We have had a wonderful day! It began this morning at 0530 when we arose to prepare ourselves to pick-up students and take them to the South Carolina Columbia Temple. As we pulled up to B Company of the 447th Battalion, we received a call from Brother Child asking us what time we would return. We told him 1500. He said he would not be allowed to go unless he could be back by 1330. He was told yesterday that he would not have to attend a Holiday Block Leave (HBL) Brief but rather could go with us to the temple. Today they had changed their mind. Elder Gowans sat back in the car and putting his head back began to think of how they could work that out. Immediately the solution came to mind. We would need to leave the temple by 1130, skip lunch and head straight back to Fort Gordon. We passed that on to Brother Child, he was granted permission to go.
Next, we drove over to C Company of the same battalion to pick up Brother Harrington. He was facing the same problem, but he needed a battle buddy to travel with him, fortunately, Brother Child would suffice. We promised we would have them back in time to attend the HBL. Our good word was on the line.
Just as we drove to the chapel, we received a text from Sister Westbrook. She said she was on her way. We texted back asking if she wanted a ride, she said yes, so we all drove over to pick her up from her barracks. We returned back to the chapel just in time to say a prayer with the rest of the group and off we went. It was 0755 when we left the chapel.
We arrived at the temple at about 0945. As we took our 3 troops into the baptismal font area, we saw that there was only 2 other patrons waiting to do baptisms, which was astonishing for in the past there have been many young people there to participate in the ordinance. We got right in, changed our clothes, and got busy. President Estep was first up to perform the baptisms and Elder Gowans was first up to perform the confirmations. We were all done by 1100. Sister Westbrook was able to do her first temple work as new member of only about 5 or 6 weeks. Brother Harrington was finally able to go with us after 6 months of trying and Brother Child was able to go with us for the first time as well. It was not his first time doing temple ordinance work, but the first time to go with us. Brothers Harrington and Child, have been two of the most faithful young men we have had attend with us! We love them. Sister Westbrook was just baptized and has been a wonder to behold, a true disciple of Christ. We love these young folks!
From there we drove over to the book store so new scriptures could be purchased; Sister Westbrook bought her first full set of scriptures. How wonderful to see the happy faces and the joy they all experienced in the temple. We also took some photos of the occasion, which you can see below.
By the time we got on the road it was 1130. We made it back to Fort Gordon and our students made it to their HBL brief with 10 minutes to spare.
After returning, we went to find two of our new students who just arrived yesterday, we found one and left a message for the other to contact us.