Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven; the investment of time, talent and effort by many certainly brought forth the blessings to Barrow Ward in Cumbria.
Barrow Ward members had worked hard for many weeks, sewing and embroidering table cloths and ‘scrapbooking’ (i.e. arranging personal and family history in the form of a book). The elders quorum president meticulously prepared and edited an hourlong video about the history and building of the Barrow chapel and designed promotional posters and flyers. Some members and missionaries were in the chapel almost every day in the week prior to the open house, clearing out cupboards, cleaning and tidying. The grounds were swept and cleaned, trees and shrubbery pruned, windows cleaned, and flowers arranged. Invitations and fliers were hand-delivered to all the local schools. Hundreds of flyers and posters were distributed. Through their joint efforts ward members became better bonded.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Barrow attended the first day of the open house and were impressed. The family history centre received visitors; some said they would be back.
Members from other wards in the stake attended, as well as local less-active members with nonmember children, who are now waiting to be baptized.
The open house culminated with the ward conference. The congregation, double its usual size, heard spiritually uplifting talks and a wonderful musical presentation given by the ward brethren and sister missionaries. The Relief Society president served delicious homemade soups at the munch and mingle on that Sunday.