Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stake Conference

Sunday we had Stake Conference. I went into the back of the cultural hall about 5 to 10:00 and sat all alone an an empty row at the back. I was remembering when our family filled a whole row and maybe then some as we attended Stake Conference. Slowly other late comers began to fill rows around us but mine remained empty. Then a little girl edged past me and sat down beside me. Her family didn't come. It was just her--she had been in my primary class in 2009. I smiled and she said "Can I sit with you?" "Of course!" I replied and gave her a quick hug. I looked back and there was her family sitting a couple rows back. I smiled--they smiled and I had a seat partner for conference. She stayed the whole time.

I began to think of stake conferences I'd attended at her age. I grew up in the mission field. We had Branches and districts and had no buildings--just rented halls. Some of the people traveled up to a hundred and fifty miles to come to conference and our visiting authority was generally the mission president from Portland. We had both a morning and afternoon session and each was two hours long. I remember that for one conference we had rented the Library in Bend for the conference. We had moved the tables back against book stacks and set up chairs. They filled rapidly so we children sat, Indian style, on some tables and smaller ones went to sleep using their coats for pillows.

I don't remember anything that was said at these conferences but I remember a special feeling. It was something to be looked forward to and we made a special picnic lunch to eat between sessions. We had quarterly stake conferences--that means 4 times a year and two sessions.

Later, each town built a small chapel and as an early teenager I talked at one conference in the new Bend chapel.

As my former student sat next to me I wondered what she thought of stake conference and was happy to have her bring back memories of my childhood. I wonder if she will remember when she is a grandma, the stake conference where she sat with an old Grandma who had been her Primary teacher.


Cowboy mom said...

Why don't you come down here? I can guarantee you'd never sit alone, probably ever. I love that little girl and her mom!! I've sent my kids to sit with people before when they were alone. Because of that very reason. I don't think they're really too lonely. But it creates memories for my children. Love you!!

Adams Family said...

Her parents were probably happy that she sat rather quietly through the whole thing. You're welcome to take all of my kids with you if you find yourself in that same boat again. Love ya.

Boy Mom said...

So sweet! She's such an adorable little girl and Wow, all the seats we used to take.