Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Apparently, there is a delayed reaction to too much chocolate. This morning there were wrappers in our morning walk "pick-up."
I wish her feeble doggie brain would connect the throwing up to the eating the chocolate, but I have little hope for that. Besides, vengeance was definitely as much motive as gluttony.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
She had gone into the boys' room to conduct a raid on Joseph's food supplies.
Unlike the day before, when she made a mess of her little party in my bedroom, this time she painstackingly brought her loot out to the front room before opening it. There was a good bit of unidentifiable wrappers scattered about, an unopened bag of potato soup on her dog bed, and expensive Belgium cocoa mix opened and spread all over the floor.
While we were at Ruth's, Debi told me that Anna was punishing me for being gone last week. I think this may be so. I think it is interesting that she didn't make the mess in the boys' room. She certainly seems to have known what she was doing.
What a naughty dog!
Monday, April 27, 2009
She came to apologize while I was cleaning up, but I wouldn't let her in the room and after a few words of rebuke, I wouldn't talk to her either. I doubt that her apology was sincere. Oh, she was sorry enough that I was unhappy with her, but I doubt that she was truly repentant of eating all that chocolate except that now there was no more to eat. I gave her the cold shoulder until sometime after dinner and I kept the door to my room closed.
When I went to bed, I shut her out, not the usual thing. She whined and scratched at the door for over two hours. Finally, I let her in. However, the door stays closed while I am at work.
One reads that chocolate can be deadly for dogs, but she appears unscathed. Lots of darker than usual poop on our morning walk, but I didn't see any wrappers. Certainly no sign of stomach upset, either.
I shouldn't be too angry. We seem to share the same weaknesses. I have SLIGHTLY more self control. She is much better about wanting to exercise, however.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
My hosts were Tim & Erin, a young couple who recently purchased their own home. As yet, they have plenty of room for house guests ; ). Andrew and I each had our own room by each other. (As we were officially companions which usually means always being in the same room or in sight of each other, we slept with our doors open.) They had prepared the rooms nicely for us - including, in my room at least, a carafe of water on the bedside table (which I appreciated), and postcards, stationary & pens in the bedside table (some which I also used). They were gracious and hospitable (and so cute).
After leaving Andrew at the MTC, I spent a very short quiet time alone and then went to the Larsons' to visit with Melanie who was in semi-isolation, having fallen ill early in the week with an undiagnosed ailment and wanting to safe guard her newborn granddaughter. (AJ, Stephanie, and now little Maddie live with Kent and Melanie, AJ & Erin's parents. There are also seldom seen 16 year old Sean and Steven)
As the new father AJ (Erin's twin) had to return to work and Melanie was in isolation, Erin spent most of the days helping Stephanie who is still recovering from complications of the pregnancy. I mostly hung out with Melanie in her room.
Lots of comfortable happy old friend visiting - not much earth shaking to report.
Thursday, Melanie was doing particularly poorly and rested all day. Erin, Stephanie and I went to a mall and had "Japanese" food at the food court. oh, Erin and I had Japanese, Steph had Arby's. We had Teriyaki Chicken over vegetables and noodles. Probably not authentic. I liked it better than other teriyaki I have had and better than the authentic Japanese restaurant my office likes.
Friday, while Erin & Steph took Maddie for her 2 week appointment, I went with Melanie for her appointment where we found out that in addition to whatever else has been going on - still not identified, she now has pneumonia.
As has happened almost every day since the theft, Wednesday I lamented the loss of my Palm and that I still didn't know with what to replace it. Melanie waxed enthusiastic about her iPod Touch which Kent got her because she didn't want to hear about how much he loved the one he got through work anymore. At least the two young husbands in the family have one as well. And this is what my son David told me he uses much as I used my Palm. I was getting sold. By this time Kent was home, and my next lament was that I wished I had gotten my new techno-tool before coming to see them, because I knew that he would help me set things up. (Or rather he would set it up for me.) He said he would be happy to take me to Sam's Club where they got theirs. I was so excited I didn't even think to ask if there was a Costco nearby (where I could have gotten points on my cards). (Of course, you never know if an item will still be there.)
Anyway, Wednesday I got an iPod Touch! I am hoping that Joseph will be able to figure out how to get my Palm information from the computer to the iPod Touch, affectionately known as Winnie the Peg in honor of entering the family the day Andrew entered the MTC. Do you think the emotions of experiencing the latter influenced my actions? Probably.
Kent set me up with a lot of useful applications, some fun games, and audio books - among them Eragon, Pride & Prejudice, Holes, & Ender's Game. I downloaded more free games - and some Satellite Sisters podcasts!
I used Winnie the Peg to map my course to KFC to buy dinner for my gracious hosts on my last night. I listened to an audiobook all the way on my drive home today which made it much shorter-seeming and safer. I just hope I can use her for my contacts, memos & calendaring which made my dear Palm so indispensable.
Of all the books Kent put on Winnie, I decided to listen to Twilight as it is the only one I have not read. (The others, are definitely worth re-reading time and again) It certainly made the trip easier, but, sorry Sariah, it is not a book I would 'read' otherwise. Much like on one road trip, I checked out The Travels of Marco Polo from the library and listened to it. Good on a trip, but I don't think I would have ever ploughed through it on my own. I am not even sure that I am going to finish this one. Oh, probably on light rail on the way to work.
When I got home I saw that the (remaining) boys - mostly Ben!) had accomplished a lot of work. Massive amounts of weeds had been pulled in the front yard and another mystery pile of junk (on 'the bricks') decimated. And only 1 pet had died. - One of the cockatiels dropped dead Tuesday morning - too soon to be from neglect on the boys part! ;
Things to do; things to do! I need to record all my credit card purchases for the week (!!), pay bills, and maybe the boys - who just got back from helping Ruth & Tom work on prepping their 'new' house - and I should eat something - like I didn't also 'graze' all the way home from Utah!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
We drove into Provo and found the MTC. He could have checked in early, but I wasn't ready, I don't know about him. We went to where I used to live at Brigham Young University during my brief time there, glanced at the Harris Fine Arts Center where I worked cleaning the "mud rooms". I couldn't remember where the mud rooms were and suddenly we realized that there were only 2 hours to check in and we wanted to have lunch first. The old grocery store where we shopped when I lived at Heritage Halls (I was in Apt 64 in Harris Hall) now has a grill and ice cream - The Creamery on Ninth. We each had a cheeseburger and fries (should have shared fries. As if that wasn't enough, and it probably was, we each ordered double scoop of ice cream - Earnestly Chocolate - somewhat similar to Moose Tracks but with caramel cups and not quite as chocolatey. Double scoops! Fortunately, they had no cones so we got it in cups. We were each able to only eat about half of ours. We walked with them back to the car, drove up past Provo Temple to the head of the canyon, ate a few more bites, then headed down the hill to the MTC. We had to leave the ice cream in the car.
Benjamin called us somewhere in that time so we were on the phone with him just before Andrew actually walked into the MTC. Benjamin and Andrew had a last little talk. Andrew was deeply moved. Later, when it was time to part, one of the last things Andrew said to me was "Take care of Ben". It didn't help that in the meeting just before we separate, we watched a video showing missionaries recieving their calls, going to the MTC with their families, and one younger brother just clinging to his missonary and sobbing. Andrew and I both just basically cried through the whole meeting.
But before that in the lobby, I got to put
After the meeting, families say good bye and the missionaries exit on one side while the families exit on the other, not to see each other for two years. I joined the flow of crying families. I realized that we were walking along the end of the room we had just left. When we approached a cross hall, I looked down and saw Elder Robarts with his head high and his step confident, eagerly walking away to his new life. I hope he felt as good as he looked!
Back at the car, I found two bowls of "milkshakes" in place of our ice cream scoops and so drank a tribute to my missionary son.
After a few misturns (thanks to the "navigator" -me) we arrived at Tim and Erin Adair's home in time to interrupt their Family Home Evening lesson. Benjamin called us for family prayer, so we stepped out on the porch for a minute. Ah the wonders of mondern technology! Phones! Speaker phones!
Chateau Adair provides lovely accomadations, amenities and company, I must say!
Tuesday, Andrew and I enjoyed a practically perfect day. Tim drove us all in to Salt Lake City as he works in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building right next to Temple Square.OK, a couple of less than perfect things. Benjamin called to tell us that our little yellow cockatiel had died (but the grey one seems ok) and that there are concerns about our elderly next door neigbhor who is back at home again when she should be in assisted living. Also, alas, our fair companion and tour guide-to-be, Erin, was called back home to help her sister-in-law with her brand new baby. Our good friend and new grandma had fallen ill. That was the only damper. And, rudely perhaps, our spirits and experience was not much damped by our friends' difficulties.
We went first to Mr Mac's where we purchased a new wool suit, a pair of shoes, a sweater and a coat. We were surprised to learn that the shoes I had always heard were "the missionary shoes" are no longer carried there because apparently they do not give enough insole support and some missionaries were developing foot problems. We ended up with a second pair of the same brand that we got in Sacramento. I am really happy with the coat we got him. It will not be his serious winter coat, that he will get in Canada. This one, however, is a good multi-purpose coat. It has a warm under coat which can be worn alone or with the weather resisitant over coat which can also be worn alone should the weather be wet but not cold. We picked up a pair of gloves and a tie hanger as well. Shopping done, we left the suit to be hemmed and the rest of our purchases there as we set out to enjoy Temple Square.
On the way back to the Square itself we stopped to tour The Beehive House. All day long we were amazed again and again at the great and lasting beauty created by people in such difficult circumstances! We enjoyed a "second breakfast" at The Nauvoo Cafe - highly recommended by Ruth who has gone there repeatedly during Stampin'Up convention and conveniently located in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Quite good and reasonably priced. We took our food outside and enjoyed the beautiful spring weather and the view of the Salt Lake Temple.
Finally, we went on to Temple Square itself, beginning with the 30 minute over all tour. We quickly realized that one day is not really enough to spend on Temple Square. So much to see and take in! I was particularly interested in the model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ. To sit at the feet of the Christus Statue is a profound experience.
Soon it was time to meet Tim (who had not had a second breakfast) for lunch. Again, we went to the Nauvoo Cafe where Andrew and I shared a delious sandwich and Tim enjoyed turkey pot pie.
After lunch, Andrew and I did a session in the Salt Lake Temple. What a beautiful building constructed with such faith, love and sacrifice! In most temples, instruction is largely given through the use of modern recordings - beautifully and clearly. This session was live. The words were the same, but one had a slightly different perspective. How blessed we are to be able to recieve the benefits of both the old and the new!
I don't remember if we toured the Conference Center before or after lunch. It,too, of course, was amazing.
We had a little more time on Temple Square before meeting Tim to go "home." Every bit of it is beautiful. At every turn one is inspired. My enjoyment was greatly enhanced by Andrew's appreciation and spiritual sensitivity.
We picked up Andrew's things at Mr Mac's, enjoyed the grand lobby (complete with piano playing) in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, then went home with Tim.
The evening was spent at the home of the Larsons. AJ & Stephanie (and Maddie!) are living with AJ & Erin's folks. How convenient to be able to visit so many dear friends at one location! However, as I was visiting Melanie mostly and we are not entirely sure of the nature of her malady, I stayed clear of Maddie and company.
While Melanie and I were visiting, I think I heard Kent sharing missionary experiences and advice with Andrew.
Again, we were able to have Family Prayer with Joseph and Benjamin via speaker phone.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
last dental visit for 2 years. He had the beginnings of a little
cavity. Me – I seem to be losing my grip. Every once in a while one
of my teeth just gets loose. Eventually, it gets loose enough that
the dentist pulls it out. He says it's nothing I am doing wrong, but
it hurts my self-esteem. Fortunately, with a good kind gentle dentist
and modern dentistry, it doesn't hurt my body. – OK, a little
head-achey this afternoon, but not much.
I made it to my Business Law class and then came to work. Good news
at class. We got the results of Exam #2 (of only 3) and I got an A !
In fact, I only missed one question, which I really should have gotten
right if I had been thinking. With the results of the first two
exams, plus the 10 mercy points he gives, plus 60 points for
attendance – I have enough points for a high "D" so far. But, looking
at it another way, because that way was depressing, I can miss as many
as 17 questions in the next 60 question exam and still squeak by with
an A. As so far I have missed 5 and 1 points, I think if I keep on
as I have I should be safe. : )
Andrew is packing and re-packing like crazy. And reviewing his lists.
Everything he needs for 2 years into 2 suitcases and a backpack..
Each under 50 lbs. I don't know if he has tried weighing them yet.
I think my part is almost done except for a few little things he has
found that we don't' have yet – batteries for his alarm clock (AAA),
Tide to Go. My part as far as getting HIM ready.
Saturday all his siblings will be here. Most of the "card carrying"
family members will be going to the temple together Saturday morning.
Then a change of clothes and a bite to eat and over to Debi's "new"
(old) house to help her clean and paint cabinets so she can put away
food and dishes. Meanwhile I will be trying to figure out food for an
Open House after church Sunday. Andrew has requested "Chinese"
dinner. After that, we will just relax together, maybe play games.
Sunday Andrew will speak in Sacrament Meeting and Sariah will play
"I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go.". Immediately after church, he will
be set apart. A little later, the Open House.
Monday morning, hopefully as soon as Benjamin and I get back from
Seminary, Andrew and I will head for Utah. (IF I have packed my bag
by then) Tuesday, we will finish some shopping at Mr Mac's and visit
Temple Square. Maybe attend the Salt Lake Temple, but I haven't made
reservations yet! Wednesday, he goes to the MTC and I decompose.
Thursday and Friday, I will visit with dear friends. Saturday I drive
Joseph and Benjamin will hold down the fort at home
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
So sad for the little bird to die. Sad for another little bird to lose its mate. They probably had a nest. I doubt that one lone parent can protect and feed it’s nestlings alone. But the small hawk had to kill to live itself and perhaps to provide for its young.
We like to idealize nature, but nature is often cruel. That’s hard for me to accept sometimes. Why did God create it that way? I know it wasn’t like that before The Fall, but I wonder how suffering in the animal kingdom relates to man’s need to learn and progress.
I also sometimes what will happen with animals of prey when the earth is perfected and everyone and all nature lives in peace. There are some animals whose mouths etc just don’t work for eating plants. Will a lion still be a lion when its mouth is able to graze? Will a hawk still be a hawk without that ferocious beak and talons? This will be interesting to see.
Worse than the cruelty in nature is the cruelty of people. Some people use the cruelty of nature to justify man’s cruelty to animals. That is wrong. What I hear and learn about cruelty to animals is distressing. Even more distressing is the sneaky suspicion that I hardly scratch the surface.
Doesn’t it seem like nearly every day there is some horrible happening in the news? Another child abused or missing. Another mass shooting. Another policeman killed.
I cannot place where and I want to “blame” Nephi, but it might not be him, but somewhere in the scriptures there is a verse in which the prophet laments the evils of his people and proclaims himself something like the most wretched of men because of their sins and the woes that will come to them. I think, oh, really and you think that makes you the most miserable of people? I don’t think so. What about the people who are actually being mistreated? Or even the wretches doing the mistreating – they have got to be miserable. However, I do somewhat understand. I feel great sadness and distress over the pains, sorrows and sins of the world – human and animal. I often wonder what am I supposed to DO about all this? Seems like there’s not much I CAN do.
I am profoundly grateful for my blessings and the good life I enjoy. I think that being grateful is part of what I am supposed to do.
I can try
to live more righteously
treat my family, friends, and, well, everyone, at least decently
be a responsible pet owner
pay my fast offering
donate the occasional mite to the SPCA or PETA or the National Wildlife Federation
I used to pray that the Lord would delay the 2nd Coming and give me more time to repent. Well, I have had DECADES. If I am not going to get my act together, well too bad for me. I now find myself praying for the end to come soon and put an end to all the cruelty and suffering in the world.
Of course He has His own time table and it’s right. Everything will be put right. Everyone who has innocently suffered will be comforted, healed and rewarded and will say it is good and just, that things ARE fair now. What a glorious day that will be!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
On the other hand, I have often lamented the lack of traditional observance of "special days" - "holy days" as well as other significant holidays - in official Mormondom. We generally manage a special song or two by the choir or the children. The occasion in question, if not the subject of the talks, are frequently mentioned in our regularly held Sacrament Meeting. Christmas, Easter and Mother's Day ALWAYS have songs and almost always special, even quite moving, talks. However, over all, life and religion continue on pretty much as usual.
Because, life and religion - which should be one and the same - are already all about remembering Christ - His birth, life, teachings, mission, atonement and resurrection. Every day should be a celebration of Christ and His gospel.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is about coming to Christ and ALWAYS remembering Him. In work, play, home, school, business, in all our relationships - whatever our interests or pursuits our actions should be guided by His teachings and directed to becoming worthy of returning to live with Him and His Father.
Each Sacrament Meeting, especially, is the time to come together in worship, learning, and renewal of sacred personal covenants by taking the sacrament. To rededicate ourselves to living in remembrance each day.
So, while I like observances and traditions, - both serious and fun -and we are encouraged to develop and keep good traditions in our homes, I realize that I must not ever feel that rites and ceremonies replace daily living a life dedicated to coming closer to God. If we so live, every day is a celebration and an observance.
However, sometimes it is the traditional ways of observance. To which I would happily cling - if only I had the strength.
Rejoicing in the life and mission of Christ I can manage in my heart.
But this year, especially, preparation for the pleasant holiday traditions got pretty much lost in the abundance of life. I barely (actually don't really) manage this whole working mother thing. If I make dinner after work, that may well be all I accomplish before collapse. We usually manage to get to meetings, but study and housework suffer sadly. Preparation for special events may or may not happen, certainly not to the extent one would like. Birthdays, conference, and mostly lately trying to get my Andrew outfitted for 2 years in Canada have kept me quite occupied.
Now it's Easter! Aren't there supposed to be baskets full of goodies and cleverly hidden eggs? I did, of course manage to obtain some chocolate for filling plastic eggs. Imagine my surprise, when one by one each of us in the house expressed minimal desire to hunt for our traditional 5 eggs each hidden with love? and glee! I think my last egg from last year was finally found for me about a month ago.
We did agree on and carry out a project, but it's secret. I can just say that it involved clandestine activities, drive-by reconnoitering, stealthy stashing, - and hoping that overly observant neighbors - why weren't they in bed?! - neither snitch nor snatch.
Our plastic egg supply is greatly diminished. Monday, I should check the markdown baskets for replacements.
As I mentioned before, after 2 months of work, I realized my baby blanket was severely misshapen. I spent about 3 hours ripping it out and started over. A couple of days after conference - 8 plus or so hours of crocheting later, I saw that I erred in the other direction and ripped a large portion out again. Committed, I struggled on. Is is straight? Is it even? Is it even half the intended size? None of the above.
Is there any hope of finishing on time, even leaving it sadly misshapen? Not much.
Yet I have public committed to this project.
oh, the frustration and humiliation
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I have sat at the feet of living apostles, looked into their faces, and listened to words of counsel, comfort, admonition, wisdom, and love.
Never mind that we were over 650 miles apart. We live in an age of miracles. Oh, the wonders of modern communication!
We go to the Stake Center and watch the satellite broadcast.
My hands were busy working on my crocheting, so I didn't take much notes, although I tried to at first. Doing both just didn't work that well! Thankfully, I think that audio & video are available on-line now at lds.org, although I also think my computer may be too old to get it. Soon the text will be available on-line. And we will receive 2 copies of next month's Ensign containing the entire conference report!
Here are a few sporadic notes and impressions:
Robert D Hales, Quorum of the 12 - Provident Providers
For debt and for addiction, the cure is the same - Turn to the Lord and follow inspired counsel.
Our challenges, including those we have created ourselves, are part of our earthly trials to teach and test us. None of them are beyond the Lord.
A provident provider provides both spiritually and temporarily.
Joyfully live within your means.
Debt is self-imposed servitude that can depress, result in loss of self-worth, and damage relationships.
2 Ne. 9: 51
Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.
Margaret Liffereth, Counselor in Primary General Presidency - Reverence
Reverence for God is reflected in how we treat His children.
Reverence is love.
Reverence invites revelation.
Michael Neider, Counselor in Young Men’s General Presidency
Study to obtain God’s word.
Quorum = class, brotherhood, opportunity to serve
A young man in a foreign land, called to serve as quorum leader for boys who did not attend and whose language he did not speak. He called the one who had a phone.
“Omar, tu. Iglacia Hoy.” - "Omar, you. Church today."
Omar came. Together they in time visited the other boys and built an active quorum.
Allan F Packer, Quorum of the 70 - learn to know the voice
We need to learn to know and to know that we know.
We must learn to recognize His voice.
Testimony is to know and feel. Conversion is to do and become.
Study it out. Ask.
If we have unrealistic expectations of how God should answer our prayers, we may miss the quiet answers and manifestations.
This is our day. This is our time.
D. Todd Christofferson, Quorum of the 12
Doctrine & Covenants 97: 8 Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me.
Henry Eyring, 1st Counselor in the 1st Presidency
and others talked to us about adversity
We all have / will have adversity. If we think that righteousness means an easier life, talk to Job. Adversity is part of mortal life and testing.
The Lord can comfort, guide, and uplift us in adversity.
Adversity comes to all.
The faithful will be comforted and ultimately rewarded.
Kevin W Pierson, Quorum of the 70
Our net usable faith = faith minus doubt.
We get what we focus on consistantly.
Dieter Uchtdorf, 2 Counselor in the 1st Presidency
We don’t acquire eternal life in a sprint.
Knowing that the seed is good is not enough. We must nourish it and cultivate it over time.
Discipleship is a journey.
The 1st step begins exactly where we are now.
It is ALWAYS the right time to walk in His way.
It is never too late.
Jeffery R Holland’s testimony & account of the atonement of Christ was deeply moving
Thomas S Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, prophet, seer, and revelator, beloved leader
Turn your thoughts from adversity to your blessings.
The future is as bright as your faith.
Gary Stevenson, Quorum of the 70
You are never lost when you can see the temple.
Between morning and afternoon sessions both Saturday and Sunday, as is our tradition, my family spread out sandwich fixings and a bit of other food for the full-time missionaries (and ourselves, of course.) Saturday we fed 16 missionaries, a man who looks like he might be homeless, but who attended every session I think, and the brother over-seeing the building. Sunday I think we only had 11 missionaries and the homeless looking brother. I was too busy (and a little shy) to talk to him, so I don't know who he was. Shame on me. Mostly we felt pretty good about our conference lunch.
We used to go to Leatherby's Ice Cream Parlor on Saturday between afternoon session and time for the guys to go to the Priesthood session. Budgets are tighter, so not many conferences ago we started having our own little ice cream party at Ruth's instead.
You would think that 8 hours of church on a weekend -10 for the men - would be a bit much, but when we approached the end of the last session, Benjamin (16) said something like, "Already?!" You maybe have to experience it to understand. Even though we may fight off sleepy moments or get tired seats, it is wonderful.
We can review as frequently as we wish.
We get to do it again in 6 months!
Where will Andrew experience his next conference?
Instead of being ready to finish it off, I spent the first session of conference unraveling it. Three sessions later, it is not half done and I have only 2 more (busy) weeks to work on it.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Tuesday, the 24th, we went to Patriarch Fisher's home where Andrew received his Patriarchal Blessing. It was a beautiful and moving experience. I felt the Spirit and I could see that Andrew felt it deeply.
We enjoyed visiting with Patriarch Fisher both before and after the blessing. Brother and Sister Fisher are in their 80's. Their bodies are definitely slowing down, but their spirits remain young and their eyes sparkle. I found myself comparing and contrasting them to my aging neighbor, my departed in-laws in their later years, especially my mother-in-law, and other "old" people I know or have known. People's physical challenges differ, but it's not just that. Some people "die" young in that they stop really living long before their bodies quit. Other people die "young" because no matter how old they may be chronologically, they keep enjoying, learning, loving, and appreciating life. I think it no coincidence that people who strive to live the gospel seem to remain young far into old age.
Saturday evening, the 28th, Andrew received his endowment in the Sacramento Temple. His previously endowed siblings came - except for Sariah who is in Vancouver, WA. She took her daughters to visit the Portland Temple earlier in the day as her way of sharing Andrew's temple day. A time of reflection for her and for teaching her children, as well as sharing in the spirit of the day. We feel many blessings and much uplift from just being outside the temple even when we cannot attend.
Going for his own endowment, Andrew (and his escort, Tom) needed to arrive early to make sure his paperwork was in order and to receive further instruction. I went early, too, and in my own little mirror-session was told what he was being told. When you are hearing it for yourself that first time, there is so much to take in that it is hard to remember. It is nice to be able to go back and be reminded.
One of the great blessings of the temple is that once we have received our own endowment, we can return again and again to perform these ordinances by proxy for those who died without the blessings of the Gospel. (Note to non-member friends - We do not believe that those for whom we do this work are forced to accept it. They are not bound by it unless they so choose.) This blesses both us and them. The work they were unable to do in their own mortal lives is done for them and we get to review, continue to learn, and to remember the special feelings associated with our temple ordinances.
Another blessing is the joy we feel as we greet each other in the Celestial room at the end of the session. As we join our loved ones, we naturally reflect on the joy that waits for us when we reunite with loved ones in the next life - if we live worthy of the covenants we have made. It seems like a simple thing. We were with these same people only a short time before. Yet there is a great feeling of happiness impossible to describe as each one enters that beautiful room. Our resolve to live for the reunion with our Heavenly Father and with our loved ones forever is strengthened.