[October 18, 2015] Sunday
When I learned that we would change our assignment in the Temple from el turno de la tarde (afternoon shift) to el turno de la mañana (morning shift) in October, I knew it would provide a new challenge for me, which I was excited to take on. We would be the only English speakers on the morning shift. I have really grown close to the afternoon sisters and feel very comfortable with communicating with them. I would miss seeing them every day, but was also looking forward to meeting new people.
Well it didn't take long to fall in love with the turno de la mañana sisters. They are all happy and warm and took me under their wings. I felt very welcomed. A lot of these sisters serve 2-3 times a week and one sweet, faithful sister serves every day.
Now that we have served in the mornings for two weeks I feel very comfortable and am able to communicate pretty well thanks to their patience. In fact on Saturday there is no break between the morning and afternoon shifts so we have some overlap. In talking with two of the English speaking missionary sisters (from the afternoon shift) in Spanish, they finally said "just speak in English, it's faster" - they were anxious to get to their preparation meeting. Which made me appreciate the patience of my Bolivian sisters. They don't seem to be frustrated at all with me. I love speaking in Spanish and listening to them speak and especially participating in the temple ordinances in Spanish.
There are opportunities on our shift to visit while we wait for our next assignment. I enjoy this time to learn about their lives, families, testimonies, etc. Some of the sisters I have grown close to are Lily Orozo, who loves to make people laugh. She was an ambassador in England when she was younger. I can imagine her lightening things up. She and I exchanged tongue twisters to help each other with the other's language. Bertha Mendoza is teaching me Quechua (Indigenous language) words like "Anchata munucuiki"- I love you; "Ganri" - And You; "Imaynalla Canqui"- How are you"; Wallelejlla"-Good; among others that I don't remember off hand. Hermana Soto has the most luxurious hair, long, thick and full of body and slight curl. She taught me a better way to make papas rellenas and also makes me laugh. These sisters and many others have become very dear friends in such a short time. Part of that closeness comes from serving in the Temple and sharing spiritual experiences together.
I am grateful every day for this opportunity to be here, to serve in the Temple with these dear people. I know that this work is important. I know that it is truly The Lord's work for His Children. I am honored, humbled and grateful. I'm also grateful that I can share it with my dear companion and best friend. I love watching him serve and love these people. One of our children said that Dad looks happier than he ever has. He's doing something he believes in every day and making connections with people and places that changed his life 40 years ago. And I get to watch and be a part of it.