I had the strangest dream a couple of months ago. We are the only members of the LDS Church in our family. I dreamt that my aunt, who passed away 2 years ago, was telling my Mom, who is alive, that we need to get Granny ready because James is ready for her. I was so confused about who James was. As I was waking up I realized that James was Jimmy, and he was my grandfather whom I had never met. His work has already been done.
We were going to the temple and would have the younger two children with us so I would be with them while the youth went in to do baptisms. I felt sad that would miss the baptistry, especially since my daughter, Monique would be doing the baptism for my grandmother. However, the plan was that I go in afterwards to do her other work.
Getting there was not without its hiccups. Two weeks prior to going we had the car serviced so that it would go smoothly. As we got to Van Reenen’s Pass the car started billowing smoke...lots and lots of black smoke. We pulled over and were discussing what it could be, how far the garage was, should we chance driving there, and so on. My husband, Eugene was still saying how he wasn't happy driving the car to the nearest garage because it was all uphill and might cause extra damage, when before we could make any final decision, a tow truck pulled up next to us. He has a car repair place in Harrismith. He couldn't tow us because we have an automatic so they had to get a flatbed truck to come & fetch us. We got to Harrismith and we sat and we sat and we sat.....for five hours in total. They had no idea what was wrong with the car. They checked every inch. They went through everything but were totally confounded. At one point they thought they were going to have to take us back home to the Midlands.
Monique cried through all of this. She thought we were defeated and we were never going to get to the temple. I had her singing hymns to calm her down. It was such a great teaching moment. We reminded her that Heavenly Father had never let us down before, and He was not going to now. I had prayed and I was calm that all was going to be well. I used this to teach Monique to pray to Heavenly Father to guide and inspire the men to find the problem and then to have faith, but to remember, Father let Thy will be done. I tried to explain to her that there was a reason for this, and we needed to trust because maybe Heavenly Father was protecting us from something else. I have learned to let things go, to do everything we possibly can and then to just leave it with Heavenly Father.
At one point we were wondering if we were going to have to find a bed and breakfast in Harrismith to stay overnight, only to find that the garage never closes (what a blessing) and they were going to keep going. They eventually found a pipe with a hole in it. They couldn't replace it with a new one as we would have to wait through the night and then order the parts on Saturday (in which case we would have missed the temple), but he was happy to do a makeshift fix that he assured us would hold out to Johannesburg and home again. Incidentally, it did. The trip home was problem free, because we had been to the temple. So when they discovered the hole in the pipe, the 6 of us gathered together and prayed in the middle of their reception area, thanking Father in Heaven for guiding these workers in discovering the problem. These were great teaching moments for our children. We got to the temple at 11pm. It was late but we had a dear friend who waited up to let us into the Patron Housing.
The children had to get up at 4.30am to be dressed and ready to have breakfast with the other youth at 5.15am, and then they went into the temple. I waited with the younger two children who were still sleeping. When Monique came back (she had done 5 family names), I asked her how it went and she said, 'Mommy, it was great but I must tell you, it wasn't Granny (she knew my maternal grandmother very well as she only passed away 3 years ago) who I had a strong feeling for. It was YOUR Granny (my paternal grandmother who passed away when I was 10) that was so happy. She was thrilled and I had such a strong feeling Mom, that she was over the moon.”
I was so torn. I had come to do the work for my maternal grandmother and now I was feeling a pull for my paternal grandmother. I ran up to the Family History Centre to print the card needed for my grandmother (still wasn't sure which one to do). I prayed all the time & wasn't having any definite feeling for either one. Then I sat down at the computer, looked at my reserved temple list, looked at the date of my paternal grandmother's death (1990) and thought, She has waited so long. It was the anniversary of her death on the 9th of December, and this was the 10th. She had waited 26 years. That is so long. So I printed her name and went.
I have been to the temple many times to do endowments, I have even done my family, but I have never felt like I did when I walked into the temple. I got more and more excited, I had butterflies in my tummy, and I had this energy with me. I knew she was there and I knew she was overjoyed. I felt like a giddy school girl. Eugene was with the little ones now, and her husband had been baptized that same morning by my son, Liam, but I felt she really wished he was getting his endowments too. I felt this tremendous love she has for him and she wished he could experience it too.
When I got to the Celestial room, I just felt so much love. It was overpowering. I have never experienced that before. I have read about turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers, but for the first time I experienced it. She was a wonderful Granny, she was always so good to me, and I loved her dearly. I could feel her love for me while sitting in the Celestial room. It was a sacred experience. I will never forget it.
My Bishop was there too and when I finished wiping my tears and praying, he was ready to give me a big bear hug and the tears just flowed again. It was the most amazing experience. When I left the temple I felt light, and such great joy, and skipped down the path back to patron housing. I felt like a young child again. Maybe it was because I knew her when I was so young. I had even taken my shoes off and had taken great joy in skipping through the wet stones in the path by the water feature. I felt elated. I'm sure there will be those who will think I imagined it all, but I was so torn between which grandmother to do, and then I just knew I had chosen right. Either one would have been a right choice (they both need to get done), but this was a great choice for that day. I will do my other grandmother next year.
A couple of months ago I read an awesome temple story and I thought, So many people have amazing experiences and I love the temple, but I've never had a 'Wow!' experience. Heavenly Father heard those musings of mine. I had a wonderful experience that day.