Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Temple Worker For A Day

So, we had changes yesterday.  Elder Avendaño got changed (like we thought he would).  He went to Thompson in Capiatá, Zone 3.  The other 2 missionaries that live with us stayed together.  But the exciting news is I´m training again!  Third time, how excellent!

My companion´s name is Elder Ponce.  He is from Honduras (pretty sweet huh?).  He is just awesome.  The guy came pre-trained.  This is really cool: the day I entered the MTC, September 2 2009, is the day he got BAPTIZED.  The kid has only got a year and 3 months as a member and he´s already on a mission.  What a champ, huh?  His aunt was the first member in his family, and then his sister (who is on a mission in Panama), and then him.  6 months ago in June, he baptized his mom and cousin after teaching them for a few months.  How cool is that?  His dad died while his mom was still pregnant with him, so he never knew his dad.  He has worked away from home for 4 years, so he has plenty of experience being away from home so that won´t be a problem here.  He is just a good guy.  Loves to share the gospel.  I think that this will be my most successful change so far.  We´ll see what happens.

When I got to the trainer´s meeting yesterday, the assistants came in and said that President wanted to talk to me for a minute before we started.  I got there, and he said that my companion arrived late to the MTC in Argentina (which means that he was going to be a Latin, so I already knew before I met him that he was going to be one of the 2 Latins that came).  The temple in Buenos Aires is closed for reconstruction, so what they do in Argentina is if you´re not endowed yet, they fly you to Montevideo Uruguay to the temple there the second you get to Argentina to get you endowed.  Well, because he got there late, he missed that flight.  So President said that we had to go to the temple immediately after the meeting was over to get him endowed.  So I got a bonus temple trip!    That day, President and Hermana Callan were taking those that are finishing their missions to the temple to do a session with them, so we got to participate in that session with President and all the missionaries finishing their missions.  It was way cool.  Unfortunately, we were in a hurry to get to the temple, so I forgot the card Dad sent me with the name of our King ancestor, so I´ll have to do that the next time.

When we got there, we were waiting in the waiting room, and one of the workers came up and said "Hey, do you want to be a temple worker for a day?"  Uhh....duh!  Haha.  So he said that while Elder Ponce was filling out his paperwork and doing his initiatories, I got to go to confirmations with the temple workers.  I did about 50 and then switched to be the recorder/name marker.  It was really neat.  Then when it came time to do the session, I got to be Elder Ponce´s escort.  Really neat.  As if the day couldn´t have gotten any better, in our session were 2 sisters - Hermana Graciela and Delma - from Guarambaré!  I was sooo excited to see them.  I talked to them in the celestial room, and that was just excellent.  So yesterday was just really great, I had some excellent experiences.

Ok so, I think I told everyone last week that I was studying the First Vision of Joseph Smith.  I´ll share verse by verse what I´ve been learning so far.  We´ll see how many verses I get to this week, and I´ll finish next time.  I´ll write out the verse, and then the things I took from it and see what we can´t learn.

Verse 15
"After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God.  I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction."

-Joseph "offered up" the desires of his heart to God.  He went into the grove to find out from God which church was true, but notice it doesn´t say that he knelt down and immediately started asking asking asking.  "Tell me this Lord", or even "Help me to know the truth".  No, he had a conversation with God.  He offered up something instead of just immediately asking for something.  There is a profound principle in that about how we can receive answers from God.

-Joseph had barely just started to pray when "immediately (he) was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame him)".  Expect a lot more trouble from Satan when you´re doing something good.  He comes after those who seek to build the kingdom of God, and he comes hard.  Satan was obviously aware of what this young boy was about to do and the immense significance that it would have in disturbing his destructive work here ont he earth, and he was going to do everything in his power to stop it.  Satan doesn´t go after those he already has, he goes after the good ones.

-Joseph said "it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction."  How much time can pass if it seems like you are suddenly to be destroyed?  Adversity often seems to last longer than it really is.  The bad times seem to extend for eternities, when really they are brief moments.  Trust in that and take strength from it when your troubles seem to never end;  they will be but a small moment.

Well, dang.  After just 1 verse, I´m out of time.  Happens every time.  The next few verses are my favorites, and I learned much more from them that I´ll continue sharing on Monday.  Love and miss everyone, hope all is well!  Happy New Year!

Elder Moore

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