I was told that a Jordanian member of the church is going to come here to England so he can go to the temple. The temple in our religion is a sacred building dedicated as the house of the Lord. Since we have very few temples in the world, many like Suleiman have to travel far distances in order to be able to go. Suleiman does not speak English well, so we volunteered to go pick him up from the airport. He is actually 83 years old! And has been a member of the church for 7 years. He has 9 children, and is a widower --his wife died in 2007.
We picked him up on Monday and we ran late so he was waiting for us for a long time. He is a very sweet man. He reminds me of my father, actually when people saw us together they asked if he was my father. We got him to his room which is in the same building I am staying at. The temple workers were very sweet and they paid for his room and provided him with some food as well.
He went to the temple on Tuesday. I was in the office, but happened to stop by the temple to drop off something when the temple President saw me. He said he was glad I came and that they needed someone to help translate for Suleiman. Suleiman was thrilled to see me, and said he did not understand much of what was going on until I got there. He said that he felt that the place he was at (the temple) was so different than the outside world. He said he felt so good there and felt that all those people dressed in white were like angels.
I went with him to the temple again in the evening. The temple presidency wanted us to try and get some temple work done for Suleiman's family while he is here. I got some information from Suleiman and we were able to perform some ordinances for his parents and his wife. Tonight, he was sealed to his parents and his wife. (those of you who are not members of the church may not know what I am talking about, so don't worry).
The hardest thing was the food, because Suleiman has a problem swallowing. So, he can't eat everything at least not easily. He does not seem to eat a lot and chocks when he tries to eat some things. But, he would just eat soft things at the restaurants and take the rest of it home so he can eat it slowly at home. At first we thought he was going to starve to death, but after he explained it to us we felt better. We just went out to dinner and Suleiman treated us all to dinner.
Some people here have recently told me: "See that is the reason you are here, to help this man." Anyway, I am glad I was here to help, but I doubt that this is the reason I am in England. I sure hope I get to help many more people before I leave.
We decided to take tomorrow off and go to London. We will see the major sites there. It is supposed to be really cold tomorrow, but we will do our best not to walk outside in the cold too much. At least this poor old man can see something other than the walls of his apartment before he goes back to Jordan.
The first picture is with Suleiman, Sam and sister Hess. Sam (far right) is from Pakistan. He joined the church many years ago. He knows some Arabic because growing up he used to study the Quran. But, he does not remember most of it. He had a hard time communicating with Suleiman.