Thursday, January 5, 2012

Talk About a Temple Trip!

What a ride these temple trips have been. I've been to three different temples in three weeks! I took my endowments out in Washington DC with majority of my family there. That temple is huge; it took my breath away when I walked in. I had NO idea that the temple would be that huge and magnificent. I was blessed to have both of my mother's parents in attendance as well as my father's mother. While I sat in the endowment room, I started to feel a void come over me like someone was missing. My thought turned to my grandfather that we had lost last year to cancer. As soon as I felt that void come over me, it turned to comfort as at that moment I felt my grandfather standing behind me. Even though he was not there physically to be there with me, he was over my shoulder the entire time I was there. It truly was an amazing feeling to see all my family in the celestial room and come to hug me. The DC temple will always be my favorite temple and the temple that will always be my favorite.

On our way back to Seminole, we stopped in Houston for me to say my final farewell to everyone. I was blessed with the opportunity to go to the Houston Temple with our Houston family. Mom had not even started the session and she was already in tears. Oh my dear mother.. And people wonder why I get so emotional. It was a really good session, I went through for a family name and got his work all finished up for. I cannot thank my family and friends that came to go through the temple with me. We almost filled the session with just our friends and family. It was a testament that I am not going through this journey alone: I have all of my friends and family behind me, cheering me on. It was hard to leave Houston because that has been the place that I have called home for 18 years. However, it was the first step on this new journey of my life.

Final stop... LUBBOCK! Even though this temple was tiny compared to the DC and Houston temples, I still got the same feelings that I felt through the other two experiences. That to me, was a witness of how powerful the House of the Lord is. No matter the size or the location, it is still a place where we can feel the presence of the Lord the strongest. Mom and I go to the temple every Thursday, rain or shine. The really cool thing about this temple is that during the endowment session, you move from one room to the next until you reach the celestial room. It was super symbolic to me and really made me feel like I was actively a part of the session. It was my first time going through without Dad but I was able to hold my own. It was an awesome way to spend my Thursday and I cannot wait for the many temple trips that are ahead of me!

The next temple that I get to go through is the Redlands Temple that is in my mission! We will get to go once every three months. That will be a blessing because that will allow me to regain my focus and to keep my head on straight while I am out doing the Lord's work. As President Hinckley's father told him"Forget yourself and go to work", I too will be a willing and faithful servant of my Lord and Savior. God be with you until we meet again.

-Elder Tonini

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