I think we have been assigned, by President Holm, to a unit that is much like the North Ogden 7th Ward we left in Utah. I say unit - because it isn't a ward - it's a branch - the Chapin Branch. A branch is a much smaller unit or congregation. It is a ward in embryo. The Chapin Branch is special. People love and care about one another. In Fast and Testimony Meeting Sunday, it was evident that there is a great deal of caring and serving that goes on in the Branch - and we are thankful to be a part of it.
The first sister who spoke, was the compassionate service leader in the branch. She stood at the pulpit for a few minutes, then she said, "Brothers and Sisters...I'm just HAPPY to be here!" She had just come back to church after having had a knee replacement. (I feel her pain!) She said that because of her position as compassionate service leader, she got to make her own dinner assignments, and she picked the best cooks in the branch. That comment made everyone laugh. :o) She's a sweetheart, and I can't wait to get to know her better.
Another woman, who had to be assisted to the pulpit because she had just had foot surgery and was wearing a walking boot, bore her testimony about missionary work. She said she works at Dillard's, and one day a woman came in, who was obviously struggling. She soon realized that the woman was there to buy a dress to wear to her husband's funeral. She broke down and told her story. Her husband's death was unexpected and very devastating to her! The sister from the branch told her, "I just feel like I need to give you a hug." And she did. She also gave her a pass-along card. She said it was the only one she had left in her purse, and it just happened to read, "Families Are Forever." On the back of the card was an offer for a free DVD. A few weeks later, the lady came back to Dillard's and found the Branch sister (I wish I knew everyone's name!). She called to her and said that she watched the DVD and she loved it...AND she had ordered 3 more copies to give to her children. We don't know the rest of the story yet, because the Branch sister has been off work since her surgery. Hopefully, there will be more. :o)
Several others also bore their testimonies, but I didn't take notes on all of them. President Bruno was last to speak. He said it makes him feel so good that there is such a feeling of unity in the Branch - that the members all lift and serve one another. He has a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and loves the people of the branch.
I love being in the Chapin Branch. It reminds me of home.