So much has happened this past month we will need to send out more than one letter. It has now been one year since the Paris France Temple was dedicated on May 21, 2017. Thousands of ordinances have been done for deceased ancestors. Most of the work being done is with family cards.
The temple grounds are beautiful and many members and nonmembers come each day to serve or learn about the Church.
On May 21, we were invited by Church members Joumana and Christian Borderie to go with them to Bagatelle Park in downtown Paris by where they live at La Defense. It is a very large park with more than 1,200 varieties of roses with other flowers, bushes and trees. It is a master gardener’s paradise. The Borderies are temple workers on Fridays and are very kind and gracious people. Joumana is Lebanese and an amazing artist. Christian is French. Joumana has painted pictures that hang in the Church History Library and other Church sites. They had us for dinner in their apartment, and Richard said it was the most French dinner we have had. It was delicious! Joumana surprised me later with a painting of my ancestors traveling to Arizona by covered wagon.
On May 24, our daughters, Cherilyn and Julie, were able to come again. We went to Rouen that weekend and saw the Joan of Arc Museum that we didn’t get to see all of previously. They recreate the trial of Joan of Arc, which was very interesting. Just a few steps away from the museum is the Rouen LDS Ward building! That was a surprise. We then went into the massive cathedral. It is very interesting, and as usual, has beautiful stained glass windows, sculptures, and the tombs of famous kings, cardinals, etc.
The architecture in Rouen is very distinctive with its medieval half-timbered houses. We enjoyed seeing the sites there and learning more about the long history of France.
On Monday we went to Giverny, the home of the famous artist, Claude Monet. It is hard to describe the quaint little village, home and gardens of this interesting man. Giverny was a place where Monet could get away and live surrounded by his family and the home, which spilled out into two gardens. One garden is near the house with the rose arches and paths while the other has a pond, lily pads and bridge that are like stepping into one of his famous paintings.
During the week of May 28-June 2, Cherilyn and Julie visited the South of France while we worked that last week in the temple before it closed.
The temple was very busy, and we had big sessions and other ordinances were overflowing. On Wednesday, we had a huge baptismal session with people arriving for nearly an hour, and we just kept going. Enough names were done to create a large ward. The youth are very excited to be there and it is inspiring to see the priests and young women happy to serve.
The temple closed on June 2 for two weeks for cleaning and maintenance. This provided a much-needed rest for the temple presidency, missionaries and workers.
We feel honored to be serving here in a beautiful temple and meeting members and people from around the world. This temple has been and is a light that is shining on France and helping to spread the gospel and gather the children of Israel from this corner of the earth.