Many members attend wards that aren’t in their native language or culture. But there are ways we can help know they belong.
I grew up as one of the few Latino children in my English-speaking wards. My mother immigrated to the United States from Mexico, so at home I lived a Mexican lifestyle, eating sopes and speaking Spanish, but outside of the house I had an American lifestyle, eating hamburgers and speaking English. The Latino community in my area was very small, so I had few chances to interact with other Latinos. And my parents and I always attended English-speaking wards, so I learned everything about the gospel in English.
When it was time for me to go to a young single adult ward, I had two options: the local English ward or a stake-wide Spanish ward. I didn’t know which one to choose—I had never attended a Spanish ward before.
I decided to attend both ward’s activities and sacrament meetings to see where I felt more comfortable. I felt prompted to join the Spanish YSA ward because the members there continually made me feel included and welcome.
But despite feeling welcome, transitioning into that ward was surprisingly difficult. Through this experience, I’ve found a few ways that we can help new ward members feel like they belong, especially if they are from a culture that’s different from yours. This could include immigrants, international students, or even refugees. Regardless of where we come from, we are all children of God and should feel comfortable among other members as we worship the Lord together.
Read four tips for including members from different cultures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org.