January 26th, 2024, might go down in Nielson history as being
one of the best!
one of the best!
Christian and I took Lottie to the temple for her
first time as a patron this morning.
Despite the chilly and damp weather, we were overwhelmed by the warmth,
friendliness, and love with which the temple workers received us inside.
We approached the entrance of the temple, and a temple worker greeted
us by opening the doors even before we got to them and welcoming us
with open arms, especially Lottie, with joy and excitement.
"Oh, hello, Charlotte, we've been expecting you!"
(I'm crying as I type this).
"We are so thrilled you are here today for your first time!".
It was so comforting to Lod since she was so nervous
for about a week leading up to the day.
Really, I'll never forget how kind and warm everyone was;
they treated her like she was the only one in the temple that morning.
Christian and I walked Lottie around the baptismal font area
where she would be serving, and we quietly observed the artwork
on the walls depicting works of Christ healing, loving, and ministering
but my favorite painting is actually one giant scene cut up into
two paintings on either side of the font.
The prophet, Alma, is baptizing Nephite people in the waters of Mormon
surrounded by strong men defending the waters and protecting
those choosing to be baptized from persecutors.
A young woman is lovingly being welcomed out of the water
after being baptized by what I like to assume is her mother.
(Me and Lod)
Those paintings make me cry every time I look at them because I
think about the glorious blessing of baptism, covenants, and promises
we make with the Savior, the blessing and protection we receive
by following Him.
I think about my missionaries, Jane and Ollie,
and I think about Christian and his dedication to the Lord,
our family, and the Priesthood of God he honors and holds.
As Lottie and I waited for her turn,
we watched two beautiful young women assisting another
older feeble woman in the font.
I realized the young women helping her were sister missionaries
accompanying this new member for her first time to the temple.
(Just like Lod)
(And just like Jane)
As I watched these beautiful girls assist this older woman
with kindness and love, my heart swelled with emotion.
It reminded me of Jane, whom we were anticipating picking up
from her full-time mission in seven hours.
This moment felt like a full circle for me.
In the car on the way to meet up with Nicholas and Claire for lunch,
we asked Lottie how she felt about her first temple experience.
She said she stopped feeling nervous about halfway through and then
she felt the spirit tell her to come back soon,
and that she was special.
(You ARE special, Lottie!).
My heart was melting.
Her relationship with the Savior is the greatest relationship she will
ever have, and serving Him is one way she can feel His love for her.
I am so thankful it was a good first experience.
At lunch, we talked more about Lottie's favorite first temple moments,
and the sacred, special moments and a few funny,
normal first-timer experiences.
Then we went home, cleaned up the house, and finished the last-minute
jobs (Gig's room was a nightmare!), and I finished the grasshopper pie I made
for Jane (her favorite) when we got home later that evening.
"Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts,
what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord,
as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him,
that ye will serve him and keep his commandments,
that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
And now when the people had heard these words,
they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed:
This is the desire of our hearts."
* * * * *
Then I got this text from Chris Bingham (also our Stake President)
and his wife, Nellie, who were in Spain and HAPPENED TO BE
ON THE SAME FLIGHT HOME AS JANE
and let us know they had found Jane at the airport.
"The package is in route!!!!"
God is in the DETAILS!!!!