We got a text from our neighbor the other day asking if we would be willing to come outside with a welcome home sign and balloons to cheer on her missionary son returning home early from Brazil as they drove by in the car. The wind picked up as all of us in the house came outside at 2:30pm, wrangling balloons, shivering, and getting text updates of where the family was on their way home.

Suddenly, the quiet neighborhood was full of life, families outside in front of each house with signs and balloons. We waved to each other, feeling a new found community feeling (though we were already a very tight-knit community) and glad to see each other after not being at church together for two weeks.

When the family finally pulled onto our street, the street was lined with families (properly distanced apart), all cheering for this Elder as they slowly rolled by each house for us to give our love and congratulations through the car window. Even amid social distancing, we felt so close—so connected. My heart was full, thinking about how small things like this moment could keep us connected to one another, despite such uncertainty.

There are so many people doing creative, meaningful, fun and thoughtful things to stay connected. I was in the Lamb of God choir, and since my concerts were cancelled, my Mom suggested a family sing along to the entire production. Our friends invited us to do a FaceTime dinner date. I went on a six-feet-apart walk with two old friends to catch up.

Here some other examples of ways people are connecting:

Quarantine Dating Challenge:

Nashville Cellphone Choir sings “It is Well”:

Signs of Love to Neighbors in Paris:

Neighborhood Chalk Your Walk:

Many neighborhoods have started “Chalk Your Walk” on their sidewalks, bringing kids in front of their houses to create messages of hope for people walking by.  

Headlight Mission Homecoming:

Neighborhood Teddy Bear Scavenger Hunt:

Some neighborhoods have challenged everyone to hide teddy bears around in front of houses for children to go in search of. One woman’s children counted 89!