That's all I can say. Well, well, well. Well I'll be.
Y'all know that I'm LDS/Mormon. I attend a "ward" every Sunday- it's my congregation, and it's organized by physical boundaries. Each ward has it's own leader, called a Bishop. Wards are part of larger groups called "stakes," and stakes are led by Stake Presidents. Stakes are part of Areas, with Area Authorities, who report to the the Prophet and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Got all that?
In special circumstances, there will be wards organized by a need rather than a location. If there are a lot of young, single, adults (18-30) in an area a ward might be organized for them. If there are a lot of....Tongans in an area that predominantly speaks English, a Tongan ward (or "branch" if it's very small) might be organized for them to attend and worship together in a language they're comfortable with.
So, with all that in mind, our stake secretary called Tuesday evening. "Can your family come and meet with the stake president on Thursday evening?"
Hmm...the only reason the stake president asks you to meet with him is if there's a new assignment or calling. And it would be a STAKE calling, which means BIG. (Because you'd be in charge of a program on a stake level, not just a ward level. Wow, we sound like a video game when I explain it like this!)
So, we were excited and nervous when we met with our Stake President tonight. What could it be? WHO was getting a new calling?
It's much more exciting than either of us thought: we're joining a branch! Not just ANY branch, the Spanish speaking branch. Would we accept an assignment to attend with them for two years?
This Sunday will be our last time attending our ward before our official records are moved over to the Spanish Branch. I'll be the organist, and Wonder Daddy doesn't have an assignment yet.
There aren't many youth in our branch, so they meet with the kids from a ward at the building at the same time, which means that Ernie will have an English-speaking primary teacher. Adults meet separately though, so Wonder Daddy and I will be 100% Spanish-speaking.
We're excited, we're nervous....but mostly just excited for this opportunity to learn and grow and meet new friends. The members of the branch are from all over the world, but the gospel is the same no matter where you are or what language. We stopped by the book store on the way home to pick up scriptures and lesson manuals in Spanish, and I'm still looking for a spiral-bound Spanish hymnal. Wonder Daddy speaks Portuguese, and I haven't used my spanish since my Sophomore year of high school (1998!!) so there's going to be a steep learning curve. We can both understand the written word fairly well/well enough to know what's going on, so we'll hopefully be able to follow the lessons by reading along in our manuals until we get more comfortable understanding.
"..I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children or men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7)
Ire y hare lo que el Senor ha mandado, porque se qhe el nunca da mandamientos a los hijos de los hombres sin prepararles la via para que cumplan lo que les ha mandado. (1 Nefi 3:7)
So, to all our local friends...we'll see you around, just not at church!