The following post was originally written in December 2008 -
I've really enjoyed our new ward (church congregation). It has been nice getting a chance to know a diverse group of people. I felt so inspired and uplifted by some of the folks that I decided to bring them some cookies this morning. It was a great reminder of how serving others makes you feel all warm inside.
One of the ladies that I've gotten to know quite well has pretty bad arthritis. A few weeks ago, I had a little prompting that I should ask her if she would like me to type up her memoir/journal/whatever-you-call-it. I thought, "That is a 'beyond-the-boundaries question". (Seriously...if someone asked me that, I would be a bit concerned - especially if it was someone I didn't know very well.) Well, the idea stuck with me and I really struggled to figure out the best way to bring it up. When I brought the cookies this morning, we ended up chatting a bit. I thought to myself "I'm not going to bring it up...it is just sounds too crazy". However, the prompting was persistent and so I said "I have kind of an odd question for you." She looked a bit concerned and said "Okay...". I asked her if she kept a journal or if she had a memoir or anything. She said that she had been a diligent journal writer since her teens and that she believed it to be important. She also mentioned that recently it had become less and less that she took time to write. With that, I had the thought, "See...she has a journal. I've fulfilled my part of the prompting." Quickly, a reprimanding spirit came upon me and I knew I needed to continue with following through on the prompting. I explained that the reason I asked was that I had felt prompted to ask her if she would like help in typing up her history. She teared up a bit and said that she had been trying to figure out how to compile her journals and stories and put them on the computer. Her arthritis made it very difficult and painful to write or type and she had been praying for a way to make it work. I finally understood what the spirit was trying to convey and the way in which I could be a ministering angel. We made up a schedule and got started on our project right away.
On my mission, I was very good at following promptings - even if it made me feel a bit foolish. (Of course I spent the day knocking on random strangers' doors so my foolish threshold was quite different.) Since I've been home, I'm sorry to say that I feel I've been a bit lacking in this area. Hopefully this experience will help me to heed more of the promptings and in a more timely manner.
I was thinking of this experience earlier today and it is such a fond memory. In following this prompting, which made me feel foolish, not only did I provide a service for someone but I made an amazing friend. During our visits each week to type up her history, I came to know an absolutely amazing person. When I brought Connie Jean cookies that first morning, I'd included a note that emphasized my admiration for her continued optimism - even through her difficulties with arthritis. She gives my grandma a run for the money when it comes to having a fighting spirit. I will always hold dear those memories of sitting at her computer on a Sunday afternoon while she told me about her life and I will draw upon her example of strength in the face of adversity for all my life. You see, frequently the Lord doesn't just bless those we serve but those that do the serving seem to get a large portion of blessings as well. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that knows what we need and provides it for us (even though some times we need to get out of our comfort zone in order to get it).