Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Elder Bruce Hale and his wife Christine are serving a unique mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Hales were called to serve as temple site missionaries for the new Tallahassee Temple. Their mission is three-pronged 1) Missionaries to the temple construction crew; 2) Produce a history of the temple construction; and 3) Serve as assistant site manager for construction (since Elder Hale has a construction background).
The Hales operate out of a mini “visitor’s center” trailer located in front of the Church meetinghouse on Thomasville Road where they have an office and a display area to show videos and artist’s renderings of the temple.
“We have the materials necessary to teach people what a temple is and how it differs from our everyday meetinghouses. We can also teach people about the Church,” he added.
Elder Hale said the visitor’s center is perfectly suited for members to bring non-member friends and acquaintances who want to learn more about the new temple under construction right outside the visitor center trailer.
As part of the second prong of the Hale’s mission, they look for opportunities to friendship and teach the members of the construction crew. Sister Hale learned of the practice at other temple construction sites that she adopted for Tallahassee: Cookie Wednesdays.
Every Wednesday, the Hales distribute home-made cookies to the workers as a way of thanking them for their work on the temple. The Hales say the cookies have been a big hit. Sister Hale baked the first batches of cookies and now Relief Society sisters in the stake are pitching in to help.
Sister Hale takes the lead on building the history of the temple construction. Photographs of every worker is taken, if they consent, and their names are recorded.
“I’ve had a few that prefer not to have their picture taken but I would say 99 percent say yes. It’s interesting to see their smiles and how they’re filled with gratitude that they are being recognized,” he said.
The final prong of the Hale’s mission is Elder Hales serving as an assistant site manager for the construction.
“Because I have a construction background, I have access to the specifications and the drawings. So, I can review those and just kind of watch and if I see anything that I have questions about, my line of authority is to go to Bob Sweatnam, the Church site manager, and inform him of things that I’ve seen that I think might be an issue. I advise, but I don’t give any direction to the contractor,” he said.
The Tallahassee Temple site mission is the second mission for the Hales, who previously served in the Bismarck North Dakota Mission where they assisted in the mission office.
When they heard about temple site missions, they originally wanted to serve at one of the temple construction sites near their home in Bountiful, Utah. When no opportunity surfaced, they expanded their search and learned of the opportunity to serve in Tallahassee.
“And we just kind of turned it over to the Lord and said, well, if there’s a temple where you would like us to serve, we would be ready. Last May, we got a call and the Church said they had a need here in Tallahassee. So, we told them we could come to Tallahassee. We are excited about where we are,” he said.
Those wanting to arrange a visit to the visitor’s center can reach the Hales at 801-243-0642.