Oh, how we love to see the temple! Most of our YSAs were serving as security, guides, and ushers Saturday night, but we were able to take one last farewell tour with the group below before the temple closed for cleaning.
On our way in, Josi (second from end in white blouse) was randomly selected and invited to be interviewed after the tour. She was the perfect one to ask! Her first experience with the Church was last Thursday, when she went on a tour with her cousin Bale. She was so touched by the peace she felt in the temple, Bale brought her to the Institute where we talked for almost an hour. She felt that peace again during our tour Saturday night, and told us she would like to learn more about the Church.
The only thing better than that last tour was our Institute FHE Sunday night, where we heard from Caroline Tilli, Jeanette Maiwiriwiri and Saviara Veikoso, who served as guides almost full time during the open house. Elder Whitehead and I also spoke. There we all were fanning ourselves after a long day of meetings in the sweltering heat, but happy to do it as we took Elder Holland’s counsel to “First and forever fan the flame of your faith.” Afterwards we handed out the last of our 200 handkerchiefs for the hosanna shout. We are so grateful for that special gift to our YSAs:)
We had some great moments at the Institute during the week, too. Hyrum Johansson is on his way to serve a mission in Canada next week, so we sang our traditional “God Be With You” to him after class. We will really miss him! I will especially miss him whenever we sing, because he is one of the few who can play the piano. He will be a great missionary.
We are still working on puzzles in between classes, and doing some fun things like making valentines with supplies our daughter sent. We had no idea it would be such a popular activity! They loved it. And of course, you can’t keep them away from pingpong!
All in all, it was a wonderful week! A little exhausting, as one of our faithful tour guides demonstrates in the picture below,
but worth every minute of it! Sosi, Mele, Filipe, and David are among the twelve members singing in the temple rededication choir, many YSAs are participating in the cultural celebration dances, and yet our classes are packed to overflowing! We feel the Spirit as our students bear testimony in our classes… our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for the blessings we enjoy here:)