Thursday, April 2, 2015

An Inspired Gift

My dear friend from Bolivia, Maria Luisa, arrived to our home Tuesday morning at 2:30am. Abe arrived the following morning 1:30am. It has been WONDERFUL to be together.

Maria Luisa has the sweetest, most grateful heart. The following morning, we were racing between activities and all I could gather was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. You should have seen her joy at eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the first time! She has been washing dishes, cleaning my floors, helping me with my garden, and of course loving and teaching my children.  She is such a joy- not because she's doing so many chores around the house- but because she gives so much sincere, gushy love.

The morning after she arrived, I was standing in my kitchen looking at a picture of the Orlando temple, and I said in my heart: "I really wish I had a picture of the Cochabamba, Bolivia temple."

I had the beautiful opportunity to finish my mission just a couple of weeks after the Bolivia temple was dedicated. I helped at the dedication and open house and saw and heard many miracles pertaining to this temple. It was a place that was very dear to my heart.

That night, Maria Luisa opened up her suitcase and brought out several gorgeous, wonderful gifts from Bolivia for each member of our family. She even brought gifts for my parents and for Abe's parents. Her generosity overwhelmed us.

Then she presented a gift that was wrapped. I opened it up and saw the most beautiful representation of the Cochabamba, Bolivia temple made out of wood. The greatest warmth spread through my entire body and tears just poured from my eyes! I can't even express in words how strong the Spirit was throughout my entire body. I had never seen such beautiful workmanship. Maria Luisa's son found it in Bolivia and knew it would mean so much to me even though he is not a member of my church. I had never seen one like it in all my time there!

Maria Luisa's husband was baptized because of that temple. He worked as an engineer on the temple and saw the perfection that was required for even the smallest details that nobody else would have even  known about. As he worked within the walls of the Cochabamba, Bolivia temple, he felt and knew that he was helping to build the Lord's House.

This beautiful representation was a gift from my precious Bolivian family who knew how much I love the temple, and it was also a gift from God.

What a tender mercy from the Lord to know and speak to all of our hearts so perfectly.

God knew I would be receiving that gift. HE put the desire to own a picture of the Cochabamba, Bolivia temple very strongly into my heart just a few hours prior to receiving it. I believe HE did that, so that I would know that this was a gift orchestrated by HIM… a gift that HE had guided my friends to find… a gift that would not only touch my heart but theirs as well.