Masons

Well, just a little short entry about a trip on Saturday.  Gwen took me to the Washington-Alexandria Memorial Masonic Temple.  I have seen the building many times before, especially since the Metro goes right past it and it is off the King Street platform.  I remember flying into DC and seeing the temple out the window and thinking it was a county building or a judicial building.  However, it is a Masonic Temple built in memory of George Washington.  George Washington belonged to the Lodge in Alexandria.  It is a fully operational Masonic Temple, but it also doubles as a museum for George Washington.  It was fascinating.  The first time I have been given a tour of a Masonic Temple.  Always had to do my own exploring before.
It was very interesting.  It gave quite a bit of history of Solomon’s Temple and attempted to recreate many scenes within.  If you look at my pictures you will see pictures of some of it.  Big sculptures of Washington dressed as a Mason.  There are many pictures from the temple.  The other pictures of from Mt. Vernon, Washington’s home.  There is a man making his own lace.  How very interesting!  Washington’s carriage and chariot.  There was all kinds of things.  In the temple they had a bunch of crusader things that were the real thing!  No replicas, real armor and sabers from the time period!  It was all very interesting.  Especially in relation to the LDS temple.  Some claim we got our ordinances and material from the Masons.  (If you do your history Joseph knew of the temple things almost 10 years before he joined the Masons)  Anyhow, they have many interesting things.
George Washington is everywhere here.  Rightly so, he was an amazing man.  Anyhow, that is all I have for tonight.
Oh, I saw Rosa Parks today.  That was interesting to see someone lay in state.  Another significant thing for my time in DC.

By small and simple means

Things continue to go very well for me.  I am blessed far beyond what I could hope for.  Sometimes it seems that things are slowing down, but things continue to move forward.
A great turn of events for me.  I have been invited to act in part of the role of assistant press secretary.  I do the clips and that takes a good hour of my day.  I enjoy it, I have my space in the mail office where I can do it.  It is an honor and I don’t mind working on a project that is solely my own.  For the rest of the time I am here, I will act in this position, unless they hire someone.  It is nice to have this because I can call it my own and I am not always depending on someone else to do their part or that someone else will do it.  I can do it, do it my own way, and there is not the little struggle if someone else wants it.  The best part is that I am respected more for being a part of the office, not just an intern to do the slightest whim of whoever wants.  I mean I still do, but they ask more politely and are more willing to work with me.
It is nice to have full access in my e-mailing to the whole office.  It is even better to have a window that I can look out and see the Supreme Court building.  In visiting with Chris, who is the press secretary, I have had a chance to get to know him some more.  He gave me a contact in Charlottesville too!  That will come in handy.  I have had numerous chances to visit with him now, and he keeps asking me questions.  I have enjoyed getting to know him more as well.
Today offered a unique opportunity.  If anyone happened to be watching the Finance Committee on CSPAN, they would have seen me enter the committee twice and present some paperwork to Senator Smith.  Both times I walked in as Senator Grassley was speaking.  Jacob said he saw me on the screen back in the office.  Now I can say I have been on official government tv now!  Anyhow, nothing special, but it was interesting.  I would not have known had it not been pointed out to me that they had seen me.  Funny how things are happening when we don’t realize it.
Today is also a little highlight in the life of Paul.  A tribute I wrote for the Senator about Rosa Parks will be entered into the Congressional Record.  Which means, while I cannot prove it was me, I have my words and work now represented in the official record of the United States Government.  I think that is exciting.  I hope I get another opportunity to write more.
The weather has continued to pour and pour and pour.  Apparently they are blaming some of it on the tailings of Wilma and Alpha.  Who knows.  I just know that I love it because it reminds me so much of the mission field.  Things are green and wet and yesterday I smelled a smell that reminded me so much of England.  Oh what I would not give to serve another mission, and especially in England.
Well, things are going very well.  Kathryn told me in the office that she appreciated how hard I work and that I am always working on something without having to be asked.  She said that was the reason why Chris asked me to help with the newspaper clips.  I am honored.  It is those little things that make all the difference.  I hope that I may always take care of the little things, and that great things will come to pass.  As my first mission president always said to me, “Take care of the pennies and the dollars take care of themselves.”  Thanks to President Bruce Stucki and Ted Tateoka, who drilled the scripture in Alma about the small and simple things home.  Hopefully I will never forget either lesson.