If I hadn't moved here five years ago...
I wouldn't have been privileged to serve with such amazing sisters who have not only become very good friends but just like real sisters to me. With too many good friends leaving it's hard not to be sad but I still rejoice that God brought me to this place in time to get to know them. Had it been 5 years later I would never have had that opportunity. I can never express the appreciation for all that I've learned from the sisters of this ward, especially for teaching me how to love.
I wouldn't appreciate the warmth of summer so much! I've never really enjoyed the hot humid summers of Virginia or Ohio, but the more freezing cold winters I have to endure up here, the more I look forward to the warmth of summer!
I probably wouldn't have grown so much spiritually or socially. I've lived in 5 states and been a part of many different wards but I've never experienced the acceptance, love and unity that I've encountered here in the Fairfield Ward. Maybe it's just that I was finally open to it, but I really believe it's more than just that. This Ward family is special- you just don't find many like it.
I wouldn't have such a strong faith that things will work out. Just in the last 5 years we've been through David having a serious spinal infection with 2 major surgeries and many months of recovery followed almost immediately by a job loss. There have also been plenty of minor emergencies and plenty of the usual annoyances of life, but through it all I've learned to trust in God that in the end things will work out. Maybe not when you want them to, and certainly not always how you want them to, but God is good and He creates solutions when none seem apparent. He always comes through.
I would never have known so many different personalities and styles of doing things. This has been at times both a blessing and a curse. I'm not going to lie... it's hard to deal with people who have very different management styles or ways of thinking. But it's always been worth it. I've learned something from every person I've had dealings with. Most often I've been taught that I need to be more humble and quit thinking that my way is the only right way. And sometimes I've found a whole new perspective that has opened my eyes to greater understanding.
Who's to say what else I would or wouldn't have learned or become in the last five years? I can't say that I wouldn't have had experiences elsewhere that would have touched me in some of the same ways. But I do know that I've been extremely blessed to have had these last five years. To be in the presence of so many truly good men and women is more than I ever expected in life.