Sunday, August 8, 2010

Goodbye Vernal 12th Branch

After six glorious years serving in the Branch Presidency at the Vernal 12th Branch serving the Split Mountain Youth Center, I was released today.  Actually it was six years, one month and seven days.

The Detention Center has been my spiritual home all of that time.  It is where I worshiped, played, loved and rejoiced.  I partook of the Sacrament there each week in a quiet, intimate meeting that rarely had over six people in attendance.  It is where I met some of the finest servants of the Lord I've ever known.  Four of those years I was Branch President and hadn't a worry in the world about assignments being carried out with love and care.  I would like to thank, Greg, Tamara, Nick, Harley, Jose', Garth, Marie, Carl, Andrea, Berk, Barbara, Dan, Charlene, Don, Raeann, Darwin, Carolee, Curg, Arvid, Les, Julie, Gary, Karen and most of all my companion Dixon for all the wonderful service, lessons and experiences that made our time together there such a joy.  I would like to thank the amazing, professional and loving Center Staff for the wonderful way in which they supported us and for the magnificent and compassionate way in which they serve the precious youth placed in their charge.

I wish I could list the hundreds of precious, terrific, delightful youth who crossed our paths over the course of 73 months.  Every one was a unique child of God.  So easy to love.  So respectful and kind.  We had so much fun laughing together and grew so strong through our tears.

How can I ever adequately express my gratitude to my Heavenly Father for the priceless opportunity it has been to serve there.  I had hoped I'd never be released, but I guess all good things must come to an end.  Those who've been called to take my place are finer servants than I and I take comfort in the knowledge that God's Kingdom is run by inspiration and that these fine stewards will take our little Branch to great new heights.

The blessings I've received and the lessons I've learn from these incredibly gifted youth are far beyond what I deserve.  I am forever changed for having had this blessed experience.

I have the blessing of being able to remain as the facilitator of the 12 Step program, which takes away much of the pain as I'll still get to spend a couple of hours a week serving my fine young friends.

As for the rest of my future; I'll be able to worship once again with my own family.  I'll be able to experience a real Ward for the first time in six years.  I absolutely can not wait to discover what the Lord has in store for me next.  What ever it is I know I will find unspeakable joy, just being in His service.  A privilege I hope I may always have.  If I have leaned anything, serving in the Detention Center it is that God truly loves, even a wretch like me.

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