Today was one of my favorite days thus far; we went to the London Temple with most of our group and one of our professors. It took some pushing and convincing to work out the trip, but we got it sorted out in the end. After a quick breakfast this morning and a two hour coach ride we found ourselves on the grounds of the House of the Lord.
Because we only brought one endowed priesthood holder with us we had to do all of our confirmations before we could start the baptisms. This ended up being a blessing in disguise. While we waited for our turn (in sets of three) we stayed in the lounge room. At first we all just sat quietly reading the Ensign or scriptures, but then one of the temple workers suggested (asked) us to sing hymns. Obviously we started with the Christmas ones and then moved to our favorites, such as 'I Stand All Amazed' and 'I Believe in Christ'.We sang almost every single Christmas hymn in the book (in harmonizing parts, of course) and it actually sounded fairly decent. Maybe because we were in the temple...? Haha. But in all honesty, it was so special to sit inside the temple with my little study abroad family and sing of our Savior, His birth, and life. The spirit was so strong and we all just felt so peaceful.
It was also a unique experience to have my professor do my confirmations and baptisms. Not many university students can say they have gone to the temple with their professor! Let alone the temple in London. All in all, it brought our whole group even closer together--something none of us believed possible at this point. I mean, we have been living practically on top of each other for three and a half months now. We know almost everything about everyone from eating habits to sleeping patterns to love history to weird quirks to life goals and dreams to friend and family drama to... the list goes on. I can tell who is walking into a room based off how they open the door or their breathing sounds, haha. I also know that if anything brings people together fast it is sharing spiritual experiences. Going to the temple was the perfect way to start our Thanksgiving breaks and best way to begin the end of our four month adventure together.
I am so grateful for the beautiful place I've had the opportunity to live these last few months, the amazing and hilarious people I have gotten to know, and the incredible experiences we have been able to share together. I am grateful for the temple and opportunity it provides for us to not only feel closer to our Father in Heaven but to allow us a moment where we can take on a role similar to the Saviors by doing things of eternal importance that they cannot do for themselves. It's quite cool once you think about it.
Such a solid day. Being so far from the temple has definitely increased my appreciation for it and I will definitely be taking advantage of how close I live to one once I return home.
Tomorrow I am flying to Germany! Ha I say that as if it were a casual thing, but I promise I know going to another country for Thanksgiving break is not casual; it is freaking awesome. I am pumped! less pumped about the papers and finals to do the next week, but hey. I'll take it and enjoy it all while I have it because heaven knows the time is going too fast.
Happy Thanksgiving :)
Eat lots of turkey and cranberry sauce for me because who knows what I will be having..
Love Always, Aimee