We attended the Venice Ward today. Although it is a 30 minute drive from our apartment; the drive is almost all interstate, so it is probably the easiest building to get to. Venice is a retirement community, and the ward reflects that. Although there are some younger families, many of the ward members are snowbirds or permanent retirees. We were told two descriptions of the ward by ward members. 1) God's waiting room, and 2) retired folks live in Sarasota and their parents live in Venice.
The people in the ward are pleasant, but I don't know how committed they are to missionary work. They did have a baptism last week of a 9 year-old boy whose father is inactive. He was baptized and confirmed by the ward Cubmaster, whom I am guessing is at least 75.
After visiting the ward meetings, we returned home for a couple of hours, and then drove to Gulfport. President Cusick had asked us to take his place to speak at a youth fireside about preparing to serve as missionaries. The fireside included the Gulfport Branch, Seminole and St. Petersburg wards. About 50 youth were in attendance. Renee and I spoke for about 35 minutes, and then we had about 35 minutes for questions. Four missionaries were in attendance, so I had some of them answer questions, such as how did they get their hair cut. Hopefully, it was a beneficial meeting for them.