Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Temple

Well, it happened. The day came. We went, we participated, we survived, and we came home. We did it all in one day too! I'm still not sure how, but we did! It was a day full of emotions and a little tension, but I've been told by many who sent sons on missions before me that days of tension prior to that plane taking off are completely normal. [Abnormal for our household to be 'normal']

We stopped at the bookstore first and got a few odds and ends (namely Manti's hymnbook, which I got his name put on) and then we raced off to the clothing store. Guess who had to get a new dress! We won't discuss why. Manti got his new things and we headed into the temple. Friends were there waiting for us and met us at the door. That felt nice! I passed out some family file names so that some of us would be going through for Tommy's family at the same time. It made a special occasion seem even moreso. [insert that shark music...duhn duhn duhn duhn duhn duhn duhn duhn]

I felt pretty good about things, but the wait was getting to me! We went to the chapel to wait for the session to start, and in come all these people I know and care so much about. I was truly surprised to see most of them there! I don't know why,'s their character to be at things like this, but I was surprised nonetheless. While I sat and waited, I realized how many years had gone by, how much time I had to teach this little bitty boy who now looks down to me. I thought of the experiences I had shared with him. I thought back to the mental images I have of him looking up at me and doing things with me. I remembered his love of pizza as a toddler, and his calling my tropical fish "sushi" because he couldn't say fishy. I remember him handcuffing his wrist to his ankle with Tommy's cuffs right after moving to Idaho and having to explain to the police department why we own cuffs and how Manti could have gotten them. I remembered the day he was baptized, the day he lost his imaginary dog.... so many days. I admit, tears found my cheeks.

Skipping ahead, I was seated across from Manti and Tommy. In came Daddy who sat by Tommy and Mama who sat by me. In front of me was my best friend and in that same row were two more very very precious friends. I looked behind me and more friends were coming in,... it was so sweet. I realized I was proxy for a family member, Tommy was proxy for a family member, Daddy was proxy for a family member and Joe Mills was proxy for a family member. All of the sudden, the room was filled with my family. I couldn't feel a distinction between blood relations and friend relations. We were one family. Annette reached behind her to me and held my hand, and that feeling was solidified.

The evening was very beautiful. It was enlightening and motivating in many ways.
That night, Manti's heart had become so full he could no longer keep it to himself and after all had gone to bed but he and I, Manti tells me he feels so very different now. I asked how, and he says "I'm stronger." I asked what that meant and he said he wasn't real sure, but he felt literally stronger. He also said he felt warmer. I had to laugh at that, but at the same time, I told him it was a good warmth. He said "it's a warmth that keeps me safe. I like it a lot." Manti isn't a person of many words,....but the words he says reach deeper than their generic meanings. I looked deeper and felt more in those words after pondering them. What truth he spoke!

Look at the light in these eyes....

This is the "before" picture.

And these are the "after" pictures...


  1. Beautiful day for ya'll. What a wonderful blessing Manti has been in your lives. We are proud of him and are loving the updates. We wish we could be there too.

  2. sometimes words are inadequate. Ifeel honored and blessed to be a part of your lives. Manti has been example and influence on my young men, subtly, but noticeable. I have hope: )

  3. Manti sure has become quite a young man, Mar. You should be so proud. You all look so good in your photos. I adore your dress and I love Manti's haircut. You are blessed with family and friends that love and treasure you and that makes you rich beyond measure. Big Hugs!

  4. Beautiful blog and beautiful pictures! Thanks so much for sharing enjoy the adventure our thoughts are will the entire family!