August 18th through August 24th: We ended this week with a fun Sunday evening of talking by Skype with all of our kids and some of our friends and siblings. We talked with Pres. Crayk and Connie and they said that we might be scaring people away from coming on a mission, because we have made it sound like we are working really hard. We are working hard and we love it. We doubt anyone who comes to serve here will be working 10 or 11 hour days. You would probably have an afternoon or morning shift of about five hours. You would be a regular temple worker officiating in all the ordinances and doing laundry on the side. We are in the office, Chris all the time, and me most of the time, except when I am outside the temple organizing the big groups for entry into the temple and when they need me to be a sealer. So anyone that is thinking about coming or is feeling the promptings of the Spirit, come, you will love it, there is a wonderful Spirit in this temple. The saints are warm and gracious and you will grow to love the culture and the people. Last Monday, we went grocery shopping to Walmart and then Pres. Atkinson let me tag along with them to Sam’s club so we could get some good meat and some items that we can’t get at other stores. I made a Mexican macaroni salad and we then had a barbeque. I have wanted a good hamburger for some time and we had the Penas and the Atkinsons over for hamburgers and my salad.
|Can you say hamburgers Yum.|
|They were delicious.|
Sister Pena made an Aztec pastel, a casserole with tortillas and peppers and cheese. It was delicious. Both Chris and I said this is a dish we would like to learn how to cook. We then had one of the secretaries over to learn how to make cookies. It was a fun day of good food and good friends.
|Terri Garcia learning how to make Snikerdoodles.|
Tuesday, I started at 8:00am getting the agenda, calendar, and the lists of workers for each shift up to date and the copies printed for everyone. Presidency meeting lasted from 10:00am till almost 2:00pm. We went home and had lunch and then went back to the temple to work. Mom was working on inventory and some other details in the office. I started calling all the stake presidents that have not returned my emails about their visits to the temple for Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week. I also send out emails for the visits for the next two weeks. I am getting a handle on which stakes come with 3 buses and which come with only one. So I am working on a way to assure that we have 3 buses in the morning and 3 buses in the afternoon. This will take me several weeks, but I think I can book smaller groups together and get to the point where the temple is being utilized closer to capacity. Wednesday, we started at 8:00am and worked till 1:00pm. I worked on a spread sheet of all the groups that have assignments for the rest of the year and when I am done I should have a picture of where we have holes and need to schedule more groups. Mom worked on getting all the people who will be arriving tomorrow for personal ordinances registered in the TIS, Temple Information System, and the ORS, Ordinance Recording System. After lunch we took the car downtown to try and find a place that could fix the sewing machine that is here. We found the place but it was closed. We did a little shopping. We went back to the temple and tried to greet all the members from the Amapolas stake where we are assigned. After the session started, we worked in the office for a couple of hours. Thursday, I arrived at a little before 6 and met the bus. I had my meeting with the group leader and left him with his assignment to select people for the different groups: baptistery, sealings, initiatory, endowments, and personal ordinances. We had everyone in the building by 8:00am and we started right on time. Two couples had come to be sealed and President Pena asked me to perform the sealings. Each had 3 children. What an honor and privilege to seal these families together. They were from the same ward, so the room was completely full of all the ward members who had come to share this special day with them. We ran out of tissues again. I think we need 2 boxes. There are 40 seats in the sealing room and we had about 10 people standing. It was a very beautiful experience. I slipped outside and had pictures taken with them.
|One of the families I sealed.|
|The other family I sealed.|
Everything ran smoothly during the morning and I was done about 2:00pm. Mom said she needed to stay until the next secretary came about 4:00pm, so she sent me home to make lunch. I made sloppy Joes and waited till almost 6 before she made it home. So lunch became dinner. She had taken a granola bar and a yogurt and at some point in the day took a quick break. Friday, was an exact repeat of Thursday. Except that in the evening we took the car and went to dinner with the Paveys. He is a member, but she is not. He is from Canada and she from Switzerland. They have a daughter that is married to a man from Oaxaca and so they moved here to be close the them about 8 years ago. We had quite the evening trying to find a place to eat, but finally about 8:00pm we had a pizza at an Italian restaurant. We didn’t get to bed till after 10:00pm. And I had to be at the temple by 5:00am. What were we thinking?
|The Paveys and mom.|
Saturday was crazy, the district president from Huatulco that was supposed to come in the afternoon called earlier in the week and said that they couldn’t come in the afternoon because they have a 7 hour bus ride and nobody wanted to come in the afternoon and then leave late and get home at 2 or 3 in the morning and could we please find a way that they could come early. So I talked to the stake president that was supposed to come in the morning at 7 and start at 8, to see if they would be willing to start at 9:00am. He was so nice and said, ”Whatever you need, we just want to come to the temple.” So I called the district president back and said, “Ok, if you get here at 5:00am we will have a session for you at 6:00am and 7:30am.” He assured me they would be here at 5:00am. Well, I got to the temple at a quarter to 5:00am and about 15 or 20 of the group had arrived in cars, but the bus had not arrived yet. It arrived 45 minutes late and so my schedule was blown. I started with the 3 couples that all needed to receive their endowment so they could be sealed after the session. Next, I started the baptistery and then initiatory and finally 2 groups of sealings. We ended up putting their entire group in a session at 7:30am and then they all went to the 3 sealings afterward. They all knew each other and wanted to be together. It worked out great and they were all happy. While I was getting all of this organized, the 3 buses from Tulancingo arrived right on time at 7:00am. So I met with the stake president and organized his big group of 130. His first session would not be till 9:00am, so I started with his youth group of about 50 kids. I got them and their leaders in the temple in the waiting room. Next I got the 2 couples that were going to be sealed into the office to get registered. Then I got 2 groups of sealings and 2 groups of initiatory in the temple. I got the group for the first endowment session organized with their tickets outside and told the sister at the door not to let them in until 8:20am and then I went and did sealings. I did sealings with this group for almost 2 hours. They then went to the second endowment session that started at 10:30am. When the first session ended, I was asked to perform the sealings for the 2 couples that had come to be sealed. They were brothers and one had a son and a daughter, and the other brother had a little girl. What a powerful Spirit. The oldest brother was really big and macho. He was trying so hard to hold back the tears, but when they had a family hug after their children were sealed to them he broke down and sobbed. His shoulders were shaking and the tears were flowing.
|The family I sealed on Saturday. The oldest brother.|
|The other family I sealed on Saturday. The younger brother.|
I finished these sealings about 12:30pm. President Atkinson and President Serrano had arrived and they were in charge of the afternoon. So I got to change and go outside and get a picture with these two families. I went home, but mom stayed again till the next secretary came. I had a quick lunch, left over sloppy Joes. Then I went with Pres. Atkinson to the Amapolas stake conference where I am assigned. We went to the priesthood leadership training meeting. Pres. Atkinson taught all the high priest group leaders and elder quorum presidencies about hastening the work and how what that really means is doing things differently in order to get better results. He taught that you can’t just do what we have been doing, because it will just get the same result and hastening the work is all about getting better results. It was really well done, he is a master teacher.
|How to invite someone to change.|
Chris then arrived for the adult session. It was a very nice meeting and Pres. Atkinson spoke again. The people love to listen to him, he is so engaging. We got home about 9:00pm. Sunday, we went with President Atkinson to stake conference. It was one of the best meetings I have been to down here. President Atkinson talked and all the talks were excellent and there was a nice Spirit.
|The choir at stake conference.|
Video of the Choir.
|Stake Conference it was broadcast to another building also.|
We had a lazy afternoon and Skyped with everyone we could think of.