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
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.