I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I LOVE MY WARD. I’ve only ever been in two, but I can’t imagine it getting much better than this. I love that I’m adopted by every member of the ward. I love that every Sunday, I sit with a “Team.” Most weeks, I’m Team Horspool or Johnson (Johnspool two weeks ago!). Sometimes I’m Team Hufford. Last week, I was Team Bennion.
I love that my ward is slowly but surely becoming my family and the most exciting place I call home. I am grateful that they love me, they support me, they come to my rescue, they teach me, they lend me their time and space and testimonies, the hug me, they let me be who I am, they challenge me to be better, they laugh with me, they feed me, they cry with me, they make sure I am cared for and have a place to go for the holidays or weekends or birthdays or bored days or Wednesdays. In this ward, I have moms and dads and little brothers and sisters. I have best friends. I have confidantes. I have companions. I have role models. I have a family. I have found a home here, and in this season of giving thanks, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3). Seriously, O3, you rock.
During October’s testimony meeting, a young woman in my ward, Kyrsten B, shared her testimony. It was amazing. It was a lovely break from what can sometimes feel like a cookie-cutter “I know this church is true” testimony. There is nothing wrong with that at all, it’s just not my style. Her first words, which became the foundation of me being able to share my testimony were, “I know this gospel is true.” That was it. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Her words were so profound and I realized that she wasn’t speaking so sincerely and passionately in spite of her age, she was speaking so sincerely and passionately because of her age. While at nearly 18 years old, she has the voice and presence of someone much more mature than her peers, she also has a true and clean testimony of this gospel unpolluted by the politics or culture that grown up people bring with them to church (me). To say that listening to her is refreshing is trite and cliche. But it’s also true.
The original title of this post was “Awkward Age of Young Single Adulthood.” Most of my friends in the ward are 6-10 years older than me. They are married with kids who can have real person conversations. I also have a friend in the ward who is 6 years younger than me (although, you’d never know it). I exist in the awkward place in adulthood where most of my friends are a generation apart from each other. Tonight, Natalie J and I took Kyrsten out for dinner (oh, yum, sushi train). I had so much fun; we laughed until we almost peed our pants. Kyrsten almost did pee her pants.
I have many favorite parts of this evening’s adventures, but what I loved the most was the ease with which I am finding that this ward is actually a family. I felt like I was out with my two sisters – trading secrets, talking about boys, planning our futures, enjoying good food.
I love this ward. So much.
I love my family here and back east.
I love that it is our ward’s faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ that made this family happen in the first place.
So much love,