Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chapter 59 - Life in a Small Branch

             Melaney and I have both been given callings in the Branch.  I offered to play the organ when the man who had been playing left with his family for San Jose.  Both the President and the man who left were thankful, because I am now the only person in the Branch who has any musical training.  I have played a couple of weeks now.  It has been more time than that, one week was conference in San Ramon (which we didn’t attend) the second weekend, we were both sick with some kind of yuck.  It was like Montezuma’s revenge but it lasted two days.  This past Sunday, Melaney was given the calling of Primary President.  We were very surprised at this as we haven’t received our official membership records as yet, but the President said (pointing up) “He has the records”.  She did her first day on Sunday, and I was there with the Yamaha.  Everyone seemed delighted to have the music, and they were so warm to us.  We don’t have enough of the language yet to be very effective, but Melaney is a terrific figurehead.  The children call her Sister Melaney (at her request) and they call me Sister Gloria.  They are very familiar with the name Gloria, as it is popular here.  It is also in a lot of the church hymns.  I won’t have to wait for Christmas to have them sing to me.
            The children all gave us a hug at the end of primary.  I am always surprised with the open affection they show.  We hugged each child (there were 12) ranging in age from four to eleven) and kissed the three adults.  It is so gratifying to be accepted so openly, and they don’t seem afraid of me at all.  They seem to be more in awe of my size than afraid.  I just love it.  I can be the marshmallow that I really am.We managed to go the full three hours on Sunday.  By the time we went home, my joints were on fire.  I was thankful for my recliner.
            I think we were called to this area to be of some effect on the people.  We can love them openly and in return they seem to love us.  Our life revolves around the meeting house, and there is a Relief Society birthday affair on Thursday that we plan to attend.  They are very social.  The last party was the Valentine’s Day party, and that was fun.  I think it does a great deal to solidify the branch by being social together.
            It is Tuesday today, and I have taken a half an hour to play through the primary songs that are coming up in the next two weeks.  I am familiar with all of them, and particularly so with a few.  One is the old song, “Jesus wants me for a sunbeam”.  I haven’t heard that one for a while.  I used to sing that as a child myself. By playing, I don’t have time to watch both the music and the Spanish words, so I concentrate on the music.  It is good to feel of worth to the Branch.

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