Sunday, February 17, 2013

From Provo To Manila

Manila Philippines Temple

Thorvaldsen's Kristus
Our MTC experience this week was spent in the Provo Temple under the direction of Emeritus Seventy, Rex Pinegar and his wife Bonnie.  They were also our instructors prior to our mission in Denmark.  This transition experience between our Danish Temple Mission and our Manila Temple Mission had an interesting little "tender mercy" embedded in the course of our instructions from the Pinegars.

While talking to them during a brief rest period in the instructions, Sister Pinegar began to talk about one of their experiences in Copenhagen.  She said they were privileged to travel with President Kimball and other General Authorities to an Area General Conference in Denmark in 1976.  While there they visited the Vor Frue Kirke to see the Kristus and the Twelve Apostles statues by Thorvaldsen.  She proceeded to relate a story we had heard many times before with respect to the statue of Peter holding the keys and comments made by President Kimball.
Vor Frue Kirke In Copenhagen

She turned to Elder Pinegar and said, "you tell the story better than I", to which he said, "You mean that while Thorvaldsen was sculpting these dead apostles in Italy, the Lord was choosing His living apostles under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith?"

Elder Pinegar referred us to President Boyd K. Packer's documentation as follows:

" . . . To the front of the church, behind the alter, stands the familiar statue of the Kristus with his arms turned forward and somewhat outstretched, the hands showing the imprint of the nails, and the wound in His side very clearly visible.  Along each side stands the statues of the Apostles, Peter at the front to the right and the other Apostles in order.
Apostle Peter Holding The Keys

"Most of our group was near the rear of the chapel with the custodian.  I stood up front with President Kimball before the statue of Peter with Elder Rex D. Pinegar and Johan Helge Benthin, president of the Copenhagen stake.

"In Peter's hand, depicted in marble, is a set of heavy keys.  President Kimball pointed to those keys and explained what they symbolized.  Then in an act I shall never forget, he turned to President Benthin and with unaccustomed firmness pointed his finger at him and said, 'I want you to tell everyone in Denmark that I hold the keys!  We hold the real keys, and we use them everyday.'
Digitizing The Statues

"I will never forget that declaration, that testimony from the prophet.  The influence was spiritually powerful; the impression was physical in its impact.

"We walked to the back of the chapel where the rest of the group was standing.  Pointing to the statues, President Kimball said to the kind custodian, 'These are the dead Apostles.'  Pointing to me, he said, 'Here we have the living Apostles.  Elder Packer is an Apostle.  Elder Thomas S. Monson and Elder L. Tom Perry are Apostles, and I am an Apostle.  We are the living Apostles.

'You read about the Seventies in the New Testament, and here are two of the living Seventies, Elder Rex D. Pinegar and Elder Robert D. Hales.'
The custodian, who up to that time had shown no emotion, suddenly was in tears.  I felt I had had an experience of a lifetime."
Digitizing The Statues

You might recall one of our blogs from Denmark a year or so ago, dealing with the digitizing of those statues in order to reproduce them in marble from the same Italian quarry used by Thorvaldsen.  Those exact replicas will be exhibited in the Rome Temple Visitor's Center.

I appreciated Elder Pinegar's "first hand account" of this wonderful story.

We said our "good byes" to the Pinegars and the other missionaries and began our travels to the other side of the World.
Preparing To Make Replicas 

We left the MTC at four am on Thursday morning.  After flying to Detroit and then over the Hudson Bay in Canada, North of Alaska, down over Russia we landed in Nagoya, Japan for refueling.  We cleared security again and departed Nagoya for our flight to Manila.  After a thirty-hour trip, we arrived at our apartment at two am on Saturday.  We have a sixteen-hour difference between Portland, Oregon and Manila, Philippines.

Our apartment is in a complex on the Temple grounds.  We ventured out briefly yesterday to cross the street and exchange some money and get acquainted with the local Super Market.  We didn't need to buy anything because the other senior missionaries had pooled together to stock our apartment with a couple of day's food.  We will do some serious shopping on Tuesday.
Manila Philippines Temple

So far the weather has been tolerable.  It's hot and humid, but not so much as I had expected.  I haven't wiped my brow yet, but I am prepared.  We are told the hot summer is March, April and May.

We have been assigned to a Ward and will visit them for their meetings at one pm today.

Our Apartment On Lower Level
View From Our Kitchen Window
Our Apartment Complex
Our Living Room
Our Kitchen
Our Backyard
The Temple
Bye for now,
We love you,
Mom & Dad
Elder and Sister

1 comment:

  1. It definitely looks warmer there... :)
    Doug & Vivian think that they were in the apartment next door to yours. 3rd from the end on the lower level.
    They say that the walkway from the Temple to the back of the complex is like a waterfall when it rains... :) I want pictures.
    Hope you are getting settled.
    Love you,
    Lis, Nathan, Toby & Ali Cook