Monday, November 21, 2011

Back to Work in the Temple

It is hard when the temple is closed for two weeks every six months for cleaning.  There is not much to do after putting in a couple of days helping with the cleaning.  You get bored sitting around the apartment all day.  It was a good time to get started on the Christmas giving.  We did make a quick trip to Detroit to celebrate Evan's and Mike's birthday.  Even though it was out of our mission, it was approved because it was within a day's drive.  So we were both delighted to get back into the temple to work last Tuesday.   We enjoyed being able to do the ordinances again.  And more especially to work with the good people who come.

Friday night was especially fun.  When we were serving in Ogdensburg last year, we got to know a young family that were new members of the church of a couple of months.  They had two children and were a delight to the branch.  They moved near to Watertown and had do move their membership to the ward there.  The branch missed them greatly.  She was Primary President and he was active in the Elders Quorum.  (Their two children were the only ones in Primary).  We all knew it was best for their family to get into a strong ward but it was hard to see them leave. 

They have now been in the church for over a year and Friday night they came to the temple to receive their endowments and to be sealed.  It was so good to see them again.  It was a delightful suprise to see them in the temple.  The missionary couple that was in Ogdesburg before us, who had taught them the gospel, came back from Richfield, UT to be with them.  Paul was assigned as a guide for the father and was with them the whole evening.  They have a 12 year old son and a 7 year old daughter who were sealed to them after their sealing.  It was inspiring to hear the trials they overcame in preparing for the sealing.  The last one was their son had just turned 12 and hadn't been ordained yet.  They didn't realize that he needed to be ordained in order to be sealed.  After a couple of phone calls to the Bishop and Stake President, he was ordained a deacon by Pres. Sherwood and was ready for the sealing.  We were pleased to see how well the ward was supporting them.  All had come the 2-1/2 hours to share in the endowment and sealing.  The Ogdensburg Branch President and his wife also came, a 3 hour trip one way.

They were so happy to be an eternal family.  They were bubbling with the excitement and joy of it.  We are also excited that we are an eternal family.  We love you all and are constantly reminded that we can be together forever.  Isn't Heavenly Father wonderful?!  What a glorious plan He prepared for us, and how great was His love that He sent his Son to make it all possible.

We love you all.  Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday.  We all have so much to be thankful for!  Maybe we ought to put 20 candycorns on each plate this year.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Temple Is Closed

Temple Cleaning
The temple is closed for 2 weeks of cleaning and mainenance.  We spent 1 day last week cleaning with the Utica Stake.  We got to clean the chandelier in the Celestial room.  That was an experience.  There are 6886 crystals on the chandelier.  Each one has to be hand wiped with a special cloth.  It obviously took a few hours. ( Like about 5 hours.)  The chandelier is lowered to the floor.  One person lies on his back and does the lower crystals.  The rest of us walk around and do the upper ones, trying not to step on the person lying on the floor.  We also polished furniture and doors.  It was a good day.  We will go back next Monday and help with the finishing touches to prepare for the opening again on Tuesday.

Kirtland, OH
On Friday we went down to Kirtland, OH to help chaperone the youth from the Fredonia branch at a youth conference.  Friday night they had a dance and we could see that nothing has changed.  The young men are still awkward and the young women are still very self concious and huddle together for support.  They still do line dances and the Hokey Pokey, the Macarena and the Chicken. You still have to patrol the halls and the parking lot and you still need plenty of food.  After the dance they showed the movie, Legacy, and then went to the camp grounds where they spent the night.  It was pretty primitive.  The water had been turned off for the winter so there was no running water or toilets, just outhouses.  Since they didn't think that was proper accomodations for missionaries, we had to spend the night in a motel and join up with them again in the morning for the tours.  Shucks!
Saturday morning after breakfast, we joined them in the Kirkland Temple for a special devotional and testimony meeting.  You could really feel the spirit there especially as the speaker told about the Savior appearing to Joseph and Oliver right there behind him on the upper pulpit.  You could really picture it happening right there in front of that beautiful round window.
  It was very nice to be back there.  They have done a lot of new things like rebuilding the saw mill and the ashery as they were back then and rebuilding the road out and around the historical area so that you could walk to the different sites without having to worry about traffic.  The spirit is strong as you learn about these many places where the prophet Joseph received so many revelations. 
We got back to Fredonia Saturday evening and prepared for our teaching assignments the next day.

On Sunday, we taught a mother and her 15 year old daughter a 1st discussion.  They came to our branch party last Saturday night with a member.  The mother also has a sister that is a member in Jamestown.  Her husband is very negative and would not allow anyone from the church to come to their home.  He has now left and they want to learn more.  We felt like the lesson went very well.  We challenged them to read 3rd Nephi about the Savior, and to pray.  They accepted the challenge.  The branch RS President, who is a neighbor, went over with us and is doing a good job of fellowshipping. She bore her testimony to them as well.  Susan found it a bit challenging to teach while a big golden retriever was licking her ear, but you do what you have to do.

We didn't get to teach Becky this week because she went home for her 18th birthday.  We will see her this coming weekend and probably teach her the 3rd lesson.  The young elders from Jamestown are going to try to meet with her during the week and teach her as well since they will need to do the interviews and prepare for her baptism.  We are hoping they will be able to set a date for the baptism.. We are excited.

We hope you all are doing well and sharing the gospel with your friends and neighbors.We sure love teaching these principles and helping people to develop a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is so important that we keep our testimonies strong by studying, praying, and serving.  It really is the only way we will all make it through this life and back to Heavenly Father.  And we so want all of you there with us.  We love you all so much!  Have a good week!