I hope everyone is having a good summer. The Temple has been closed this month and the Choir has been on tour for the last few weeks, so I'll admit Temple Square has definitely felt like something was missing. But all is well! The choir is back this week and the Temple will be reopening next week. So we will go back to hearing people cheering every 10 minutes because someone just got married.
This week though we were able to meet a lot of people from all over the place. I have started keeping a list in my journal of countries that I have met people from and then a list of states where I have met people from on the Square. My list is getting pretty long! But this week we were able to take a really cool tour with this sweet family and some nonmember friends. So the family is from Utah but for about 6 months of the year they live in the Virgin Islands. The mom teaches seminary there, and the church is very small. She said that she has about 4 students and most of the kids were her own kids. Well she promised the kids that if they went to seminary every day that she would take them to Temple Square and so that's what she did! They also brought some non-members friends and we were able to take them around on a tour. It was a wonderful experience partly because we were able to see these wonder members being missionaries, because really they gave most of the tour by teaching and bearing testimony. We just added the cool facts here and there. We were able to give the friends copies of the Book of Mormon so that they could read. Having the church grow in different countries is so wonderful! It's allowing so many more people to have access to the blessings of the atonement in their lives. I guess one bonus of being on Temple Square is that you get to see a small portion of that all over the world.
Our teaching area is also doing wonderful, the sweet man who called in for a Bible is now preparing for his baptism in August. We called him this morning and he shared with us what he had just been reading in the Book of Mormon which was the story of Nephi getting tied up on the boat and then how the storms came and the Liahona stopped working. To quote this wonderful man: "You would think by now that they would just listen to Nephi. Nothing ever works out when they are not following or listening to him." He was exactly right and we were able to bridge that wonderful story to having living prophets and apostles today! Things will always work out when we follow our leaders today!
We have also been working with a lot of other wonderful people. We have been praying really hard because we have some solid people and we are just waiting for the local missionaries to get involved. I'll admit sometimes it's hard to be patient at this point. The Lord always provides a way though! We know and have faith that the missionaries will make it to them!
This week was also President Packer's Funeral. The entire square was shut down so they allowed us to go to the funeral. (it's the only way they could keep us out of trouble with the square shut down). It was a wonderful service. And it all worked out so well, Sister Sommerfeldt got an actual ticket since I got a ticket for Elder Perry's Funeral, so we went on exchanges and sat in different places. I was with Sister Mahoney and the lady that we ended up sitting next to was a school counselor. She was an answer to Sister Mahoney's prayer because she was starting to get worried about school applications and different things. This lady was extremely knowledgeable about everything school related so she was also able to give us some hints on how to get into schools and how to pick a school. So that was nice, divine orchestration-it's everywhere :)
One of the songs that the choir sang for the funeral is supposedly President Packer's favorite (the lady who sat next to us told us that...don't know if it's true though) The hymn was "The Wintry Day, Descending to its Close" and it actually talks about the pioneers and Temple Square! Which means it has become a favorite of mine too! With Pioneer Day coming up I love that I am where so much history happened for the church. Everyday we get to testify of the faith that the pioneers had and their willingness to follow the living prophet. I've been told that Pioneer Day in Utah is a big ordeal, I don't know how much we will get to see of it but I am excited.
Today though Sister Sommerfeldt and I continued our exploring and we visited the National History Museum of Utah. I learned that I really like this Museum, or maybe I just like looking at cool things. But this one had a lot of cool things!
Like for example, this is supposedly the largest mammal in history...yep it's pretty big.
Well I love you all, here's just a piece of my week.