Today we went to a branch (congregation way smaller than a ward) far away in Western Oklahoma. (Our stake - larger congregation made up of many wards & a couple of branches - is really big.)
We drove and drove and had a great time on our way there.
The boys deleted miss s's phone/toy battery at lightening speed on the way there.
my mr. and I had a nice two hour plus conversation with our other adult traveling companion.
miss h arrived home from college last night, so she came along.
She and miss s slept most of the way there.
(We left a little after 7am because we had to pick up our traveling companion. And there was a little confusion as to which street that traveling companion lived on, so we lost a little bit of time.)
When we got there right before 10am, I had something pressing to deal with - even though the meeting was about to start.
So I dealt with it.
And my mr. made faces at me when I came in during the opening hymn and didn't come sit with him and miss h and little mr. b at the front of the congregation. I chose to sit with the congregation with miss s and little mr. j because sometimes those two can really push each other's buttons and I didn't want any of that silliness during the meeting and probably really because I didn't want to sit up front and have people looking at me.
Anyway, I am glad I sat with my kids with the congregation.
I was kind of hoping that maybe because my son, my daughter, my husband, and our traveling companion were all speaking that maybe I could get out of it. But, when the man conducting the meeting announced the
speakers and read my name I waved to let him know I was actually there.
I kept it short and because my talk was about living a Christ like life, I told my crazy gym lady/substitute teacher story and said that I was glad that I acted in a kind way. (And used some quotes from this wonderful message.)
All the other talks were awesome of course. Our traveling companion concluded the meeting by asking us to remember the first time we really, really felt the Spirit and told a wonderful story of a childhood Christmas when he first remembers feeling that wonderful thing.
But the part I liked best about the meeting was what happened next. When he asked that question, little mr. j nodded his head yes. So I leaned over and asked him if he would tell me when he'd felt the Spirit. He said, "Last Sunday at the Cantata." (Last Sunday we attended our Stake's annual Cantata - an hour of inspiring music and words about Christmas. There was also a huge display of over 600 nativities & a children's room where little mr. j got to make his own precious manger and baby Jesus with a styrofoam cup, crinkled up paper and a tiny piece of wood & fabric.) I could tell his heart was touched that night & we had talked about what that warm, peaceful feeling in his heart meant last Sunday.
Then on a little notebook I had given him to draw in during the meeting, he wrote,
"I do not theke Flute crsmets .is .ubat santa it is ubat Jesus."
And I did not cry, but oh did that sweet message warm my heart.
He really knows, at his young age, what Christmas is really all about.
I asked him to please read me his note and he said,
"I do not think that Christmas is about Santa. It is about Jesus."
I'm so glad I sat in the congregation.
Note: miss h is graciously letting me use her computer. (Thank you, miss h!) Mine is very, very ill. I am planning on taking it to the computer doctor tomorrow, but have no idea what the diagnosis will be. You might not be reading anything new here for a short while & sadly, I have fallen off the photo challenge. Hopefully my old machine and I will be back at it very soon. Thanks for your understanding!