Monday, May 27, 2013

The Holy Temple

From a recent mission conference - McKay is in the back row, just left of center

Hey everybody,

The temple never felt more holy than it did for me this past Tuesday. Monday, as we were in the office waiting for turns to email, President walked up to me and whispered, "you know, if you were out working right now, I could give you permission to go to the temple with "A" and the others tomorrow."

The next day, I had to restrain myself from sprinting up the steps of the temple into the main double doors. I scanned my recommend and walked around the corner to find "A" sitting right there on a couch in the waiting area. She ran up and gave me a big hug, which I returned. I just about lost it right there. You can't imagine how incredible that moment was for me, to be standing in the temple with someone we watched accept the gospel. It had been such a long road. The last year or so has not been easy for her. None of the time while I was there was easy for either of us. But, in the end, there we were. I walked from there into the dressing room and also found the branch president from Jakobstad there. It had evidently been he who had called the mission president to let him know they would be coming down to the temple. I owe him a big one. After changing, I saw the branch mission leader come walking in. He also gave me a hug. The session was in Swedish, so poor Elder Clegg had to endure the headphones. I didn't realize two weeks ago, when I did a session in Swedish, that I would be sitting in that session that day. How could I have ever known that was practice for one of the greatest days of my life?

After the session, we had the chance to talk for a while in the celestial room. Things still aren't perfect for her, but they're much better than they were. Apparently her kids still talk about me all the time. Yes, my pride was about through the roof at this point. We went out and took some pictures before they went to go eat and Elder Clegg and I had to run off to an appointment. It was hard to say goodbye again, but they all made me swear to come to Pietarsaari when I come back to visit Finland. As we got back onto the train to leave Espoo, Elder Clegg said, "well, back to the real world." To which I responded, "Maybe for you, friend, but I'm still up in the clouds."

The rest of this week hasn't been easy. A lot of things have fallen through and it's seemed tough to get things going. Coordinating with so many new missionaries is tough. But no matter what happened, I could just pull out my camera and look at the picture of us outside the temple, and just smile. Is there anything that really matters compared to that?

We did have one great miracle this week, though. We said hi to a woman as she passed us and she wheeled around and said, "Are you guys from that church?!" We told her we were and she got very excited. She told us her sister was an active member in another country and that she wanted to come visit our church. Then on Sunday, she came! She had to leave right after sacrament meeting, but she said she would also come next week! Man, if only everyone we said hi to was that great.

Gotta go, sorry this one's a little short. Love you all.

Elder Hansen

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