Finishing up our mission is so hard. There are so many projects to complete. People to say good-bye to—perhaps forever. Evaluation is always part of the separating process for me. Have we done any good at all? Have we helped people made significant changes in their lives?
This sweet young lady is twenty-four, has four children, and is single—separated from the father of her last two children when she joined the Church a year ago. She is trying hard to work every day to support her family, but there are times when she doesn't have a baby sitter or the kids are sick.
Even on her meager earnings, she pays her tithing first. Every time there is a temple trip, she loves to do baptisms for the dead.
Her attitude is always positive when she is with other people. There are times, however, when she gets depressed and 'hibernates.'
Her mother sent her to live with her grandmother when she was very young. When she was about ten, Mom took her back. Step-dad abused her so this young girl left home to live on the streets. She wandered from place to place until she found the gospel.
She says it was like she found her family at last. When we first met her, she lived in a bare apartment with no furniture at all. She now has two chairs in her living room, a dining room table, and a bed for herself. Someone gave her an old laptop that only had a land line connection, but that was stolen from her apartment last week. We found her an old desk top that (hopefully) no one will take.
She volunteered to teach the Gospel Essentials class in Sunday School last week when the teacher was out of town. She taught the lesson on charity. She was well-organized, led a very good discussion and kept it moving along so she got through the entire lesson, and bore the sweetest testimony of this beautiful principle as class ended. The Spirit was strong and everyone in the room felt edified.
Have we made a difference in her life? We've found her some used furniture and care for her deeply. We have been there to put our arms around her like the Savior would.
The real difference in her life has come from her love for the Savior. She knows she is a daughter of our Heavenly Father. She is trying to love those around her as the Savior does. The gospel changes lives. We are only a catalyst to help that process along.
We have been privileged to be part of this great work, and watch these people reach toward their potential. What a blessing. Be sure you take the opportunity to serve when you have the chance!