Monday, October 11, 2010

A Gift For You, CH 1

48 hours ago we were members of the Chapel Hill First Ward. Yesterday it was announced in church that the ward boundries in our stake are being redrawn and about 16 or so families are getting cut out of the CH1 ward. We are one of those families, and we will be joining the Burlington 3 ward with a bunch of other Durham Stake refugees until a building is built in our area.

I thought about my wonderful friends that I wouldn't get to see as much any more. Then I remembered something that President Monson (that is the prophet of the LDS church) said in his talk last week at General Conference.

I wrapped some presents and displayed them on the table on a cake stand for the girls to see when they got home.
When they asked "Are those for us? Can we open them? What is inside?" I just shrugged my shoulders. This drove Naomi nearly bonkers.

I kept them on the table for dinner, so everyone could look at them and salivate.

Then, for Family Night I spread a big paper on the table, under the cake stand.

We thought about all the people in our ward who made a difference in our lives.
I gave everyone a few minutes to write down as many names as they could.

Then I directed their attention to the presents on the cake stand and asked them two questions:
1. How would you feel if I told you you could open up these presents right now? [exclaimations of joyous insanity]
2. How would you feel if I told you that there is something very special for each of you in those boxes but I will never let you open them, and that I am just going to keep them myself. [boos/hisses]

Then I had Sophie read a quote from Presdient Monson's talk last week:
A grateful heart, then, comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives. This requires conscious effort—at least until we have truly learned and cultivated an attitude of gratitude. Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don’t get around to it. Someone has said that “feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”12
I asked them each to pick one name on their list and "give a gift" to them by thanking them with a note. Then we addressed them.

Then they got to open the gifts!
(Which were thank you notes from me to them. Yes, a little anticlimactic, but at least they didn't show it.)

I will miss you, Kramers, Dorrances, Hansens, Peets, Nelsons, Empeys, Stanleys, Austins, Prietos, Street, Parcell, Neal-Ewings, Molnars, and all of my other dear friends of the Chapel Hill First Ward.

I will miss you,
Scott will miss you,
and the girls will all miss you.
(Dan, maybe not so much.)

As Joseph Smith used to say, "Friends at [chapel hill] first are friends at last."


  1. Chelsea, thanks so much. We will miss your family too... although it's probably only fair that we share you with other people who need more awesomeness in their lives.

  2. Aww. How sad and sweet. I wish you had posted this before I did my super lame FHE on gratitude. Burlington is so lucky!

  3. We are lining up to thank all of you..even out loud in Anson's prayer last night! Thank you for making every Sacrament Mtg more joyful (girls AND Danny), for helping raise our son, despite Delilah factor (Scott) and sharing every creative gift she has and then some with all her sisters and indirectly with their families (Chelsea)- and for me personally- being the perfect sounding board for every whimper, whine and idea that dances through my mind. And this is just touching the tip of the iceberg - a poor image for the warmth and love enjoyed serving with you, dear Chelsea! Friends for the eternities! Love and hugs,
    PS Metta shared that we were mentioned so had to check it out! You're the best!

  4. You know, in a way, I'm kinda glad we moved before this big ward shake up. I think it would've been hard to see such awesome people leave the ward. Burlington 3 is lucky to have an addition such as your family. I wish you guys the best of luck out there :)

  5. You are so awesome. I also love your new header. What an artist you are.

  6. You're so do you ever manage it all? Even though I'm not sad you're leaving my ward, I am sad you live miles and miles away. Here's to wishing I could see you more often.

  7. This happened to us 4 years ago and it was a shocker. But four year down the road our little ward feels like home. Good luck. I'm sure you will love your new ward too.

  8. Is it bad that I looked for my name in the picture?!

    I already miss you, your family, and all the great CH-oners.

    Like Aline, I'm also glad we left before the ward split. It would shake my very foundation. Maybe.

  9. Rylee got her letter a few days ago. I know it was very comforting to her. What a great idea. We also framed the picture of her and the girls that you gave us and put it on her desk in her room. You will be missed...on Sundays anyways...but we better still see you on other days of the week! And who knows...if the stars align...maybe we will be neighbors one day (fingers crossed)!

  10. Chels, once again your creativity astounds me! Wasn't I there the day they handed out the gift of creativity. I must have had the flu or something! My idea of a creative FHE lesson is if I can manage to tie in M&M's somehow!
    PS Thanks for the Christmas card!