Is it bad that I have a favorite temple patron? I have written about her before. Sister Ellsworth comes to the temple every Thursday morning to do initiatories. Most weeks I am at the desk or performing the ordinance when she comes, so I usually get to see her.
Her health has been better this summer than it was in the winter. When I help her up from one chair and walk her to the next, I can feel that she is stronger and doesn't lean on me quite as much for support. She has been talking a little more, asking me about myself and telling me a little more about her 20 years of working in the temple.
When she missed last week and this week, I was worried she was sick. Then I was worried she would die!--I mean, the regular flu kills lots of elderly people, and everyone is even more worried about swine flu. Today I found out her husband is in the hospital (I don't know why) so she has been staying with him. I am sad to not see her.
In prayer meeting this morning, we reviewed the initiatory training, and, since we had time left, our shift coordinator asked us to share our feelings or experiences with the ordinance. I had not planned to say anything, but she singled me out when she caught me sitting in the corner bawling. I said that, when I started working at the temple a year and a half ago, I was pretty miserable in my daily life, especially last winter. While I was working crazy shifts including overtime and graveyards in December and January, it was nearly impossible to get myself to the temple for my 6:20 a.m. prayer meeting. A few days, I woke up, cried, and went back to bed. (Now I get to go to a small, later prayer meeting at 7:40--much easier.) One day, I showed up sobbing and gasped a request to change my assignment for that morning to one that wouldn't require me to talk. But initiatory has changed my life. On my worst days, when I worked in initiatory, the Lord always sent me one patron, who, for whatever reason, let me know that the Lord loved me and was taking care of me. One week, it was Tricia Tanner, a girl I grew up with. Sometimes it was a stranger, and sometimes it was a familiar patron who came regularly who simply touched my heart that day. Sister Ellsworth was one of those patrons, one who continues to melt my heart and put a smile on my face. Every week that I see her, I remember how the Lord has taken care of me in all my misery, which makes me, well, not so miserable.