Sunday, October 24, 2010

Service Sweet Service

Yesterday was such a beautiful day. Our primary class got together and performed their car wash service project. The child in charge picked out a couple of individual ward members whose homes we would go to to wash their cars on Saturday morning.

Basically we have six primary children in our Valiant 11 class. As primary teachers we feel that lessons of service and giving are extremely important in these young peoples' lives. It helps them to know what it means to serve, how they may go about serving, and cultivates a desire to serve others selflessly. This year rather then having the students vote on what service project they wanted to do for the month and then planning it out for them, we took our service projects to another level. Each child would pick a month, a Saturday within that month, choose a service project for our class to work on as a whole, and delegate refreshment and necessary equipment or material assignments for each individual class member.

Yesterday our class car wash service project was from 6:30 am to 7:30 am. We went as a class to the selected individuals' homes and washed and dried their car. It may seem that one hour is not much time to do a service project, and yes we were only able to reach the cars of two individuals, but it was the quality of the time that was spent. One individual was extremely grateful and touched that the children had thought of her. She provided water bottles, buttered Samoan bread, and pastries. I was touched by that. We came to serve her and she turned around and served us with much love and gratitude. I sort of felt that we should have done more because she gave us so much, but the important lesson learned here (hopefully the primary children got it :D) is that no matter how much we serve, we can always do more (also the late President Hinckley's message to us as well :D). And no matter how much we serve and try to give back, we are always blessed more so in return and are ever in debt to our Father in Heaven for His love, mercy, and kindness.

We moved on to another individual's vehicle who is still in the hospital, washed and wiped down his truck. After which we headed over to the home of the child in charge whose mother had prepared bacon and eggs, another child had provided fried pork sausage links, we brought a big bowl of rice, and another child provided two gallons of juice and styrofoam cups. We sat down at our host family's table and had a beautiful breakfast. It was a very successful service project and I enjoyed it immensely.

Our service project was coming to an end and my nephew and I went to drop off one of the children because he had a sport engagement he was participating in. While outside I had ran into one of our ward members whose family was in the process of moving to their new home a few villages away. This wonderful ward member and his family always opened their home to our service projects last year and they had a lot of heavy things to move using a U-Haul truck. I told him he could have us for a couple of hours before my nephew had to leave to usher for the temple open house.

I went in to our host family's house to have breakfast, told my sister what was going on next door and she went with our nephew and two of our primary kids who are also related to us and were a big help to our moving ward members. It was such a wonderful feeling to give back to a family who always gave to us; such a natural high I cannot describe! And what was even more wonderful was that we felt of their true and sincere gratitude and it was very very humbling.

I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the opportunities that come my way to serve. I know I miss so many of them with my pig headedness at times and my pride or maybe even because I create so much busy work for myself that I forget to take a moment and be aware of those in need around me, but when I am able to recognize someone else's need and be a tool for our Heavenly Father in assisting them on His behalf I cry inside with gratitude that I am able to do what I can do and impact someone else's life for good.

I am also eternally grateful to amazingly loving parents and grandparents who taught me this valuable lesson; that when I am in the service of my fellow beings, I am only in the service of my God. May I always be open to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, listen to those promptings, and be of service for my Heavenly Father on His behalf to all those in need around me.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Peaceful Joyful Day :D

Today we celebrated the life of Bishop Ernest P. Reid. What a wonderful, amazing, marvelous, loving, kind, and humble human being. I enjoyed his funeral services immensely. I loved listening to his immediate family, those who knew him best, tell us about the side of him few of us were blessed to witness.

I will always be thankful to Bishop Reid for making me feel that I am a person of value and worth. I know that I am of worth, but Bishop Reid made me believe in myself more and loved me unconditionally as a child of God. He was a great father figure in our ward. He always wanted the best for each of us and in his humble soft-spoken way he did his best for us and knit us closer as a ward family. He was truly Christ-like and loved each of us ward members as special and unique individuals.

He made me feel that no obstacle was too big to overcome with the help of the Lord and always encouraged me by example to strive for Christ-like perfection in all that I do. I miss him already. He was such a pillar of strength in our ward, a great light in our midst, and knowing that he has left this earthly existence has made this life a bit gloomy and dim. I know he would not want me or anyone else to feel this way. He would want us to rejoice in his happiness and move forward with joy.

I am thankful for the difference Bishop Reid has made in my life. I pray for the strength and determination to take what I have learned from him and use it to grow and be a better person; a more Christ-like person.