After the first session we all shuffled out into the sunlight and made our way out of the square to find some food. We found a small fast food place that wasn’t swamped with people and we men went inside to brave the crowd while the women found a shady tree to sit under for lunch. As we waited in line I started a conversation with the Spanish-speaking family behind me. I thought it a great opportunity to practice. We talked about food and family. A major conversation piece was their little toddler that was going all over the place. On our way there I had seen him stop and stare in the middle of the cross walk and then tear off ahead of his poor parents. After talking for a while I realized that the other guys in my group also spoke Spanish, and we practiced for a while.
We got done with lunch and headed back for the conference center. By now it was time to get in there so that we could get a seat. The temple grounds were heavy with pedestrian traffic. It was just like the roads except there were no signals, rules or stop lights. It got a little scary, I thought I was going to get run over or sucked into an eddy while the group flowed on to where ever we were headed. but we all arrived in time and in one piece so I was feeling good.
I’m sorry to say that I had a little trouble keeping focused this time. I told my date to just elbow me if I started dosing, which explains the sore ribs I had the next day, come to think of it. She must have enjoyed it. I did take notes though and toward the end I was alert.
It was fun to sing as a congregation in such a large body of saints and with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir it felt like we were one huge choir singing great hymns. I always get goosebumps when that happens.
Everyone waddled out as if in a daze. Squeezed our way through to a statue in the middle of the marble floored hall and watched all the people staggering out in large quantities to start the traffic jam once again. My group tailed me to the bag check room to grab my backpack. Then we strolled toward the parking lots. We passed the protesters, the ticket seekers and little boys selling the Conference News. The homeless were still placed randomly in our midst, I saw a girl run up to one of them and place a bill in the hands of a man in a wheel chair while his wife sat beside him looking gray and feeble. This was one time that a girl showed me up for courage.
There were three couples in our group. A married couple, a boy friend and girlfriend, and my date and I. They escorted us to our car and we said our goodbyes. We drove away to find the interstate. As we pulled out I couldn’t help but feel a little twinge of self-consciousness being the man and waving goodbye from the passenger seat. But after all, it was her dad’s car.