I suppose now that I am dragging my family off on another adventure I should begin again to keep a blog. Utah is not as exotic as the Middle East but it is proving to be something of a culture shock nonetheless. I’ve been down here since late March and without Lisa or the kids since April 2. Being a part so long is much harder than I even imagined. I hope to never repeat it.

So much has happened over this last month that I could share. I don’t have the energy or inclination to put it all here but I think the following experience is worth a mention.

I went to my new ward in South Jordan today. There were 450 people in attendance. The chapel and the entire gym were filled. They had two Sunday School classes. When I asked which one I should attend I was told just pick one and if it is full go to the other. I managed to get a seat just barely.

It was 5th Sunday so all the adults met together for the 3rd hour in the chapel. There were so many people we had to use the overflow. They announced that our stake was responsible next week for cleaning the temple (Oquirrh Mountain Temple). I thought I’d like to volunteer. They started passing around a clipboard to sign up. I was only a few rows away from it and I watched it slowly make its way back to me. It seemed there would be no way any volunteer spaces would be left. I was actually a bit anxious about it. The clipboard did make it to me and there was one space left for the week (9:45pm to midnight on Thursday). I breathed a sigh of relief and signed my name.

I could hardly believe that as I signed my name I had a little pang of guilt. There were several hundred more people that would not get this clipboard and the chance to serve… ridiculous, I know. Yet, it made me think of home and how needed we all are. Here in Utah there are so many saints that it seems I’ll need to elbow others out of the way for the opportunity to serve. Leaving Prince George I joked with others how I was looking forward to a low-key calling. Now that I am here it is a little sad to think how easy it would be to just drift into the background; to bury my light under a bushel, so to say.

I imagine they’ll soon split this ward into two and things won’t be quite so crowded. I realize this isn’t the experience everywhere in Utah. I miss my ward family in Prince George today. I’ve got a home under contract here and it has a spare room. I sure hope to see some of you in the future.

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Oquirrh Mountain Temple (South Jordan, Utah)