I munched 'n' mingled at the YSA branch in Toronto!
Anna, Tony and I at Munch 'n' Mingle
Today I attended one of the most diverse branches I've ever been to. Think BYU-Hawaii, diverse. Asian members, Black members, Indian members, Hispanic members and a few white members here and there. It was awesome - it was like this branch represented the diversity of the entire membership of the Church around the world. :)
There is something like walking into a YSA branch and being completely 100% welcome from the first moment. I've been to so many wards and branches all over the world and this was one of the most friendly ever. I easily made friends and even though I was 'just' visiting, people learned my name and got to know me.
Funny story: last time I was in Toronto I was in the airport waiting for my flight home when a girl, Anna, asked me if I was Mormon. (I wear my Provo Temple to Temple t-shirt for just such moments as this. :) ) We just clicked and ended up having lunch together in the airport. She invited me to come to her YSA ward the next time I'm in town. Long story short, Anna is in the photo at the top of this post. :D
Anna and I at the airport in September.
There was a baptism directly after church. The newly baptized brother told us that he had been through very difficult trials lately and that it lead him to re-investigate the LDS Church. His smile lit up the room and he just emanated the light of Christ! There were so many investigators (friendly members + good missionaries = many investigators) and the branch was made up of converts which brought such an awesome feel. It reminded me of my time in Istanbul.
After the baptism we had a Munch 'n' Mingle. We had Asian food with chopsticks - no other utensils were provided - and I was able to meet so many other people.
For those of you who are traveling to Toronto - the branch meets at noon at 24 Ferrand Drive in North York. Here is the building:
It was a wonderful Sunday - truly gave me hope in YSA wards again (just kidding...) ;) Anyways, the day was so great I had to share.