Not Your Average Sunday

by - 12/05/2011

People gathered at my house for a lunch break
taken by the ksl chopper
My family has a tradition every year on the first Sunday of December.  We get together at my cousin's house, have a lovely dinner, go Christmas caroling at a nursing home, and then come back to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. I haven't been able to participate in this tradition for the past two years because I haven't had a car in Logan, and nobody was ever driving down that day.  This year, I have the car, and I was so excited to finally do this again! I had missed it.  

A picture I took from my house as people
were starting to arrive
As we all know, even the best laid plans can be changed.  We got word Sunday morning that there was going to be another wind storm in Davis County that evening.  We were urged to clean up all the trees and debris from the previous storm so they wouldn't become airborne and damage homes and yards further.  They cancelled church and everyone went to work.  My sister and brothers and I went to my grandparents to help them out because we had plenty in our neighborhood (just check out that photo!).  It was pretty amazing to see all the people that came. Seeing that immense number of people respond to the call of duty almost brought tears to my eyes.  It was incredible.

It was definitely a strange Sunday.  It's not often that we're all told to skip church to get in our grungy clothes and pick up trees.  But pick up trees we did.  And you know what? I actually had a pretty good time.  My 80 year old grandpa was even out there in the thick of it all, working his tail off.  His strength was so inspiring.

After it was all cleared up (and dark so there wasn't much else that could be done) we headed to my cousin's house for a long awaited dinner.  We decided to forgo the caroling this year so that people could help for as long as they could. However, as soon as we arrived, we learned that their power was out. Seriously? It was a little distressing.  I was trying my best to have a good attitude, but it was a little bit rough there at the beginning.  But, we figured out an oven to get the last pan of potatoes in, and we started lighting candles.  It turned into a fun little adventure.  Once everything was all ready, we had a short spiritual message before we ate.  

My cousin's husband shared a beautiful thought about all this crazy stuff that's been happening. He said "These trials are presented to us to give us an opportunity to live the gospel.  We could have sat in church today learning about how we're supposed to serve our fellow men, but today we put into practice what we're taught." Those words rang so true to me.  I think we all were immensely blessed for doing this service for others.  It was a different experience, but it was a good one.  I'm glad I was home to help.

Some of the goofs cousins gettin' ready for dinner. 
Right as we were about to say the prayer on the food and embark on our dinner by candlelight, the power came back on.  We enjoyed a wonderful dinner together and the always amazing Devotional (watch it if you missed it!!!) where we were reminded to have Christ as the center of our Christmas this year.  Although it wasn't quite the Sunday I was expecting, it was still a wonderful kick-off to the Christmas season doing service for others.  I'm grateful for the experience.  I'm grateful for my family.  I'm grateful for the amazing people in the community that came out to help.  And I'm grateful that I know the church is true.  And you know, it really is true what they say, doing service for others really increases your love for them. I can't even put into words how much I am overflowing with love for my neighborhood and family right now.

Happy Holidays everybody! Let's hope there are no more windstorms. ;)

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