Sunday, August 12, 2012

Simple blessings...

I had the privilege of helping these sweet ladies feed over 60 full-time missionaries this past week
 from our church.  We found out on Sunday about this assignment and quickly started to plan
what we could pull together with such short notice and without much help.

We decided on a simple little spread....
sandwiches, veggie trays, potato salad, macaroni salad and chips.

Oh, and donuts for dessert. ;-)
At noon, the missionaries took a break from their zone conference meetings and 
joined us in the gym at the stake center where we had 
everything prepared and ready for their lunch.
I was humbled and impressed by how polite these young men and women were as they
came through the line to fix their plates.  They were so grateful for the meal and 
thanked us with such sincerity for preparing it for them.

While I didn't serve a mission for our church, two of my brothers did (Jeff served in Idaho 
and Brian served in London) and because of their service and the great blessings that came
to our family during the 2 years they served, I have always held a special place
 in my heart for our missionaries. It is impressive to me that they put off
their schooling, jobs, dating and marriage
for 2 years so they can serve the Lord faithfully.  

I remember one of my brothers telling me that he and his companions were not fed on
a regular basis while on his mission.   I honestly think he was a hungry young man more than
he lets on while he was serving in London.  But he wasn't one to complain and I'm sure
he didn't want us to worry about him.
But because of his experience, I've always welcomed the opportunity to feed our young
missionaries.  I guess I  feel like it's my own little way of paying the Lord back for 
watching over for my brothers while they were on their missions.

What I wasn't expecting to feel from my assignment this week of feeding the missionaries 
was for me personally to be fed spiritually.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I wasn't feeling much like helping someone else this past week.
We had just returned from our road trip to Wimberley and I had tons of laundry to do.
A house that needed to be cleaned.  My car badly needed a good wash and to be vacuumed.
Groceries that needed to be bought. School supplies for Noah that need to be bought. 
Sending thank you notes and buying school clothes for Noah. 
Yes, all things that I had on my to-do list to accomplish for the first part of this
week, but had to be put off to get everything ready for this missionary meal on Wednesday.

Needless to say, I was definitely feeling a little selfish with my time. 
And so when the call came to help out...
 I had a little hesitation in my heart.  

But the Lord is continually teaching me that service is never convenient.  

In fact, I am learning that most often when we are called upon to help our fellow man, 
it is usually at a time in our life when we ourselves may be feeling our 
weakest.  That was the case for me this past week.

And that is the beauty of serving is part of the Lord's plan for each of us...
opportunities for service come when we most need it....
when we are in need of growing spiritually.  And the Lord blesses us and answers our
prayers through one another.
And so it is without question, by accepting the call to help feed our missionaries --
 I was blessed to feel closer to the Savior through my service to others as well as
the sweet ladies I served with  as we worked together that morning
 to lovingly prepare this lunch.

Afterwards, the missionaries paid us back ten-fold by singing us two hymns.  
My heart was overflowing with such love and humility as they sang to us.

"I fear sometimes we see the Lord's love only in the big events of our lives; we must also 
see His love in the smallest of things. Don't underestimate your ability to share His love 
through a simple, genuine gesture..."

~Bonnie D. Parkin, "Eternally Enriched in His Love" Ensign, Nov. 2006, 109-10


  1. Beautiful thoughts Jennifer. I think it is wonderful how these young men go off to do service for two years. Your faith is a beautiful one and I enjoy hearing all the wonderful things about it. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Kathleen. So happy you enjoyed reading a little more about our faith.


  2. I feel the same way you do about taking care of missionaries. People took care of my brother for two years in Texas and I was so grateful I do what I can to take care of the missionaries in our town. And I have a friend that says...service isn't really service unless it is an inconvenience to you. That is when it becomes service!! Glad you had the opportunity to serve those young men. I knew it would be special!


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