Monday was cool! One of our converts ended up coming all the way down from Ventanas to hook me up with a birthday cake! It was so nice of them! Love that family to death! The only problem was that the cake traveled from Ventanas...about 3 hours away...then we didn`t meet up until about 2 hours after they made it to Duran...so it didn`t end up getting in the fridge until about 5 hours of being out in the hot and humid Ecuador sun. We ended up having a family night that night so I decided to take the cake there so we could all enjoy in together...I would suggest not to eat cake that has been left out for 5 hours in the Ecuador sun. We were all stoked to eat it and as soon as everyone had taken a bite of the cake, we were more than finished and Hermana P was serving us ice cream and bananas. Haha! But it is the thought that counts! :)
Wednesday! We had a multi-zone conference and every time we have a conference we start the day off bright and early with a temple session.
So there I was...getting dressed in the temple...and some goofy and familiar looking dude pops up in the mirror...ELDER JOHNSON! We didn`t even know that we were in the same multi-zone! So we got to kick it together through the entire temple session! We had a solid and very much needed homie-heart-to-heart in the Celestial Room too. So that was awesome. Then we ended up kicking it with each other through the conference and for the majority of that day! We made some plans to meet up this next week to celebrate our birthdays on PDAY. So more info on that next week!
To sum things up because I have to get to the spiritual message...
The pope is coming to Guayaquil next week. Haha. The pope in spanish is ``El Papa`` and potato in spanish is ``La Papa`` so we are having fun with that! The potato is coming to town! Are you going to visit the potato? etc. His coming is definitly making things a bit harder...but it would not be worth it if it were easy, right??
How are all of you!? Any plans for the 4th?
Set off a firework for me! ;)
Every night I fill up a big pitcher of water to drink before I go to bed. I was drinking it as usual but I saw a little skinny glisten of light. I had almost finished the pitcher which is about 2 liters but I pulled away to see if there was something in there. When I looked closer there was a nasty worm looking thing swimming around in the almost completely gone water than I drank! We think it was a parasite. GROSS! But I have been good until now...so I think we are safe! No worries! I will probably check anything and everything for worms before consuming it for the rest of my life though!
Well...here we go...
Eternal families have been a principle, fundamental, and everlasting ordinance since the beginning of time. After giving up his spirit, Abraham was ``reunited with his people`` (Genesis 25:8). After Isaac died, he too was ``reunited with his people`` (Genesis 35:29). The list could go on and on through ancient times, through Joseph Smith`s revelation in July of 1843, and up until this very day of those who have entered into this ``new and everlasting covenant`` and have been ``reunited with their people``.
Salvation is between you, your Savior, and your father in Heaven. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be saved ``after all that we can do``. But God the Father has a more divine purpose for His children. He has given us instruction on how to become like Him; an EXALTED God. God`s intention is not to save us...it is to exalt us...and this type of exaltation comes through family. Eternal families. The temple.
I was forever changed on Tuesday night when we had the chance to see a beautiful couple look into the eyes of one another and bind their love forever through God`s power. From the creation we learn that ``it is not good that man should be alone`` and that the Lord then ``made him an help meet for him`` (Genesis 2:18). We were made to marry. We were made to be WITH someone. For ETERNITY. Your spouse is there as a help to you...a help to get you to the highest kingdom of God. But what if we marry ourselves to another in the world? To what end does it last? All things effected by man remain in a temporal state and cannot endure past the chains of death. However, when we are in the house of the Lord God, with ordained power from on high, there is nowhere to go but forever. Through the sealing power of God we come to be one with someone. We come to NEVER be alone again...therefore fulfilling God`s purpose. To take hands with a child of God and to eternally bind ``a help...meet for him or her`` to inherit the Kingdom of God. There is NO other way.
What changed me even more was when the three sons came, all dressed in white, to be sealed to their parents. I was taken back to 3rd Nephi chapter 17. Christ is in the Americas ``and it came to pass that He commanded that their little children should be brought``. It seemed as if the Lord blessed us with His spirit more and more second by second.
And then they knelt together as a family.
``And it came to pass that when they had all been brought, and Jesus stood in the midst, He commanded the multitude that they should kneel down upon the ground.``
Finally, with the divine authority of God we saw and heard as this family became one. ``And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of man conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard Him pray for us unto the Father``. Like the joy that filled the souls of those in the Americas as they were sealed as families, our souls were filled with immense joy to see this beautiful family become one...forever. There was not a dry eye within that room. I know my eyes were a bit sweaty too.
THIS is our purpose, brothers and sisters. Christ finally says, ``Behold, now my joy is full``. Christ`s joy is full when ours is...and the only was to obtain this fullness of joy is in and through the temples and eternal families.The only way to obtain this fullness of joy is through a man and a woman, brother and sister, parent and child, being bound together by the everlasting, loving, and eternal sealing power of God.
I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that families can be eternal. This probationary speck on God`s timeline that we call life is not the end...it is the very beginning of forever.
Get to that sealing room! No matter how distant you feel or forgotten you think you are...through the Atonement of Jesus Christ you too can become one with your God given family.
Get to that sealing room! Help other children of God, who are waiting anxiously to receive these ordinances, to obtain the joy that you have.
To finish, I would like to quote the words of the father was sealed to his wife and kids who bore his testimony yesterday...
``I believe in Christ. I believe in His gospel. I believe in the temple. I believe in the sealing powers within. I believe in the family.``
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.