Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Joys of Eternal Friends

On Labor Day, we experienced great joy—personal, geographical, cultural, and spiritual. First of all, Joanne and I were able to trundle to St. George on Sunday afternoon to meet up with some of our compadres with whom we served in the Caribbean Area, specifically the Dominican Republic. It was pure joy in meeting them again after several months of not seeing most of them. We met some additional new friends and enjoyed the company of those who served with us. 

Joanne and Sandra Glazier
The joy that comes from reuniting with eternal friends is difficult to explain. For most of us, the extended time we served with each other was always less than 18 months, primarily because people come and go. While the time we spent together in the Dominican Republic was relatively short, the friendships we established have become eternal. 

Elder Snow and President Glazier
We love them, and they love us, no matter who we are. It is a complete delight!

A panoramic view of it all!
The geographical component emerged as we whizzed through the Parunuweap Wilderness Study Area in southern Utah. We all rose early, ate a hearty breakfast, and then motored to this area. Joanne and I had never take a four wheeler ride in our lives. Lots of motorcycles but no four wheelers. 

Some of the group looking at the incredible views from up on top....
The ride was delightful yet dusty. We probably rode 50 miles or so at a pretty fast clip. Unfortunately, we didn’t have all day because we needed to be back to St. George prior to going to Tuacahn. But the sights we saw were incredible. 

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Peter Pan at Tuacahn
The cultural component came on Monday night. We all crowded into a few vehicles and headed to the Tuacahn Center for the Arts (Tuacahn) where we ate a delicious meal prior to the production of Peter Pan. The meal was good. All of us took up almost four picnic tables. It was a buffet of BBQ chicken and pulled pork with all of the trimmings. Plus, we topped it off with….ice cream, a crowd and personal favorite. Peter Pan was great! Peter came flying from the mountain side and looked like he was running through the air, so elegant, so Peter Pan. The singing and acting were all extraordinary. The weather was absolutely beautiful  and delightful. Tuacahn puts out an incredible show.

The spiritual component was going to the St. George Temple with our friends early Tuesday morning before leaving to come home. Arriving around 8:30 a.m., we dressed and then headed up to the waiting room for sealings. We were so many that they had to divide us up into three groups. Most of us had names of spouses to be sealed to spouses or children needing to be sealed to parents. It was delightful to hear the names of people you knew. Joanne had brought three to the temple, one of them a cousin who Joanne knew who needed to be sealed to his parents. After we finished with the sealings, we entered the sacred Celestial Room. Beautiful! Glorious! The stillness enveloped us immediately. I thought of all of the people who have entered this sacred room since its dedication—from prophets to people like us, all dressed in white, all feeling a sense of peace and understanding of the truthfulness of it all.

A view from the top

We had just an enjoyable time, even though it was just for a few days. Unfortunately, we had to leave because we needed to be home early on Tuesday. Before going, however, we walked around the temple and basked in its beauty. What a great way to spend a few days.