Archives for March 2010

Missionary Dan Email #3 from Hermiston, Oregon

Elders Willoughby, Kelly, and Clark

Elder Willoughby (left) with Elder Kelly tasting Mongolian candy, and Elder Clark

Last Week

This week was full of exciting things. The best was Zone Conference. They taught us a new approach to use while tracking door to door. We intermediately afterward used it and to our surprise the first door let us in. It also has allowed us to meet with people that have said they aren’t interested at first. We have gotten a lot more investigators from it and it also makes tracking fun to do.

That is neat you got the package. I’m really grateful that they did that for me, it saved lots of money! There is Mongolian candy in the black bag wrapped up in the coat. I’d like for everyone to try some. Let me know what it tastes like. I have some of my own here that I chomp down on. It’s good stuff, but the other box is off limits. :) I’ll mention that the Wilsons are in my home ward to President and I’ll get back to you on what he says. Have fun on your temple trip Dad and Jake. I think I get to go in three weeks or so to the temple. The first time since one year.

Lisa, the person preparing for baptism, passed her interview and will be baptized this Saturday. It is neat that I’ve been here since the first time we met with her. She has made lots of changes in her life and you can see how it is blessing her. She met with missionaries before, like I said, so knows the material well. It is so great to meet with people that actually want to listen and keep their commitments.

Daniel at Lisa's baptism

Daniel (left) and Elders Clark and Kelly at Lisa's baptism

We also had a cool finding experience while we were trying to meet with members to get referrals. The member wasn’t home so we were walking away when we saw across the street someone working in his yard. He had a sling on his arm and his friend was helping him move some dirt. We asked if we could give him a hand and he agreed. It was kind of shocking as most people don’t let us help them. Turns out he met with missionaries a long time ago, so he knew how to “take advantage” of our help. He thought highly of our church because he said we are willing to help first, then preach, just like Jesus did. We’ll see how he progresses.

We found another family that recently moved in. Their names are Jenifer and Nat with five children. They were really receptive and open minded during the lesson. They especially liked how we focus on youth and taking care of their needs. When we first knocked they said they had their own religion and weren’t interested. We asked them a simple question and taught short doctrine and they allowed us to come back at a better time. It does seem though that everyone says they’re not interested at first. Once again the Zone Conference approach works great and I think it increased our faith when we track.

So you might be asking yourself… What is the new approach… Well let me tell ya. Instead of saying, “We are missionaries from the Church… etc.,” we just up front ask them a question. Example: Have you ever considered our relationship with God? Have you ever wondered what is the purpose in this life? It opens up their mind and allows us to teach a short principle to almost everyone we meet before they cut us off. Our President was the one who taught us. Of course we have still gotten the door slammed on us, but that just makes you want to keep going. :)

Columbia River Washington Temple

Columbia River Washington Temple

Looks great Dad! [The temple photographs] I really like going to the temple. I’m also happy that you raised me good enough to get me there. Thanks for everything you do. The temple is just like missionary work, but for people that have died. I took the temple picture when we had transfers about a month ago.

With all of that we also had many opportunities to do little acts of service to those around us. It is great to follow the example of Jesus Christ and represent him as we travel the streets. I know that this work is true and that God truly does love us. He answers our prayers and is aware of our needs.

This Week

Sorry that last’s week letter didn’t send… I can’t seem to figure out why these computers don’t like my camera either so no pictures.

This week was full of working hard and finding people to teach. We tried to get members to come tracking with us. It was a mission wide thing we did, and the members that came seemed to like it. Lisa was baptized and it went very well. It was neat to see how much more she is smiling etc.

We had a great experience one day while tracking, one lady called after us and said, “I’m one of yours!” So we talked to her and in what she said had lost her way, but was a convert to the church and wanted to go back. We set up for her to get a ride from some members and she came this Sunday.

We are really excited for General Conference. I really enjoy listening to the leaders of the Church. Anyhow I think I’ll get all the doctor stuff figured out. I’ll let you read last weeks letter today, it was really good, too bad it didn’t get sent. Let me know how you like that Mongolian candy.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Travelling to Zone Conference

Travelling to Zone Conference in the Tri-Cities area

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
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15 Resplendent Temple Flower Photographs

Lo! in the desert the flowers are springing;
Streams, ever copious, are gliding along.
Loud from the mountaintops echoes are ringing;
Wastes rise in verdure and mingle in song.

Jake took photographs of the many flowers on the temple grounds while on our recent California Temple Trip. The weather was very agreeable for man and bloom. I don’t know the names of these flowers, just the temples where they were nurtured.

Click on the images to enlarge.

Fresno Temple flower

Fresno Temple

Fresno Temple flower

Fresno Temple

Fresno Temple flower

Fresno Temple

Las Vegas Temple flower

Las Vegas Temple

Las Vegas Temple flower

Las Vegas Temple

Oakland Temple flower

Oakland Temple

Redlands Temple flower

Redlands Temple

Redlands Temple flower

Redlands Temple

Redlands Temple flower

Redlands Temple

Redlands Temple flower

Redlands Temple

Reno Temple flower

Reno Temple

Reno Temple flower

Reno Temple

Sacramento Temple flower

Sacramento Temple

Sacramento Temple flower

Sacramento Temple

Sacramento Temple flower

Sacramento Temple

15 Beautiful Temple Flower Photographs

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

On our recent California Temple Trip I took many photographs of the temples. Meanwhile, Jake was busy in the temple grounds photographing the flowers. I don’t know the names of these many blooms, just the temples where they were nurtured.

Click on the images to enlarge.

Fresno Temple flower

Fresno Temple

Fresno Temple flower

Fresno Temple

Fresno Temple flower

Fresno Temple

Fresno Temple flower

Fresno Temple

Las Vegas Temple flower

Las Vegas Temple

Las Vegas Temple flower

Las Vegas Temple

Oakland Temple flower

Oakland Temple

Oakland Temple flower

Oakland Temple

Redlands Temple flower

Redlands Temple

Reno Temple flower

Reno Temple

Sacramento Temple flower

Sacramento Temple

Sacramento Temple flower

Sacramento Temple

Sacramento Temple flower

Sacramento Temple


This San Diego Temple flower photograph was chosen for the Church’s temples web page.
San Diego Temple flower

San Diego Temple

San Diego Temple flower

San Diego Temple

Reno Nevada Temple

Reno Nevada Temple

We visited the Reno Nevada Temple on Day Four of our California Temple Trip. In the morning we were at the Oakland Temple and in afternoon we visited the Sacramento Temple. While we were in the temple darkness fell and allowed for a few night shots. We stayed overnight in Reno and traveled home the next day.

Click on the images to enlarge.

Reno Nevada Temple

The Reno Nevada Temple is the 81st operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Reno Nevada Temple

The first temple in Nevada was built in Las Vegas in 1989. The Reno Nevada temple was dedicated in 2000. It serves over 25,000 Latter-day Saints in the area.

Reno Nevada Temple

Over the years, figures of the angel Moroni have become more robust as sculptors have added muscle tone and bulk to the figure. While sculpting his version of Moroni, Karl Quilter used human models to help him accurately shape muscles and correctly depict a body standing atop a ball. (New Era)

Reno Nevada Temple

Reno Nevada Temple

The groundbreaking services were held on July 24, 1999. After completion but before it was dedicated, the temple was opened to the public. President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, dedicated the Reno Nevada Temple on April 23, 2000.

Reno Nevada Temple

Reno Nevada Temple

The Reno Nevada Temple has a total floor area of 10,700 sq ft, two ordinance rooms, and two sealing rooms.

Reno Nevada Temple

Reno Nevada Temple

Jake and Rick outside the Reno Temple

Photos by Rickety. Text from Wikipedia.

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Sacramento California Temple

Sacramento California Temple

We visited the Sacramento California Temple on Day Four of our California Temple Trip. In the morning we were at the Oakland Temple and late afternoon we traveled to the Reno Temple. The darkening clouds at Sacramento invoked the reassurance of the temple being a refuge from the storm (and made for some fine photographs).

Click on the images to enlarge.

Sacramento California Temple

Sacramento California Temple

Jake and Rick outside the Sacramento Temple

The First Presidency of the Church announced on April 21, 2001 that a temple would be built in the Sacramento area. This temple is the seventh built by the Church in California, more than any state except Utah. The Sacramento California Temple serves a growing membership which totals approximately 80,000 in the area.

Sacramento California Temple

Plans for building the temple were met with little resistance by the surrounding communities and government bodies. Many were glad for the building of the temple in the area because it would improve the land, and bring visitors and money into the area. There was some concern about the height of the temple spire and the Church agreed to lower it twenty feet.

Sacramento California Temple

Sacramento California Temple

On August 22, 2004 a site dedication and groundbreaking ceremony were held. Church President Gordon B. Hinckley presided at the ceremony and gave the site dedication prayer. Other prominent Church members from the area also attended the groundbreaking and site dedication, including Congressman John Doolittle.

Sacramento California Temple

Sacramento California Temple

The site for the temple, located in Rancho Cordova, includes 46 acres and overlooks the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The temple grounds were designed to fit in with the surrounding landscape. The temple design is slightly larger than most of the temples currently under construction. The temple has a total of 19,500 square feet, two ordinance rooms, and four sealing rooms.

Sacramento California Temple

Sacramento California Temple

Note the lightning rod on Moroni's head

At many of the temples we visited Jake took photographs of the flowers. He will probably post the best of them once he gets his homework done.

Sacramento California Temple

Sacramento California Temple

An open house was held July 29-August 26, 2006, to allow the public to tour the temple prior to its dedication.

Sacramento California Temple

The Sacramento California Temple was dedicated on September 3, 2006, by President Hinckley. The dedication was given in four sessions to allow all those who would like to attend the opportunity to participate. The night before the dedication, a cultural celebration was performed at the ARCO Arena.

Sacramento California Temple

Photos by Rickety. Text from Wikipedia.

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Los Angeles California Temple

We visited the Los Angeles California Temple on Day Three of our California Temple Trip. It was closed on the day we visited. Later that day we went to the Fresno Temple. After Fresno we journeyed to Oakland to stay overnight, ready to visit the Oakland Temple the next day.

Click on the images to enlarge.

Los Angeles California Temple

Missionaries working on the temple grounds

The Los Angeles California Temple is the tenth operating and the second-largest temple operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When it was dedicated in 1956, it was the largest temple of the church, later surpassed by the Salt Lake Temple with its additions and annexations. The grounds includes a visitors’ center open to the public, the Los Angeles Regional Family History Center, also open to the public, and the headquarters for the Los Angeles mission.

Los Angeles California Temple

The Los Angeles Temple was announced when the church purchased 24.23 acres from the Harold Lloyd Motion Picture Company on March 23, 1937, by president Heber J. Grant. Construction was to begin soon thereafter, but financial difficulties relating to the Great Depression and World War II delayed the groundbreaking until 1951. The temple plans were revised at this time to include a priesthood assembly room, an unusual feature in temples built after the Salt Lake Temple. It was also expanded to accommodate an unprecedented 300 patrons per session.

This was the first temple with an angel Moroni statue since the Salt Lake Temple. When the statue was installed, it faced southeast as the temple does. It was later turned to face due east at the request of then Church President David O. McKay.

Los Angeles California Temple

This was the last temple designed to use live actors instead of a film to present the endowment. The motion-picture presentation soon replaced the live actor presentation, and the progressive presentation (in which patrons moved from one room to another) was replaced with stationary ordinance rooms (i.e., patrons remained in a single room for the entire ceremony). In 2003, the temple reverted to a progressive-style presentation of the endowment (but still using a movie) and completely renovated the Terrestrial Room.

Los Angeles California Temple

The Los Angeles California Temple was closed for renovations in late November of 2005, with reopening originally scheduled for May 2006, but eventually delayed until July 11, 2006. The renovation also included a seismic overhaul and a complete redesign and reconstruction of the baptistry, which had long been plagued by mold due to poor ventilation.

Los Angeles California Temple

The well manicured grounds, open to the public, are filled with a various plants, including Canary Island Pine trees, several varieties of palm trees, Bird of Paradise trees, olive trees, and rare Chinese Ginkgo trees. At the left and right of the temple are two fountains, and at the front is a large reflection pool. Several family-themed statues further beautify the grounds. In December temple grounds are all aglow with thousands of multi-colored lights in celebration of Christmas.

Los Angeles California Temple

While not as regionally prominent as the temples in Oakland, San Diego, and Washington, the Los Angeles California Temple is still one of the most distinctive features of Los Angeles’ Westside. Thousands of commuters pass it every day on busy Santa Monica Boulevard. The proliferation of high-rise buildings along the Wilshire Boulevard corridor and in nearby Century City has reduced its prominence in the Westside skyline. However, its dramatic night lighting and sheer size still make an imposing sight, particularly for travelers exiting the Santa Monica Freeway northbound on Overland.

Los Angeles California Temple

Rick and Jake outside the Los Angeles Temple

Numerous Church facilities are on its grounds including a meetinghouse, a baseball field, the headquarters of the Church’s California Los Angeles Mission, and apartments (used by missionaries, temple workers, temple patrons, and visiting church officials). The remaining land, along Manning Avenue, was subdivided for residential lots, the sale of which considerably offset the expense of constructing the temple. Because it was the church’s first temple (save the roughly contemporaneous Bern Switzerland Temple) built outside of an LDS-dominated settlement, the Los Angeles Temple was the first LDS temple explicitly designed for automobile accessibility: its parking facilities were larger than those of any temple built previously, and there is no direct pedestrian connection between the front doors and Santa Monica Boulevard.

Los Angeles California Temple

The temple’s architecture is generally Modernist, an aesthetic that extends to the choice of exterior cladding: 146,000 square feet of Mo-Sai pre-cast concrete facing, a mixture of crushed quartz and white Portland cement quarried in Utah and Nevada. The very light brown pigmentation of the Mo-Sai blend has the advantage of concealing the thin layer of soot that accumulates on most buildings in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles California Temple

The temple is 369 feet long, 269 feet wide and has an overall height of 257 feet. Atop the temple stands a 15 foot tall statue of the angel Moroni.

The rooms include a baptistry, celestial room, four ordinance rooms, ten sealing rooms, and an assembly room that stretches the entire length of the temple. The Los Angeles temple features murals on the walls of its progressive-style ordinance rooms including the celestial room. The only other temple with celestial room murals is the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple.

Photos by Rickety. Text from Wikipedia.

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Newport Beach California Temple

Newport Beach California Temple

We visited the Newport Beach California Temple on Day Two of our California Temple Trip. We first went to the Las Vegas Temple, then to the Redlands Temple, then the San Diego Temple, and lastly to Newport Beach in the evening.

Click on the images to enlarge.

Newport Beach California Temple

The Newport Beach California Temple is the 122nd temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The temple was announced on April 21, 2001 and dedicated by Gordon B. Hinckley on August 28, 2005. It is the sixth operating temple in California.

Newport Beach California Temple

Jake and Rick outside the Newport Beach Temple

Like its sister temple in Redlands, the temple in Newport Beach uses interior and exterior architectural themes consistent with what was used in the Spanish missions of the early Western US and Mexico.

Newport Beach California Temple

In response to opposition from residents of the surrounding community, the LDS Church made several modifications to the original design. The exterior was changed from white marble or granite to a more pink granite, considered more appropriate for Orange County. The steeple was lowered from 124 feet to 90 feet, and the exterior lighting is turned off each night at 11 o’clock.

Newport Beach California Temple

The temple is topped by a cupola holding the traditional statue of the angel Moroni. Here is a little history of the statue of Moroni. In the first version of Moroni, the left arm is hanging at his side, slightly outstretched with his fist clenched. A few renditions later, the figure was slightly modified to incorporate the gold plates. In his version of Moroni for the Hill Cumorah Monument, Torlief Knaphus placed gold plates in Moroni’s left arm. For his version for the Los Angeles Temple, sculptor Millard Malin followed Knaphus’ design and kept the plates in Moroni’s left arm; so did Avard Fairbanks, who sculpted the version for the Washington D.C. Temple. (Replicas of Fairbanks’s plate-holding Moroni stand atop the Seattle Washington, Jordan River Utah, and Mexico City Mexico Temples.) When Karl Quilter designed his version of the figure, he eliminated the plates and then spent a great deal of time making sure the left arm hung in the proper position—not too rigid, not too limp, but showing slight forward movement. (New Era)

Newport Beach California Temple

As with many contemporary LDS temples, the Newport Beach California Temple is built on the grounds of an existing stake center and shares parking with it.

Newport Beach California Temple

The temple has a total of 17,800 square feet, two ordinance rooms, and three sealing rooms and is located near the campus of the University of California, Irvine.

Photos by Rickety. Text from Wikipedia.

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San Diego California Temple

San Diego California Temple

We visited the San Diego California Temple on Day Two of our California Temple Trip. We first went to the Las Vegas Temple, then to the Redlands Temple. After leaving San Diego we went to the Newport Beach Temple to finish our day.

Click on the images to enlarge.

San Diego California Temple

The San Diego California Temple is the 47th constructed and 45th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

San Diego California Temple

One of the towers is above the celestial room and the interior of the tower can be seen all the way to the top, giving the celestial room a very tall and magnificent vaulted ceiling. The celestial room also has a balcony where one can sit.

San Diego California Temple

Jake by the patron entrance

Located near the La Jolla community of San Diego, it was built with two main spires, but unique to this temple are four smaller spires at the base of each main spire. The East spire is topped with the familiar Angel Moroni statue which adorns most LDS temples.

San Diego California Temple

The exterior finish is marble chips in stucco giving the building a white glow. Just off Interstate 5, the temple is a major landmark when traveling the highway to or from San Diego. The temple is brightly illuminated making it even more noticeable at night.

San Diego California Temple

All Moroni figures are gilded, or covered with gold. The process involves rubbing thin sheets of gold onto the figure’s surface. Today that process usually only takes a couple of days, but once the figure is gilded, it must be handled with gloved hands to avoid marring the delicate surface. (New Era)

The San Diego Temple was announced on April 7, 1984, and dedicated on April 30, 1993 by Gordon B. Hinckley.

San Diego California Temple

Moroni's reflection in a nearby office building

The temple was built on a 7.2-acre plot, has 4 ordinance rooms and 8 sealing rooms, and has a total floor area of 72,000 square feet.

San Diego California Temple

San Diego California Temple

Rick and Jake outside the temple

Photos by Rickety. Text from Wikipedia.

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Oakland California Temple

Oakland California Temple

Jake at the Oakland California Temple

Thursday was Day Four of our California Temple Trip with Jake and I attending the first session of the day at 7 am at the Oakland Temple. Afterwards we did sealings where as proxies I was the father and Jake was the son. Then it was on to the Sacramento and Reno temples. We stayed over in Reno to rest for our drive home on Friday. The photographs of the Sacramento and Reno temples I will post at a later date.

Click on the images to enlarge.

Oakland California Temple

The Oakland temple was in Paul’s mission.

Oakland California Temple

The exterior of the temple is reinforced concrete faced with sierra white granite from Raymond, California. On the north and south faces of the temple are two decorative friezes, and is the last temple to have such.

Oakland California Temple

The front (north side) illustrates Christ preaching His gospel to the people. Within the front garden courtyard there is a statue of children in front of a bronze plaque bearing a scripture from 3 Nephi 17, from the Book of Mormon, telling how Christ blessed the children during his visit to the people of ancient America.

Oakland California Temple

The temple sits on a prominent site in the Oakland hills and has become a local landmark. Through the front courtyard are stairways which lead to the temple terrace situated above the ground floor of the temple. We were there early so the gates to the courtyard were locked.

Oakland California Temple

From the temple grounds and terrace are spectacular views of the Bay Area, including downtown Oakland, the Bay Bridge, Yerba Buena Island, downtown San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. The Grounds are accented by flowers, palm trees, and a formal-style man-made river running from one fountain to the other.

Oakland California Temple

Oakland California Temple

One of the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge can be seen in the mist.

The temple was built on an 18.3-acre plot, has 4 ordinance rooms, 7 sealing rooms, and has a total floor area of 95,000 square feet.

Photos by Rickety. Text from Wikipedia.

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