Monday, November 23, 2015

Families are Forever

 The Amacio Family Sealing

 Eden and Precious

 What a memorable day at the temple!

Happy 21st Birthday to me!  Thank you, Sis Veras for the cake! 

I did know that Obama was here because ALL the roads were closed!! It took us 4 hours to get TO and then 4 hours BACK from the meeting where Elder Maynes spoke (and our entire zone was squished into 1 car with no aircon!!) This is just a peek at how crazy our car ride was because of President Obama!

Dear Family,

This week was fabulous! It was my 21st birthday, and I only got fed 1 weird thing for dinner! Here in the Philippines, if they love you, they feed you. And if you love them, you HAVE to eat their food. When you don't, it basically sends them the message that you think they're a bad cook, and that you hate them and their entire family! Its a very personal thing. So, I survived the night! And Sister Veras got me a little cake from Goldilocks bakery (: It was so much fun to open your card and hear your voices!! I can't believe I only have 3 Pdays left before I actually get to hear and SEE you! :D 

The highlight of this week, though was the Amacio sealing! It was the first live sealing I have ever been to, and it was such a special day for everyone there. 4 of our recent converts were also endowed before the sealing, and so we all were in the sealing room together. We got to help their daughter Precious get ready and then bring her into the sealing room after the endowment. It was something that I will never forget. I am so thankful that I got to have that experience before I leave!

Just to give you a little background on the Amacio's.. Eden comes from a member family, but has been less active for most of her life. A few years ago she married Novel, who wasn't a member. Novel's family is catholic. They live here in Las Pinas as well as Novel's sister Analiza and her family. Just over 1 year ago, the missionaries taught and baptized both Novel and Analiza.. And so the Berzo and Amacio families became an active part of the Las Pinas 1st ward! Eden and Analiza are now actually serving as 1st and 2nd counselor in the primary presidency. Some Sundays I just think to myself, what would the ward be like without them?

Even though 1 year ago was one of the biggest and greatest days of the Amacio's life.. This week takes the crown. For most people in the world, they love and cherish their families, but do not really know what will happen after this life. They get married, but say the words "until death do us part." Novel and Eden had been happily married and lived a happy life with their daughter Precious, but it was only temporary. It was only until death. 

As members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, we believe that families are forever! Through the power and authority of God, families are literally bound together in temples all over the world. When Novel and Eden were married the first time it was for this life only. But this Wednesday, they were sealed with their words "for time and all eternity."

My favorite part of the sealing was when Precious came in. She is 3 years old and was dressed in a little white dress. I also just loved the look on Novel's face as he looked at his 2 girls. 

It made me think about what it must have been like to be in Mom and Dad's sealing.. or Marmee and Grandpa's. I wonder what it will feel like when it's me! 

I feel SO blessed to be a missionary. Families can be together forever through Heavenly Father's plan. The first part of the plan is baptism. But baptism is just the first step towards the temple. It truly is the house of the Lord. I am so thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where my family is made a forever family, too.

Anyway! I am really doing my best to be grateful and love every minute I have left here. I really will miss the sunshine and blue skies almost every day. I mostly will miss the people. I have learned so much here. I really wouldn't trade this experience for anything. I, too, love that I have had such a well rounded mission experience. I have lived the island life and the city life.. I have had slow times, but also been blessed with really really wonderful investigators and families. Physically, I have been more healthy than I could have hoped for! I expected much more sickness with throwing up and such... I have lived with people from all over the world! I understand cultures and people in a whole new way. But of course, I wouldn't trade all of this because along the way, I have come to know Jesus Christ in a whole new way. I love this gospel. I know the Book of Mormon way better than I ever did before. I know that it is true. This is a gospel of hope and faith and happiness! There are lots of hard times along the way, but it is those times that lead us back to our Father in Heaven.

Have a great week!! 


Love, Sister Lockwood

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