Monday, April 17, 2017

Bringing Life to a New Building

Twenty empty chairs faced us in our little classroom on the 4th floor. It was the very first day of our Happy Family class in the brand new church building in District 6. And we were waiting to see who would show up.

Ho Chi Minh City is divided into political administrative districts.  The financial hub of the city is in District 1.  Stretching outward from there are numbered districts (1-12) as well as districts with such creative names as Bình Thạnh, Tân Bình, and Bình Tân, not to be confused by open markets with names like Bến Thành and Tân Định! (And when you pronounce them slightly wrong to the taxi driver, you are likely to end up in a completely different part of town than you expected!)

New District 6 Branch Building
With the membership growth of the Ton San Nhut Branch, the mission made plans to create a new branch of the church in a new area. 

District 6 was the fortunate choice. A building was located that would be suitable for the start up branch.

We had the opportunity of helping outfit the new building in preparation for English classes. It was virtually an empty shell, with echoing halls and blank walls.

The new building - empty and waiting

We spruced it up with a visitor’s area, large pictures of the Savior and His life, class room dry erase boards and tables on various levels of the building. But still it sat empty.

On January 22, 2017, the new District 6 Branch was created, the third branch in Ho Chi Minh City. Because the new building was not available to move into quite yet, the branch met on Sundays in the Ton San Nhut building in the afternoons.

The District 6 Branch's first sacrament meeting  - a fledgling group with big hearts and high enthusiasm!

And the chairs of the District 6 building sat empty, waiting in hollow rooms.

But after a couple of months, the building was finally ready. There was mounting excitement for the new budding branch.  On April 4, 2017 the District 6 Branch met in their new building for Sunday services for the first time. See how much they have already grown!

First Sacrament Meeting in the District 6 Building

Scroll forward to our first Happy Family Class just this past weekend. The twenty empty chairs sat waiting. 

Then several people from the community came. Then some more.  Then more! They were coming! 

First Happy Family Class in District 6 Building

Nowadays the building is bustling with activity. It is filled with church meetings, missionaries, English conversation classes, family history consulting, and classes on strengthening home and family. It is becoming a gathering place for the community.

But it’s not the classes, meetings, offices, furnishings, or facilities that makes it a great gathering place.

It is the people. It is always the people.
English Class in District 6 Building

 What is most important almost always 
involves the people around us. 
 -President Thomas S. Monson

We love serving in Ho Chi Minh City!

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