Since we knew with plenty of time to plan, that we were going to California over the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought it would be really nice if my parents, my grandmother and I could get everything ready to go to the temple to have her sealed to her family. So mom called and talked to people at the temple and got everything set up so we could go get that work done. We ended up spending the better part of two days in the San Diego Temple!
Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, we got in our van with my parents, my grandmother and Tiffany to head to the San Diego Temple. In order to have grandma sealed to her husband and to have dad and his brother Frank (who passed away years ago) sealed to their parents, Grandpa Denzel and Frank needed to have their other work done first! Dad didn’t do this work earlier because Grandma wanted to be present for it. So we started our Friday morning off in the baptistry of the San Diego Temple. The temple president came in to say a few words before Dad, Kyle and Tiffany went to the font. He talked of how the world calls the day after Thanksgiving, “black Friday”, but being in the temple he likes to call it ‘white Friday’. I thought that was a very nice thought. 🙂 It is difficult for Grandma to participate in baptisms, and I didn’t have many female family names that needed to be baptized, so I let Tiffany do them (since that’s all she can do at this point) and mom and I sat with Grandma in a little room where we could see the font, but since we were in a separate room, we couldn’t hear what was being said or who was being baptized. Dad started out by baptizing Tiffany for all the women that I had cards ready for, and Kyle was putting the names up on the screen and checking them off when they were done. I with my awesome eyesight, was able to read on the screen the names that were being done when they were being done. So I could tell grandma that it was her adoptive mother that had just been baptized and such. So I could help her be more aware of what was going on, since she couldn’t see that far away or hear them. After all the females had been baptized, Kyle got to baptize my dad for grandpa and Frank and for the other names that I had brought. But the temple worker that put the names up on the screen, put them up and took them back off again so fast, I wasn’t able to tell grandma who had just been baptized! Oh well, at least she was able to see the baptizing and knew that the work was being done and she got to be there.
After Kyle, dad and Tiffany got all dried off and changed back into their dry clothes we got to go into the temple. Dad escorted Tiffany to the cafeteria to wait for us, since she only has a recommend to do baptisms. Kyle and I went to the desk to collect our family file cards and then we went to do initiatories. The little old lady that organized where everyone was supposed to go, took our names and got us all situated. She worked out the family names that we were doing, and also gave us each some other names to do. So we changed and got to participate in initiatories. One of the temple workers came looking for me before I had finished all the names they gave me, saying that my mom and grandma had already left to do the session and they were holding the session for me. So I had to hurry up and change into my temple dress and rushed out to get a name to go to the session. There was no time for me to go back downstairs to collect my family names to be able to do one of those so I just took a name from the temple, and left the dressing room to go upstairs. Dad and Kyle were there waiting at the bottom of the stairs, which surprised me since they said that mom and grandma were already upstairs in the session room. I told them this and we all rushed upstairs. I came first and they directed me to the room and I went in, looking for mom and Grandma, but stopped short when I saw that they weren’t there! So I backed out and dad and Kyle were at the door and I told them that they weren’t in there. So I had to go back to the ladies dressing room to look for them.
I got to the dressing room and one of the ladies from initiatories was walking down the hall and was stunned to see me in the dressing room, since she had just rushed me upstairs for the session. I told her that my mom and grandmother were NOT in that session and I came back down to find them when I saw mom and she was in her church clothes, not her temple clothes! I went to her and asked her why she wasn’t in her temple dress and where grandma was. Grandma was still changing and mom didn’t have a good reason for being in her church dress instead of her temple dress, so I told her to change NOW because Dad and Kyle were waiting for us. Then I went downstairs with the temple worker to collect my family file cards since now we had plenty of time to do that (sessions are every hour on weekdays at the San Diego temple). One of the ladies took the temple name back from me so I could do one of my family names, and we were all finally ready and together and we went back upstairs to wait for the next session to start. So we finished up our white Friday with our session and went back to my parents house for the night.
Saturday morning, we woke up in the morning to do it all again, this time with a bit of a different twist. Saturday, it was obvious that the opposition was hitting us hard. First we were leaving later than we should have been. Patsy couldn’t find the keys to her car, and she needed to get to work. This really didn’t mean anything to us since she wasn’t coming with us to the temple, and her keys being gone was really her problem, but she ended up taking my mom’s bug since she couldn’t find the keys to hers. THIS did effect us. On our way to the freeway, Patsy called, in tears, to say that she had just filled the tank but the bug won’t start. So dad turned around and went to the gas station to help her start it. It wouldn’t start so they pushed it into a parking place and Patsy called AAA and we were on our way again. Next traffic on the freeway was bad, and we had at least an hour and a half trip in front of us in GOOD traffic (and like I mentioned before, we had left later than we should have…) Later dad saw a motorcycle cop in his rear view mirror and kind of freaked out and slowed down his driving. Thankfully we were NOT pulled over! We got to the temple and there were NO parking places. Not even a handicap place to park. NOTHING! Dad dropped us off out front so we could get mom and grandma inside to change and he went to park the car in a lot a good 3 football fields in length away from the temple. Mom and grandma went upstairs to change while Kyle and I went to the family file desk to make sure everything was set for our sealing appointment that afternoon. Grandpa’s card didn’t show the box for sealings as being allowed (it was all crossed out) and I had to tell them that online it says that his work needs permission, and I wanted to know how we do that since the person that has to give permission was grandma and obviously she gives her permission since we were there to do that work. The lady got that all worked out, but then started telling me that grandma can’t be sealed to grandpa without a living ordinance recommend. By this point mom was dressed and back at the desk with us, and Dad was finally in the temple, and I’m looking at mom and asking her WHY she hadn’t found that out before I had left Utah! She said that she had called the temple and they told her that we could do all the work we were wanting to do and so she had made the appointment. The lady told me that it’s not a problem to have dad sealed to his parents, just that we couldn’t seal grandma to grandpa without a living ordinance recommend. I wanted to know how dad could be sealed to his parents if his parents weren’t sealed together first. The lady was confused until I pointed out that this was all ONE FAMILY that we were talking about. So now we were all on the same page, we sent mom up to get Grandma so that she could talk to the temple workers to get this whole thing sorted out. I went up to change, and came back to make sure that they included uncle Frank in the family to be sealed, since his ordinance card also had sealings crossed out. Then they said that Grandma would have to miss the session in order to get all the paperwork straight so we could do the sealings later. Grandma was ok with this and so the rest of us went to the session to do the final work for the others that we would be sealing this afternoon.
After the session, I went back downstairs to collect my family file cards. And I saw Ian and Liesl arriving at the temple. Kyle had spoken to Liesl when we were on our way to the temple and had invited them to come do sealings with us, and it just happened to be perfect timing for me to be downstairs when I was. I could take them upstairs and show them right where everyone else was. By this point I was feeling QUITE familiar with the layout of the temple and could find my way around without getting lost. 😉 We got upstairs and went to the office and I gave the sealer my family file cards and also checked the paper for the live sealings that we were going to do. Uncle Frank’s name wasn’t on it. So I asked if there was another card with his name on it, and the sealer looked at me confused. I told him that there is another brother for this family that is to be sealed, and that we talked to the people downstairs about it and they said they would get the card for that ordinance. He had to call downstairs and they sent someone up with a new paper for the family. I turned around and told my family that I just wanted to make sure everything was right, and that they are finding Frank now and everything should be good. Dad said that that’s why they keep me around. SO much opposition this morning! And it didn’t stop when we got to the temple! It didn’t stop until we had all the correct papers and were in the sealing room!
The sealing room was beautiful (as always). The sealer started with the family file cards that I had given him. Kyle and I were at the altar first. Then Ian and Liesl had a turn then it was mom and dad’s turn. It was interesting to me, to see the way the names came up. Kyle and I got to do some of the Kirchen side. Ian and Liesl got to do the names that I had for Kyle’s side. Mom and Dad got to proxy for Mom’s grandmother and some other Kirchen names. It all just worked out perfectly, without prior planning. The sealer called us to the altar when he felt like it. He read the names in the order that he felt like reading them, and everything just worked out perfectly. Then we finished up with the sealings involving Grandma. She came to the altar to be sealed to her parents. Then she got to change places at the altar to be sealed to her husband, and then she got to be at yet another place at the altar to have two of her four children sealed to her and her husband. It was such a sweet experience. One that I know has eternal significance. The opposition that we faced this morning is evidence to me that the opposing side, also knew how important the work that we were trying to do really was, and obviously wanted to put up road blocks to try to prevent us from completing the work. I am so happy that we got so much temple work done this weekend. I had only planned on coming to the temple with my family to do the sealings, and thought we would have some time to do some other things before we left California, but this weekend has been really amazing.