Hello from the North Country. We had a great experience in the middle of the week. A father and his 12 year old son came from the Atlanta area. The boy had just turned twelve and this was his first trip to the temple to do baptisms. They had a tradition that when the child turned 12, the father took them to the Palmyra temple and the sites. You could tell this was a special time for both father and son. What a great tradition to take your son or daughter to the temple to do baptisms to celebrate their twelveth birthday. It struck us how important these types of traditions can be. I suspect we did not have enough of these, however we recognize how well you are all doing. We encourage you to develop your own family traditions that strengthen everyones testimony as they grow.
Friday night, we had a young spanish-speaking family come to the Palmyra temple to be sealed. They had driven up from NYC. The father spoke English fairly well but the mother spoke almost no English. Sister Strausburg, assistant to the matron, had been trying all week to get in touch with a sister in Rochester who spoke Spanish to see if she could come be a translator but wasn't able to contact her. I was assigned to be one of the greeters when the family arrived and saw the real need for a translator. I had learned from our working in the Provo Temple that whenever there was a need for a translator, the Lord would always provide and someone was found who could speak that language, even the most remote languages. I was confident that the Lord would provide someone here as well and so I was on the lookout for someone who could speak Spanish. Not more than ten minutes later, Sister Hall, whose husband had served as the President of the Spanish-speaking Branch at the same time Paul was Branch President of the other inner-city branch, walked in the door. I quickly explained our need for her and she was happy to be a translater for our little family being sealed. I took her to the dressing room where the mother was changing into her white clothing and they began conversing in Spanish. The mother who had been very tense and nervious up to this point visibly relaxed and I knew everything was going to be fine. I later learned that Sister Hall was the one that Sister Strausburg had been trying unsuccessfully to call all week. Sister Hall told me that she and her husband were planning to come on Saturday but then had changed their minds at the last minute and came Friday night instead. There are no coincidences in the temple and when there is a need, the Lord ALWAYS provides. It is His sacred work and He is intimately involved in it. I know this is true.
We testify that the Lord always provides for us also, and will for you as you trust in Him and seek ways to follow Him and serve Him. As we, in our lives, show Him we want to be with Him and do His work, He provides the opportunites. He finds ways to stretch us and to make us capable to do His work. He also blesses us with joy and happiness and makes the service a pleasure to give. God bless you all and may you find joy in your families.
Have a great Thanksgiving. Challange: Take a piece of paper and write 50 things you are thankful for. Once you start you will find there are so many.