DC Week 51-- January 27, 2014

Hey guys!

I have a story for you. So yesterday, was by far the best Sunday morning I’ve had in my life. Here’s why:

My companion and I were racing around our apartment around 7:59 am trying to get ready on time for personal study at 8am. (We need to find the elite people Heavenly Father has prepared for us in our area, [but we haven’t had much luck with that lately] so we decided it would be best to start with exact obedience. That’s usually when the miracles come.) Let’s just say it’s a work in progress. Anyway, so this was the scene when we heard the other sisters burst through the door (they live a floor above us and work in our same ward). They exclaimed upon entry: “Are you ready??!” …. “Uh…ready for what..?” I thought frustratingly. (I still had not finished getting ready for the day, and was a little bent out of shape over some dumb things that had happened earlier—in case you were wondering, no, I’m not a perfect missionary, but I try very hard haha). “We need to go! We’re supposed to be there right now!” They urged with even more anxiety. Well, assuming that they were talking about our Sunday morning meetings we usually have with the ward council, we threw on our coats and grumpily joined them in the living room to kneel for a prayer before leaving the apartment. “Why couldn’t they have told us sooner??” I thought to myself. Instead of rushing us out the door right before personal study—so much for that. Well, let’s just say, the Spirit was struggling to abide with me in that moment haha. Anyway, we then proceeded to follow them down the six flights of stairs and to the parking lot. From there we drove to the chapel…..and…. “Past the chapel…??” I questioned. “Why are we passing the church?? Where are we going??” We eventually pulled up to the Temple. Now I remembered.

We had a previous “appointment” with Brother Todd. Brother Todd is one of the Temple custodians. He cleans and cleans all through the night. That’s his job. Well his shift had just ended by the time we pulled up, and he had promised us something very special. We parked down underneath the skyway, and got out, where he proceeded to lead us up some steps and through a back door. We followed him one by one like curious little ducklings. Just the four of us. The hallways were dark and quiet. There were no people. And suddenly, there was a certain peace that began to distill upon me…I began to…well, get over myself. I then began to focus on where I was…and the instant difference I felt in the Spirit from the previous setting. Brother Todd took us down to the bottom floor of the temple. Where the baptismal font was. He let us go down by the oxen and meander by foot in places where not many get to. From there…we proceeded…up…up all seven floors of the temple. With each new level…there was something new I learned. Something stronger I felt. Feelings and sentiments which I cannot put into words, (nor should because of sacredness). Let me put it this way: Brother Todd knows that building about as well as Grandpa knows football. Probably even better. With every turn, every painting, every symbol, there was an explanation provided. I was without words, and at the same time, in tears, on multiple occasions that morning. When we reached the last floor, and had done “the rounds”, the other sisters and I then began to start winding our way down the east stairwell (oh it was so beautiful with the rising sun beaming through the stained glass. If you stuck your head out, you could look all the way down to the fountain at the very bottom.) Well as we proceeded to do so, we heard a curious whisper from behind us ask, “Where are you all going?” We turned around at Brother Todd, who was motioning for us to follow him. So we did. What happened next? I’ll tell you. Brother Todd then led us to a shut (locked) door. Well guess what? He had the key. We continued to follow him through, and into a dark room. There was a faint turquoise glow coming from the stained glass windows which continued to line the wall clear up, and up…and…up into the ceiling. I looked up as far as I could see, and what I saw was a hollow shell. A steep, tall, empty space. Well, to me…it looked like the inside of a spire. And guess what? I was right.

We followed Brother Todd up and up and up the small metal stairs to another locked door. We watched and hesitated with excitement and energy now building inside each of us. When we walked out…we were standing on the roof of the tallest temple in the world. It was the best “big kid playground” I had ever “played” on. A sea of untouched space before us. Coated here and there with patches of unmelted snow. I walked to the edge. Through the slabs of white Alabama marble, I could see the 495 beltway hundreds of feet below me. I could see the sun. It felt warm on my face and I closed my eyes. And smiled. And cried. Then I heard laughter from the other side and ran over to join the other sisters taking pictures of the tiny little Visitor Center. What a neat perspective. What a once in a lifetime experience. We stayed up there for oh…until we couldn’t feel our noses anymore. The breeze was pretty chilly that high up with no barriers to break it. So when we decided we were done “being on top of the world”, we one by one filed back through the door, down the rickety stairs, and down all seven floors. In almost an instant, we stepped off the elevator. And in another instant. We were stepping back outside. This time on ground level. With all the normal people who were spending their time before church getting ready, or having breakfast. Somehow, we made it down too quick. Somehow it seemed to me that such an adventure should last longer. But it didn’t. All at once, it was over. And before I knew it we were thanking Brother Todd with all our hearts, and getting back in the car to head back to the chapel and “begin” our day. But I knew it didn’t start there. And I knew I wouldn’t have another Sunday morning like that for a long, long time. And I cried again. No one saw me.

Family…I share this with you so that you can take advantage of every moment. President Hinckley has asked us to “make the most of [what we have] right now.” He’s a smart man. Listen to him. We live in a world where there are rarely still moments. But you know what I’m discovering? We can create them. I truly feel that it is in those tranquil moments when we can feel God’s love for us. When we can receive revelation. When we can see “the big picture”. When miracles happen. Something to think about…or try…

I need to go. My time is far spent on here haha. But I feel it was worth it.
Love you all.

Sister Graff
D&C 101:16

1. These are the kinds of things that make my day...
2. Guess where.
3. Us.
4. The view. See the Visitor Center and the Chapel?