So this week was the final week for the Phoenix Temple Open house.
There was a big push to get as many people there as possible and we
made that happen for sure. The temple presidency was saying that the
tours were supposed to stop going at 8:00pm but there were so many
people that they had to let the busses run until 9:30pm. They estimate
over 170,000 people have gone through the temple in just the past 3
weeks. There has already been so many great opportunities for people
to teach those that have gone through. They always have little "how
did we do?" cards that people can fill out after the tour. We got to
read some of them and so many people of other faiths had nothing but
nice things to say about the building, the experience and especially
the way that they felt. A few years ago in general conference there
was a great parable that explains the importance of helping people
identify exactly what they felt while in the temple. It goes like this
"A merchant man seeking precious jewels found at last the perfect
pearl. He had the finest craftsman carve a superb jewel box and line
it with blue velvet. He put his pearl of great price on display so
others could share his treasure. He watched as people came to see it.
Soon he turned away in sorrow. It was the box they admired, not the
The pearl in the temple is the spirit of God. It is his house and that
is where he resides. We know how valuable the spirit is in our lives
and how much we love God. So we build these miraculous temples for
Him. They are the box. They are beautiful, intricate and amazing but
that is not why we build them. When people go through the temple they
will feel the spirit no doubt. But it is up to us to explain what it
is, where it comes from and how we can have it in our lives more
This past week we had stake conference and since I cover a Young
Single Adult ward I got to go to their conference. It was a great
meeting. They talked about dating... A lot. Haha. I guess that is the
whole point of going to one of those wards in the first place but they
really hounded it. The rest of the time they had recently baptized
people and people that had come back from inactivity speak and bare
testimonies. It was super powerful. They were all so prepared and knew
what needed to be said. I liked it a lot.
A few weeks ago a sister missionary in our zone told me that there was
a family in the ward she was covering that wanted to take me out to
lunch. I was a little confused but see cider to give the number a
call. It turned out to be Bryce Hays and his wife from Simi Valley!
They moved out here for school and work and happen to live in our
area! We set up a time and went there for Sunday dinner and it was
great. I had a great time talking to someone familiar and just being
able to relax. I was super grateful for it!
Halloween came and went and it was simply another day as a missionary
haha. No dressing up. No candy. We came in at 6:00pm which is required
by our mission president and then we had a nice little fire and
roasted some marshmallows and made s'mores. It was pretty relaxing but
the next morning I was just as tired as ever haha.
Thank you for everything! I got some letters this week and a great
package from my mom! Now my house smells great and I am a happy kid.
Talk to you soon.
Until next week,
Elder Cole Safford