should do when we think our load is too heavy. "If you question everything you are asked to do, or dig in your heels at every unpleasant challenge, you make it harder for the Lord to bless you." -Richard G. Scott. We each have our own personal challenges, burdens, and loads. Rather than praying "why me?" we need to be positive. That's what Alma's people did. Being positive invites the Spirit into our lives more and it's easier (I've noticed) to recognize blessings and to pour out our hearts to God in the Spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude. I've been working on that a lot and I see the power that our attitudes have in our ability to effectively work and be an instrument in the Lord's hands. It's amazing to see that when we forget ourselves and just remember the Lord and do His work how He makes everything better; almost to the point where we can't feel the load this is on our backs.
Anyways, I hope you have a great week!
|Mack & Maria's Baptism|
|Mack & Maria Selfie!|
|Sister Dunn Selfie!|
|Waiting on the bus to go to the Phoenix Temple!|
|All of us at the Phoenix Temple|
|Phoenix Temple spire!|
|Phoenix, AZ Temple|