Sunday, May 2, 2010

In the right place, at the right time...

A week ago today we were in fabulous Maui. We had an amazing time and I, of course, took tons of pictures and I have some entertaining stories to tell...but first I wanted to share this experience. It turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip and certainly one of the highlights of my life.
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The last time Aric and I went to Maui we didn't go to church because we didn't know where the church was until it was too late. So this trip we made sure we had all the info we needed to get there. The meetings were supposed to start at 9am. We got a cab and pulled into the parking lot at 8:50am. For those of you who know us well, I'm sure you are shocked that we were so early...anyway we pulled into an empty parking lot. It seemed strange and our cab driver was hesitant to leave us. Aric saw a sign taped to the front door of the building so he went to check it out. While he did that another car pulled up. There were two sweet little grannies in it. The sign said that it was stake conference and the meeting started at 8am at a building that was far away. While we discussed what to do with the two older sisters, two other cars pulled up. We sent our cab away because we  had already figured out a ride back to the hotel.
By 9:05 we had over twenty people there. It was decided that we would have a testimony meeting. We opened the meeting with a song and a prayer. We all sat on the patio of the chapel over looking the ocean. For an hour and a half we bore testimonies of Christ and his gospel. Stories and scriptures were shared. The spirit was indescribably strong. I will never forget it.
One brother mentioned the scripture  Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
I know Heavenly Father blessed us with his spirit as we testified to each other of Him and His Son Jesus Christ.  As we sang, prayed and cried together we felt a closeness that only the spirit of Christ can provide. Each of us could have chosen to play instead of worship that day. We came from all across the country to vacation and yet we all knew that there is no vacation from the Sabbath.
We came from Arizona, Utah, Indiana, Washington, California and Oregon. For an hour and a half we were a temporary ward, we had Young Women and Young Men, Primary and Relief Society. Most importantly, we had the priesthood to preside and that was all we needed.
We closed our meeting the same way we began, but now we felt truly like brothers and sisters. We started out as strangers in a church parking lot, and left as brothers and sisters bound together by the thread of the gospel.
After the prayer I grabbed my camera, which I conveniently had in my purse and took a picture of our congregation of 43 strong.
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I am so grateful for that experience. I feel the spirit all over again just writing about it. I know that we were blessed to be at the right place at the right time.
*****
To my temporary ward...thank you for sharing your testimonies with me and Aric. Our testimonies were strengthened by you and we are better people for having met you all. We will treasure our time with you forever...xoxo

16 comments:

Natalie said...

I've been thinking about you all day! This was so beautiful and an experience that i'm sure many will never forget. thank you for sharing so as to strengthen even more people than were there on that special day:)! love to you!!! and welcome home!

Lindsey said...

What an awesome story. So glad you had an amazing time.

Leah said...

Wow. I LOVE this. What a powerful event. The gospel is true.

I also had a really neat experience at church in paradise. (The locals said prayers thanking us for coming to their ward and made us crocheted leis and wore flip flops and had all the windows open during sacrament with the wind blowing through. Humble, awesome people.)

Thank you for sharing your experience! I can't wait for more pics and stories!!!!! I'll check back every day. I love Hawaii with all my heart.

calibosmom said...

How cool is that!?! I got the warm fuzzies just thinking about it. I can't wait to hear all about your trip. I bet it was amazing!

Jean McKendrick said...

That's neat Jessica. I am impressed you stayed, I wouldn't have thought to.

Lauren in GA said...

That is so, so wonderful, Jessica. I love that you all came together because it was the Sabbath day and you knew that was where you should be. What an amazing experience!

Jenny Erazo said...

what a cool experience! I have hard enough time getting to church when I am not on vacation.....you are such a great example!

nurse graham said...

That is probably the most beautiful thing I have read. What a great way to start my Monday. Thank you for sharing.

Shirley said...

AMAZING! That is awesome! We were just in Hawaii 2 weeks ago and I know how BEAUTIFUL that place is but NOTHING compares to this experience you had! Perfect Sabbath day!!! Thank you for sharing! TRULY!!!

Christie said...

That is amazing! What a neat experience.

Rochelleht said...

Wow! That is SO cool. I love going to church on vacation. It's usually the best.

♥Shally said...

What a great experience! Isn't it awesome to know that the church is the same no matter where you go.

Penny said...

What an awesome experience! One that I might ask you to share in YW when I teach the combined lesson next month... if that's ok...
I'm sure it is an experience that you will never forget.

I will be watching for all of your beautiful Maui pictures and living through you. ;)

Elena said...

What a testimony of what faithful saints can accomplish. Just think if nobody had shown up, those 2 elderly sisters would have had to back home and everyone would have missed this wonderful sacred experience. xoxo

宛慧桓玲 said...

Thx ur share........................................

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