Home Carson a visit to the temple in Florida with our girl

a visit to the temple in Florida with our girl

by Shawni

Last weekend Dave and I had the opportunity for a little trip to Elle and Carson’s neck of the woods for a pretty special experience:

Elle’s first time through the temple.

It was pretty happy I have to say.

Elle had prepared herself quite beautifully. Among other things she had requested this book (for her birthday back in August) and we both read it:

It is so good! My friend bought it as well and printed me out a copy (it is digital) that I lugged all over the place reading it and loved it so much.

Lots more information on that book over HERE.

Instead of the forecasted rain we had royal blue skies dotted with cotton wisps for clouds, which sparkled through the temple stained glass windows as we talked about covenants and God and the beauty of it all. I have been thinking and praying about this for quite some time now and loved coming out of that place, lifted up.

These two will be sealed in the temple back in the desert this week, so we were so grateful for this opportunity to prepare for that big day together:

Love that duo with all my heart.

And this one below too:)

Love.

We only got to be there for a couple quick days, but we fit in a lot.

We had some good talks with those good kids we love so much. We explored Elle’s work, we got take-out Thai and talk, talk, talked in their little apartment they’ve made so cozy and nice.

We helped Elle with a little photoshoot she had to do for her freelance graphic design work:

We soaked in the sunsets with all our might:

We went to dinner at our favorite place to talk some more:

We explored this fancy-shmancy mall just for fun, played late-night cards with their friends Shane and Nikki.

We got to go to the beach and work through so many logistics for when we party with them at home this week (80s dance party coming up to celebrate their sealing):

We watched the entertainment Miami provides. Sometimes in the form of a parade of HUNDREDS of motorcycles storming down the street you are trying to cross…many of them riding like this the whole time:

Sheesh! That was the tail end, wish we captured more, it was nuts!

We went to Elle & Carson’s ward which is so diverse with so many interesting people. I love their church building:

They are learning so much from those awesome people they get to rub shoulders with there. The talks were so good, the comments in Relief Society were so interesting. Elle is the Gospel Doctrine teacher and Carson is the ward mission leader and they had two baptisms while we were there after church: one sweetest ever Haitian lady who is so glad to have a new “family” at church, and another older gentleman who has given up smoking cold-turkey and felt so happy to be getting his life where he wants it. Carson baptized them both and I’m so glad we got to be there for that.

En route to the airport we stopped in Wynwood Walls area of Miami,(my favorite). I snuck away from the group for a minute to try to run to see more of that sunset calling my name:

Elle soon followed, and together we ran to try to get the best view of that thing we possibly could:

I will always remember breathlessly running up an abandoned parking garage together, the whole sky on fire.

Running to find the best views, our hearts bursting in tandem with gratitude for all that beauty.

….and then watching it sink out of sight behind us as we walked back to meet back up with the boys.

It was a perfect way to wrap up that weekend filled up with God’s beauty in many varieties.

How grateful I am, this week leading up to Thanksgiving, for that opportunity.

More about the temple:

Max’s first visit to the temple

Grace’s first visit to the temple

Our temple dedication here in the desert

What is a temple endowment?

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7 comments

Jill November 22, 2021 - 6:55 pm

I don’t know what makes me smile more. That gorgeous sky you and Elle ran to, or her preparations for her endowment and temple sealing. What wondrous times for you all. I am happy for all of the goodness you take in and so generously share with us. You have lifted me today!

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Shawni December 1, 2021 - 8:46 am

xoxo

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kristen duke November 23, 2021 - 10:02 am

What a blessing to be there with her. I loved hearing about their callings, my best friend from high school also lives in Miami and I wonder if they are in the same ward… I’ve heard about the diversity, and oh how I’d LOOOVE that! So special to be there to experience their life there, and especially that temple visit. I follow Elle on IG, and it’s fun to see her snippets, and love reading the extra details here.

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Shawni December 1, 2021 - 8:46 am

I wonder if they are in the same ward as well!

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PS November 30, 2021 - 1:28 pm

What a happy time for your daughter and son-in-law! Can I ask a religious question? You say this is Elle’s first time through the temple. But on your blog, you’ve posted about going inside temples with your younger daughters Lucy and Claire. Did Elle just happen to not go as a child?

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Shawni December 1, 2021 - 8:51 am

Great question that I do need to clarify. We do work in temples for the living and also for those who have passed away. When you are twelve you can start doing baptisms at the temple, and yes, Elle did those and yes, has been to the temple before. But when you go to the temple to get your own “endowment” (and make special covenants with God) for yourself, you go to different parts of the temple. This was Elle’s first time going through for herself and she prepared so beautifully for that experience. Lots more information about that here if you’re interested: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/temples/what-is-temple-endowment?lang=eng

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mom December 2, 2021 - 3:00 pm

Love seeing this special event complete with a spectacular “symbolic”sunset! Surely a day to remember forever!

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