Monday, February 27, 2017

International Church

I know that The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints is an international church.  We have more members outside of the United States than we do inside.  We have attended congregations all over the US and the world, whether it's been to visit or to stay for a while.  Some of the Primary classes our children have attended have been large; some have been bilingual; some have been on the smaller side.  Here, in Basel, our children make up HALF of the primary.  Half.  Church is an incredible blessing for us.  It's a place where we get to strengthen our knowledge and testimonies of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It's where we can go to be uplifted.  It's where we can go to start fresh. It's where we can go to learn how to uplift others.  But it's not only that.  We have had the benefit of having an instant church family wherever we happen to land.  

And for that, I am extremely grateful.  

As I sat in the pew a couple of weeks ago, I witnessed something beautiful and unique that I haven't experienced on such a level before.  

We live in Basel, Switzerland.  There are 4 official languages in this country:  German (Swiss German), French, Italian and Rumantsch.  Because 74% of the public uses German, our meetings are held in German.  Just like in Chile, our meetings were all held in Spanish.  We don't speak the language yet.  

I don't understand a thing.  

And yet, I looked around and noticed something remarkable.  We had headphones on and were listening to our new and dear friend translating the remarks into English for us.  Others had headphones on and were listening to a Spanish translation.  (Sometimes we listen to that Spanish translation when no one is there to translate into English.  Who would have thought?!!!).  

Another woman was sitting behind us, whispering to the lady next to her.  I realized she was translating the meeting into French for her.  Then I looked over by the piano and saw a woman sitting in front of another woman who was deaf, signing the entire meeting for her.  (On another occasion, when the translator wasn't there for the deaf woman, I have seen another member of the congregation type every word that was said at the pulpit, so it could be read immediately on the woman's iPad).

I got chills.  

None of these people get paid.  They are all members of the congregation providing service for their fellow members... so we can all benefit from the teachings of Jesus Christ, no matter what our native tongue happens to be.  Truly, an international experience I am blessed and humbled to be a part of.  
I love kind people.  

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