Hope you didn´t worry too much when you didn´t hear from me yesterday. We got a call late Sunday night that they needed to double the missionaries in the Temple on Monday and asked us to come. We didn´t know why they were doubling the number, but of course, responded to the call...
Before I tell you all why, let me put it into perspective...
On a usual week day, about one thousand people go through the Temple. It is pretty slow to be honest. Busier week days have 2 thousand or so. On Saturdays, it is CRAZY and we have about 12, 000...
Well, yesterday was a holiday here and we had...............
27, 000 people go through the Temple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, you read correctly! 27 THOUSAND!!! Oh my goodness! We were EXHAUSTED by the end of the day. There were buses all over the place that different wards had brought, there was a FOUR HOUR wait to get in, and they cut the video because it was backing things up. They didn´t have the tour guides say a single word... they just walked them straight through and cut out 3 rooms. It was kinda sad that they didn´t get much of an explanation, but it was still a really powerful experience for everyone and the Spirit was felt strongly. The tour is usually about 20 min to 30 min depending on who is there and if there is time to explain more... the people were in the front door and out the back in about 7. It was seriously packed. They never thought they would see so many people. There was a 30 to 40 minute wait for the BATHROOM even! The tent was packed, the grounds were packed, etc. It was LOCO, but also a lot of fun! You all know me... the more the better, right??? The Lord truly blessed the people to be able to still feel the Spirit really strongly, even with the very limited tour. Everyone was really good sports about the wait.
We had a great week! Flor Dominguez, 14 years old, was baptized this Sunday! We were going to baptize all 4 of the non-baptized children, but Hermana Dominguez decided that the others are too little. We are working with her and are hoping to have those baptisms this weekend. I was thinking the other day about how my mission has gone. Most of the baptisms that I have been blessed to see have been of kids and youth. But the really cool thing is that almost all of those come from previously inactive families who have reactivated and had the previously not baptized children baptized! I love that! My mission has been a really cool balance of going to the rescue and finding those who totally don´t know the Church. I love the work! I love seeing these families in church with the recently baptized kids. It´s a powerful thing.
Hermana Montecinos is doing much better. Each week gets better for her. I can´t imagine being such a new convert and coming on the mission. Her testimony is growing and developing, she is liking the work more, and she is happier. She is starting to open up more. I just keep loving her and trying to serve her as best as I can.
Last week in our Temple assignment, there were not enough guides, so we got to do a Temple tour! It was really fantastic! I felt the Spirit so strongly and it was one of the most Spiritual experiences of my life. There were 5 non members in our group of 15 and each of them was in tears at the end of the tour. I felt that the words were truly from the Lord. It was not busy at all, and we were able to have a 35 min tour with them. It was really special. I love the Temple! I know that the covenants that we make there are so important. I know that we are going to be an eternal family. I know that The Lord wants us back with Him, and the way to do so is by going to the Temple.
I have made an official decision. I talked with Hermana Gulbrandsen today and I am going to come home on my normal release date. There was a bunch of confusion, and they didn´t ever want me home any earlier. They just invited me to pray about it because the other are going home early to start school and they didn´t want me to think that I didn´t have the option. They were so happy when I told them. They are going to have to close Sister areas when my group goes home, because there are 8 Sisters that all go home together... a CRAZY high number. They told me that they were happy with the decision that I made. I made the decision with a lot of prayer and I know that it is correct. I really do need to start back up in the fall where I left off... If I started in January, I would have to just take "whatever" classes because I can´t take my Music Therapy classes til fall, and then I would end up being in school a year and a half with only a year of scholarship left. This way, I will finish in the year that I should, and be able to take the classes that I need. It will give me time to get a good internship and time to work. I promise that I won´t become one of those return missionaries that doesn´t do anything. I will go job hunting right away! haha. I feel really at peace about it. It was really weighing me down, and now I feel totally good about it. So the official release date is January 21... now just don´t go reminding me about it! haha.
We are doing well. The work progresses. The Temple rededication is coming up so quickly! I am so happy about it.
I love you all so much! I love the Gospel. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love the work! I love seeing people come unto Jesus Christ. Please pray that we can find new investigators. With not being in our area hardly at all with the Temple, we have lost a few investigators and need new ones ASAP! The Lord will provide!