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.
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