Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Saturday May 31st: The temple

Saturday May 31, 2014 I woke up really early again, so I decided to go for a walk in the morning. I discovered a HUGE park just up the street from my house with a track going around it, and a golf course in the middle (complete with fake palm tress…). I did some other errands, and read a little, then decided to take a nap before going to the temple. I left around 1:45, and made it in plenty of time for the 3pm session. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find it, so I wanted to give myself time. It took about 40 min to get there, and wasn’t far from the metro stop. It’s beautiful! It was nice to have a place so “familiar” when everything is new and different. It’s big, and the block it’s on includes a visitors’ center, an MTC (missionary training center), housing for missionaries (both those in the MTC and those who work in the temple—older couples), and also housing for visitors who come to attend the temple. And an institute building for religion classes for the college-aged youth. I had the best time there, and met some great friends! I’ll include a photo. We attend the temple to receive instruction, and listen and learn, and since it’s kind of a personal, spiritual experience, I don’t usually meet new people there. But I guess being in a different country made that different. I saw a mother and daughter walk in, and I could instantly tell they were American (it’s so weird how that’s always so obvious). We started talking, and they were there visiting a senior sister missionary from there area who would be coming home soon. The daughter (Nicole) was originally going to go on the trip with a friend who was the missionary’s granddaughter, but the friend couldn’t make it in the end, so the mom (Libby) came on the trip instead with her daughter. They were so fun to get to know! I also met another American (Kathleen) who was on a trip through Europe and had already been to Israel, Turkey and Italy. She was planning to do the camino de Santiago de Compostela the following week with her daughter, but her daughter ended up not coming to Spain. Anyway, the four of us ended up spending the rest of the evening together. We went and chatted in Libby and Nicole’s room (they were staying in the temple housing), and then they invited us to join them for a going away party that night for some of the missionaries. We got to meet the temple president and his wife, and I met the couple that’s in charge of the singles, and they invited me to come to a family home evening group there on Monday nights. I haven’t been around for one yet, but I’m excited to go and make more friends!

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