Our first week as Living Ordinance Coordinators went very well. We watched and learned from the Hills, who serve at the MTC, as they helped the many missionaries receive their ordinances on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. And we were grateful to work with dedicated leaders from the Grand Bassam Stake in Ivory Coast who had brought a large group on a bus.
One of our happy stories occurred with a woman who came for her own endowment along with two friends, a man and a woman. After helping the woman prepare for the endowment session, Sue noticed that neither of the two friends were present, so she went to the waiting room and found them there just waiting for someone to tell them what to do. She was able to get them all together in the session. Had she not been there, that might well have not happened.
Tom’s favorite experience was working with the four couples from Ivory Coast who were sealed on Wednesday, all during the same sealing session. Two of the couples were there with a child to be sealed to them, one a son age four, the other with a daughter 10 months old. The room was full of friends from their stake as the four couples were sealed at the altar. Then we brought in the two children, both dressed in white. First the infant, dressed in a frilly white dress, was sealed to her parents while a worker held her close. Then the four-year-old very solemnly stood on the altar cushion while he was sealed to his parents, their hands all joined together. Both children were very quiet during the time there. It is hard to capture the sweetness and joy of that event as the families were joined for eternity in that beautiful setting, but the image will stay in our minds.
Yesterday was exceptionally busy in the temple. It seemed like everyone who had missed being able to come during the closure in January decided it was the day to be there. Several sessions were completely full, the baptistery was over full and busy for about 4 hours, and extra proxy sealing sessions were added for those who could not get into the endowment sessions. It was a wonderful short day (the temple closes at 3:30 PM on Saturday) and all the workers went home exhausted.
We welcomed the arrival yesterday of a new missionary couple who will also serve in the temple. The Piersons are from Idaho but with Alberta roots and have served previously in Russia. We fed them dinner and plan to take them along on our visit to the MTC today to help the French-speaking missionaries prepare some proxy family names for the temple this week. It is so interesting to see Accra again through their eyes and recognize that we have been changed so much in good ways by our time here.