November 13, 2013
This last week has been great! Friday night I found out that I was speaking in the adult session of Stake Conference the next day. Yikes. But it was just for a few minutes, so it was fine! No worries. They just had the senior companions of each set in our stake speak. And we also got to go to stake conference the next day, which was a broadcast from Salt Lake with Elders Oaks and Scott, as well as Sister Stephens from the General RS Presidency. It was all amazingly done, the talks where inspired, and much of it focused on missionary work which of course I like :)
The last two days we have had representatives from Salt Lake come to do early morning trainings with the Visitors Center sisters. We got special permission to wake up at 6:00 instead of 6:30 because the meeting started at 7am, but I'm not entirely sure I'm happy that we got permission for that. Just kidding! The trainings were great. It got me thinking more about working harder to help members who come into the Center to have spiritual, converting experiences as well as the nonmembers.
There is this man who often comes into the Visitors Center who is a member and I guess he must live nearby. I don't know exactly what his medical problem is, but he can't walk so he has a scooter that he drives around. He has some movement in each of his limbs, but it looks really hard to move any part of his body. So it is really hard for him to speak. Usually I just say hi and ask him how his day is going, but not much more than that because I could tell that it is hard for him to speak. He is always really happy when I speak to him even just for a minute, though. He always smiles as big as he can, and his eyes light up. I don't know why it took so long to dawn on me, but yesterday I finally realized that he must be pretty lonely because everyone must think the same way that I did about talking to him. Please understand that it wasn't that I didn't want to talk to him, it was just that I knew it was hard for him. Anyways, yesterday I decided that I was just going to spend some time talking to him, so we had a conversation for about 20-30 minutes, up until it was my turn to go in for dinner. We talked about missionary work, the gift of tongues, and how he has been trying for a long time to learn Russian (often he asks sisters to play the Christus in Russian for him). When I had to leave for dinner, he took great effort to tell me "Thank you for being patient with me." It nearly made me cry. I feel so bad that I hadn't just taken time to speak with him before. I guess I learned an important lesson yesterday. It's funny how you can go along thinking that you are being nice, but then if you just think about the situation differently--you pause to really put yourself in their shoes--you gain an entirely different perspective. I'm grateful that God gave me that realization and the opportunity to speak to that man while I am still here.
Thank you all for the amazing examples you are to me! I love you.