Monday, August 18, 2014

We Tookem' to Zion

So let me just take a deep breath here.  I am having a hard time breathing. I think that was definitely the bubble burster? fauset turner onner? cherry on top? no, last straw? no, big whammy?   Anyway, seeing those pics of Michelle and Jake, thanks for the warning dad, but I went STRAIGHT down to bawlin.  Man, I am so so happy for you both.   Sending my love and felicidades!

This week was one to remember (not to mention Mish´s wedding).  We have been preparing these youth to go to the temple by gathering names of family members that have past on.  Almost everyone brought at least 1-2 names.  The spirit of Elijah was incredible, and radiating in their faces.  The President of the temple told us we made history, by being the first group of youth to bring their own family names to do in this temple.    
with all the young woman waiting at 10pm at night for the colectivo to come pick us up to go to ZION!
(haha asuncion ... the templo:)

this is daise (21) our temple pte´s daughter

this is dora!  she is 19 and wants to serve a mish

We had em all watch a little of 17 miracles and talked to them about how sacrifices bring such incredible blessings.  They saw what these early saints were so willing to do, why wouldn´t they too?  They got so excited.  We challenged them to cut out worldly music and tv to try and prepare spiritually.  Hermana Amado and I had the wonderful opportunity of accompanying them.  We had three of our recent converts going (Sebas, Maria, and Suci).  We loaded the bus Thursday night at 10:30pm.  Traveling all night was rough.  It was freezing!  2 am I had been tossing and turning all night and felt so bad for everyone.  We had a few blankets but it was so cold.  I prayed for everyone to have warmth or at least a little rest so we´d be able to stay awake for the temple and this amazing experience.  I suddenly felt part of my own little pioneer company traveling to zion.  In the temple as they each did 15-20 baptisms at 8 in the morning, the sun was rising and came pooring in the baptistry as if the heavens were opening.  I imagined their family entering the gates of heaven, closing my eyes, tears dotted my dress, and for two hours (or the whole day) I 
couldn´t wipe the smile off my face.

 I don´t think we recognize HOW blessed we truly are.  For the past month or two they have been gathering together to have huge hotdog sales, and selling pizzas like crazy to earn money. We earned a little less than half of the travel money needed but luckly the branch pitched in and we will be doing more selling of hotdogs and pizzas to earn the money back and earn for next year.  Oh it was incredible.  Plus to bring family names they literally go around doing interviews and went to graveyards.  There is nothing on the internet on their family search like there usually is ours.   These people are incredible and I just want to sacrifice EVERYTHING so that EVERYONE of them can go.  I tell them how much their Heavenly Father loves them all the time and it just lights them up. :) I would say that´s one of the greatest blessings being a tool in the Lord´s hand is seeing the spirit work through me and touch their hearts, helping people feel and see who they truly are.  

Hermana Border and I got back on Friday at 7:30 just dead and sore.  We dropped our stuff at the house, grabbed our proselyting stuff and went to work.  An hour and a half of work and we completed our goals!  We came back exhausted but Saturday we worked even harder, teaching a total of 8 lessons and reaching our contacts goal.  We decided to celebrate by buying icecream. So that is our new tradition.  Everytime we teach 7 lessons in one day we buy ourselves a 1 mil icecream cone from ¨puerto rice¨.   yum!  The Lord is so good to us!  We also completed Sunday.  I´ve learned you literally just have to trust 100% completely in the Lord. He makes the impossible seem possible, like Audrey Hepburn said, ¨Nothing is impossible, the word itself says i'm possible.¨   :)    Remember you are possible and to trust in the Lord!
the beautiful purple flowers that actually only grow in
Asuncion at this time of year... I LOVE THEM!

some of the flooded houses in Asuncion, so sad!  just miles and miles of this when the river rises

the sunset on the way back to Horqueta after the temple

here´s an excerpt I loved from Bishop Knight´s email the other week... from C.S. Lewis: 

¨Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.¨

Con mucho cariƱo,

Hermana Owen :)