Today I burned my 18 month pants. I feel like an old missionary now. But I just have to take advantage of the last few months I have.
Today, our district went to a all you can eat pizza place. In between the 10 of us, we ate 19 pizzas. To conserve stomach space, none of us ate breakfast and none of us ate the crusts of the pizzas, but rather made a tower out of them. I don't think the restaurant employees will ever let us enter their restaurant again.
This week was really good. I was able to go to the Temple Open House two times, once on Friday and once on Saturday. It was so so good. On Friday we accompanied Adilida, Gloria, and Ingrid to the Open House. It was so funny and good. Adalida is a typical, eccentric, Argentine grandma and kept on making really dramatic reactions as we passed from room to room. She was so impressed by all the art work and kept on going up to the pictures of Jesus and kissing them and stroking them. I don't think you are really supposed to touch the paintings, and I don't think our tour guide was too happy. Part of the tour was that when you reach the celestial room, the guide gives you two minutes of silence to sit and ponder and feel. At this point in out tour, Adalida, Ingrid, and Gloria were all bawling and so happy. It so so peaceful and so nice. Even though the temple still isn't dedicated, you can feel that it is a very special place. Adalida just kept on telling me over and over again, "I never thought i would get to a place like this. I just never knew!" When we were in the sealing room, she took a deep breath and grabbed me by the arm is good grandmotherly fashion and told me that she wanted to die and be born again so that she could be married in a place like this. I told her that there is still time, she is only 72.
On Saturday, Elder Ruvalcaba and I went to the temple to be the guides. When we got there, they let us know that we wouldn't be guides inside of the temple, but rather the guides who greet the people just as they are coming out of the temple and finishing their tour. All of the people, as they finished the tour were guided into a huge tent with couches and church music and cookies. My job was to sit in the tent and talk to all the people I could, especially people who were not members, and try to help them to feel comfortable. I was kind of disappointed at first, but after a while of greeting the people right as they came out the temple, I realized what a blessing it was to be in the spot I was. The people coming out of the temple all had the same look on their faces, and the same good feeling about them. Even though the majority of the people were members, it was so good to hear over and over again how much peace is to be felt inside of the temple. The hardest part was trying to figure out which people were members and which were not. I mainly tried to talk to the people who were sitting alone, dress differently, or acted differently. People came in huge buses from all around the country. During my shift, 4 huge double-decker buses from Santa Fe and Bahia Blanca came in. The people in these buses drove 12 hours, through the night to take a 45 minute tour, and then take another 12 hour bus ride back to their homes. Talking to these people was my favorite part of the day. They were all so happy and all told me that it was worth it to visit the temple, even for a little bit. In a sense, I imagined them as modern pioneers. After about 10 solid hours of being in a tent and talking with lots and lots of people, I did not here a single negative comment. It was such a positive and loving environment. So good. I feel so lucky to have been there. My next turn in the temple is the coming 20th and then I go back again on the 22nd. Can't wait.
Going back to the temple this week with a whole lot more knowledge, testimony, and excitement for the gospel made for a completely different experience that i had about 2 years ago. Even the Temple is still not dedicated, and I did not do any type or ordinance inside of the temple, I gained a deep appreciation for the temple. I love the temple. I cant wait to go back when into a dedicated temple. I, for the first time in my life, am excited to make the temple and what we do there the base of my life. I, for the first time in my life, am excited to be married in the temple. Whoa there, I am not saying that I want to get married as soon as I get back or anything close, but I am excited to prepare for that step that will come in the distant future.