Going to church has been one of the hardest parts about this journey, and I love church. It’s being a constant visitor, it’s knowing it’s awkward for our kids, or it’s the only LDS church for miles and it has to start at 9:00 am.
With that said, shoving the temptation to skip it aside and going to church every single week has been one of the most important and helpful things about this journey. Nearly every week we come away with renewed courage and faith and comfort.
One day in Sharon, Vermont we came away with even more. I went quite late to Relief Society and sat in the only available seat. The meeting ended and I was going to up-and-go when the gal next to me started talking to me. She was visiting too, just passing through. Oh, she homeschools her kids too and they live in the D.C. area if we are ever passing through (which was our plan for the following week).
At the same time she was talking to me, her husband had befriended Dave. He told him of a campground near D.C. we should stay at and that it was in their ward boundaries. We swapped phone numbers and went our separate ways, the Glassetts to Canada and our family to New Hampshire.
About a week and a half later we decided to follow their suggestion and stay at Lake Fairfax I texted her to let her know we were in town. She immediately invited us to a homeschool activity and to the ward trunk-or-treat and chili cook-off on Friday. Our kids were so excited and so happy.
We showed up with some chili and candy and really cute kids who were welcomed into the ward community. We walked from car to car and were greeted with such kindness and warmth. Inside for chili, a woman noticed us sitting in chairs along the side of the room and offered to let us sit in their spots because they were done. I said it was okay and she said she had saved them for us. She got us situated and I didn’t see her again but her quiet compassion touched me.
Sunday came and so did 9:00 church. Once again people went out of their way to be kind and helpful to us. The Glassetts ensured we all knew where to go and particularly watched out for Ollie and Burton. The bishopric and the members talked to us and invested in us even though we were just temporary. They invited Burton and Ollie to the Bishop’s fireside that evening and made them feel so welcome and comfortable that they were willing to go. David Glassett even volunteered to pick them up and bring them home, which he did.
The Glassetts continued their kindness to us and invited us to their home for dinner. Then, on a very cold Saturday morning this sweet family of 8 woke bright and early to drive to our campsite to sign our trailer and send us off.
When we were feeling a little lonely and wandering, this family and the Reston ward came into our lives and took us under their wings. Going to church, though sometimes uncomfortable and scary is essential to us. That day in Vermont, we walked away with the blessings of the sacrament and the gospel and the added bonus of new friends in Virginia.
Ready or not, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you (3 Nephi 13:33) maybe even new friends.