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Monday, April 11, 2016

Living in Dushanbe: General Conference

It was General Conference weekend this past Saturday and Sunday.  In the US (and probably the rest of the whole world), LDS General Conference is held the first weekend in April and October.  But in Tajikistan, it's held the second weekend in April and October.

Tajikistan is exactly twelve hours ahead of Utah time, makes it pretty late to start watching conference when the first session begins at ten in the morning.  And the next session - two in the afternoon - is right out.  And I suppose Brandon could get up early on Sunday morning and watch the evening priesthood session that starts at six, but he hasn't yet.

When we were in Baku, everyone watched one session together on Conference Sunday - usually the Saturday morning session - and then tried (and in our house, failed) to play catch-up to watch the other sessions.  It's really hard to get everyone excited to sit down and watch two hours of conference when they're already spent two hours in church on a Sunday - for three Sundays in a row.  We always started out with good intentions, but never finished very strong.

So when we came here and Brandon - by virtue of being the only priesthood holder in the country at the time - was assigned group leader, we decided to do things a little differently.  I've always enjoyed having a weekend dedicated to watching conference.  It's a special time, and the atmosphere builds on itself as everyone sits (or wiggles or colors or lays) and listens to talk after talk from apostles, the prophet, and other general authorities.  It's just not the same when you break it up.  And so we just made our own conference weekend - a week late (thanks, internet!).

The children are pretty reasonable about watching four hours of conference on Saturday and four on Sunday, and I get to feel the warm glow of having seen all of the sessions in one good go.  Sure, the timing may not be orthodox, but we're in Tajikistan and that means we pretty much get to do things however works best for us and our group.

And it turns out that the talks are the exact same ones that everyone else listened to last week.  So haven't it a week later doesn't make that much difference.  Hopefully.

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