The Orlando temple is BEAUTIFUL, wouldn't you agree?
The only problem is that it is a 3 hour drive to get there. I have always been spoiled because the San Diego temple is about an hour away and Rexburg? Psh, that was down our street...literally. But. Serving in the temple gives you the same peace and blessings no matter what temple you go to. They organized a trip for yesterday and we got to take a bus down there! I was so excited, and I was going to go even if I had to go by myself. Luckily I didn't. James took off work along with his parents so we got to go as a family.
It was amazing. Everyone in the ward paid $10 to rent a pretty nice bus and drive down there together. We left early in the morning to make it to the earlier sessions so that people could be back home by 5pm. James slept the whole way there (on my lap--so cute) and I was enjoying watching the city wake up through the windows. The quietness of the early mornings is the most peaceful time I swear.
When we got there, almost everyone joined again for the first session. But then, James's parents and the two of us got do some sealings, which was special for everyone. James and I both had never done them before so it was something we got to experience together (and fumble through juuust a little) and it was special for his mom & dad because we got to do family names! We also ended up having lunch in the cafeteria together too and I was surprised how inexpensive all of their food is! Thank you tithing! ;) However, I did end up eating a lot more on the bus on the way home. I mean, I can't pass up ham sandwich rolls and Fig Newtons!
I can't believe how strongly I felt the spirit the entire time. I mean, for some reason, it really stuck with me and still has not left. I love that the temple can do that. I love that everything happening outside of those doors doesn't seem to matter. I'm never worried about the time I am spending in there. Everything is clean and happy and pure. I don't have to harbor all the worries that I have outside the temple--appearance, money, job-hunting. None of it matters. It is just a place I can go and spend time with the Lord.
I can't believe I am so lucky to be a member of this church. Nothing in the whole world brings me greater joy than to serve in the temple alongside my husband. It is something that definitely blesses you and you can feel the rewards from doing so. I am so grateful for the Atonement because without it, I would never have been able to be there with my family yesterday. I was so proud of myself that I can hold a worthy temple recommend and everything that means. And I have the chance to help out my ancestors. What other church allows that?! It was something that I really tried to keep in mind throughout the day. I was literally standing in place for someone in heaven and allowing them to do the things they have been waiting soooo long to do. I felt such a connection with each name I held and I can't wait to meet them someday and thanking them for that experience. I also can't WAIT for the Fort Lauderdale temple to be built so we can visit that one too! (Ironically, it is the almost the exact same distance as the Orlando temple, just in the other direction...it's possible Heavenly Father is trying to teach me a lesson!)
|Sorry about the awkward posing. |
James thinks we look the same in all our pictures but apparently, it's all I know how to do!