It seems like the past couple of weeks have been such a blur. No matter how prepared I thought I was for this day something would always come up to prove me wrong. Some unknown issue or fear or the stomach flu...Oh yes the stomach flu. Seriously who has time for that!?! I know I certainly didn't and neither did this cute missionary.
I had hoped to have this blog up and going weeks ago. I had wanted to document each step of this amazing journey from start to finish, and did that happen?? NO!
So here I sit the day after he is gone trying to figure out where to start? Do I start from the beginning? Our first shopping experience where I first realized missions are EXPENSIVE? $1,000 on shoes...yes you read that right...SHOES! The crazy adventure of trying to fit everything that this over protective mom was trying to stuff into his suitcases? Which by the way ended up being over weight...YIKES! Do I start with yesterday? Do I start with the goodbyes? Do I start with explaining the amazing and comforting feeling I was filled with when he finally hugged me for the last time in two years? Do I explain that I have continued to feel that peaceful feeling and how I don't want it to ever leave?
Not knowing where to start I just sat here at my computer waiting for some sort of inspiration...some sort of sign as of what to say. It was then that I came across this. Drew's farewell talk. What better way to start than with his testimony.
For those of you that were there, you will remember how nervous this cute kid was. How much he really hates public speaking and being the center of attention. You will remember the speedy way in which he read his talk and looked up only when he had to (he may or may not have made marks on his paper cueing him to look up every so often). You will also remember that even though this cute boy read his talk and read it quite quickly that you could still feel of the spirit and his love of the gospel.
I know without a doubt in my mind that this cute missionary is ready to serve the people of Paraguay. I love him and miss him so much but am so grateful he has decided to serve a mission. I know he is being watched over and guided and that the feeling I have felt the past 24 hours is the spirit assuring me of this.
I love you, love you, love you Elder Heugly xoxo
Good Afternoon Brothers and Sisters. I am very excited to be here today to share with you my testimony about the savior and my love of the love gospel of Jesus Christ. I will be leaving to serve my mission for the next two years in a week and a half. For those of you who don’t know I have been called to serve in the Paraguay Asunción Mission.
Growing up my parents taught me that serving a mission would be one of the best decisions of my life. I have been excited for this day for many years and I have been preparing myself by trying to live worthy and staying close to my heavenly father. Making the decision to serve a mission was not difficult for me. I have never doubted I would go and for some reason have always felt very strong that there is someone waiting for me to share the gospel with them.
The other day I asked my little brother Bridger, who is four years old, if he knew where I was going on my mission. He responded with, I don’t know where you are going but I know why you are going. I asked him why and he said “to teach the people the Gospel of our church” Even at four years old he understood “Why” we are called to serve.
I am looking forward to getting to know the people of Paraguay, their culture, the language, the foods (especially the rice and beans) but most importantly teaching them about our Savior and the gospel and the plan of salvation.
Today I have been asked to speak on three important areas of the temple... covenants, blessings, and the promises of the temple.
I had the unique opportunity to enter the temple for the first time when I was four years old. I was sealed to my parents for time and all eternity. I don’t remember the details from the day or all the experiences I went through, but I did know I wanted that blessing in my life. Since that day I have asked my parents many questions about the temple. I have always felt safe when being in the presence of the temple. I have a picture of the Jordan River temple that was given to me from my Grandma Heugly when I was younger, that say’s “if you can see the temple, you are never lost”. It has been on my nightstand ever since.
I was asked a month after being sealed in the temple if I remembered who was there to support me. I think my mom was expecting an answer of Grandma and Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles etc.…but instead received the answer that Jesus was there.
Even as a young child I knew that the temple was the house of our Heavenly Father and the spirit is always felt so strong there.
I have recently gone through the temple to take out my own endowments. It was an experience that I will never forget. I had been waiting for that day for a long time and going through those sacred ordinances, once again made me feel the spirit and manifestation of the truthfulness of the gospel. I feel very fortunate to have temples close and have been going there since such a young age. I know I have made the right choice and plan to go back many times.
As you can see Temples are very important to me and have had a significant impact on my life. I would like to start off by speaking about the covenants we make in the temple.
During a 2011 General Conference talk titled “cleave unto the Covenants” given by Barbara Thompson, second counselor of the relief society presidency, she said…
The Bible Dictionary tells us that a covenant is a contract made between God and man. “God in his good pleasure fixes the terms, which man accepts. … The gospel is so arranged that principles and ordinances are received by covenant placing the recipient under strong obligation and responsibility to honor the commitment.” In the phrase “cleave unto covenants,” the word cleave means “to adhere firmly and closely” to something.
In the scriptures we learn of men and women who have made covenants with God. God has given instructions on what to do to honor those covenants, and then as those covenants have been kept, the promised blessings have followed.
For example, through the ordinance of baptism, we make a covenant with our Heavenly Father. We prepare ourselves for baptism by having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repenting of our sins, and being willing to take upon us the name of Christ. We make a commitment to keep the commandments of God and remember the Savior always. We covenant to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.” We indicate that we are willing to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who need comfort.
In holy temples other sacred ordinances are received and other covenants are made. In the early days of the Restoration, the Prophet Joseph Smith was anxious for the Saints to have the promised blessings of the temple. The Lord said, “Let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal mine ordinances therein unto my people.”
Our covenants sustain us whether in good times or in difficult times. President Boyd K. Packer reminds us that “we are a covenant people. We covenant to give of our resources in time and money and talent—all we are and all we possess—to the interest of the kingdom of God upon the earth. In simple terms, we covenant to do good. We are a covenant people, and the temple is the center of our covenants. It is the source of the covenant
While going through the temple I made covenants with my heavenly father, I plan to cleave to the covenants and promises I have made with Heavenly Father, because I know he will always keep his promise and can never break the covenant. Having the blessings of the temple in my life is extremely important.
Just from driving around the neighborhood I am able to see four temples: Salt Lake, Jordan River, Draper and the Oquirrh Mountain temple. Which means for some of us receiving the blessings of the temple are a few blocks away, for others there are oceans to cross and miles to go before they can enter the holy temple of God.
In a talk given by President Thomas S Monson during the 2010 general conference he shared the following story;
Some few years ago, before the completion of a temple in South Africa, while attending a district conference in what was then Salisbury, Rhodesia, I met the district president, Reginald J. Nield. He and his wife and lovely daughters met me as I entered the chapel. They explained to me that they had been saving their means and had been preparing for the day when they could journey to the temple of the Lord. But, oh, the temple was so far away.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the four lovely daughters asked me questions about the temple: “What is the temple like? All we have seen is a picture.” “How will we feel when we enter the temple?” “What will we remember most?” For about an hour I had the opportunity to talk to four girls about the house of the Lord. As I departed for the airport, they waved to me, and the youngest girl said, “We’ll see you in the temple!”
One year later I had the opportunity to greet the Nield family in the Salt Lake Temple. In a peaceful sealing room I had the privilege to unite for eternity, as well as for time, Brother and Sister Nield. The doors were then opened, and those beautiful daughters, each of them dressed in spotless white, entered the room. They embraced mother, then father. Tears were in their eyes, and gratitude was in their hearts. We were next to heaven. Well could each one say, “Now we are a family for eternity.”
In preparing for this talk I read Section 109 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which is the dedicatory prayer, offered for the Kirtland Temple. I listed some of my favorite blessings from that section and others that I have felt from going to the temple.
I can feel words of wisdom
I will receive the fullness of the Holy Ghost
Wickedness will have no power over me
Better relationship with Heavenly Father
The temple is a house of learning
I can receive direction and have a sense of peace in my life
I can receive instruction and revelation
The temple linked my family together forever
These are some of the many and marvelous blessings that await those who come to the temple. Isn’t it amazing that we can do so little to receive so much!
I’m very excited that my mission in Paraguay has a temple as well. The members of Paraguay don’t have to cross oceans to receive the blessings from the Asuncion Temple. I’m going to attend the temple again this week and like the Nield’s daughters… hope to see you in the temple.
PROMISES OF THE TEMPLE
The temple is a place that we can go to receive blessings or the promises of the temple. When we are doing temple work, we can receive promises that pertain to the work of the lord.
While preparing for this talk, I found that there are six great promises of the temple.
1. You will receive the spirit of Elijah, which will turn your hearts to your spouse, to your children, and to your forebears.
2. You will love your family with a deeper love than you have loved before.
3. Your hearts will be turned to your fathers and theirs to you.
4. You will be endowed with power from on high as the Lord has promised.
5. You will receive the key of the knowledge of God. You will learn how you can be like Him. Even the power of godliness will be manifest to you.
6. You will be doing a great service to those who have passed to the other side of the veil in order that they might be ‘judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
I know these promises are true because the spirit has testified to me of the truthfulness. I had a feeling of peace and accomplishment for what I had done for my own work and I can’t wait to do more temple work to bring the blessings of the temple to others.
I’m really grateful I was asked to speak about the temple today. I have had a lot of time to reflect and to prepare what message I was going to share with you. In speaking with the second counselor of the Draper temple he said something to me that really hit home… He said, serving a mission is not the final goal. I should earnestly seek the Lord’s help to find those who are ready for baptism and teach them the importance of the Temple. The temple ordinances are essential to live in the presence of Heavenly Father and to be with my family forever.
I love the temple and know it’s a place where I can be close to Heavenly Father and my Savior. The temple is a place of peace where I can seek answers and block out the rest of the world. The temple allows me the opportunity to enjoy the covenants, blessings, and promises of the temple.
Having good examples and mentors in my life has really helped me prepare to serve a mission and to attend the temple. I have been fortunate to have leaders who have taken there callings seriously and helped me gain a stronger testimony. I am thankful for friends who have made good choices and encouraged me to do the same. I have the most amazing grandparents in the world. Both grandparents attend the temple often and are constantly bearing their testimonies to me.
I want to let my brothers and sisters know that I may be the oldest and certainly do my fair share of teasing, but I look up to them in many ways. I love each one of them very much and will miss spending time together.
I want my mom to know how much I appreciate her help in my life. She is great at giving advice and helping me stay clear of making poor decisions.
My dad is someone I admire greatly and respect how hard he works for the family and me. His stories about serving his mission in South Africa have made me really excited to serve in Paraguay.
Thank you to all of you who have come today. It really means a lot to have such a supportive extended family.
I’m thankful for this church and the knowledge I have that families are forever. I know that the Temple is the house of the Lord on earth where I can receive personal revelation. The book of Mormon is a wonderful blessing for us and if we follow it's council we can have the spirit in our lives.
I can’t wait to tell you the stories from my mission in two years. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN.