We live in a particularly densely Mormon populated area of Mesa, so our ward (congregation) boundaries are some of the smallest outside of Utah. (Fun fact: Mormons do not get to choose their congregation, but are assigned depending on their geographic location.) I wasn't particularly excited about the idea of small ward boundaries when we moved here from California, but Mike and I both had an overwhelming feeling that this was where our family was meant to settle. It turns out, though, that having such a small ward area is actually pretty great.
I love to watch our neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon, especially on the last Sunday of the month when men are hurrying to finish their Home Teaching, or women their Visiting Teaching. It is a busy place! Because we live so close to the church building, children are walking to and from church, adults are walking to choir practice or to various other meetings they might have. But my favorite thing is the sense of extended family that exists here. Elliot's nursery leaders love him, and he loves them. Our Bishop is a friend. Because I serve in the Relief Society, I have a true feeling of sisterhood for the other women in our ward. But these feelings of love and friendship don't end with our ward members. Because our boundaries are so small, those same feelings extend to all neighbors, regardless of religion. I love all women in my neighborhood and feel a special kinship with them. There is real love and concern, genuine friendship, and a desire to serve and help each other. And that makes this neighborhood just about the best one on earth, I am convinced.
I am so grateful to live here.