Tuesday, July 19, 2011

EVERYTHING is Brand New!

The hymnals have never been opened.
The linens on the sacrament table are pristine white and the sacrament trays have never had bread or water on them.
The cushions on the pews are firm and high because they've never been sat on.
The hymn board has the first hymn numbers on it ever.
The gym floor is super shiny and glossy.  It's never been played on.
The chalkboards have never been written on.
The kitchen has never been cooked in.
The chapel has never been used yet for a Sacrament meeting.
And...it smells so nice and new.
This is what we experienced today.  It was the first time our new Stake Center had been used for official Sabbath services and our ward got to be the very first ward to experience all of it.  It was so wonderful.  It was like Christmas for churches.  Everyone sat in their usual row, but everyone looked at everything with a gleam in their eye.  It was such a special day...something I've never experienced before in that way...I missed out on that experience when our first Stake Center here in Surprise was built because another ward went to church earlier than us so they got to experience it.  This time, we did.  We will be the only ones who got to experience that in that building.  It was just really special.

I actually went over earlier in the week to turn in old keys and get keys to the new building.  It was weird thinking about how when I first moved to this town 10 years ago, I had to drive 14 miles each direction to go to church.  But, it was mostly on surface streets.  When we got our first building out here, we were so excited because it was only 2-3 miles away and only took about 7 minutes to get there, rather than 35 minutes.  Then, they built the first stake center just a mile away from us and it was a short 4 minutes to church.  Then, we were switched to the Verde Vista building and it was just another mile or so from the stake center.  However, now our new stake center is about 7 miles away and takes about 15 to 17 minutes to get there.  This is the view on the way to our new building.

There's pretty much nothing on the way.  Just dirt and road.  But that's okay.  We're just glad to have a nice, new building that's not crowded!

While there, I took a few pictures of some of the beautiful artwork inside.  Love it.  I was really touched by these.  They are quite different than the standard artwork that we typically see in our chapels...
I LOVED this picture of the Savior.  The colors are rich and vibrant. 
 I LOVED this picture of the 10 Virgins.  Very dramatic.
But this one truly caught my breath.  This is the one and only piece of artwork that is in the Young Women's room - specifically, the Laurels room - which is the group I teach.  I love how she is reading, presumably, her scriptures.  She has the "light" that she's not hiding under a bushel.  And, she's looking to the light as well.  I hope the girls in my class see the meaning in this picture and choose to walk in the same path.

It was a really neat day being in our new building.  I loved it.

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