Sunday, February 18, 2007

Miracle Sunday

Today was another great Sunday. It kind of pains me that I can't just run around with my camera on for our three hours of church to put a picture in your minds of these wonderful people.

We left about 10 minutes late for downtown which put us driving by the church building around the corner from us, right when our ward was walking to their cars. It was fun to stop and say hello to our best hometeacher EVER! But what was interesting it has only been a few weeks and it didn't even feel like we should have been there, it just feel so right for us to be going to our new ward.

Once we got to the city there was a ton of traffic by our normal route. We made a side turn and then thought we were closer to the building than we were. We were so excited to see an open parking spot Jeff just took it and said, "I think it is right around the corner" Parking is such a tricky thing for the location of our building. We were actually 6 blocks away.

Very few parts of the sidewalks were shoveled off with snow. Walking in heels on a snow day made the 6 block walk seem like 12. But the miracle of our parking disaster was that as we got out of our car a father and son walked past us both pulling suitcases down the snowy sidewalks walking the other direction. They said to us, "Are you going to the Mormon church?" We said we are. They told us that they had been wandering around the neighborhood looking for where the church was. And with them walking in the other direction they would never have found it. So they turned around and walked with us. It was obvious they were tourists and I asked them where they were from. They said, "Mesa Arizona" We told them we had just moved here from Tennessee about 6 months ago. The dad said that his brother in law used to live in Tennesse and by chance did we know him: Randy Karchner? The Karchner family was in our ward in Franklin. Is that just amazing!

Jeff and I both got callings today. I am in Primary and Jeff is in the Young Men's program.
The Young Men's program is really amazing. I don't dare say all, but close to it, are converts to the church and come despite being the only members of their family. They have a strong group and a great basketball team. We can't wait to go to one of their games. The YM president bought a 12 passenger van for $1000 to be able to pick them all up and take them places. I am amazed by the service that is given in this ward

The Primary is so different then I have seen in the church. Many of these kids come to church by themselves and are not used to reverence, sitting in their chairs, taking turns or raising their hands. The questions the kids were asking during sharing time where incredible. Will God really listen to me when I pray?
Caroline kept playing with one of the girls next to her hair. She kept saying your hair is so cute! She had lots of braids and cool barrettes and beads.
There was a boy in the back who was 7 and was really tough. They found him hiding in the halls and had to bring him in. As he was leaving I asked him to come over so I could learn his name. (which I have now forgotten) but he put his hand on my hair and rubbed it and said, "I really like your hair" and I said to him I really like yours. He had long 6" braids. As I talked to him and put my arm around him his toughness melted away. (good thing I didn't get a perm last week huh?)

A few things that feel different than other wards we have been in is:
  • a lot of members clapped after the primary musical number today in Sacrament Meeting, but it was sweet when they did.
  • after the deacons passed the sacrament the Bishopric member thanked them and asked them to return to sit with their friends (not families)
  • the most common question we get asked is "how long have you been a member of the church?" this ward is full of many modern day pioneers.
  • after sacrament meeting they have anyone visiting the church for the first time stand up and introduce themselves. It feels so cozy and such a great way to welcome the visitors
We took two of the Young Men to the Temple Visitors center for a fireside after church. What a treat for us. It was wonderful to hear how they found the church, how much they love it and what a change it has made in their lives. They were so excited to go to the fireside because they were going to get to reunite with the missionaries who taught them the gospel. They asked us how long we have been members and when we said our whole lives, their mouths dropped. Then when we said our parents and grandparents are members and some of our family where pioneers with Brigham Young their chins were on the floor. It was a great conversation.

When we got home we asked Annie Kate what feels different about our new ward and her answer was amazing. she said, "nothing really" Children are a wonderful blessing in lives because just when we think we are so smart they remind us were have so much to learn.


Jill said...

What an amazing experience, every week you're going to get to witness miracles! Wow! I'm shocked that you guys were willing to walk 6 blocks in the snow, but it was meant to be since you ran into those guys looking for the church. It's no shock to me that you would know a member of their family, because you know everyone!

You will be perfect in primary and Jeff will be perfect in Young Men's. This ward needs you and your family is a perfect fit.

That tough little boy sounds like he needs your warmth and enthusiasm, it has been my experience that the roughest of boys are really tender hearts.

Laurie said...

I love reading these Sunday experiences. There are a ton of converts in our ward too, and it always amazes me that they were strong enough to accept the gospel without being born into it. I always wonder if I would have the faith my pioneer ancestors had or these modern-day pioneers. I'm hopeful that yes, I would! I love the gospel. I can't imagine not believing. But I'm still in awe of these converts who go without family. Amazing.

Mindy said...

thank you for posting about your sundays. I just love to read about this sweet experience you are having.

Amanda :-) said...

It's great that you asked AK her opinions on your new ward. I agree that 'out of the mouths of babes' can be quite telling. I often refer to Erin for the very basic ( and probably truest) view of things.

This new ward sounds like it's got a lot of cool 'hairdos' going on too! ;-P

michelle said...

I love this post. I love that you are willing to make the trek to go to a ward that is farther away and more difficult. I love that your children are being exposed to so much diversity, and that they don't think anything of it! Beautiful.

Kristy said...

I love hearing about your experiences. What wonderful callings for both of you. We were also in a ward where after sacrament meeting the new people introduced themselves. Only, our bishop made people do it two weeks in a row to make sure everyone knew who the new people were. What a great way to fellowship in wards with a lot of transition.

The story about you and the boy in Primary warms my heart. It's amazing what a simple hug and kind words can do!

Anna said...

I am getting a bit emotional reading these amazing experiences you are having with your family. This is an amazing blessing in your life. Thanks for sharing it with us. It makes me think how I can strecth and grow a little bit more than I think I should.

Elisa said...

Great experiences. The hair stories remind me of my mission. We did service at a womens shelter where the kids called us "preacher girls" and would often touch our "white girl hair". Just recently I have been concerned about the lack of racial and cultural diversity around where we live. It's the one drawback of our community, I wonder if Miriam is "bridging" (I believe that is the word, that refers to feelings of empathy and understanding crossing ethical boundries I could be wrong).

Elisa said...

Oh man, not ethical boundries ethnic boundries.

Amy said...

This is such an amazing opportunity for your family. What a special experience. I hope your children someday recognize the value of their time in that ward. You will be able to learn as much from the members as they will from you. I love reading about your experiences.

Kelly said...

I love your Sunday posts. I was wondering if you'd be able to make it there with all the snow. What a blessing to find a far away parking spot, and be able to give some lost people some direction. Kind of a good metaphor for life, I think.

I got a little teary thinking of you warming up that tough little boy. You are probably just what he needs. Very sweet.

lauralee said...

how sweet.. really what a blessing this is for your family! totally reminds me of my mission- what sweet differences that totally help us feel the spirit!
thanks for sharing!

Barb said...

What I love about primary callings is the opportunity to just teach the pure and simple truths of the gospel. All the more so in your new ward.

Claudissima said...

kristi i must have been asleep or something, but why are you going to a new ward? it is kind of a mission? we served in the spanish branch for 7 years...long story, but it is soooo true there is so much growth with all these people experimenting the church for the first time in their lives...and weren't you in your first ward like only 6 months? no wonder you know sooo many people....oh by the way...we are related to NORMAN TAYLOR he was the second in command to Brigham Young on his first treck out west....who were you related to?

Price Cream Parlor said...

I love reading about your new ward. Honestly, being in the mission field with people of all backgrounds and races - is really an amazing experience. I am sure you will be touched each week with a different story - but you are so needed there. What a tremendous blessing! Being in Primary - you will be able to touch these little kids hearts and perhaps change them forever! What a gift!
I love how you had your parking problem turn out to be an outlet to help tourist find the chapel! Small miracles each day!

maggie holmes said...

wow! sounds like you will be having a lot of neat experiences in this new ward!

Crystalyn said...

wow kristi. what amazing experiences you're having. so wonderful that you are able to document them for you and your family. you will no doubt make a big difference in many lives (i guess i should say many more lives than you already do! (: )

carlo said...

What a wonderful post. Goosebumps reading it. I love that you melted the little boys "toughness" in such a warm way. You will make a difference in many lives there- it sounds like you are wasting no time at all!

I love hearing about it.