We continue to work every day from Tuesday through Saturday. The temple operates with two shifts: morning and afternoon. For the morning, we must be dressed in white and ready for training at 8:45 a.m. each day and 7:15 a.m. on Saturday. For the afternoon, we start at 1:45 p.m. and 11:45 a.m., respectively. We run four endowment sessions Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10, 12:30, 3 and 5:30. It’s possible to do one session and turn right around and do the very next session. We add an extra 7 p.m. session on Friday, and only do three sessions on Saturday. Richard has to go a little earlier to the training sometimes because he plays the electronic organ for the opening hymns.
A couple of experiences, which happened previously, continue to teach us how things can turn out much better than anticipated.
We had a young man in his mid-20s from London. He had not been able to set up a reservation, but he wanted to do baptisms for the dead. He was initially told he could not enter without a reservation. However, Richard told him a few minutes later he could come in, get dressed, and sit down by the baptismal font looking like he was part of the action. He had his temple recommend and was endowed, but didn’t have the time to do a session. He had no family names with him, but Richard told him he could use names the temple was saving from other patrons (Richard knew there were plenty at the desk). When Richard later checked on him, he was getting ready to go down into the font to do baptisms. He told Richard afterwards he didn’t think he could ever do what he did in the temple that day.
A young American couple, also in their mid to late 20s, came in and inquired if they could do anything at all in the temple. They had no reservations, but had their own temple clothing. They did not have time to do a session. Apparently, before Richard got to the recommend desk, a call had been made to the matron’s first assistant (wife of the first counselor in the temple presidency) asking whether this couple could do baptisms. She came down to the baptistery and had concluded there would be no way they could fit them in that day with all the baptisms going on. What she didn’t know was that Richard already had them in there helping with confirmations. Richard didn’t say anything to the matron’s first assistant. The wife helped keep track of all the names for confirmation, while the husband helped do the confirmations. When we were completed, Richard asked the wife if she would like to be confirmed for some names. Absolutely! Richard had her husband do it. Tears were flowing. They had accomplished much more in the temple that day than they could have ever hoped for.
A week ago last Wednesday, we had a sister receiving her endowment for the first time. However, she arrived just after 5:30 p.m. and was too late to make the last session for the day. Because of her circumstances, the temple president decided we would have to do an extra session just for her. We’re quite sure the sister did not understand what was going on, but it was a great experience. We stayed for the session along with another missionary couple and six or eight others. The temple matron thanked us warmly and said the sister’s face was absolutely radiant following the session.
Many patrons stay in the Patron Housing during the week. They will do several sessions each day all during the week. They have a common area in the housing where they can store their food, make meals and eat together. Many are coming from the same ward in a given French city.
A couple of French members told Richard they knew a Randy Bradford and his wife, Melissa (she being an accomplished singer). We believe they currently live in Germany. The Frankfurt Temple there is closed right now. Richard met him coming into the 12:30 p.m. session last Friday. We couldn’t talk for long, but Richard fully intended to communicate with him. Randy is a younger son of Uncle Reed Bradford and has lived most of his married life outside the United States all over the world. Ray Bradford is his older brother (as in Ray’s Auto close to Wellington II in Provo). We believe this is another reason why we are serving in the Paris France Temple now, so we can better connect with our relatives.
Each day we are amazed at the things that happen here in the Paris France Temple. Many miracles and spiritual things continue to take place. We are grateful to be a part of these wonderful experiences taking place in France.