Some stats from our convention in Atlanta: Attendance ranged from 30,885 on Friday afternoon to 34,877 on Sunday afternoon. Saturday afternoon, we had a total of 107,723 for some of the talks that were tied into ours at 18 different regional conventions, and we had 254 baptized. 17 countries were represented at ours, including the missionaries who were able to come home to attend. It was all amazing!! We are truly part of an international brotherhood!
Everything was very organized, as usual. Our brothers worked hard to make sure that we all knew where to go and how to get there. They even put together a video for us entitled, "The Time of Your Life" to highlight what to expect. We were all asked to use MARTA to get back and forth from the Georgia Dome. They negotiated reduced rates and purchased our passes in advance. Local volunteers were located at all the train stations to help us know which direction to go and which trains to get on. Everything was easy and went smoothly!
The convention program itself was wonderful! (You can download a copy of the program at this link.) The talks were encouraging & heartwarming. Anthony Morris from the governing body was our key speaker. We have heard him speak on other occasions and just love him. He's very real about things, very straightforward, but also touches your heart. It was awesome having him there.
In addition to the spiritual feast we received, it was great to be able to meet our brothers & sisters from many other countries! Most of us made up little gifts to give to the international delegates, and many of them had gifts for us as well! Brandon & I had a few different things to hand out. I made bookmarks and key chains. I bagged one or the other with some candy and our contact information. We also had some DVDs containing a slideshow of pictures of our congregation & territory that one of our elders made up for all of us using pictures contributed from everyone. They turned out great! It was so fun handing them out when we met new people. And I have to admit, it was fun receiving their gifts as well! They make great souvenirs, and most of them included contact information, so we hope to be able to stay in touch with our new friends. Here's our nephew, Landon, with one of the gifts he received. He was so proud of it! :)
Here are just a few of the international delegates we met. There were many more, especially from Japan & Finland!
|Friends from England (Top right serves in an Arabic congregation)|
|Friends from Finland|
|Friends from Japan|
At the very end of the last talk on Sunday, Brother Morris had all the missionaries present come out onto the stage. It was awesome to see them all, smiling and waving! They stayed on stage for the closing song. After that, signs & banners started popping up all around the Dome. The camera crew zoomed in on several sections so we could see them on the screens. It was so heartwarming seeing all the messages from different ones, expressing love for the missionaries, the international delegates, and everyone else. What an amazing experience the entire weekend was!
Maybe one day we can be the delegates going to an international convention somewhere else!