The tomb is empty! Easter was beautiful. There was a rare break of sunshine on Easter morning which was special here in London. And Easter was extra special because…
Jason received the priesthood!! Wooohooo! And he received a calling as a gospel essentials teacher in Sunday school. Wooohooox2! Friday he texted us a picture of the temple because he was off work and wanted to take the journey to visit the temple grounds. Amazing.
Maya is beyond outstanding. Tuesday she came to the Visitors’ Centre with a list of 23 questions ranging from what is: the structure of the church, General Conference, The Doctrine & Covenants, Young Women’s & Relief Society, and my personal favorite, “How can I prepare myself to be baptized?”
Thursday she surprised us by stopping by with some English biscuits. She said, “All English people do is drink tea and eat biscuits. I couldn’t get you tea but let’s be honest, us English really don’t like tea! We just drink tea to make ourselves feel better about all the biscuits we eat.” Hahaha true true Maya. By the way biscuits = cookies in American. Anyways, I just really love this girl so so much. She is cruising through the Book of Mormon and loving every page. Just praying her mom’s heart will be softened so she can come to church soon!
My dear friends Alex in Florida, Vanessa in California (Bakersfield btw for you Elder Tasi & once was Elder Hernandez!) and Kara in Texas got baptized this weekend! Kara is really remarkable. She and her husband are both in the military and newly married. Her husband joined the church a couple months ago and she said it was such a moving experience that now she wanted to learn about the church. However, because of their different positions in the military, they were separated and so she was hoping to meet missionaries where she was now placed. I had the special opportunity of helping her meet the missionaries and she even became the president of the gospel principles class during Sunday school! She said, “I just feel so much happiness and love when I’m in the church! I cannot explain or contain the amount of happiness and joy I’ve found in my process of investigating the church, it’s an incredible experience!” Ahh she’s awesome & can someday be sealed with her sweet husband for all time and eternity. How incredible is that. That’s what the gospel is all about! Families can be together forever.
Another special highlight from the week was meeting with Michael (Newbury Michael who got baptized in September) and his brother Luke. Michael brought Luke to the Visitors’ Centre and we gave him a tour, explaining the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and even showed him the film. It was very powerful to listen to Michael testify to his brother about the truth he has found through the Book of Mormon and how he has drawn closer to the Savior. Once again, this is what the gospel is all about. Bringing families together! And of course we finished the evening with pizza and ice cream because would we really have been with Michael if we didn’t go to Franco Manca & Scoops???
Also today we had Vietnamese food & I asked Sister Teng if I looked silly with my chopsticks. She said, “No, you’re actually better at using them than I am!” SCORE.
With Easter yesterday, I would love to share with you the tender story of an eleven-year-old boy named Philip, a Down’s syndrome child who was in a Sunday School class with eight other children.
Easter Sunday the teacher brought an empty plastic egg for each child. They were instructed to go out of the church building onto the grounds and put into the egg something that would remind them of the meaning of Easter.
All returned joyfully. As each egg was opened there were exclamations of delight at a butterfly, a twig, a flower, a blade of grass. Then the last egg was opened. It was Philip’s, and it was empty!
Some of the children made fun of Philip. “But, teacher,” he said, “teacher, the tomb was empty.”
A newspaper article announcing Philip’s death a few months later noted that at the conclusion of the funeral eight children marched forward and put a large empty egg on the small casket. On it was a banner that said, “The tomb was empty.”
He is risen! He has defeated death. How beautiful His resurrection is and how much peace it brings us. I am grateful know know that because of Him, we will all be resurrected. “The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame” (Alma 40:23).
I hope each of you had a lovely Easter and spent the day reflecting on what the Savior has done for you. Because of His Resurrection, we don’t need to fear death nor does it have a sting. We can find comfort that when our loved ones pass, we will see them again. We can exclaim like sweet Philip, “The tomb was empty!”