Our month of turno de la mañana is over. We will be serving in the afternoon for the month of November.
I have learned a lot working in the morning. As we mentioned before, we were the only English speakers on the morning shift. I learned to listen better and think harder before speaking. I also gained a greater appreciation for these dear native sisters that I have been blessed to serve with. They have given me their patience, love, appreciation and friendship. They have shared their testimonies and their stories of faith with me. They have demonstrated their confidence in me as I have been given assignments of responsibility and at times great intensity.
I love when the temple is so full of participantes (patrons) and we are all working together to make sure these dear faithful sisters (some who spend many hours on a bus to get here and are here for only a few days) are able to get the work done for their ancestors. Some are able to come every year, others don't know when they might return.
I was able to welcome a young woman from La Paz who was receiving her own endowments in preparation for her mission. She was accompanied by her parents. Later that morning I was asked to help a family who was being sealed for time and all Eternity. As I read the name in their folder I recognized the daughter. She was the one receiving her own endowments and she was being sealed to her parents as well. So sweet to share that whole experience with them. They made me feel welcomed into their family and were so grateful for my help. I felt honored to share in their special day.
My assignment that day was sealing coordinator. I had been a bit intimidated as I watched very capable native sisters carry out this assignment, knowing that one of these days I would be given the opportunity. The day I got that assignment I prayed in my heart that I would love those I served and that the Lord would bless me to know how to help them and give me the words of comfort and help and answers that they would need. When I went to receive the family and welcome them, my heart was full of love and I knew the Lord had already answered my prayer.
One day before our shift began, I was putting some names of my loved ones on the temple prayer roll. An obrera (sister worker) asked me if I would write some of her loved one's names on the prayer roll for her. This sister does not read or write, yet she is willing and through great effort on her part and help from the Lord is able to serve in the temple. A very humbling moment for me to ponder.
I had a unique experience one day. In my first assignment, a woman from La Paz introduced herself as Saul Montano's sister. We had a lovely visit. Later that day as I was helping a sister, she said something in English. I love to find out where these sisters learn English and I asked her. She said in Missouri. Who would have guessed it, she knows our Holly. Her daughter in law especially loves Holly and talks about her all the time. They all lived in the Lee's Summit Ward. Holly's influence is felt clear in Bolivia. Way to go Holly!
One more story. My dear mother, over the past few years or so has felt very close to some of her ancestors. When we both lived in American Fork we would try to do Family History work for some of these people that keep coming to her mind. We had a few successes, mostly because she was with me and could verify their time of death because she knew them.
One day last week, we were talking on the phone and she mentioned Uncle Gus. She hadn't thought of Uncle Gus in many years, but for some reason she couldn't stop thinking of him. She didn't know his last name but knew that his daughter Florence married Hoot Henderson and Hoot was "Mama's" Ollie's cousin. What she remembers of Uncle Gus was that he always wanted the Holy Ghost. In their religion, to receive the Holy Ghost you had to "go down" and repeat over and over the word "Glory" and you needed to do it faster than Uncle Gus could speak. He was from Sweden and had a hard time saying that word over and over quickly. He never felt like he got the Holy Ghost. Mother wanted to make sure Uncle Gus got the opportunity.
So I went in search of Uncle Gus. I really did find him! However, I could not figure out how to tie him into our family tree and until I could do that I couldn't help Uncle Gus receive the Holy Ghost. Charlie had an assignment in the temple while I was searching for Uncle Gus, so when he came home I asked for his help. Being the "questioning" person that he is, he is also a much better detective and he figured out where Uncle Gus tied into our line. I'm so grateful we could help Uncle Gus, who is really Nils Gustaf Nelson, from Sweden, and Hoot Henderson is really Samuel H. Henderson, the son of Ernest Henderson and Nora Bell (Mama's cousin). We've added these connections in FamilySearch, and have found some more research that needs to be done to fill out all the families involved.
What was really fun to see through all this was that his ordinance work had already been done! We don't know exactly how, but we're imagining that his righteous desires had been accomplished through one of his direct descendants who had found the gospel, joined the church, and researched and done his work in the temple for him.