The last two weeks I have been blessed to teach lessons at church that have had a huge impact in my life. I feel like I am saying that a lot lately. It is as though the Lord is paving a pathway of experiences that are molding and changing my heart. I am reminded of the scripture “if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” Alma 5:26. As I feel the redemptive hands of the Savior reach into my soul and change my heart I feel as Enos did. I am compelled to stretch my hands to those in need of the love I have been feeling in such tremendous force.
What is so awesome about our church is that every member is asked to help serve in some way. Right now I get to teach the Young Women ages 16-18 and I get to teach the ladies once a month. Two weeks ago I learned the importance of not gossiping. It seems so simple but I have found myself loving people much more as I am striving to look for the positive in others. I am putting myself in others shoes instead of just listening to unkind and sometimes even hateful words about others. I try to understand why someone might act the way they do and I have found it rather easy to deflate gossip by doing so. A side benefit is that I feel so much happier. Who knew that listening to gossip can weigh a person down so much.
This last week I got to teach about the redemption of our Savior. What a humbling topic and one I will forever be grateful for. I learned that when we feel the peace of the atonement it is essential that we then look to give back, to try to be as the Savior was and serve those we are around, our families, friends, church members and our neighbors.
And then next months lessons are all centered on being more Christlike. I love when I can see the path laid out before me. Usually I just get to see one step ahead and right now it is as if the heavens have opened just for a second to show me what direction I need to be heading.
Sunday night I found these amazing videos
They perfectly put into action ideas for what my little family could do to make a difference. We watched them together and then discussed what we could do right now.
The girls decided to start a food and clothing drive at there school. The AP counselor received Sarah so well and she will present Sarah’s idea to the teachers tomorrow. She gave Sarah the idea to turn it into a competition to help get the kids excited about service. We decided an ice cream party to the winning team should be an awesome reward.
The kids also decided to do a bake sale to earn money to buy things for the homeless, food and warm clothing. We have contacted interfaith community services and are planning on working with them.
We made yummy cupcakes. I discovered something new. If you put a marshmallow into the batter it creates a slight hole in the cooked cupcake which is perfect for inserting a small candy. Once the cupcakes were done we quickly put in the candy, we used reeses miniatures. I then stuck it into the oven for two minutes just long enough to soften the candy but not totally melt them. I did not taste them, but I got great reviews.
The kids also made brownies which sold out really fast.
Jacob was on clean up duty. That is always his favorite part. My rule is you get to lick the bowl if you are willing to then wash it.
The kids set up there bake sale at the top of our street. They were so cute. They sang songs and danced around to get peoples attention.
I learned that people are good. One man gave the kids $20 when he saw why they were raising money. Another woman was moved to tears when the kids told her what they were doing. I believe people want to serve and want to give back but we lack the know how. So when given the opportunity people are generous. This is good for me to remember so that when our service takes on a grander scale I will not be afraid to ask for help.
In just about an hour and a half the kids made $49. They are excited to try it again. EmmaLee told me this morning, “Mom I love when our family spends time together like we did last night. It gives me a warm feeling in my stomach.” Yes Emma. That is what this life is about. You find your way to give and serve and you do it often. And that is where true happiness and joy will come from.
Sarah then wrote a poem about her experience.
I am in awe that I have been intrusted with such amazing people.