This has to have been one of our more interesting weeks in the temple. The group that came was from several different districts in one of the missions in Cote d’Ivoire, and there was not good communication amongst themselves. Also, the people were mostly from “la brousse”, or as we would say in English, “the sticks”. They were less familiar with organization, time and appointments, and following directions. About 3 weeks ago the mission leaders sent us a list of all the people needing their own endowment and sealing. It was over 100 endowments and about 50 sealings. We sent information back asking them to reduce their numbers by about half, along with some sheets to help us organize the sessions. What we received back was busy but doable in the three days (Tuesday through Thursday) that they would be here.
We went through the usual planning and organizing and thought that by using every session possible on Tuesday and Wednesday morning we could get all the endowments done in time to have those same people then sealed as families, finishing Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately their buses didn’t arrive until midnight Monday so we couldn't have our usual planning meeting with the leadership and confirm the plans.
Tuesday morning one of the leaders arrived in the temple and greeted us with one handwritten page full on both sides with names of people left off the schedule. So we took a deep breath and said “We’ll do what we can”. We reorganized the schedule to include everyone. Patrons would often arrive about an hour late for their appointment, which meant that they were delayed into the following session. Despite being asked beforehand about children to be sealed to parents, when the family arrived for the actual ordinance they would want to add more names - a time consuming request.
However, with much help and diligence from all the leaders and temple workers, by the time Thursday evening came we found that all the work was done. In the three days we had helped over a hundred members receive their endowment and 38 families to be sealed together for eternity - more than we had ever done before in a whole week. And everyone was exhausted. Fortunately the next two days were light and a full recovery has been made.
We were surprised to hear that the Tolleys, executive secretary to the area presidency, were leaving Tuesday for medical tests in SLC. We really miss them and hope all goes well enough that they might be able to return. We all fasted for them today.
|A happy family after their sealing|