Sunday, January 22, 2012

the temporal temple

confession: i signed up to go work at the bishop's storehouse only because i wanted to go with my friend. but then it turned out that she couldn't go anyway and i was stuck having to go and actually do service.
on a saturday.
leaving at 6:45.

and on less than four hours of sleep, i had an excellent day yesterday.

i've heard about bishop's storehouses but had never actually been. president hinckley once described them as looking like grocery stores but without cash registers, and that's pretty accurate. their purpose is to help those members of the church who are doing what they can but are still struggling to put food on the table and so, with the help of their ward bishop, are able to come and get what they need.

we had a great group of seven that went up to houston yesterday. people would come in with lists that would have quantities for each item and we would go through the aisles with them, helping them get what they needed. my favorite was a guy with his five-year old daughter who was very eager to help load the cart with whatever i helped her find.

when things slowed down, we'd restock the shelves: cans of stew, bags of rice, and packages of cheese. the store was small enough that there was usually something that needed to be replenished and there was enough variety of goods that it kept things from getting monotonous. we were usually laughing and had plenty of jokes about the power of the box cutters.

while it seemed simple, there was something very special about being there. as soon as we walked in, we could feel a peaceful feeling in there. and so much of my work in the church has usually been related to the spiritual welfare of people (teaching sunday school, going to the temple) that it was an insightful change to be a part of something so immediate, of helping people get food so that they could provide for their families.

as the day went on, i was starting to feel guilty that my biggest worry that day was making a presentation on my mac for my mfa class at school. talking with my friend in colorado that evening, she noted that we all have our challenges, regardless of our situation in life.
i was glad that i took the day to go the storehouse and i still had time that evening to get my homework done for monday.

editor's note: chalk this post up to another one that falls far short of what the reality was.

1 comment:

kwistin said...

even if you think this fell short of what reality was, i really dug it.

thank you for letting us share this experience with you. it's interesting what kind of things help us put life in perspective.

i'm glad you went, and documented such a simple yet meaningful experience.

we need more of those in our lives (rather, we need to recognize more of them).