Well, after my almost 2 year break from blogging, Easter has inspired me to bring it back to life! (Haha, no pun intended) My mom kept up a blog for me while I was serving as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines. You can check it out if you want! Its sisterkaylalockwood.blogspot.com . But this is my regular life blog of an LDS college student at BYU.
First off, I have to say a little thank you to those who kept up with my mission blog! It had almost 13,000 views while I was gone! Your prayers and your love truly sustained me on my journey as a missionary. Even though I was literally all the way across the world, I felt your love and your support. I hope that I was able to have a little bit of an impact on those who kept up with my letters and pictures home. My mission changed my life. It was such an amazing experience that strengthened my knowledge that God lives. He sent me to the Philippines and gave me the most wonderful people to love and to teach. I miss them dearly! I am different now because of the experiences I had there. I know God is involved in our every day lives, and He gives us hard things because He knows we can do it if we will rely on Him!
I was inspired to write a blog post because my heart has been just absolutely FULL this week. Full of love, full of joy, full of gratitude, and full of hope. Spring is such a special time of the year. It represents a time of fresh starts and of new beginnings. The warm weather and sunshine bring back green grass and beautiful flowers and make us feel so alive!
This spring has been especially awesome with the building and dedication of a new temple in Provo, the Provo City Center Temple. As Mormons, we go to the temple for a number of reasons. We go for ourselves, to receive sacred ordinances that will enable us to return to our Father in Heaven after this life. We also participate in these ordinances vicariously for our kindred dead. For me, I love to go to the temple to feel close to my Father in Heaven and to my Savior. It is a place where I can ponder and prayer and receive guidance from above. I have set a goal to go every week this semester, and have been so blessed for it! It is kind of a long walk to the current Provo temple, so I was extra excited for this new temple to be dedicated! And, it is absolutely gorgeous!
Last Sunday was the dedication of this new House of the Lord. It was wonderful because we participated in the dedication and Hosanna shout! I attended the dedication in the Marriott center at BYU, and I'll never forget the spirit I felt as the meeting started and we listened to the song Families Can be Together Forever. I was touched by the talks and songs that were sung. It was also pointed out to me that we participated in this celebration on Palm Sunday, the day that the people of Jerusalem welcomed the Savior into the city with the shouts of Hosanna's and the waving of Palm leaves. I feel so blessed to have done that in a way with the waving of the white handkerchief.
Beginning with Palm Sunday, I have pondered a lot this week about the Savior's life and the sacrifice that He made for us. I thought about His suffering and of His perfect example. I am so thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who was willing to send his son so that I would be able to keep trying and having second chances. I have thought about what Mary must have felt as she weeped, but then heard the Savior say her name. I have thought about the fact that we choose the Savior before we came to the Earth. We knew that we could make it through this Earth life because we would have Him by our side! I know that He lives. I know that He really did rise the third day. He is my Savior! I feel His love in all I see. As I took a walk on this beautiful Easter day, I just couldn't help but think, Hallelujah!