Sunday, March 27
Church was wonderful. It just seemed especially Spirit-filled and worshipful. The numbers were few, but the Spirit was not at all diminished; if anything, it was increased, to make up for the lack of numbers! What a powerful affirmation that this is the true and living Church upon the Earth.
There were 15 locals there and 8 visitors, including us. They don't usually get visitors; kinda funny that they got so many in one week. Three of them were the stake presidency who flew in from Anchorage with us the night before for branch conference. The other 2 were the branch president's parents who came to visit since they just got back from a mission to Scotland. They didn't have a primary--the oldest kid was only 4, so he just had to repeat nursery. And they had 3 young men, but no young women. Kinda like our ward back in Sidney!
Church was only 2 hours long since they don't have the numbers to keep every auxiliary running. It was totally back to basics, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The branch president was so good at focusing on people. He just radiated the pure love of Christ. After sacrament meeting, the adults and young men had Sunday School while the little kids had nursery, supervised by the branch president that week. And the church building was really cool. It was a big gym with a cool-looking wood-beamed ceiling and classrooms and a kitchen and a stage around the gym. Sacrament meeting was held on the stage, closed off by a nice curtain. No hallways, just doors opening into the gym. I've never seen a church building quite like it. Unique just like the town.
I could picture myself being a part of the Kotzebue branch... We would definitely need to make friends and invite them to church so my kids wouldn't be alone in primary! What an adventure!
(Disclaimer: I did not take this picture, I found it online and borrowed it. When we were there, snow completely covered the ground. You definitely could not see things like pavement! This must've been taken much later in the spring.)