Fort Collins Temple Open House

Hey everyone!:)

Wow after I email I think I’m going to spend p-day sleeping. It’s been a whirlwind of a week!

First of all, transfers are this week! Sister Johnson and I are both staying here in Arvada:) I’m excited!

Debbie at the FC Temple
Debbie and her neighbor at the temple open house

We also got to work at the open house a couple days this week! Basically the sister missionaries are at the beginning of the tour and the end of the tour. So when people first come for the open house, they go to the church building across the street. There are several video rooms there where they come to see a short video about temples and why they’re important. There are sister missionaries in each of these rooms to go over some things, like no food and drink, no smoking, what’s going to happen in the tour, etc. The other place we’re stationed is the big reception tent behind the temple. So after people go through, they come here and we talk to them about their experience and answer questions. There are also some displays about Jesus Christ and temples and a place to take pictures. Our whole shift is six hours, but we have to be there an hour early, and it takes an hour to drive there, and we have to meet a half hour before that to carpool. So it’s an all-day thing!

Wednesday we worked our first shift! The official tours hadn’t started yet, so it was a VIP day. Which meant it was slower, but lots of mayors and state senators and ecclesiastical leaders of other faiths. Kinda intimidating, but we made it through and had some cool experiences! Each person had received a special invitation to come, and they were each very impressed with the temple and were glad they had accepted the invitation:) It was awesome because pretty much no one was a member of the church, so there were some good questions!

Sisters_crop
Two very tired missionaries

While we were in the reception tent, I talked to a father and son who actually had just kind of walked in haha. They were in Colorado because the son was about to start school at DU to study architecture, and they saw that the open house was happening and thought it would be a great opportunity! They were both super impressed with how well the temple was built. It was great to talk with them about how important temples are to us and how they’re the house of the Lord so it’s the best we can give of everything!

We also worked on Friday, which was opening day for the general public! There were a ton of people and we were constantly getting groups to go through. Sister Johnson and I spent most of our time in one of the video rooms, so we pretty much have it memorized. My favorite part is a little clip of Elder Holland speaking, and he says something like, “I can’t think of the traditional, paradisaical idea of heaven without thinking of my wife and my children. It would not be heaven to me. Some may say that’s just because you love each other and you’ve gotten cozy here on earth and you like each other’s company. It’s a lot more than that. There’s something eternal about the statement, ‘Neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord.'” Every time that part of the video came, everyone’s eyes were just fastened on the screen and the Spirit was there:) That’s the whole focus of the temple. We are a part of God’s family, and He loves our families here too:) It’s meant to be eternal.

We did get to spend a little while in the reception area too. That’s my favorite place to be:) You just get to talk to so many people who are already feeling the Spirit from walking through the temple! A cool experience was when I saw a group of ladies come through, and I went over to talk to them and they immediately latched on to me and started asking tons of questions. Everything from the angel Moroni to “The Book of Mormon” musical to the role of women in the church. Haha and when they asked me, “So, what’s the difference between you guys and Catholicism?” I just taught them the Restoration:) They were really glad they had come and they were excited to fill out comment cards about what they thought and felt about the temple:)

Arvada_crop
Our District

There were just so many amazing people who had come for lots of various reasons, but they all felt the Spirit in the temple:) The comments I got the most were, “It’s a beautiful building!” and “It’s so peaceful inside.” They knew it was a holy place:)

All in all it was a wonderful week at the temple and I’m excited to do it again!!:)

Love,

Sister Stratford

Click here to see pictures of the temple

 

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