Sunday, February 05, 2012

Places where I've attended church worship services

Just because I got to thinking about it.

United States (Several congregations in Oregon, a few each in Arizona, California, Idaho, and Utah, and at least one each in Alaska, New York, Missouri, Vermont, and Massachusetts)

Japan (Kyoto, Tokyo)

Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk)

Czech Republic (Prague)

Syria (Damascus)

Jordan (Amman, Irbid)

Israel/Palestine (Jerusalem, Tiberias)

Lebanon (Beirut)

Turkey (Istanbul)

Egypt (Cairo)

UAE (Sharjah)

Qatar (Doha)

Oman (Muscat)

Kuwait (Kuwait City)

Setting aside the platitude of "the Church (of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is the same wherever you go," I have to say that Mormondom is a very small world sometimes. We have shown up at random branches in random foreign countries before and run into people we know. It happened to us in Kuwait, in fact, where we knew no fewer than four individuals in that congregation from previous years of our lives.

When we went to church in Oman, the speaker mentioned in his talk a story about a girl we knew in Amman.

In Egypt, I gave a talk in church about the Armenian Mormons in Turkey who were evacuated to Aleppo, Syria in the early 20th century. When I was finished, an American lady who was visiting church that day came up and said to me, "oh, my grandpa was one of those Armenians and you actually said his name during your talk."

SMALL WORLD.

In conclusion, the most beautiful Mormon chapels I've ever seen are the ones in Israel/Palestine. The Jerusalem congregation meets at the BYU Jerusalem Center. You can see the Dome of the Rock from the chapel. In Tiberias, one whole wall of the chapel is a glass window looking out over the Sea of Galilee. Of course, a close third place has to be the cultural hall in Moscow with neon green felt decor and gold balls on the walls. Or perhaps the car repair garage where we met for church in Kyoto. Not.

8 comments:

Liz Johnson said...

We met in a warehouse in Tennessee when I was really little, and for some reason that one really sticks out to me as one of the cooler places I've been to church. Oh, and the house-turned-church in Mexico City. I still get all emotional when I picture it in my head!

For a while, I had attended church for longer in a house/warehouse/non-chapel than I had in a chapel, but sadly all of our suburban/US living has caught up with me and that's no longer the case. Tragic, really.

Katie Lewis said...

First of all, man, you are a world traveler. And so cool.

Second of all, that chapel looking over the sea sounds so pretty and serene. Actually it sounds like much more than that.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Don't forget Vermont.

Kathy Haynie said...

The list is impressive not only because of its diversity, but because it means that you persevered and found these chapels in far-flung places and went to church even if you didn't necessarily speak the language very well. Atta girl for that kind of testimony.

Susanne said...

I'm always impressed that you make it a point to find a church wherever you go! Even on vacation!

Jennifer said...

Not only have you been to church in lots of different countries, there are so many of those countries where the church is so small and doesn't have missionaries. So cool!

Ariana said...

On Mormon Times today on KSL they Skyped with an LDS guy living in Dubai. Made me think of you guys in Sharjah!

Bridget said...

Ooh, I wonder who it was!

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