It’s been a great but busy week here in Texas Houston South. On Monday the kids had the day off from school and wanted to go to some of the missionaries p-day. The boys joined the Houston South district to play flag football while Jessie, Natalie and her little sister, Lacie learned cheers from their newly appointed cheer coach…..Me. Last Saturday night, Jessie had gone to Natalie’s brother, Robby’s baseball game to cheer him on. His coach thought the girls were darling and told them they could be their cheerleaders. Jessie loved the idea and came home with visions of cheer uniforms in her head that would have to come into existence. So the search for cheer uniforms was on. Unfortunately the cheer uniforms would have to wait until after flag football. The girls and I came up with three cheers while the boys played. I will video them eventually because they love to perform their cheers for the Bandits. They are very proud of them. After dropping Zac and Bode off we headed to Justice because the girls had no patience to wait for a uniform to come in the mail especially when there was a game that night. We found a cute black, grey and white baseball tee and black and white shorts. The girls were so happy! They want to add a sparkly “B” to front. Not enough pizazz. After dinner, Zac was talking with us about he and Bode flag football experience with the elders. He told us during the flag football game one of the elders lost his green magnet that holds the tag on. They looked and looked for it and decided it was a lost cause. One of the other missionaries came over and asked if they had said a prayer yet. Bode turned to Zac and said something like, "that won't work, the grass is green, the magnet is green, we won't find it. Why bother?” Zac said it wouldn’t hurt to try so reluctantly Bode participated in the prayer. As the prayer finished, Bode opened his eyes looking down at his feet. Right beside his foot was the green magnet! Needless to say, when I asked Bode if he had a testimony of prayer later that night he replied, “Oh, You Bet I Do!” What a great experience that was for him but for me as a mom…..that was HUGE!
Tuesday was the beginning of our temple week for the mission. Having to leave the house so early each morning meant I organized rides to early morning seminary, school and prepped a lunch for Jessie each night before. The Houston Temple President is an amazing man. He had made arrangements for our missionaries to have a session to ourselves before the temple doors opened for the day. This meant Aaron and I were up at four each morning to get to the temple by six, but well worth the lack of sleep. We had about 50 missionaries attend with us each day and they all look forward to being at the temple. These temple trips are such a great way to give our missionaries a great foundation of understanding and love for our temples.
Prior to coming to the temple, we asked the missionaries to take a couple of questions with them to the temple; what do they want/expect from their mission and what do they want/expect for their life. Elder Corbridge has asked all the missionaries to prepare a 5-minute talk on these questions when he comes for our mission tour in two weeks. We felt this would be a wonderful opportunity to contemplate those questions while in the temple. Prior to the session President Crane and Aaron spoke with the missionaries to help them focus on remembering the covenants they had made and how these will help them both in their mission and for the rest of their lives. Aaron reviewed the principles of obedience, sacrifice, living the law of the gospel, chastity, and consecration. President Crane then helped them remember their true identity and helps them think of how the endowment is their life story. Aaron and I feel like we have learned more about the temple since we've been here in Texas than in the previous 22 years of being married. Aaron and I were the witness couple each day and that was a real sweet and amazing experience for us as a couple. President Crane acted as the officiator each day and would also lead the prayer circle. It was quite amazing to have the temple president saying the prayer each day and blessing the missionaries. Aaron also had the opportunity to be a veil worker and that was really cool for the missionaries that he worked with directly. I think Aaron thought it was pretty awesome too.
Following the session we had them meet us outside for some additional teaching on the temple grounds. I shared with the missionaries what I wanted to get out of the mission for the missionaries and our kids. Prior to that I really hadn’t thought about what I wanted for me individually. I talked about wanting our kids to come away with stronger testimonies and to see how the gospel blesses their lives. In doing so I related Bode’s experience on Monday with them. His experience with prayer is exactly how my desires are being fulfilled through those testimony-building moments. I also talked about how as I was reading the scriptures prior to us attending the first day of the temple trip 3 Nephi 14. It is a familiar verse…. “ask and you shall receive, seek and ye shall find, and knock and it shall be opened” is personal revelation in that it is helping me find my missionary purpose and related it to how it could do the same for the missionaries. Aaron then talked to them about how joy in life comes from family and in particular our eternal companion. We have so many missionaries with broken homes that we spend a lot of time trying to model what happy families look like. We share with them that it takes a lot of work, repentance, and sacrifice, but that they should be building towards a family that will bless the rest of their lives. We sang Families are Forever, took a lot of pictures and sent them back to work.
The whole family was excited to see Allie on Thursday night so we all went to get her from the airport. Her flight was delayed and we figured she would be hungry when she got in that we put dinner off until we had her with us. Needless to say we had dinner at 9 at a Waffle House but we were together and happy!! That was all that matter. Allie joined us for bunch after we finished at the temple on Friday. I just love having her here!! Bode has been cleared and is back to football practice. Zac received his practice jersey this week and is playing ahead of a few of the sophomores but we still aren’t clear if he has made the team or not. On Saturday, we participated in a local cancer research and treatment charity race today called the Brent Event that includes a 5k, 10k, and kids K. I had coordinated our missionaries participating in running at the event. We also encouraged the missionaries to volunteer and help at the race and kids carnival. Kim and I raced, I took 2nd overall (5k) and Kim was 3rd for the women (10K), two teen runners beat her. We still got it! Zac and Allie went to the multi-stake Halloween dance. They dressed up as baseball players. I am happy to say they were there for at least an hour and 15 minutes while Bode and I did transfer week shopping. Great to have Allie with us, she's been greatly missed.