March 20, 2015
Well, surprise! We went to the sealing! We really weren't expecting to go, because we're only allowed to go to the sealings of our converts. But the Lord apparently wanted us to go, and oh am I ever so glad.
So Elder G is in Apopa as a zone leader. Apparently, he was in a meeting with President V when Elder P (the missionary that baptized President M) called with a few questions about the temple trip. After the call, Elder G casually asked, "Is Elder Hilton going to the sealing?"
President V: Elder Hilton? But he didn't baptize them.
Elder G: Well, no. But we worked a with President M a lot and...
President V: You want to go?
Elder G: Well...yes.
President V: [smiling] Ok. You guys can go.
So that's how we got to go to the temple. Everything worked out to make it possible. If Elder G hadn't left la Nueva, if he hadn't been in that meeting with President V, and if Elder P hadn't called at that exact moment, we wouldn't have gone. That's too many ifs. We feel really blessed.
We found out that we were going in a somewhat roundabout way. We were never actually formally told that we were going. Tuesday, we were in the office with President M planning the upcoming sacrament meetings when President L called President M to finalize some plans for the temple trip. While talking to him President M asked if we would be able to go to the temple trip. After hanging up, he told us that President L had said that we needed to ask President V if we could go, because there were only 3 missionaries that had permission to go: Elder P, Elder G and...he couldn't remember the name of the last one. (He's not very good with our names. He either calls me hermano, misionero, hermano Hilton or hermano Gi. Every now and then Elder Hilton.)
Anyway, that phone call left me dying to know who the third missionary was. We didn't find out until the next day at the presidency meeting with President L where we asked again. I was the third missionary. I felt very relieved when I found that out. I had been thinking the whole time: "Why would Elder G go but not me? Should I have called President V and asked for permission? Maybe Elder G did."
So anyway, we went to the temple. That endowment session was good, as always. But it did feel different. It felt like the focus was all on the M family. The main reason I was there was not to receive spiritual strength or even to do the temple work for one of my ancestors. While those were factors, that was not why I came. I came for the M family. While we were in the celestial room, we were just waiting for President and hermana M to come through. When they did, they looked so happy. And then came the sealing. That was very special. In the sealing was President L and his wife, us, President T (first councilor in the branch) and his wife, and Elder P. Elder G and I were the witnesses. That was truly special.
After the sealing President L treated us all to lunch and cake. While we were eating he said to us, "When you are in your homes once more, you will look back and give thanks to God that he let you come to Nueva Concepcion." I know that to be true. I love Nueva Concepcion. This little branch needed my help. I've learned and grown so much here. I'm not sure if I'll ever be ready to leave this area. I've got so much more to learn.
Well, I love you all!