Saturday, December 13, 2014

Temples and Nativities (Bayley)

Technically it was only one temple - Houston for life! - but saying "temple and nativities" just isn't as catchy, so we're just going to go with the plural.

This past week was amazing!  What with meetings and temple trips and service and everything, it has been absolutely draining, which is the best feeling ever when you collapse into bed each night, knowing that you have used absolutely every OUNCE of energy you could in the work of the Lord that day.

Not to mention the fact that my daughter has proven herself capable of not only falling off bikes, but falling down stairs as well.  And also accidentally gluing fake nails to her fingers.  There certainly is no shortage of entertainment in our companionship.  

Let's start with the temples.  Or temple, that is.  Still just one. 

Wednesday morning bright and early the missionaries in the Kingwood, Summerwood, and Pine Trails Zones (so roughly 60 of us) drove to the temple to be there at 6am for our special missionary 6:30 session.  When we arrived it was still dark out, and immediately upon passing through the front gates the peace of the temple just washed over us.  I have come to love and appreciate so many things on my mission, one of which is the temple.  When I go to the temple, I feel like I am going home, and nowhere in the world can we find the same degree of peace and comfort as we can within the walls of the Lord's house.  Since the temple was opened early just for us, there was no one there but missionaries, and it was an extra special feeling to be there and to look around and see the house of the Lord filled with members of the Lord's army. 

Leaving the temple, both Sister Mulivai and I felt like we were so spiritually full that if somebody bumped us we were just going to tip over and lose a whole load of revelation.  We even had to turn off the conference talk we were listening to because we felt like our minds just couldn't hold anything more on the drive home.  And so what better thing to do than go directly from there to teaching God's children! 

That afternoon we had a church tour scheduled with a part member family we are working with.  Our whole purpose in showing them around the church was to help them feel the Spirit that was there, and so as we stood outside the doors we talked to the three young kids (ages 9, 7, and 4) and told them about how they would need to whisper and be very careful in the church because this was God's house.  We had with us a member of our ward who happens to be the organist, and we had decided beforehand that as part of the tour we would all enter the chapel together and she would play "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" while we and the family just sat there and felt for the whisperings of the Spirit.  Now, I'm sure that our being in the temple that morning had greatly increased my spiritual sensitivity, but even without that extra temple-prompted-Spirit-radar, there was something very eternally powerful felt in that room as we sat quietly and listened to the organ.  In that moment I saw this family as an eternal family in the walls of the temple.  I am confident that the Spirit that was there - and felt by all - enabled us to get just a glimpse of the love God has for his children.  It was felt so clearly, and so strongly, that by the time the hymn finished playing we all just sat there soaking it all in.  That experience taught me several things.  First, never underestimate the power of song and music to invite the Spirit of the Lord.  Second, always remember that the chapel is a sacred place.  And third, God truly does love all his children all the time.

In addition to temples and Spirit-maxed lessons, this week was extra special because of the Christmas spirit.  In the Kingwood Stake, for the past 17 years, they have put on a community wide nativity exhibit and music festival which displays over 400 nativity sets from around the world and features musical performances from many local and school choirs and orchestras.  And lucky us, every year the missionaries get to help volunteer there.  So for several hours on both Friday and Saturday, Sister Mulivai and I got to smile big and use all our best manners to welcome people to the nativity and direct them around the building and answer questions about the nativities and the event.  I will include some of the pictures I got of the many nativities, but sorry - you really and truly needed to be there to feel the incredible spirit of the event.  I absolutely LOVE Christmas.  It is such a unique time of the year where everyone's eyes are turned back to the Savior, to think about Him and His birth and His life.  There is no better time of the year to be His representative than now.

I hope that this Christmas season, all of yall take the time to apply the teachings of President Howard W. Hunter, who said: "This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicious and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love, and then speak it again."

I love yall!

Sister Bayley Enright

​With my daughters :) Sisters Mulivai and Crump

​Sister Mulivai, me, elders kalilimoku, and brewer

​elders huff, knebel, martinez

 ​With the zone leaders - elders mitchell and huhane

 ​with president and sister drake :)

 ​colorado springs east stake represent!

​with my loverly daughter

And some of the nativities:

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