Sunday, May 22, 2016

Temple Zone Conferences complete!

This week we were able to do our Temple Zone Conferences with our Calgary Zones.  They were two amazing days.  It is so touching to walk into the chapel waiting room in the temple and see your missionaries fill the room, all dressed in white.  It is very powerful.  They truly are an 'army of Helaman'.  It was such an incredible experience for them, too.  They loved being all together in the temple.  In the Calgary Temple we could fit 58 in each of our two sessions.  They actually held a special session just for our missionaries.  It was a very special morning both Tuesday and Wednesday.
After the session we had lunch at the church right next door and then went into the chapel there for the remainder of our conference.  Again, just like in Cardston, it was so awesome to hear the missionaries share their thoughts on what they have learned as they have studied the atonement of Jesus Christ.  Their insights were so amazing.  They have truly felt the love their Savior has for each of them as they have contemplated what He did.  And the testimony meetings were so sweet and the spirit was so strong.  It was really such a once in a lifetime experience for them, and one they will never forget--and neither will we.  In mine and Steve's remarks we tried to share with them how the temple has blessed our lives, and the power that comes from keeping the covenants we have made.
We told them that some of the most wonderful memories we have are of being in the temple with all of our children--first doing baptisms for the dead, and then as Mike and Jillian were sealed, and to have all 4 children and spouses in the temple together.  There is nothing sweeter than that.  We explained to them that we do a lot of fun things together as a family..and we have fun!  And we laugh and joke and enjoy life.  But the things of greatest worth are found as we keep the covenants in the temple and stay faithful so we can have all the blessings promised us.  That's what we want most for our family--and that is what we want for our missionaries.
So, we felt our Temple Zone Conferences were very special.
This weekend we were able to attend 3 convert baptisms on Saturday!  Lauryn, a mother of 2 little boys; Daniel a 16 year old, and Elijah, a young adult.  Each baptism was so sweet.  There is nothing like it.  To see someone come into the gospel, and to know they can change, and see the hope the gospel brings is something miraculous.  And to see them be able to quit smoking and drinking when they have tried for truly change!  The last baptism was Elijah's, and he said the closing prayer.  It was such a sweet, tender prayer.  To hear someone brand new in the gospel offer their humble prayer is sooo touching.  There is nothing insincere, or 'rote' or commonplace.  It really touches my heart.  And it is so fun to see our missionaries at these baptisms.  They are so excited and joyful!  They work so hard to get a baptism, and we are so happy for them.
This week, too, we were able to see one of Mike's mission companions, Rob Falconer.  He was actually in the temple with us as an ordinance worker during one of the sessions, and he was also at Elijah's baptism, because it was his YSA ward, and he gave one of the talks.  So, it was fun to connect with him.
This morning we both spoke in the Coventry ward, as they were having a 'missionary minded' meeting.  It was a vibrant ward with lots of young, busy families, and we were glad to be with them and see our cute sisters serving there, Sisters Creech and Horning, who have been working so hard to get the work going in that area.
We are so proud of our missionaries.  They really are trying their best and exercising their faith and being obedient.  We pray constantly for inspiration as to how to lead and guide them and help them.
Wednesday evening we were able to meet our good friends, Gary and LauraJo Griffiths for dinner.  They were coming through Calgary from Banff on their way to Medicine Hat to see one of Gary's mission companions there.  So it was fun to meet up with them.  It was great to spend time with them and share concerns and ideas, since they have also had this calling.  They are good friends.
Friday early evening we had our 'date night' and drove to Elbow Falls, about 50 minutes from Calgary.  It was beautiful!  And then we found a good place to eat in Okotoks.  It was a fun night together. We are trying to be better about taking a few hours off each week for a much needed break.
Although you always have your phone with you--you're not really 'off', but you are if that makes sense.  We're trying to be obedient to what the general authorities have counseled us to do!

Everyone enjoying lunch after the temple.

Two wonderful Relief Societies fed 58 missionaries each day!

In line for lunch after Calgary Temple

Elbow Falls

Elder Cervantes, Ryder (4 yrs. old) Lauryn (to be baptized) Myles, Elder Christensen

Steve playing horse with some boys after Elijah's baptism

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