You may all be wondering why I have greeted you in this Hawaiian way today… well, I’m about to explain. :)
This week was quite stressful, but also wonderful. We had a ward activity! It was the first one in quite a while. The missionaries planned it and put it all together, and let me just say that IT WAS AWESOME. We invited EVERYONE to come join in our activity que se llamaba, “Viaje a Hawaii!” or “Trip to Hawaii!” Who wouldn’t want to come to that activity?!
The invitations were these darling mock boarding passes, and the best part is that we are “Barrio Aeropuerto” or “Airport Ward!” So it was super appropriate. Anyways, as people arrived, Hermana Molina and I were waiting at the “Puerta de Embarque” or “boarding gate” with leis, all ready to welcome them onto their plane! They all filed in; we had to do two flights because there were so many people, HOLLA! The elders were the captains/pilots/comedians of the night, and the other sisters were the flight attendants. Hermana Daza from Bolivia spoke in Spanish and Hermana Chandler from Utah spoke in English! Only as Hermana Chandler spoke in English, she gave away the secret: that we were all gonna die! Sure enough, a few minutes later, the plane goes down and we all “died”!
From there, we decided to give the people a little tour of the three places where they could possibly spend eternity! We went through the telestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, and finally the celestial kingdom, explaining all the while who would be staying in these different places. In the celestial kingdom, the bishop and his wife and children were all dressed in white, and the bishop taught about eternal families and how we can achieve this goal! We also watched a little Mormon message, and then ate Hawaiian inspired treats. Basically, it was AMAZING. It got everyone there really thinking about where we wanted to be for eternity and who we wanted to be with! (that’s when we handed out reference cards :) )
Basically, it was a hit. Over 100 people came, which is more than we even get to sacrament meeting! And of course, as we planned and carried out the activity, I, too, was pondering this question… where do I want to be for eternity, and who do I want to be with?
Where we want to be is pretty obvious: the celestial kingdom. As Mario explained to us, that’s where the food is! Better than Hawaii any day. The next question: who do we want to be with? Well, first of all, I want to return to my Father in Heaven, and His son, my Savior Jesus Christ. Next, I want to be with my family FOREVER! And of course, my friends, my companions, and my converts. Well, EVERYONE (Mosiah 28:3)! So how do we accomplish that? Bruce R. McConkie once said [rough translation]:
“People entering the door of repentance and baptism are themselves in the straight and narrow path that leads to the celestial kingdom. And through devotion, and faithfulness, and enduring to the end with righteousness and obedience, it is possible to obtain a heavenly reward.”
I love this. After we have taken those first steps, that is not all! Devotion is required to obtain celestial glory.
2 Nephi 31:17-20. This is a scripture we use possibly more than any other as missionaries, but how powerful and true it is! We don’t need to be perfect RIGHT NOW. What He requires in this life is that we press forward with steadfastness, hope, and love as we strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ.
Moroni 10:32-22. The bottom line is, perfection is required to enter into the kingdom of God. But that’s why our loving Heavenly Father provided a Savior for us: so that when we follow that first and great commandment, to love God with all our might, mind, and strength, His grace will be sufficient for us to become perfect and achieve an eternity of celestial glory with our Father, with Christ, and with all those we love.
My prayer is that each of us can enter in the way through faith in Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring until the end so that we may be prepared to meet our maker. Alma 34:32.
Until next week!
PS: Sorry for not emailing yesterday. This weekend was “cavnavales” here in Cajamarca! That means the streets are full of crazy people throwing paint, water balloons, acid, who knows! I was only hit by a couple of water balloons so I was lucky. Saturday we weren’t even allowed to leave our rooms! But yeah. Yesterday they cut all the power in Cajamarca so that’s why I’m writing today. J No worries! Everything is awesome! #missionadventures