This week was filled with temple. Tuesday morning we were up at 4 am to transport a batch of excited missionaries to their bi-annual temple session. Many had never seen the LA temple before, and I had yet to go inside. It's very beautiful and very LARGE. Each room is magnificent. The little Chinese sister who knows so little English sat by me the whole time...with a headset, fortunately. I'm certain she has had few opportunities to even go to a temple in her lifetime.
Group of Chinese missionaries. Wonderful, strong, pioneers from their Asian countries. And even a few Americanos, and one partridge in a pear tree . . .er . . .Chilean elder.
My most wonderful, awesome companion Sister Thurgood, and 2 goofballs in the background, Elder Sam and Elder Fu.
I also transported a Chilean and Chinese elder companionship with their investigator, Joe, to the temple visitor's center when Sis. Thurgood couldn't go because of another appointment. Driving there was a great adventure, but I have an awesome GPS system, thanks to my dear friend, Trever. Visitor's Center was also a lovely experience. Funny thing about it was, the sisters who met us at the visitor's center were a companionship of . . .what else? a Chilean and Chinese sister companionship!! Hmmmmmmm. . . suspicious.
Sister Thurgood's last companion before me, Sister Callaway, came to visit because she's a little Idaho girl who missed the LA life! WHAT?!?!? One of the things she wanted to do was go to the temple, so for P-day we went again. (Sorry, took no photos) I love Sister Callaway too! I've had some very good conversations with her and we've all had a good time together. We went after the temple to a little 50's Diner for lunch and got stuffed. (Right, AJ and Em?)
Sister Thurgood and I took a lunch time one day and went to a famous sandwich shop in LA, Phillippe's. Afterward, because we were in "the neighborhood" (in LA?!) we visited a large Mormon Battalion monument which is quite impressive. Here is a photo of my world-class companion:
I'm still trying to teach Sister Gong English words. I'm not sure they mean anything to her other than just memorizing what they look like, but in time I believe it will suddenly click on like a light bulb. I'm actually learning a few Chinese words, but not to be able to speak. I don't have near the time the young missionaries have for language study. Our little investigator, Jasmine, left this week for China to visit her family. She'll be back to the US in August to finish her PhD at Rutgers U back east. I hope there were enough gospel seeds planted. She asked for a Book of Mormon before she left, and ASKED FOR each of our testimonies inside. That's pretty big.
One of the hard experiences this week happened at the employment center. A little homeless lady brought all her bags in one day and hung out and made calls and whatever she did pretty much all day until it was time for us all to leave. We questioned her about how we could help her with her resume, register on LDSJobs, etc. but she seemed pretty self-reliant. We had to ask her to leave as we all left to go home. But she came back the next day. Our director is a very good man, upright and magnifying his mantle in that center all the time. He asked that we express our love and concern for her, and if we could transport her to a shelter in another part of the city where they have facilities to help her. I approached her about this, and she flat-out refused to be taken to that shelter. She explained that she knew where it was, and it was a place she feared for her life. Unfortunately, the people who come into the employment center are looking for hope and confidence, not necessarily what she was exhibiting. I understand the whole professionalism thing, but it was heart-breaking to have to turn her away. I kept thinking how the Savior might handle this in the most charitable way. It 's yet another reminder how weak I am, but I can be made strong as I seek the Savior's guidance in these matters. I'm pretty sure this won't be the last time I experience this. But the first time leaves you always a bit shaky.
Just wanted to finish with images of some of our first-class meals that we have quite regularly in our apartment for groups of HUNGRY missionaries. We pull out all the stops when it comes time to make them a good meal and lots of it. They generally finish off every crumb and are very appreciative. They are an energizing group for these old, senior sisters!