A week and a half ago, I received a phone call from a woman at the Albuquerque Temple. She asked me if Susan and I could meet with a member of the Temple Presidency. Of course she couldn’t tell me what it was all about, but I could think of no other reason than a calling as ordinance workers.
On Saturday afternoon, on Feb 10th, we meet with Pres. Peter Webb, 1st Counselor in the Temple Presidency. He did indeed call us as Temple workers, telling us we’d been recommended by Bishop Cortez and our Stake President, Jerry Clark. We were honored and thrilled, and of course accepted the callings. He set up apart on the spot, then gave us a quick orientation, told us about clothing we’d need to purchase, and we agreed on a schedule – the 3rd (and final) shift on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Saturdays, which meant we’d be starting the following Saturday.
Saturday, the 17th turned out to be a packed day for us. Three of the grandkids stayed over Friday night with us, which meant we got little sleep. I also helped clean the Temple on Friday evening (from 8 to midnight), as I always do. So we were up by 6 Saturday morning. Just before 10, we left to visit the Zoo, this time making sure we got to ride on the train that travelled between the zoo and the biopark where the aquarium was. It was beautiful day. Our visit was cut short because of the fact that we needed to get to the Temple around 3pm to finish up some clothing purchases at the Distribution Center and be ready to start our shift at 4:00.
It was an exciting first day. There’s a lot to do and remember, but fortunately, they assigned trainers who stayed with us most of the time. My trainer was Brother Justice who kindly gave me a lot of pointers. We started out by meeting as a group and received instruction from Pres. Webb. Then we watched a couple videos. Brother Justice was also training Brother Munford, in addition to me. We received name tags, and got photos taken. We spent some time memorizing what the Lord says behind the veil. Then I was put behind the Recommend desk. That was pretty easy, although I did have a woman come in without a date on her recommend so had to decide how to handle that.
Then I was to help with sealings. I thought I might be a witness, but instead they wanted me to dress in the Temple robes and sit in on a session where I played the role of a son being sealed to his parents.
The finale for me was to represent the Lord behind the veil at the conclusion of the final Endowment session of the day. This was not something I was expecting to do on my very first day. I managed, however, helping 3 brothers through, and stumbling only a little.
The biggest challenge of the day was in the dressing room at the end. They have no stalls like they do upstairs for regular patrons, and few benches. With the additional clothing required for ordinance work, it was a challenge getting changed in cramped quarters with no place to hang my things. But I learned how to do things a little better next time.
Susan and I finally met up at the end. I wish that we had been able to work together during the shift. Nevertheless, it was exciting to share notes and perspectives on our experiences. Susan’s jobs mostly consisted of sitting, being friendly, and helping anyone in need.
We capped the day off with dessert at the Owl Cafe on our way home. It had truly been a full and enjoyable day.