October 11, 2011

Once Upon A Time... (Part 1)

When the good King of this castle was still a tender young Prince of 11 yrs old, (1971) his entire royal family embarked on a memorable journey.  One for which they had prepared, saved, and sacrificed for the previous 4 years.  The 10 of them were part of about 5 busloads of families from the San Marcos / Quetzaltenango area to travel together that year, because of their faith - Just as busloads had done each year for a few years before and after.  

They traveled 4-5 days each way to the nearest LDS temple at that time - in Mesa, Arizona.  
Mama Josefina & Papa Moises were eager to solidify their love & faith and be blessed with added strength and protection for themselves and for their posterity.  As soon as they were sealed, their joy continued to expand as their children entered that beautiful room, knelt with them, and formed a complete circle.  While grasping each other's hands, a kind man with special permission gave them a blessing, which sealed and bound them together permanently.  
I can only imagine the sacred memories those busloads of families still have.  I am amazed by everything i've heard through the years about the journey itself, and the organization of equally faithful people that served those busloads along their way each year.  They would travel all day and stop each night at an LDS Chapel (In MX and AZ) - where local members would serve them dinner and breakfast the following morning.  The travelers slept on cots, etc set up for them in their Cultural Halls.

KoKing remembers finally getting to Mexico City (maybe half way?) and talking with others about how great it would be if there could be a temple in Mexico some day!! - (Then they'd BE there already!)
Back then the Mexican government had ultimate rights to ALL buildings in the country, regardless of private ownership or use.  Those Guatemalans knew that a sacred temple up and running in Mexico would require many miracles!

5 years later in April 1976, the Church first announced plans for a temple in Mexico.  They broke ground on it the end of '79 and dedicated the Mexico City temple Dec of '83 - the same month the King & I were married/sealed in the Salt Lake temple.

Only a year later the Guatemala City temple was dedicated, about a 5 hour (?) bus ride from San Marcos & 'Xela' (pronounced like "Shay-la") - Hey, somebody should tell President Monson that its common indigenous name is much easier to spell! :)

On 12/16/2006, (our 23rd anniversary), less than 3 months after Olivia left on her mission and more than 3 yrs after Mama Jose passed away, the Church announced the building of the Xela temple!!  We were muy amazed, excited, and grateful!  Who on those yearly bus trips could have imagined that this could happen in their lifetime??

I immediately began dreaming about how cool it would be for us to go to Guate together when it was finished.  Soon the Church News ran a great article about it and the wonderful members in that area of the world.  We had it stuck to our fridge for months and months.  I kept asking relatives and wondering when it would be ready... and kept hoping it would take long enough for first Sean and then Calvin to return!! ...
Then, not long after Sean returned, (Nov 2009) after 16+ years with the same employer, the State of UT had no more money to renew the yearly grant that funded the King's job... And because he'd been with the state so long, he was the highest paid of the handful of those helping disabled individuals return to the workforce, so HIS position was cut.
Needless-to-say, so was my DREAM of a Xela Temple/Guate Family Reunion Trip ...    

...But 'stay tuned for scenes from our next episode' of 'Days of Our Lives'...


Richard said...

Great story--looking forward to the next installment.

olivia said...

I've never heard him referred to as The King so much. :)

Love the timeline and details! I need to get some more details out of this King myself.