Today we visited the Palmetto Ward which meets in the Bradenton building. There are three units that meet in that building, and it is also the stake center. The Sarasota building houses four units.
The Palmetto Ward appears to be a very solid ward. In speaking with Bishop Ririe, he indicated that they have over 50% Sacrament Meeting attendance, and he thought that was the highest in the stake. He said five members of the high council and a member of the stake presidency are from the ward. They have about 35 youth, and I met four priests who are preparing to serve missions. The missionaries are teaching the girl friend of one of these young men.
Most of the ward council was devoted to discussions about progressing investigators. They have an unusual situation with a young woman who was baptized last Wednesday. She was supposed to be confirmed in Sacrament Meeting today. However, she has since told the missionaries that she doesn't have a testimony and didn't want to be confirmed. She also said that she didn't want to have contact with ward members. The Elders and Bro. Jackson, the ward mission leader, will continue to work with her.
Elders Spach and Nelson who are assigned to the ward spoke in Sacrament Meeting. They gave excellent talks which was not a surprise. They are the zone leaders, and we have been very impressed by them. We were asked to sit on the stand and were introduced to the ward.
The High Priests Group Leader asked me to talk about missionary work in their meeting. He was to teach the lesson, and he said that he wouldn't mind if I took all of the lesson time. So I spoke a bit about our experiences in the MTC and told of the great need for senior missionaries. They asked some questions about senior missionary work. I don't know that it was a spiritually uplifting lesson, but perhaps someone might be encouraged to serve.
We finished the day by attending the choir rehearsal in the Sarasota building. There were fewer men in attendance than last week. I mentioned that to another brother, and he said that next week will be even worse because of the Super Bowl. So even though I won't contribute much to the choir, I think they need whatever brethren they can get.