Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

"We're So Glad You're Here" - The Warm Welcome a Young Woman Gave a Stranger

While visiting an LDS ward in Hurricane, Utah, I recently heard a talk given by a young woman from Denmark who came to Utah on a high-school student exchange program, if I recall correctly. Her father (or step-father?) was a non-attending Mormon, but she had essentially no exposure to the Church before coming to Utah and was not LDS. She was invited to attend and was interested but apprehensive as a newcomer to the ward. Her concerns melted almost instantly when she was introduced to the bishop's daughter. "I'm so glad you're here!" the LDS young woman said as she welcome the Danish visitor. She took the newcomer by the hand and brought her to the right class and helped her make new friends. This simple step was a huge one and helped the girl have confidence enough to keep coming and learning.

The Danish girl, when she spoke, was scheduled to be baptized in Denmark. She shared her testimony and her conversion story, which was far more than simply having a good social experience. It involved a spiritual quest, studying the scriptures and gaining her own testimony through prayer. But the warmth of a sweet LDS woman made all the difference in getting that process started.

A good reminder about the need to love one another with warmth and kindness, especially the strangers in our midst. It's easy to stay in our own little spheres, but so much good comes when we step outside and take simple steps to greet and welcome others. One more case of great things coming from small and simple means.

7 comments:

Ardis said...

Like.

Jenalee said...

That was what I liked about the ward I live in now--how so many welcomed us to the ward. I try to welcome new people in the ward. Sometimes I have to wait because other people are surrounding them. It is great when several people are welcoming new people or visitors. Thanks for reminding us of the importance of reaching out to others.

Anonymous said...

I was at a church recently that has a "first impressions" ministry team. They are trained to appropriately welcome visitors.

Dallas, Dad, Big D & I said...

I'm glad to say that our ward has developed into that kind of ward over the years. As a matter of fact we have had two exchange students from different parts of the world that were welcomes as well. One of whom even attended early morning seminary with the best attendance of any of the youth that year and joined the church a couple years after returning to her home country. Being greeted with kindness and acceptance is key for most folks. Thanks for the reminder.

Jillian said...

I think that's one of the reasons I have such fond memories of the time I lived in Wisconsin. When we first arrived in both the Oshkosh ward & Appleton ward, we received a very warm welcome and I made friends quickly. It made moving to a new school my senior year a lot less difficult!

Jeff Lindsay: said...

Wisconsin - yay!

Cindy said...

There is nothing like Wisconsin warmth...besides the fact that there are many here who believe in Christ, we are drawn to each other in warmth for survival from our weather as well!