Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Ward Project

Sister Laura Rand is the ward project. The 60 year old woman with the mind of an immature 12 year old. Everybody loves her, but she is still a struggle to deal with sometimes. With an obsession for everyone else’s babies as well as small animals, she becomes quite the handful. But no one can deny her honest spirituality and good heart, although she does have her struggles.

 It was on a fast Sunday when I heard the crinkle of a big bag of Cheetos puffs in the pew behind me. There next to her jumbo bag of Cheetos was a big old bottle of Cherry coke. Leave it to Sister Rand to make fast Sunday that much harder for everyone else.

 She often brought small creatures into the chapel. Sometimes a hamster thing, but it was usually a bird that stayed perched on her shoulder. The day she brought the duckling was quite the event when the duckling peed all over her already dirty shirt. But she has come a long way. With help from the bishop and the relief society, she no longer brought the birds, or hamsters, or ducklings to church.
As a converted Jew, her old family traditions often come out. Despite a strong and unwavering testimony in the Restored Gospel, Pork is still a very bad meat to eat. We had her over for dinner often and pork was often on the menu. She was too busy enjoying it to notice it was pork. She loved to help prepare the table and the meal in a most charitable way. “Wash your hands before you set the table Laura!” says my mother. “But I showered yesterday morning!”, with a sincerely and very serious tone. Although cleanliness is next to Godliness, I know Laura gets as close to God without the clean part.


  1. I think there is a beloved project in every ward. Ours was Jason Haws or Spencer Allen. Everybody loves them, but they do take quite a bit of effort and care. They are also hilarious, and each ward has several stories to laugh about, in a very endearing way. Like the time Spencer sang the Star-Spangled Banner (well, some of the words) over the pulpit on the 4th of July and described that it was the War of 1812 in which it was written.
    Any way, I can imagine the bird perched on her shoulder. I think I would love to hear you describe the way she sat, maybe what she was wearing at the time and the mannerisms she had during sacrament while the bird was perched there.

  2. This also reminds me of the share-a-mony old lady everyone has in their ward. It's kinda the opposite of that but that's what it reminded me of. You know the one, she gets up and tells you every spiritual experience she's had over the last month. And she speaks for longer than anyone should ever speak at the pulpit. I've never had the old women with the mind of a 12 year old though.