The Sunday after Shay’s wedding in the Tri-Cities, we were able to have a sort of mini family reunion at Grandpa Larry’s and Grandma Lu’s home. With the time frame we were working with, we were unable to attend church with Dave and Christy. So we decided to go to church at a completely random ward that met at a time convenient for us.
We walked in just as the opening hymn was starting, so yes, we were a little late. Not much opportunity for chit-chat. But even after Sacrament Meeting was over and everyone was just milling around before Sunday School started, not one person came up to us. Not one person really smiled at us, or even looked our way.
In fact, the only effort that was made to acknowledge our existence as visitors to the ward was by a woman sitting in front of us who kept turning around with a stone face. No smile. Was Warren being that obnoxious wiggling on our pew? Was Maddie’s pterodactyl screeching preventing her from hearing the talk on missionary work? Surely we must be offending her somehow if she continued to stare at us without even a hint of friendliness.
What if we’d been a family investigating the church for the first time? What if we had just moved in and were new to the ward? What if our testimonies weren’t as strong and we’d been doubting the Gospel?
The take-away message I learned that day: don’t turn around without a smile on your face and always try to say hello to visitors.