The Temple – Easter Bunny – Attend a Baptism…a Great Saturday

 We had a great Saturday morning. First we slept in – well Mary slept in and I kind of slept in before getting up and going to the gym. I am working on leaving in Florida the extra weight I managed to pick up in the first year of our mission here. Too much sitting down – especially with food in front of me – and not enough exercising. Of course it all starts at the MTC where it all you can eat for every meal – especially on ice cream Wednesdays.

We picked up E/S Singleton and headed for the temple construction site. We were very lucky to get there just as they were putting the trim around the windows up in the steeple. If you look back a few months you can see the glass was put in but left untrimmed until today. I love to look at the window detail and the the small detail in the cast stone. It is a beautiful building on the outside and I am sure it will be even more so on the inside.

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Front – that is the East – view of the temple. We are hoping that at least some of the landscaping will be in before we leave but we are not holding our breath. We need to go by at night to see if they are leaving any light on in the tower or on Moroni so we can get some night shots. Holiness to the Lord – House of the Lord – it could not be said any better if you used 100 words.

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They have poured most of the concrete for the parking lot. It does not add much to the beauty but it does mean that the grading is pretty much done and so the grounds can be prepared for landscaping. This was E/S Singleton’s first visit to the temple site. We are rather jealous because they will be here to help with the open house and the dedication. Of course if we are not already on our next mission we are planing to come back and help out with the open house and stay for the dedication. Wonder if anyone has a room they would let us camp out in for a few weeks.

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We dropped the Singletons off at their apartment and headed for Fort Lauderdale chapel for a baptism. When we got there we found that the Riverside Park Spanish branch was having an Easter party for their children. It looked like a good percentage of the branch was there for the activity and lunch. Of course the center of attraction was the Easter bunny…since it was already in the 80s I imagine the bunny lost a few pounds in a couple of hours of sweating in that suit.

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Sister Merrill and Stegelmeier surprised us by showing up at the baptism. One of their investigators who they hope will be baptized tomorrow was supposed to come to watch how it was done. She did not show up but it gave them a chance to have their picture taken with bunny and for sister Stegelmeier to play the prelude music. She wanted to make sure I took a picture of her at the piano so her mother would see that she is keeping up her skills. Most of the missionaries who serve in the ward came for the baptism plus sister Bean and Fletcher from the Spanish branch. Elders Burt, Thorne, Andelin and Brimley talked with the sisters before the meeting started. The picture catches sister Fletcher practicing her leading.

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Sister Teddie Parker is the newest member of the ward. There is a great story behind her baptism. The first day that sister Gordon – the one in red – was in the mission, sister Dougal and her were out giving harvesting blessings They knocked on sister Parker’s door and was gladly let in. After the blessing she wanted to know more. Since the sisters are assigned to the YSA ward, they turned the teaching over to elders Shipley and Gust. The rest is now history. When sister Parker came out to have this picture taken she saw the sister missionaries and went up to them and with tears in her eyes thanked her two angels who came to her door and blessed her. The Lord really does prepare people for the missionaries to find and teach – sister Parker is one of those. The baptism talk was given by sister Brady and elder Gust performed a perfect baptism ordinance. For the closing song sister Stegelmeier told brother Beale – he was conducting the meeting because many from the ward were at the Orlando temple today – that she wanted to teach him to lead the music. I am afraid that brother Beale is going to need a lot more lessons but his enthusiasm could not be denied.


As we were leaving the chapel, Riverside Park was having their lunch and the bunny was still there. Sisters Gordon and Dougal started over to see him but then changed their minds. At about the same time I thought that I should have a picture of them with him. When I caught up with them and asked them to come back they confessed that they really wanted a picture but did not want to intrude on the ward activity. Of course they were welcomed by the members and were even offered lunch. Sister Gordon had the right up – it was certainly a thumbs up morning.

***p.s. for sisters Stegelmeier and Merrill’s parents. Your daughters are getting a great farmer’s tan while riding their bikes. Actually today they looked more than a little sunburn – kind of glow in the dark pink – and wind blown but that will never slow them or any other Florida Fort Lauderdale missionaries down.

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