8.18.2019

First Day at the Temple


We got to see inside the temple for the first time yesterday, but first we had to volunteer. We had no idea what we were doing, or where we were going, or what Moses, Linus, Penelope and Archie were going to do while the rest of us were working... Luckily, we were scheduled in the afternoon, so we had plenty of time to figure it out.


As more and more people filed into the room before our shift, I got a bit nervous. My Portuguese is really not at tour-leading level. When the supervisors started to speak, I got a bit more nervous; I could hardly understand what they were saying. However, I wasn't too scared. I felt I'd be taken care of and it would all work out either way.

It ended up that there were a lot of volunteers (for the first day, and a Saturday) and they didn't need more guides anyway. We tagged along with the supervisors while they showed other people their assignments and tried to find something for us to do.


Ruby and Herbie were shown their assignments outside the temple doors. Ruby took her seat and immediately started making friends with the girl next to her. Herbie sat down in probably the hardest working spot, everyone went to him first. He put my booties on, for example, and the mission president's, and the only members' of our branch that we saw that day.

While Woo and I and a few volunteers were standing around, waiting, a couple of missionaries walked up with a new mother and asked me to watch her baby while she went through the temple. She was very hesitant to leave her sleeping baby in a stroller, but I was able to tell her I had six kids and knew what I was doing. And I was very happy to have this easy, Portuguese-less job.

But the supervisor, who seemed to be a no-nonsense woman (and I'm sure I would be too, if in charge of organizing so many volunteers), had other ideas. She told me to leave the baby with a teen who was also taking off booties, and marched us off to the temple. (I saw that new mother a couple more times while we were at the temple and I ducked behind other people, glass doors (Woo's favorite) and the like, to not incur her wrath, but I assume that her baby, like mine, also survived.)

Woo and I were asked to stand within the entrance hall and direct traffic, which could not have been easier. People were already following their guide, but gave me lots of smiles and good afternoons (and one very hearty handshake), as if I was a person to be reckoned with.


There was a lot of quiet time between tours (and we also hit the lunch lull), where I could study the two pictures of Christ on either side of me, enjoy being in the temple, and wave at Woo down the hall.

He had the harder job, being in front of a staircase. A lot of people got separated from their group and needed to know which direction to go. Also, someone who appeared to be in charge, came by and told him to tell people to come down one side of the staircase and up another (but that was a waste of energy).

Also, while I was there, I learned that the guides were really just leading groups from room to room, where one or two people stayed to give a description of the room. Many of these people read the description from a card, at least the first few times they did it. So on days where there are fewer volunteers, I think I can handle either of those jobs.


At the end of our shift Woo and I left, got our kids up in the break room and picked up Ruby and Herbie, who were still putting on booties. Then we went on a tour ourselves.


On this tour, we got to sit in the chairs in the celestial room and look up at the chandelier, and sit in the sealing room and then stand and look at ourselves reflected over and over in the mirrors, and so on. Archie gasped when we first walked into the celestial room and he looked up and saw the chandelier and the stain glass windows.

The brides' room was a room that no one seemed to have noticed before, but thanks to an intriguing description by the volunteer, which ended with: "... and unless you're going to be a bride, you will never set foot in this room again. Goodbye." generated a lot of interest. Afterwards, all the kids and even Woo asked me about brides' rooms in general and my personal experience in there.

There was also a baby with us on this tour that all of the kids really liked, but Archie and Linus would not have left him alone if I hadn't dragged them away.


Our kids, on the other hand, were liked a lot by older kids and missionaries. When we were leaving, a young woman grabbed my arm and told me that we were the cutest family she had ever, ever seen. I thought it was a little over the top, but we do look slightly different than the Portuguese and for some reason different can look more striking for all of us. I told her thank you.

We were quite tired when we got home. I don't know if every day will be this way, but I hope not. Still, we enjoyed our time there. We heard and saw a lot of positive expressions. Woo's favorite was overhearing a couple of old ladies talk about how they lived nearby and were going to start coming more often, and maybe to church in the new stake center (on the same grounds as the temple).

In other news, our van is sounding funny. Woo is worried it's not going to make it many more times to Lisbon. Also, we're in the middle of another gasoline truckers strike. We did find a place to sell us gasoline on the way home from the temple, but they would only sell us 15 liters, which is enough for one more trip to the temple.

And that's all I have for today. I hope you had a great week!


Woo, Moses and I gave talks today. The branch president asked if we were all going to give a talk together (three of us at the podium, taking turns at pre-decided intervals?), but no, we each planned our own talk. Moses talked about the Aaronic priesthood (5 more months until he's ordained!), and Woo talked about the Clayton Christensen BYU-Idaho talk that he likes so much. I talked about fasting, but I'm going to post this short talk from a month or so ago.

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A person in the scriptures that I admire is Hannah. Hannah was married to a good man who treated her very well, however she could not have any children.

And Hannah very much wanted a child. One year when they were visiting the temple she was particularly sad. So sad she could not eat. She fasted. And she went into the temple to pray.

In the temple she did not just pray, but she made a promise to the Lord. She told the Lord that if he would give her a little boy, then she would give the boy to serve the Lord.

And that next year she did have a baby boy and when he was no longer a baby, but still a little boy, she took him to the temple to the high priest Eli to serve the Lord and she left him there.

From then on, she only saw him once a year when she came to the temple.

I’ve often thought of how amazing Hannah was. As far as we know she only promised to give the Lord her boy in that one prayer.

How easy it would’ve been, once she’d finally had her baby, after waiting and hoping for so long, to say to herself, “The Lord doesn’t really want me to give up my baby. He wouldn’t really require that of me. No one else knows what I prayed for. I can keep the baby.”

But Hannah did not forget her promise. She kept it completely, even though she had to give up the thing that was most precious to her. The thing that she had waited for so long and had yearned for so much. When she finally got it, she gave it back to the Lord. How difficult that must have been!

But Hannah did it. Hannah did it because she loved the Lord more than anything else.

The Lord tells us many times in the scriptures that if we want to serve him and do his will, we must have an attitude like Hannah’s.

I will read just two.
D&C 4:2 
Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. 
and...
D&C 64:34 
Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.
The Lord did not tell Hannah what would happen after she gave him her son, but he did reward her. She had five more children and her first baby boy grew up to be the prophet Samuel.

The Lord requires everything from us, but he does bless us. I love these verses in Hebrews 6:10-15.
10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 
11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 
13 For when God made promise to Abraham, ... 
14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 
15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 
I know that the Lord expects a lot from us because he loves us. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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Uma pessoa nas escrituras que eu admiro é Ana. Ana era casada com um bom homem que a tratou muito bem, no entanto ela não podia ter filhos.

E Ana queria muito um filho. Um ano, quando visitavam o templo, ela ficou particularmente triste. Tão triste que ela não podia comer. Ela jejuou. E ela entrou no templo para orar.

No templo, ela não apenas orou, mas fez uma promessa ao Senhor. Ela disse ao Senhor que, se ele lhe desse um menino, ela daria ao menino para servir ao Senhor.

E no ano seguinte ela teve um bebê e quando ele não era mais um bebê, mas ainda era uma criancinha, ela o levou ao templo para o sumo sacerdote Eli para servir ao Senhor e ela o deixou lá.

Daí em diante, ela só o via uma vez por ano quando ia ao templo.

Eu sempre pensei o quão incrível Ana era. Tanto quanto sabemos, ela apenas prometeu dar ao Senhor seu filho naquela única oração.

Quão fácil teria sido, uma vez que ela finalmente tivesse seu bebê, depois de esperar por tanto tempo, para dizer a si mesma, "O Senhor realmente não quer que eu desista do meu bebê. Ele realmente não exigiria isso de mim. Ninguém mais sabe pelo que eu orei. Eu posso ficar com o bebê".

Mas Ana não esqueceu sua promessa. Ela manteve-a completamente, mesmo que tivesse que desistir da coisa que era mais preciosa para ela. A coisa que ela esperou por tanto tempo e ansiava tanto. Quando ela finalmente conseguiu, ela devolveu ao Senhor. Quão difícil deve ter sido!

Mas Ana fez isso. Ana fez isso porque ela amava o Senhor mais do que qualquer outra coisa.

O Senhor nos diz muitas vezes nas escrituras que, se quisermos servi-lo e fazer sua vontade, devemos ter uma atitude como a de Ana.

Eu vou ler apenas dois.
D&C 4:2 
Portanto, ó vós que embarcais no serviço de Deus, vede que o sirvais de todo o coração, poder, mente e força, para que vos apresenteis sem culpa perante Deus no último dia. 
E...
D&C 64:34 
Eis que o Senhor requer o coração e uma mente solícita; e os que são solícitos e obedientes comerão do bem da terra de Sião nestes últimos dias. 
O Senhor não disse a Ana o que aconteceria depois que ela lhe desse o filho, mas ele a recompensou. Ela teve mais cinco filhos e seu primeiro filho cresceu para ser o profeta Samuel.

O Senhor requer tudo de nós, mas ele nos abençoa.

Eu amo esses versículos em Hebreus 6: 10-15.
10 Porque Deus não é injusto para se esquecer da vossa obra, e do vosso trabalho de amor que para com o seu nome mostrastes, enquanto ministrastes aos santos, e ainda ministrais. 
11 Mas desejamos que cada um de vós mostre o mesmo cuidado até o fim, para completa certeza da esperança; 
12 Para que não vos façais negligentes, mas sejais imitadores dos que pela fé e paciência herdam as promessas. 
13 Porque, quando Deus fez a promessa a Abraão, ... 
14 Dizendo: Certamente, abençoando, te abençoarei, e multiplicando, te multiplicarei. 
15 E assim, esperando com paciência, alcançou a promessa. 
Eu sei que o Senhor espera muito de nós porque nos ama. Em nome de Jesus Cristo. Amém.