After Hungary entered the European Union on May 1, 2004, the first time I exited teh EU was in January this year, when I made a trip to Switzerland with some friends to visit the Bern Switzerland Temple. Temples are sacred places for us, Latter Day Saints, and it had been over 15 years since I last had the opportunity to go to a Temple! Because we love to complicate things, we didn’t go to our assigned Temple in Freiberg, Germany, but to the Swiss Temple–via Bergamo, Italy.
And this is where the problems began. The day we flew into Bergamo, and were supposed to catch the evening train to Bern via Milan, a deadly train wreck happened near Milan. We didn’t know about it, and by the time we found out that we can’t get to Milan by train that evening it was too late to make any alternative arrangements. So we exchanged our tickets for the next morning…only to realize that the train we were told to be running for sure was cancelled, and after a lot of prayers and running we almost missed the train to Bern again. Fortunately we didn’t, and after several hours of travel we finally arrived in Zollikofen, Switzerland.
We got off the train and after crossing the street this is what we saw:
As we walked closer to the Temple we realized that it smelled like Heaven should–like chocolate! After a quick lunch and changing we could go to the Temple and spend the whole afternoon and the next morning participating in various ordinances. I also had it confirmed that the world is small, but it’s even smaller in the Church when I realized that there were several people serving there with whom I had some connections either from Temple Square or from home.
The Bern Switzerland Temple, formerly known as the Swiss Temple was the first truly multi-language Temple and the Temple experience as most of us know it now in the Church is the direct result of having to find a solution to present the endowment sessions for a multinational audience. I think Bern’s beautiful celestial room is my favorite one.
Rather than taking the train home, one of the sisters from Bergamo drove us back. We saw some beautiful sites on the way. Even gas stations looked impressive!