We got up Tuesday morning and kissed Grandma Bea good bye and headed to the city offices to pick out the grave sites we wanted. We then stopped at Kevin's station and gave him a check to go in and buy the sites. (It is only $300 per plot instead of $600 per plot for out of towners!!) We picked out some plots just about four or five rows East of Grandpa Cecil's spot.
We headed North and stopped for a fun quick visit with Emma and Kecia and got lunch which was a pleasant surprise. Nummy too. Then we headed on North to Lehi and stopped at Benji's house. Da told us that she was waiting for a call from Dirk and we might get to see him on the web cam. Sadly enough it didn't go through and we had to head on North to catch our plane. But we got to hug Da, play with Benji and cuddle Simon so it wasn't a total loss. We got to the airport just two hours prior to the flight and Ed dropped me off in front with all the luggage and then went and parked the car. We got into Austin about 9 pm Texas time and headed to our hotel.
Ed has us in a lovely Homewood Suites and it is so comfortable. The bed is about four feet off the ground and I wasn't sure that we could climb up into it but it hasn't been a problem.
Wednesday morning we decided that since it was supposed to rain it would be a good day to head to the temple. We had a marvelous day!!
This is the San Antonio temple. It was dedicated in 2005...when we lived in San Marcos they were just talking about the need for a temple in this area and President Hinckley even came down trying to locate and decide upon a spot. I remember sitting in a special meeting watching the prophet speak to all the saints through satellite download saying that they hadn't found the right location yet but they would and in the meantime the Saints in the area needed to get their lives in order to have a temple of God in their midst.
It is one of the smaller temples and is simply gorgeous. They have stained glass windows throughout the temple and have gorgeous wood that was imported from all over the world just for this temple.
We found a couple from San Marcos that we had known and learned some interesting facts about this temple. They said it was the second choice as far as location was but the first piece of property had a cavern under it and was deemed not safe to build such a large building on. Then as they started driving the pilons for this location they discovered it also sat on a cavern (this whole area is riddled with them, thus the caves and caverns advertised all over Central Texas ...and their aquifers are actually large caverns way under ground that collects the water and so as you are driving through the area you will see "such and such aquifer - do not pollute". So they had to drive pilons way deeper than they planned on - in fact they go as deep in the ground as the whole temple is above the ground.
We had called the temple for a reservation but were told that the day's sessions were already full. They explained however that there was usually a no show rate of 20% and if we were to be at the temple about 35 minutes prior to the session we could get on the waiting list and probably get to do a session. If not we could do sealings or initiatories with no problem. So we headed South to San Antonio with our Tom Tom telling us how to get there and I am glad we had it because we couldn't see it until we got within 1/2 mile of it. As we came over the final hill there it was - Angel Moroni and all. It was so beautiful. It is made out of a grey stone - I felt bad that it wasn't whiter but amazingly after I came back out I thought it was just perfect.
The temple had a wonderful spirit in it. I felt it before the session even started. Such a beautiful warm loving spirit. I can't understand how other religions think the temple is evil - you can feel the perfect love of God there and all it does it make you try harder to live righteously.
As we completed the session and entered the Celestial room I was in awe. Talk about gorgeous!! Three sides of it were 30 foot tall stained glass windows. The room was done in cream and golds and had wonderful pillars holding up the domed ceiling that looked to be decorated in cream paint and gold leafing.
I was shown the stained glass windows with the sheaves of wheat making a beautiful border. The wheat itself was of amber that was mined from below the temple itself. It ranged in color from a deep deep brown to almost white and each window started out with the bottom and lower sides in the deep brown and then getting lighter and lighter in color until it was almost a white amber across the top. I was told that when they found the mineral in the ground as they excavated the artist that designed the stained glass windows asked to be given the stone and he would incorporate it into the glass windows which he did.
Also, our friends from San Marcos told us of the local seminary teacher that painted the murals in the earth room - how he was painting one day and had brought his three year old daughter with him and she was busy with her toys. When he next looked to check on her, he found that she had taken one of his paintbrushes and had proceeded to paint some flowers on the wall!!! He cleaned up and painted over most of them but left three of the flowers as she painted them. SWEET!
We got to do a session in a new temple, we fell in love with the beauty and the spirit of the San Antonio temple, we ran into old friends and we got to hear fun stories about the building and decorating of the temple! What a marvelous day.