Not One Person Said Hello

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.

7 thoughts on “Not One Person Said Hello”

  1. When I first moved to Seattle and was living in the dorm I went to the singles ward (twice) and both times I lingered after sacrament meeting and NOBODY came up to me to say hi or shake my hand. I was SHOCKED because growing up in a small branch, if you are new you get swarmed! That did kinda turn me off of coming back from inactivity for a while. So even if someone looks familiar– always say hi!

  2. I’m glad your take away message was to remember to seek out visitors, but the other thing I try to remember personally is that when I am new or visiting, I need to take initiative and not expect other people to do the hard work.

  3. That is such a wonderful thought. But so unfortunate. I just taught a lesson yesterday in young women’s on being righteous examples. I was to focus on the positive side and how we can bring people to the gospel by being positive examples, but I made sure that they new that even members of the church are watching and our actions will make a difference in their own testimonies and their faith.

  4. I love this post (and not just for your use of the phrase pterodactyl screeching). Such a simple thing, saying hello. And can make such a huge difference!

  5. Ahh, Jeannie, your words ring so true. That sounds like a few of the churches we visited before we found the right one. And we knew we belonged there instantly, because everyone was so friendly 🙂

    I wish we could have been there with the UWEB crowd. I miss you guys!

  6. Oh my goodness, Eddie and I were just talking about this!!! We were in Atlanta and the same thing happened. NO ONE said a word to us the entire time!

    Contrast that to our experience a few year back in both Anchorage and Mt. Vernon where people seemed excited to see us thinking we might be new to the ward and helped direct us to the Sunday School classroom after Sacrament Meeting…

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