Thursday, February 25, 2016

taking an ancestor on trek & my temple trip

Youth in Mongolia reenact trek (Image Source here)

This year for the annual youth conference my church has, we are (all 285+ of us in this area) going on the pioneer handcart trek reenactment. Keeping in mind the 2016 Youth theme from 2 Nephi 31:20, we will be PRESSING FORWARD with a steadfast faith in Christ.

Pressing forward all 22 miles. In pioneer clothing. Pulling/pushing heavy handcarts. Maybe with a few Port-A-Potties scattered here and there.

Think we're crazy? Okay, maybe just a little ;)

I am beyond excited for this opportunity, though. I've only camped twice prior to this, the first time being two years ago for my first youth conference, so it'll be a lot different than what I'm used to. However, I can't wait! I love the atmosphere of church activities and having a great time with friends, but also being able to strengthen my faith and testimony of Jesus Christ at the same time! It will also give me a chance to better undestand what my ancestors went through.

In preparation for this event, all of the youth were encouraged to find an ancestor's name to be baptized for, and in a sense, "take them" on trek. Last night was the designated time to go to the temple, so I went with the rest of my church.

It's been a while since I've been to the temple. I'd say three or four months, maybe. But oh, how I've missed it. The Houston Texas temple is my refuge. It is so beautiful, so peaceful, and so wonderful. I loved seeing all my friends going inside, because I knew we were all there for the same reason; to do the work of the Lord.

I was able to find my third great-grandmother (direct ancestor which is a miracle because it seemed like I couldn't find anyone) and be baptized for her. I really felt like I was being guided to find her while doing family history. It was such a great experience, and as we left the temple last night, I couldn't help but take a picture of it. It was so beautiful the way it was illuminated against the dark of the night.

I always want to keep it in my sights.

"The temple is a point of intersection between heaven and earth. In this sacred place, holy work will be performed through selfless service and love. The temple reminds me of all that is good and beautiful in the world."
—David A. Bednar

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