I am on vacation in the Rocky Mountains with the family. We went to church today and there was an announced crowd at Sacrament meeting of more than 400 people. The reason they announced the crowd was that this was apparently a record. The chapel was filled, as well as the two overflow rooms, Primary and Relief Society. It took nine members of the Aaronic Priesthood 40 minutes to administer the Sacrament.
It was Fast Sunday, so we also heard some nice testimonies. During the testimonies, we learned that normally there are fewer than 100 people in the chapel for Sacrament meeting. The year-round residents were astounded but impressed to see so many people there for church.
When you go to Church on vacation you have to do a bit of planning. You need to bring something resembling Sunday clothes. When you have children, this adds a bit of stress because something is always forgotten. In our case, I forgot to bring a tie and a belt for my slacks. My wife forgot to bring a skirt. The kids forgot their Sunday shoes. So we were a motley crew sitting in the back today. But we were happy to be there among the Saints, and I don’t think anybody cared that we weren’t in our Sunday best.
I have been to Church literally around the world while on vacation or traveling for work. I regularly go to church near Waikiki in Hawaii. I have been to a small chapel in Puerto Montt, Chile where the members all kept their down jackets on throughout the service, even though the building was heated. I have been to chapels in London and Hong Kong. Sometimes I just stay for Sacrament — more often I stay all three hours.
I am happy to report that Church services in southern Chile are almost exactly the same as services in the U.S., Hong Kong and London. And I am also happy to report that people have been friendly and welcoming in nearly every chapel I have attended. So, the Church is true, even on vacation.
Feel free to share some of your stories about church services while traveling.