Mom and Dad know me so well. Even though the temple is in a different ward's boundaries, they knew that come Sunday, I'd love to visit what was my home ward during those three years.
- The brick paving the parking lot looks paler than I remember it. Either it's faded from a pretty pinkish to nearly gray-white, or I'm not remembering it correctly.
- For rain downspouts, there used to be huge chains coming down from the roof that were then attached to concrete blocks on the ground. As weird as they were, it was a bit sad to see that the chains are gone and the chapel now has actual downspouts.
- The interior looks the same as it always did, although some rooms are now being used for different things. The Young Women room and bishop's office have swapped locations, for starters.
- I could practically see little ghosts of me, my sisters, many of the missionaries we knew, and several events (a wedding, a Halloween party put on for the English class kids, chatting with elders in the hall, a baptism . . .).
- While we lived there, Bishop Eklund presided over the ward. Today it's Bishop Eklund . . . the son. Who was in Young Mens when I was a Beehive. How trippy is THAT?
Dad used to tell us girls that if we didn't speak Finnish at home, that eventually we'd forget it. I used to think, Right. I'll forget how to breathe, too. Lo and behold, several years later, it did start to fade away.
Sitting in sacrament meeting, I suddenly remembered why I fought the idea of speaking Finnish at home, at least during the mission. I could understand most of what was said by the speakers when I concentrated really hard. But if I let my mind wander for even a second, I'd lose it. And by the end of the meeting, my brain was nearly fried.
Back in the 80s, after spending a full day at school concentrating . . . HARD . . . on the language, my brain was little better than cottage cheese. I'd forgotten what that felt like. During the mission, when I came home, I just had to rest my brain. But dang, I do wish we'd spoken Finnish when we returned to Utah.After church, Dad took me and Rob inside the temple to look around. The reverence Dad has for the temple is palpable. The temple itself is easily the most gorgeous one I've ever seen the interior of. And the entire place is infused with the Spirit in a way that I'd never felt before, even inside other temples.
On our way out, I teared up. I didn't want to walk back out. I could have stayed there for hours, just soaking up the feel and the beauty. But alas, all things must come to an end, and I knew I'd be back in a few days for an actual session.
The Laukkanens, some old family friends, came for dinner. We played some table games and chatted, and then we called it a night.
All in all, a great sabbath.