I did something for the FIRST TIME today . . .
To my future posterity, or for those of you who have yet to learn about this mode of transportation, this is a unmarked car “taxi ride” that you book through your smart phone. With GPS they know where you are at, so no need to communicate by telephone (which is a plus for me, since I don’t speak the language very well), and you can tell them where you want to go. It works beautifully!
I have sent my kiddos in Uber rides, helped people in our ward get an Uber and Paul has Ubered for months, since our car has been in the shop for 11 weeks today, but today was my first time and it went wonderfully well.
I like to visit the temple once a week and help some of my ancestors receive the same wonderful blessings and privileges that I hold dear to my heart. But Paul needed the car today, so was I going to let that stop me from going to the temple? Thankfully, in weeks past, yes, I would just stay home, but NOT TODAY! Today felt different. . . Special.
I have a PILE of temple cards that need to be completed and each week that I don’t visit the temple one more person doesn’t get the opportunity to come that much closer to their Father in Heaven. Since I moved to Costa Rica, I have felt strongly that visiting the temple, by myself, once a week was a calling that was given to me. As I have pondered this sacred opportunity, I have been blessed to see some amazing avenues that have been made available to me to make this calling what it has become.
First of all, I only live 6 minutes away from a temple. That is almost too good to be true. Secondly, because the temple is for the entire country, they have a calmer attitude toward when to start a session. If a brother or sister is running into the temple, right at the start of a session, they will hold the session to allow that member time to get ready and join in. That was unheard of in Utah. Yes, we have bigger temples with more opportunities to serve throughout the day, but you do have to wait for the next opportunity. Here, I feel they really strive to help members come and enjoy the blessings of the temple, which has blessed me to work the temple into my schedule that much easier.
Thirdly, because I homeschool my children I have no time restrictions that keep me from attending the sessions that work best for my day. So today, while I normally participate in only one ordinance, I felt prompted to participate in two. The second ordinance was a true treasure for me. I was able to participate in the Sealing Ordinance today and oh how I cherish those feelings I felt today!
Listening to the people in my eternal family be brought together again was most precious to me. It made me think of my sweet sister-in-law Michelle. Her love of extended family time is contagious and most precious. I wonder if THIS is the FEELING she feels when she is with her still living loved ones?
I was overjoyed when memories and feelings of my own wedding day washed over me as I heard husbands and wives, mothers and fathers sealed to themselves or a child. I tend to cry when I feel this way and get a bit embarrassed when I do. But today, I felt it was a healing cry, so I let it flow. I rejoiced that my ancestors were receiving something that I at times take for granted, more than celebrate. I was indeed grateful for the reminder to stop and love the ones that matter the most . . . my own husband and my own children and parents.
I had a BURST of gratitude envelope me as I entered the brightness of the Celestial Room. I felt the warmth and joy of those beyond the veil, celebrating the good news of that day . . . they had done it. They were together again! And I felt each one of them individually thank me. Oh what a gift it is to serve those beyond the veil. To do something that they can no longer do for themselves. It is a privilege but it is also a great responsibility.
I am deeply honored that in my 34 months of living in Costa Rica, I have been blessed to be able to attend the temple at least once a week. This is not bragging but an opportunity to reflect on the tremendous blessings I have received in my life. And since moving to Costa Rica, I realized today that I have had the awesome opportunity to help more than 150 people come that much closer to their Father in Heaven and all He has in store for them.
I also had to take a step back and see how this opportunity not only blessed them but blessed me.
Because of moving to Costa Rica, our family found a NEED to pray, read our scriptures, sing the hymns and learn to live the gospel daily. Because of Costa Rica, we have become closer to one another. Because of Costa Rica, I have spiritually “grown up” and become spiritually self-reliant – and I believe my children have in their own ways as well. We have been richly blessed, amid the ups and downs, heartbreaks and disappointments, financial stress and disappointment.
But those experiences gave us a reason to kneel, a reason to sing a hymn for comfort and strength, a reason to search the scriptures and ponder what they are really trying to teach us, and a reason to hold on tight to one another. This last 3 years have been my MOST PAINFUL years of my life BUT also MY MOST SUCCESSFUL years. I have literally never been more balanced and filled with truth in all my life.
After my invigorating visit to the temple, I knew I needed to make a quick stop for milk and bananas. I decided that the store I like to shop at (does it look vaguely familiar to those of you in Utah?) wasn’t THAT far away from the temple, so I walked there. (Only after treating myself to a new pair of temple shoes at the Church’s Distribution Store. They are SUPER cute and only $16!)
After my shopping was done, I summoned an Uber ride. It was POURING rain but we made it work. The poor man’s car seemed to not be able to shift into the next gear, so we drove slowly to my home. I didn’t mind. It was just another adventure for me to experience.
I climbed out of my car, shopping bags filled with gallons of milk, bananas, Lay’s chips and hot dog buns, shoes and Friend Magazines, into the protection of my home. The kids welcomed me with smiles and the feeling in the home was just right!
After heating us up some leftover (must be eaten today or else!) soup for lunch, I asked the kids if they had done Family Devotional? The response was a unanimous and happy, “YES!” And the kids said El Gringo had shared the COOLEST video. So cool, that El Gringo pulled it up for me to see too.
I thought you might like to see it as well. It isn’t a new video but an older one, made in 2010. I hope you like this video too. It really summed up my day (even though I did get a bit grumpy at dinner time – sorry kids).
In a nutshell, because we are human, we don’t SEE what is right in front of our faces. It is so close that it can become invisible to us (like our ancestors). But when we live life, seeking for anything to be grateful for, those invisible truths appear and we are then surrounded in the love, light and beauty Heavenly Father has created JUST FOR US to experience!
No, it isn’t easy to live this way but IT DOES WORK! Trust in the Lord, trust in His mercy and His goodness. He truly does want to help us all. I believe this with all my heart.
Thanks for listening,