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In one of my mission areas, we covered a branch at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was pretty much a branch for LDS tourists and for members who worked there. One of the high councillors was the branch president. My companion and I would go down every so often to help out with the sacrament. One time, a father and his teen aged son passed the sacrament: t-shirts, shorts, sandals and all. It was a bit surreal.

We've also attended church at the Swift Current Branch a few times. The last time we went, they decided to dispense with priesthood and Relief Society meetings because there weren't very many people. The entire Primary was our children and the daughter of one of the counsellors. They even had birthday cake afterward for a branch member.

Of course, the actual church that the Kent family attended in Smallville is Methodist. (Here's an interesting site documenting the religious affiliation of Superman and other comic book characters.)

When I started high school our branch had three consistently active young men--a priest, a teacher, and a deacon. We had a running joke of sorts that it were a good thing our ages were appropriately spaced so we could cover all the Aaronic functions. Then my family moved, leaving the priest without a YM president, teacher, or deacon.

My parents go to church everywhere they holiday (and they holiday a lot, my dad being retired). They have been to church in many places in Europe: the Canary Islands, Majorca, the Channel Islands etc. They really enjoy it. This would make a nice photo-blog btw: small branches around the world.

We started a branch (illegally, but then later got permission) with one existing member and 3 ladies who were baptized. It was struggle to keep things going....btw the branch now has over 100 active members and their own chapel.

Dave, Your post reminded me of one of my own missionary experiences. I was assigned with four other elders and two sisters to a city named Treinta y Tres in Uruguay. There was a small town about 10 or so miles outside the city, called Isla Patrulla where one set of Elders would go to each Saturday, and spend the night. They would conduct Sunday services for the handful (at times two or three) members who lived out there. They actually had a very small but actual chapel the Church had built. The elders had to walk a dirt road out there each week and had to hope for a ride, which usually came along. A striking contrast in meeting reality between Southern California and South America--but an unforgetable experience recalled even decades later.

I live in the Aleutian Islands on Dutch Harbor/Unalaska. The branch here is still under the Anchorage mission as part of the Alaska Bush District which consists of branches from the Aleutians to the Northern Slope (a distance of well over 1000 miles) including the communities of Nome, Bethel, Dillingham, and Barrow (to name a few). Our district high council speakers call in to a conference line every third sunday and we listen to a black box. Our district conferences are similar, each branch calling in to the conference line; speakers speaking from their respective rented buildings, owned buildings, or houses turned church.

On average, we have 15 to 20 individuals in attendance (depending on fishing season and how many LDS fisherman are in port passing through). My family makes up 1/3 of the attendees.

One of the main differences I've noticed between the bush branch and mainstream ward is the testimony meetings. Everyone in attendance as a rule participates (including children) and the testimonies tend to be hard; born of true comittment (most of us come from checkered or fallen backgrounds having made our way back through dilligence and soul changing experiences).

Besides the missionaries, no one attends in a suit--bush Alaskan style church attire we call it; denim skirts, jeans, sweaters or sweatshirts, fleece jackets and vests, muddy boots or shoes with fish guts sprayed on them, beards, tattoos and scars from fish gear or hard labor.

We rarely get visitors; except the occassional member of the mission presidency or district presidency. We meet for two hours on Sunday; sacrament and priesthood/Relief Society (together). This is the only place I've lived where the priesthood out numbers the sisters.

I've learned the true nature of conversion out here; what it means to belong to a congregation and mean it. Can't say I look forward to the day when we leave and go back to a big ward.

Thanks for the touching comments, folks. Seriously. Brad, keep that branch in shape. If the bird flu wipes out the North America, your isolated branch might have to rebuild the Church. Definitely keep the casual dress thing for LDS 2.0.

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