This Christmas season we have a new assignment on the square that we call Sing-and-Smile. It's brilliant. Pretty much there are groups of sister missionaries assigned to sing Christmas songs at certain times in certain areas of Temple Square for a bit. A lot of sisters seemed a little hesitant about it but once we did it our first night we fell in love with it immediately! There is nothing more joyous in this world than singing! I think I've realized a part of the reason why I love to sing so much and I believe it has so much to do with the fact that I feel completely myself when I am singing. So anyways, we get to sing several times a week and we love it soo much!
On Sunday morning after Music and The Spoken Word we took our first VIP tour! I was so nervous! The guest we were showing around was the family of a state legislator from Florida. Wow what a neat experience! (It was a learning experience as well.) We showed them the Christus first, then took them through the God's Plan presentation. They have 2 adorable little boys and you could feel the spirit so strong as we were going through. Then we took them to the Tabernacle where we let the little boys do the acoustic demonstration with us (sooo cute). The last place we took them was the Temple Model and we explained what goes on inside temples. It always intrigues me how much people feel the spirit without even realizing it. You can see it in their eyes! Their spirit is just peeking out through their eyes shining sooo bright when you teach truths of the gospel. So it was a neat tour and they were such a wonderful family!
Another neat tour that we took this week was just about two days ago. We met this older couple looking at the Temple Model and began talking with them a lot about just religion in general and how it affects society positively. They asked us a LOT of questions about the 'Mormon' view of different things. We took them to the Assembly Hall (the only building they hadn't already been in) and explained to them about our church services and what we study from in the church. They began talking to us about how they are at a point in their life when they are wanting to get more serious about religion and overcome what they call their 'common man' or their 'common self'. We shared with them Mosiah 3:19 about the natural man and how we can overcome that through the atonement of Jesus Christ. We also shared the story of the conversion of Alma the Younger, which really seemed to strike a chord with them and they began to ask questions about the Book of Mormon a lot! They were really curious so we offered them a free copy and they accepted! It was really cool! After the tour we directed them to the JSMB to see the Joseph Smith which. We really hope they enjoyed that. They gave us their information so that we could keep in touch with them and teach them more.
I don't know if you remember, but a couple months ago at the MAP desk I met a girl who was raised a member of the church but had gotten caught up in drugs when she was really young. She came to Temple Square looking for guidance because she really wanted to be clean again. We were going to meet her every day but we never saw her again and had no way of contacting her. :( Well about 5 nights ago she came back to Temple Square! Oh my goodness I was so happy to see her! I didn't think she would remember me, but she did and she was back because she decided to leave her boyfriend (who was the one dealing the drugs) and get back in contact with her family. That was such a tender mercy to see her again because few days had past since I first met her that I didn't think about her and hope that she was ok.
Yesterday was a crazy day as well. One of our current investigators brought her friend to the square with her seeking a priesthood blessing. We had heard about this friend before but we had also heard that she was really hesitant about the church because of hard experiences from earlier in her life. But, she came, and we were able to have one of our senior Elders give her an incredibly powerful priesthood blessing. I have to tell you though, before we found Elder Burton to give the blessing, a young man (probably 22 or 23) who had just come out of the temple, stopped them and said, "Hey, is there something I can do for you?" AH! He was so in tune with the spirit! He talked to them a little while and offered that if we couldn't find someone, he would be willing to give the blessing. Wow! So prepared! I don't know what happened to that young man after he left but he is going places in life! haha(: It was a neat thing to see.
Alright last thing, I promise. This morning was Relief Society, as always, but this morning it was held in the Relief Society building. The mission met in the president's room and the General Relief Society Presidency came and spoke to us. What a powerful experience...I almost cried like 6 times! haha(: I had a lot of interesting thoughts and feelings during the meeting, which I won't share all of them, but I will share a small part of some of the things I wrote during the meeting. "Throughout the course of my mission I have learned, little by little, why I was called to Temple Square. But when I'm in meetings like this I almost feel like I know completely why. But I think most difficult part of being a missionary here is the feeling I have in these meetings when I wish so badly that Mary, Kathy, and Sarah could be here. (Investigators names have been changed.) I wish so badly that they could see what I see and feel what I feel." And it's so true. I love being a missionary on Temple Square, but it has challenges that no other mission does. Every time I'm sitting in a meeting like that I always think of investigators that I'm closest with and I just wish so badly they were here. Or, when they're going through hard times at home, I wish SO BADLY that I could just go be with them and talk to them in person. It's. so. hard. I just want to be with them but if I'm with any one of them I would have to be in either England or Provo or Kansas or New York or California...and I could only be in one of those places...which means I would only know one of them. So I am grateful that I'm here, where I can know all of them...but it's hard knowing all of them, but never being able to be with them to help them.
Nonetheless... I'm here. And I love it here. (: I love the Christmas lights I love the masses of people! I love the general authority leaders of the church. Haha! I love my mission! By the way, today is my companion's last p-day...and that makes me love the mission even more.
Ok I will stop writing now. I love you all so much! I hope you're having an amazing Christmas season! Thank you for all your prayers because there is no snow here yet and I just know that's because mom and dad you've been praying a lot for me. (; Haha!