Friday, October 5, 2012

Calgary Temple Usher

5 months after Shane and I were married, I found myself down in Utah, attending general conference. It was a pretty special occasion, since I was in the conference centre when President Monson announced the Calgary, Alberta temple. I honestly felt like I could run down and hug president Monson (except for the fact that security would stop me long before I got to him). The estimated time for the temple to be completed was fall 2011. I watched, waited, and wished. The temple slowly rose from the ground in all its beauty.

Several weeks ago I received a phone call asking if I could volunteer a shift at the temple. My first thought was negative, I have a 1 year old, how can they expect me to be away from him for 9ish hours? and I already have 2 callings, now they expect me to do this too?  I was given a different perspective from a friend who has grown up here and due to the fact she just had a baby isn't eligible to voluteer.  I, growing up in Utah, have taken the temple for grantid.  This is such a monumental thing to the faithful members here in the Calgary area.  I changed my attitude, and when I received an additional phone call, asking to change my shift and add an additional shift, I gladly accepted.

The day came for me to usher temple tours.  The tours that I would be ushering were the very first through the temple, the "pre-tours" for contractors, and neighbours.  That morning Samuel woke up with a fever.  I was worried he may have hand foot and mouth disease since a friend who we had recently played with let me know she thought her son had it.  I text her, only to find out that her little one didn't have it.  It was a sigh of relief, but didn't make it any easier to leave once my mother-in-law came to take care of Samuel and I went to the temple. 

There was a total change in my attitude as I put a church c/d in the player, drove, and prayed.  I arrived as I had been instructed, for the training an hour prior to my shift.  What was failed to be mentioned to me was that they included in the training time in the shift, and that I didn't need to arrive an hour early.  Well, I had time to sit and reflect, and take a peek around the grounds, etc.

Volunteer Entrance

This picture cracks me up.  I can't see my cell phone screen while I'm outside, so I was trying to turn the camera to take a picture of the temple, and this is what I got instead. lol.

We had our training meetings and when I wasn't on the list, I thought I may be able to go home.  They did in fact need me.  There was such an excitement when the first people came for their tours.  I was stationed outside to usher the tours back into the gym for refreshments.  It was a rainy, cold day, but with a borrowed oversized overcoat, I was warm.  After about an hour or so outside, I was rotated back inside.  I took my lunch break, relieved myself (hello MILK) and then was stationed to take tours into their video viewing rooms. 
As I was walking down the hall, I saw a familiar face.  I have take the opportunity to invite as many of my non-member friends/acquantances as I can.  I saw a girl from my prenatal class with her husband and little girl.  I felt so happy inside to see her, and after our conversation, I felt happy to have sent out the invite to her (even though she got one for being a neighbour), because I knew if she had any questions about the temple, she knew someone she could ask.  Me being there was just the icing on the cake. 
When we were nearing the end of our shift, I was asked to be a sweeper for a tour.  The sweeper is the tour guide who is at the back of the tour group and moves them along.  I was giddy at the chance to go in and see this beautiful building.  It is indeed gorgeous!  I look forward to my next shift.  I've got some stories about missionary work through temple invitations I will share.  I look forward to the end of this month, and the beginning of November when we can go and do temple work ourselves.
I love the temple! (check out this beautiful piano arrangement I came across today)!


Amber said...

I am officially jealous. I can't come back to Canada yet and so I'm missing the open house. Luckily I will be able to go through whenever I'm able to come back. It is so exciting that Calgary has a temple now!!

Aden & Jamie Hirtle said...

Aden and I were in that session too when the temple was announced. We were in a small section with other Calgarians. Wouldn't it be funny if you were there too? Also, that hymn is on my wedding video, on the menu. I didn't realize who had composed it though.