Saturday, September 24, 2011
We had another exciting Friday night at Manti Temple. We have had quite a few since I was called to be an assistant coordinator. I have been serving as the person in charge of the special dressing room. We had two own endowments on the 7:30 p.m. session. Those 7:30 p.m. own endowments are not in a hurry to leave. They are, officially, done at 9:15 p.m. but they like to visit with family before coming back to the dressing room to change from their whites into their street clothes and leave. It was 10 p.m. as I went through the front doors which were set to lock behind me and the cleaning crew was already manning vacuums and dust cloths as I exited. When I left, there was this little Russian-speaking woman trying to get back in. She had a language card at the veil. Her English is quite poor. She has lived here three years. She has one daughter in high school in Richfield and one at BYU. She had car trouble. You cannot believe where she had parked--way up on top of the wall. Yes, there is a parking lot there reserved for visiting authorities. She could not read English. A sign says: "No unauthorized vehicles beyond this point." She said the regular lots were all full and she just followed the road that indicated there was parking ahead. She had tried to go down the hill to the back parking lot and found the gate locked. Then she had tried to turn around and got stuck in the dirt at the side of the hill. LHT got her unstuck but then her car would not go into gear--drive or back. We knocked on the front doors and a security guard came. He got in the truck and unlocked the gate. As her car was rolling forward in neutral, driven by the security guard, it somehow popped into gear and she was able to drive home to Richfield. Earlier, she had tried to call her insurance company on our cell phone. They even had a Russian interpreter but they had no idea where she was so they could send a towing truck. I finally got on the phone and explained to them where the tow truck would be needed. But then, we didn't need it. I had been praying that the silly car would just work. After all the excitement, we got home and we went to right to bed at 1 a.m.!!!!!!
Were the rolls reversed, and I was in Russia, I would not be able to even say one word in Russian and, late at night, I would have been terrified. I kept thinking how I would react. She kept saying: "I'm afraid. Do not leave me!" It was cold and I gave her our car blanket and told her to keep it.
When she finally got back in her car, she had a terribly worried daughter call her on her cell. She had the police out looking for her mother. I had asked her several times if she needed to call her daughters so they would not worry. She always said that it was OK. Now that I think about it, I think she had no idea what I was asking her. Where were Kirsten and Julie when I needed them? Even though they say they have rusty Russian-language skills, it would have been better than my non-existent skill.
I certainly continue to admire the Danes. They speak several languages and can slip into English or Danish easily as the need demands. Most of them also speak German. However, even at that, a lot of the Danish language signs are easily understood by Americans because they also post symbols.