A Week at the Temple

Well, we did it--one week of volunteering at the temple open house! There are not a lot of pictures because every day was basically the same and we were busy. The first day or two were difficult, but we all settled in after that, and grew used to driving to Lisbon everyday, serving a shift, and driving home.

A shift is two hours, and Woo and I gave one English tour of the temple every single day. Each was an interesting group of people that we felt we shared a bond with afterwards. Most of our tours were given to members of the church (although not all), and most were not American. Most were in Lisbon solely to see the temple.

We had a few returned missionaries from the UK with their families, a fun group of ladies from Sweden... three different men on their own... and the Americans we did have... half were there to see the temple, and half kind of stumbled onto the open house by accident.

I learned something (or relearned something) about temples every time I did the tour.

There are two other English speaking couples (one American and one Canadian) and one single guy (from Provo) who all served missions in Portugal and emailed somebody to volunteer at the open house, then flew out just for that (and to see Portugal again in their downtime).

It has been interesting to talk to them and other volunteers while we wait for the next English speaking group to arrive.

We took our own kids through the temple once as their English speaking guides (so I guess that day we did two tours), and Herbie has accompanied our group another time or two.

Here we are with a Sister from Woo's mission, who was born in Cape Verde, grew up in Portugal, and now lives in the UK.

Ruby and Herbie have mostly helped place shoe covers on people's feet as they enter the temple, but they've also stood at doors and directed traffic.

Ruby was asked to go through an extra temple tour, giving a mother a hand with her small children, and Herbie handed out and collected white shade umbrellas on a particularly hot and sunny day.

They've made new friends with kids that are members of other stakes in Portugal. Herbie really likes a kid named Artur, who also looks a bit like Herbie.

Ruby complained of her old knee pain after a shift of standing, but it seems to have gone away now.

Moses, Linus, Penelope and Archie have been safe up in the break room. The first day wasn't their best because they ended up kicking stuffed animals around the room, and then they had a game of hiding a magnet that we weren't super thrilled with either.

Moses, as the oldest, felt the most responsibility to keep the other kids reigned in. He prayed about it one night and got the revelation to bring Uno and a snack for Archie, and that's worked well.

Woo: How good were you guys? Did Enoch come and invite you to his city? 
Moses (agreeing): The desks and chairs started going up!  
Linus: Jesus and Heavenly Father came! 
Penelope: We got to read some of the sealed parts of the scriptures!
And really, you can't get any better than that.

Moses is very excited to do baptisms in January. The baptismal font is his favorite room in the temple and the Lisbon temple does have a nice baptismal font. He leans over the rail looking at the water with a smile on his face, and has drawn a couple of pictures of it.

Penelope has asked me many, many times for like a year when she can start doing family history. I decided that 8 years old would be a good time to start, so a few weeks ago we set her up a FamilySearch account.

I sent her the IDs of a few names that I pulled out of the Czech records. Two weeks ago Moses helped her learn how to copy and paste the IDs and reserve the temple work. Last week she needed a bit more of his support, and this week she's got it down herself!

I forgot to assign a talk for primary today, so I asked Linus to do it this morning. I'd forgotten that the great thing about Linus giving a talk in primary is that he also wants to do an activity, and pretty much takes up all the time giving a lesson. He did the same thing today with very little preparation and did a great job. I think the kids might have learned more from him than they would have from me.

The kids decided to play baseball a lot this week, inspired by Archie's stick (bat) and Archie's baseball uniform, which is basically his soccer uniform except he wears sweat pants with the jersey tucked into the pants and his pants tucked into his high soccer socks. And when I say "they," I mean every single one of the kids. Penelope even named baseball as her favorite thing of the day once.

This week had another baby in it--nothing is more fun for the kids. This baby was passing through with her parents who are seeing the world for a year. We met them when they came to our branch.

And for those who remember about the van... we made it to the temple with the gasoline we had the first day, were able to put in 25 liters the next day, and the day after that the strike was over.

Woo changed the oil with our Branch President one evening where they discovered that the transmission had zero oil in it. It was too late to buy more, so the next day's drive to the temple was another trial of faith for Woo, but we made it. He's put oil in the transmission now, but the van still has deeper problems and will need to go into the shop soon.

And I think that's it. I hope you all had a great week!