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I was awake a little after 7 am and finally started stirring when Annette knocked on our door. Church starts at 9 am for them here but she needed to be there early for a music practice and it takes roughly an hour to get to their branch building.
Let’s just say this was the *nicest* branch I’ve *EVER* been to. Lawrence told me they share the building the the Japanese ward but it’s still really, really nice. It’s 3 stories tall and *beautiful.* The chapel reminded me a lot of the chapel in the Bountiful temple except larger. It let in a lot of light, everything was clear and bright and calming.
It was a very small branch. Smaller than the one in Mississippi…smaller even than the one in North Carolina. This was more of a “twig.”
(Note for the reader: LDS congregations are divvided up geographically into units of size. Several wards make up a stake, stakes make regions, regions make zones and zones make the whole church body. Branches are what occurs if there aren’t enough members to sustain a ward. IE: TINY.)
Everybody there was incredibly nice. Of course, when you are out here in a strange country and it’s disorienting at best to get to church, you *really* want to be there.
The Sunday school lesson had amazing participation and so did all 8 women that were in relief society. (That is counting Lisa and I.)
It was a good thing I liked the building and the people so much because we were there pretty much the rest of the day. Annette was going to be helping the Japanese ward put together their Christmas program after their service.
It was really nice to just hang out with Lawrence though. We chatted with the Elders (really nice guys. One was a total greenie. I noticed his name was Elder Bednar. (Any relation? Nephew.)
I was also glad I had brought the iPad AND the charger. Lawrence played Plants vs Zombies a little bit and we compared our respective strategies. I set up the “Whack a Zombie” game and let some of the kids play. I was curious why some of the kids were there so late and they told me they were the branch president’s kids.
Ah.
I have much empathy. I remember being a Branch President kid and helping clean the chapel after church every Sunday and waiting for my dad to finish up church business.
___
Lawrence and Annette seem to be following the wonderful, wonderful tradition of putting a roast on in the morning before we leave for church. When you come home the first thing you smell coming through the door is the lovely, lovely aroma of pot roast.
This is not so easy for Lisa and I to do since my church is 9 to noon and her church runs from 7-830 at night with choir practice at 5. Also she is a vegetarian so I’m not sure how keen she would be on pot roast.
If things continue to blow up at her current congregation she may switch to the one in east bay that is also in the mornings. Is it bad that part of me thinks that would be nice so we could actually spend a little bit more of Sunday together?
She gets the choir director and pastor that she wants… I get her the rest of the day. Win win!


-Getting ready to go out again! More later!

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