This last week we contacted this really old guy that was sitting on a curb. He lives in one of those places where they take care of old people. He said we could come and visit whenever. So we went this last week and visited him for a bit and he was so happy. The guy is crazy old, we don’t know how old but neither does he. He doesn’t know how to read or write but we shared a quick message with him and he told us we were his best and only friends. We were passing by the area a couple days later and we saw him on the same curb smoking. We walked up and when he saw us he quickly set the cigar down. He said that it belonged to someone else, that he doesn’t smoke and that he put it out for them. It was pretty funny, but sucked to see that he smokes.
We also followed up with this guy named Manuel that we contacted this last week. It was great because he actually had read the pamphlet and did his homework and was ready with questions. During the lesson he would stop and analyze scriptures we shared or sentences we had him read and he would really think about what we shared. It was a great lesson and everything just seemed to click.
This week we had a training by President Chavez and he talked about the parable of the Good Samaritan and priesthood keys. He said that one of the reason that we learn so much here in the mission is because he has keys for that. He said even if our seminary teachers were great we didn’t learn or change or progress as much as here during the mission because they don’t have keys. He also taught about the parable that Jesus the parable teaches us to fix problems that we have with others. Problems in companionships, in marriage, or with any one in any life situation. We need to have enemies to get eternal life. Every enemy we have is another chance we have to achieve eternal life.
This week didn’t have services because all those with temple recommends went to the main city Delicias to watch the temple dedication. The temple dedication went well; we went to all three sessions and the cultural celebration. The talks of elder Holland in the first two sessions were great. In the first talk he talked about the saints during the early days of the church. The first commandment to build a temple was about a year after the organization. When the church was young and there were only a few hundred members. He talked about how they had to abandon this temple and then went to Kirtland, then Nauvoo then Missouri and how they were given commandment s in these places to build temples as well and in the last areas they had to leave while they were in construction. When they got to the valley with Brigham Young he said that the lord commanded that they build another temple and some said to him will we finish this one? He said I don’t know. I don’t care. I have never cared. All that matters is that I’m where the Lord wanted me to be doing what he wants me to do. Then Holland said more important that beautiful brick, crystal, glass and granite is the dedication of our personal lives.
My favorite talk was from him in the second session. He talked about when Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith as a boy. He quoted several scriptures to him but he quoted them a bit differently than they are found in our bible.
Unless Elijah came, the world would be wasted. He said think of all the good things in your life, all of the good people, all of the good feelings you have ever had. All of that would be wasted if Elijah had not come. Unless something could live beyond the earth without the sealing powers of the priesthood it would be wasted.
Elijah returned the binding authority to every priesthood declaration. Giving force to every covenant we make. And giving efficacy to every priesthood blessing.
He said that the orthodox Jews every Passover they at their dinner table have an empty chair and meal awaiting Elijah who needs to come before the second coming can happen. They have been doing so for over 3000 years. They started getting more anxious and started leaving the doors open as part of the ritual.
On April 3, 1836 during the Passover (Easter time) Elijah came. After over 3000 yrs. he came but he didn’t go to a dinner table he appeared to Joseph Smith in the temple. April 3, 1836 for this reason is one of the most important days in the history of the world.
Holland pointed out that in the version that Moroni quoted when he appeared to Joseph Smith says promises. And in the bible the word promises is not found. He said what promises are being talked about. What children gave what pledge to what fathers. He said that in our premortal state. In the heavenly counsel before we came here toe the world we made promise. Our father gave us a plan, the plan of salvation, we accepted it. The plan was intended for all people. But a lot of people would come during the time when the authority to be saved wasn’t found on the earth. They would come to earth in a time of darkness. We promised then to be part of the salvation of those who weren’t so fortunate to be born during the time of light. We pledge partnership with the lord. That day in became our work. We promised our parents that we wouldn’t forget them. We all have convert ancestors that aren’t that far back. Why did we get the chance, why did they get born during the dark days and us in the light, because it is a gift from our ancestors. We can be their saviors on mount Zion.
After the second session we went and ate with a member and we going to head back and try and make it on time for the next session. Everything was going great and on schedule but on the way over we got pulled over. We ended up arriving three minutes late and we got locked out. Luckily there were technical problems and they were running around on the inside trying to fix it and they saw us all locked outside and let us in.
Love Elder Blanchard