Well, this week is certainly off to a good start!! We went to the temple this morning (one year to the day from when I went through for my first time) and it was great! It's been SIX MONTHS since I've been to the temple, which is WAY too long. I REALLY needed the boost I received in the House of the Lord.
It was kind of fun, there were 10 missionaries in our session. Something about the temple actually being open on Monday (due to the holiday) brought LOTS of people from our mission. We saw even more from our mission after the session!
One of the coolest parts though, was it was Annandale's stake temple day. Out of all the temples in the world, only 7 have Priesthood Rooms in them. Of those 7, only 2 are used for Stake Temple Days. One of those temples is the Washington D.C. Temple. We were privileged to join for a meeting there on the 7th (top) floor with the Stake Presidency, the Temple President, and their wives. It was amazing, being able to hear talks given on topics that are too sacred to discuss outside the temple, but now within those hallowed walls, we were able to talk about it.
Another fun thing, Jenny Oaks Baker is totally in the Annandale Stake, and I met her in the temple today.
Our Stake Conference was fantastic, too. It was SUCH a spiritual feast, and one of our investigators came, and absolutely LOVED it! He asked us after if it was recorded to watch back. haha. We introduced him to the General Conference section of lds.org... ;)
One funny story. After Stake Conference, our ride didn't show up... So, the Riggs family took us home! They're in our stake, and offered a ride to us. So, we got to ride with all of them. We were all squished in, since there was more people than seats, but we made it work. Anyways, the funny part... I was squished up against Kimball, the Riggs' Daughter. Couldn't resist the opportunity to make a joke, of course: "President, I'm sorry." "What happened Elder Hodgson?" "Well, due to the seating situation we've resorted to, I, uh... I'm... sharing physical contact with your daughter." President, always ready to play along with a joke, hopped right in: "Kimball, you behave yourself now! I'd hate to send Elder Hodgson home because of my own daughter!" It was great. He's hysterical. Last transfer meeting, he had a Sister missionary show up in jeans to freak out one of his assistants... :P
We had interviews this week, too, which I always love. President Riggs gave me probably the best compliment I've received my whole mission. He asked how training was going (I'm still training), and I told him I loved it, and if I could, I wouldn't complain if I trained my whole mission. He told me “very honestly if the Lord will let me, I’ll keep you training as long as I can.” He said other very nice things too…but you get the idea.
So, I remember one day, it seems like just yesterday, I hopped on my bike for the first time. I remember laughing, seeing my trainer's bike. I remember his U-lock was hung over his handlebars and made clanking noises as he rode. His front fender was missing and his rear fender didn't have the fancy little 4-inch extension piece that mine had. His bike made all sorts of creaking noises, but somehow managed to take him where he needed to. Yesterday, I looked over at my bike, and I didn't see it there. Instead, I saw a bike that used to have a U-lock fastened securely to the frame with a fancy clip that came with it. The clip is broken now, and the lock now sits over the handlebars. The clanking seems natural now. I saw a bike whose front fender gave out months ago, though I disregarded it since it didn't do much anyway. I saw a bike with the extension piece freshly broken off from use. I saw a bike that was freshly oiled and tuned-up to stop the creaking it still made to a lesser degree. Long story short, I saw my trainer's bike. It was a weird moment for me as a missionary.
My thought this week comes from something that was said in the temple today. "The power of the atonement will always have more power than Satan's blundering and weak threats." I just loved that. When we make mistakes, Satan makes us think we're in his power, and that there's no hope. False. That is one of the greatest lies Satan tells. When we make mistakes, there are few times in our life where we can see Christ's power less. When we make mistakes, that's when we need to turn to Him and let His atonement heal us. Satan cannot have any power over us that we do not give him. So don't give him any power! No matter what happens, or how many mistakes you make, turn yourself over to the power of Christ. For there, there is real power.
I hope you all have a great week!
Love you all!