How lucky are we? The Institute was given its own sign to invite the public to the temple open house! The sign hangs on the Institute’s freshly painted wall, in front of its beautifully and newly painted building (roof, steps, doors, walls, bars on windows – every inch) all so we can represent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints well.
While some things like Mission Preparation class have been business as usual,
…most of our YSAs have been spending every minute they can helping with the temple open house. David, our Institute Council president, has been there every day, staying sometimes until midnight. Many of those taking the tours say they love the peaceful feeling in the temple so much they don’t want to leave. Seems to be true of our YSAs, too!
It has been very hot (as in 77 to 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit with mostly no wind and 63 to 100% humidity), so some YSAs rush over to the institute on breaks to get a drink and enjoy the air conditioning. One fell asleep when he sat down in a comfy chair! Here are a few of our stripling warriors (and great tour guides):
Liahona may be the only young lady we were able to get a picture of this week, but only because they have all been so busy helping. Jeanette, Georgina, Noula and Savaira have also been wonderful tour guides.
I owe a special thanks to Liahona. Thursday I received news that my sister Janis passed away. The institute was full of lots of happy noise. I wanted to go to a quiet place to shed my tears privately, thank my Heavenly Father for the blessing of having Janis as my sister, and pray for the comfort of her family. I had cookies in the oven and cookie dough on the counter, but when I explained what I had just learned, the guys all gave me caring hugs, Liahona took charge in the kitchen, and I was able to go to our flat for a special time of reflection.
Contemplating the reality of life after death and being with our families again has given the work of this temple even more meaning. What a blessing it is to know we can be with our loved ones again! Not only until mortal death temporarily parts us, but together for all eternity.
And to prepare us all for that, we try to do our best while we are here, eh? Today in combined Priesthood /Relief Society we watched a video of our Area Presidency encouraging us to work towards these goals:
We had a great discussion about these goals, and how to specifically apply them. Oh, how we love being among these faithful Fijian people!
Tonight we received inspired instruction in a rebroadcast of special training given to missionaries worldwide (ours was delayed because of the open house). It was amazing.
Afterwards senior missionaries were assigned to transport the sister missionaries back to the temple patron housing… and back to helping with the last week of the temple open house.
We have heard so many touching stories about those taking tours. One group of soldiers came into the Celestial room, and instead of looking at the beautiful furniture, etc., all sat down and instinctively bowed their heads and began praying. The feeling of peace there is real. An atheist wrote on his comment card that he wanted to become a Christian now because while he was in the temple, he felt God’s love for him. We hope thousands more will feel that same thing during this next week!