Our ward had a bishopric change yesterday. In LDS wards (what we call our church congregation) we have a new bishop called roughly every five years. Bishop Milligan was called this past June and we all expected he'd be our bishop for the next five years. But as many of you know, his wife, and my friend, Kim, passed away about a month ago and that changed everything. He needs to be there for his five young children. As much as we love him and as willing as I'm sure he would be to continue, he was released on Sunday. It was a very emotional day for our ward. I was happy to see him leaving church at the regular time that church got out with all his children--not needing to stay for any additional meetings as bishops almost always do every Sunday. Kim did so much caring for their family while he gave of his time to the ward. It has been beautiful to see him gather his children around him and be there for them. He has set an example for our ward, my family, and me, that I will always remember of unwavering faithfulness. He and his family have been to church every week. I know they are suffering unimaginably, but they know where to find the comfort they need -- through Jesus Christ and his Atonement. Bishop Milligan knows our Ward is mourning as well and he is letting the ward grieve with him. I think it is the best example I have ever seen of mourning with those that mourn and comforting those that stand in need of comfort.
Abe and I helped a little bit with a huge garage sale/bake sale/boutique that was held on Saturday to help raise money to help with medical and funeral costs. It was very successful and many people were very generous. Like I said, Abe and I helped a little, but many other members of our ward gave exceedingly of their time to put it together. It was quite an undertaking and it was awe-inspiring to see so many pull together to help this family that has always been willing to do anything for our ward and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I know Thanksgiving is over but I cannot miss this opportunity to express my gratitude for the good people I am blessed to live around. There are good people everywhere, but there is something special in this little corner of Riverton. As a good friend said, "We may not live in the "best" neighborhood, but we have the BEST neighbors". She meant that we don't have the biggest, fanciest homes, but I think we have something better. Charity.
In 1st Corinitians we can read about charity:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth.
I think that describes what we have. My ward is not perfect. There are a lot of people who have a lot of problems-- my own family included. We aren't a big ward, but I feel loved there. People are looking for the good in each other, celebrating one another's big and little victories, crying together, serving one another, loving and teaching each other's children, trying to do right by each other, and learning together.
I'm a weird homeschooler with a lot of kids, so I know people wouldn't have to look that far to find something to not like about me and my family. But gratefully, I have never felt shutout of conversations or left out of social gatherings in my ward because of our family's size or schooling choices.
To my ward family I say thank you for your goodness and acceptance. Thank you for your examples and friendship. We are blessed to live among you.