Monday, May 25, 2015

Temple Blessings and I-Pads

The first milestone of our temple classes occurred on May 16th.  We were able to travel to the Washington DC Temple with Mary, Mari, and LaShaun.  They each received their endowments that day. We met at the church to leave at 7 AM and then didn't get home until about 10 PM.  We had to take a lunch to eat in the car because there really wasn't even time to stop on the way.  They wanted to purchase some temple clothing there so that took up some of the time.

It was a far cry from being able to drive to the temple in about 10 minutes from our home.  Having to make a sacrifice to get there and concentrating on various aspects of temple worship during the weeks of temple preparation classes really makes us appreciate all that the temple
means in our lives.  It was so wonderful to see the joy on each of their faces as they completed the temple endowment.  They are each so excited to return to the temple again and again.  They are also looking forward to doing much work for their family in the temple.

Another sister, Winnie, was able to go to the temple that day with a friend and do the baptism for the grandmother who raised her.  She also had someone be baptized for her father.  We weren't able to see her at the temple, but we saw the glow on her face as we taught her the final lessons in her home and helped her prepare the names to take to the temple.  It was a long awaited day for her and the first time she had ever been to the temple.  She is looking forward to going back again soon for her endowments.   I was also able to do some alterations for her on a beautiful white suit that she wore to the temple that day. (I just knew there was a reason that I packed my sewing machine in our VERY overloaded car)!

On Monday, May 18th, we were invited to go with the elders and Mel to see Fallingwater, another Frank Lloyd Wright home that is even more famous than the last one we saw.  It was built for a family who wanted to live around nature so much that they had it built so that a waterfall flows through the home.  It was beautiful and I loved how you could sit indoors and yet feel like you were actually outside.  Jim, on the other hand, kept looking at all the maintenance involved in keeping up a house like this.  We actually saw a few leaks in the roof and we think the upkeep is so expensive that they do charge an arm and leg to tour it.  Mel paid everyone's admission which was very kind of him.

Anyway, it was quite an experience to tour it and to have fun thinking what life would be like living there....without having to worry about the mundane realities of leaky roofs, cleaning all those windows, and dusting all that furniture.

We returned to the city by late afternoon and drove directly to a high school on the North Side.  The South African family we have been helping invited us to a school program. Greg and Dorcas were both participants, but we had no idea that they each had major parts in the program.  They brought their native dress with them when they left South Africa and they each had hidden talents we didn't know about.  It turned out that Greg was the MC and played the drums.  Dorcas had a lead part in an African dance that she and about 20 other African kids made up---each using parts of dances they had learned from their homeland.

We were so impressed by the quality of the performance and also by the intricacy of the native dress that their family wore that night.

We really felt like we were in another country for a little while especially since the school is quite a melting pot of many different countries. The countries we noticed represented the most were Nepal and Africa.

The dancers were asked later that night to perform again in a couple weeks at an event at Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh so we hope that we can possibly attend that evening too.

Then on May 21st we attended a meeting that has been looked forward to by all of the missionaries for months and months.  They all got I-pads to use in their missionary work.  It was so fun to share in their excitement and we had some very inspired and wise counsel given about "Missionary Work in the Digital Age".  We were told that the church now has about 25% of it's missions using I-pads---all in the United States right now.  It has been done on a trial basis for quite awhile and is proving very effective in most cases.  We went to the meeting not knowing whether we would get an I-pad or not---and we didn't!  But we can't feel too deprived since we came here with two laptops and an I-pad already!  We have used them a lot in our teaching and so we know how useful they will be to the young elders and sisters.  It was great to be together with all of the elders and sisters in the mission all at once.  It was one of the only times they have all been able to travel from across PA to be together.

I Pad meeting in Cranberry, PA with all 200 plus missionaries

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