After New York City, we ended up in Ogunquit, Maine, and Dover, New Hampshire, while we looked for an apartment. Those “trips” aren’t even worth mentioning, except for this amazing dinner we had in Ogunquit:
We now live in coastal New Hampshire, which is pretty gorgeous, I have to admit. And I mean coastal—the ocean is less than a five-minute walk from our house. Cue the beach pictures . . .
We were so blessed to find a home. It’s an apartment inside a woman’s house, and she has been so welcoming and generous to us! It was the miraculous answer to a lot of prayers. Heavenly Father seriously spoiled us with this one.
The best thing about where we live is the ward. Everyone has been so welcoming, which is to be expected from a group of Mormons. But this ward has gone far above and beyond the call of duty.
However, the most impressive thing to me is that they seem to be just as kind to longstanding members as they are to new ones. Take my second week in Relief Society, for example. We were talking about the responsibilities parents have to their children. We were reading ten things fathers should focus on doing and ten things mothers should focus on doing (here’s the lesson. It’s amazing). When we were reading one of the father’s duties, the woman reading commented that her husband is really good at doing whatever it was. I was impressed that she was so openly complimentary of her husband, which is something I want to be. But what impressed me even more is that woman after woman jumped in and said, “Yes, your husband IS good at that. I’ve noticed. One time, I saw him . . .” It was so cool that they didn’t hesitate to praise each other’s spouses and not just their own.
Later, when we were reading some of the mother’s responsibilities, a woman raised her hand and said, “I just have to say, I think Jen [pointing to the woman next to her] is such a good example of . . .” And so it went for the majority of the lesson. Praise and compliments were flying around the room, I tell you!
And you know what? I kind of loved it. Normally I’m the type of person who tries really hard to stay on task in church and only make comments that are directly related to the lesson material and are as impersonal as possible. Because we’ve all heard those comments that are just TMI, haven’t we?
Being in that lesson opened my mind to the kind of loving spirit I could bring into my future wards! And if your ward is totally not like that, somebody has to start it, right?