Visitors Experience Peace at Tegucigalpa Temple Open House
By Don Searle, Central America Area web page specialist
“I have been waiting for this temple for 58 years,” said José Ruiz, with the new Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple framed in the picture window behind him. Brother Ruiz, a member of the Girasoles Ward, Tegucigalpa Honduras Stake, was baptized in November of 1954, only the ninth person in his country to join the Church.
He spoke of the temple as a “marvelous” gift to the members in Honduras, just as the growth he has seen in the Church over almost 60 years has been a marvel brought about by the faith and perseverance of missionaries and members.
More than 100,000 visitors streamed through the temple in the first two weeks of the open house, which began February 9 to run through March 2 prior to the temple dedication March 17.
Members and other visitors commented almost unanimously on the peace they experienced inside the temple; missionaries reported that little children seemed to feel it most. “One little girl told us she felt like she could speak to God in the temple,” said Sister Katy Bundie of the Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission. She said one investigator she and her companion have been teaching told them immediately when she came out of the temple that she wanted to be baptized. Missionaries received more than 5,000 referrals in the first two weeks of the open house.
The Tegucigalpa Temple is the sixth in Central America.
Latter-day Saints outside Tegucigalpa are very excited about the temple for practical reasons. Traveling by bus to the temple in Guatemala City was an eight-hour trip, meaning temple excursions had to be planned over three days. Now the travel time has been cut in half, so that ward or stake temple trips can be planned for just one day. Because of savings in time and bus fare, the cost has been cut by 90 percent.
But members are more excited about the temple because of the spiritual blessings that will flow from it.
Juan and Yesenia Barahona of Tegucigalpa, married just eight months, see the temple as a great blessing because they will be able to visit the house of the Lord more frequently.
Yolanda Amado, baptized in 1969, served as a missionary in the Guatemala-El Salvador Mission. She looks at the crowds streaming through the new temple and speaks of the joy she feels at seeing a house of the Lord in her home country. “It’s marvelous to see how the heavens are opened” to help the Saints and the youth, she said.
“The dew falls on Honduras each day with blessings.”