Last weekend, Chris had to work. Nothing really new there.
What was new, however, was that the Spanish branch asked me to come with them to Nauvoo. Two families were getting sealed and several members were receiving their endowments, and the whole branch decided to make a big trip of it.
I didn't mind driving and was excited about the prospect of going to Nauvoo. I've only been there once, but that was a "get there, go to a wedding, eat dinner, drive home again" sort of thing for Josh and Katie's wedding. Delightful, but not very touristy. The branch promised that we'd see Carthage as well as go on a carriage ride specifically meant for sightseeing around the Church historic sites. I was totally game.
My one request, however, was that I have someone in the car who could speak passable English. My Spanish speaking skills are tolerable at best, and my listening skills...well, let's just say they have a long way to go. So I ended up with Yali, who is a few years younger than me, along with her toddler and baby.
Early in the trip, the toddler declared she needed to go to the bathroom. So I pulled off, breaking from the caravan of cars, and we found a place to stop.
Shortly thereafter, I received a phone call. "Hermana Hagmann, esta bien?"
"Si! La niña necesite el baño, pero esta bien. Yo tengo direcciones," I assured her, grasping my printed directions a little more firmly in my hand.
"Pero gracias, hermana."
"Claro. Vemos pronto."
As soon as I hung up, the phone rang again. It was Teandra, my fellow native-English-speaker friend in the branch. That conversation was comically similar.
"Hey Sara! You okay? I saw you pull off on the exit."
"Yep, we're great! Yali's little girl just needed to use the bathroom. No worries though, I have directions."
"Oh...um, okay. Just checkin'!"
"And I appreciate that! We'll try to catch up, but no big deal. See you there."
Yeah stinkin' right. Thank goodness Yali's mom let her borrow the smartphone, or we'd still be out there, wandering the highways of rural Illinois. We finally got there almost two hours after everyone else, which also happened to be when they were leaving Carthage. I held it together pretty well until everyone wandered out of my car. Then I called my husband for a good cry. Turns out that the idea was that we'd call up to the lead car and let them know we needed to stop, and then the whole caravan would take a break, no big deal. I guess I missed that part!
Beyond that hiccup, it was a lovely trip. I hung out with Teandra and her husband (and their sweet baby!) and feel like that friendship was definitely strengthened. I can also sense a more warm and generalized acceptance from the branch. I'm so grateful they're persistent with their invitations. I think I'll have to go to more things in the future.
It was also fascinating how different it was to do temple work in another language. I could focus on such different things as a result, and it was a wonderfully spiritual experience.
Moral of the story? You can't get that lost if you're on the way to the temple.