Monday, October 29, 2012

First Observe, Then Serve (#59)

Linda K Burton, the General Relief Society President, quoted words from President Monson in her Sunday Morning conference address: “We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness.  We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.”

She went on to say, “Did you hear it—the invitation to love one another? For some, serving or ministering one by one, following the Savior’s example doesn’t come easily. But with practice, each of us can become more like the Savior as we serve God’s children. To help us better love one another, I would like to suggest four words to remember: “First observe, then serve.”  We found that this was definitely a observe and serve week!

Last Sunday we listened to conference in the Koror Branch. We had special visitors from Lehi, Utah with us,  Rob and Cindy Andra.  After the meeting was over they talked to President Kesolei and said that they had reserved a little time and money from their vacation in Palau to do a little service.  President Kesolei asked Elder Johnsen to work with them and come up with a project.  Elder and Sister Johnsen quickly thought of a widow in the branch rearing two young sons, with a daughter who just returned home from a mission to Australia.  We knew that their kitchen floor was on the verge of caving in.  After clearing the project with the family Elder Johnsen contacted Rob and Cindy and made final arrangements for the project.  On Wednesday we inspected the job site, acquired and delivered the materials, and made arrangements for the tools.  Meanwhile, the family began the arduous process of obtaining a permit for us to do the work.

On Friday, our work day, the sky was cloud free; it was a perfect day for our project.  Of course, rather than just overlay the kitchen floor our project expanded to also include replacing the siding on the back of the kitchen and replacing the cabinet doors.   At 8:00 all the full-time missionaries as well as Rob and Cindy were in place, and you should have seen the sawdust fly.  By 1:00 we were done with as much as we could do, and were eating a celebratory pizza with the family.  As we dropped Rob and Cindy off at their hotel we felt so blessed to have been a part of their commitment to first observe, then serve.   Incidentally, the arduous permit still hadn’t been issued by the time we drove away.  

That wasn’t the only service in which we were engaged; on Tuesday, we were at the church with the Elders painting exterior doors and the bathrooms of our building.  With the parking lot lines finished the week before, the building is looking very fresh and nice.  
On Wednesday Elder Johnsen and Brother Thing spent all morning gathering materials for a roofing project for another one of our widow women in the branch.  We hope to have time to actually do the work on her house later this week.  By the end of the week Elder Johnsen thought he’d spent more time in his work clothes than he had spent wearing his white shirt.  

We were all back in missionary attire on Saturday morning for our Zone conference with President and Sister Mecham who had come to visit us from Guam.  We learned some great new phrases like “Bust the crust” off  our investigators, and “revelations come with role playing”.  We were there until 4 p.m. and then came home and began some of our preparations for feeding 9 people on Sunday.

The Elders Role-Playing
For Sacrament meeting our little choir of 8 sang, “Let Virtue Garnish All My Thoughts Unceasingly” and it was our best performance so far.  Both Elder and Sister Johnsen had to teach Sunday School, one to the adults and one to the youth. Then Elder Johnsen had to stay to help with other responsibilities, and Sister Johnsen went home to eat lunch and work on dinner.

We had the best time during dinner with all four Elders and President and Sister Mecham. President Mecham told us several stories about his very cold mission in Quebec, Canada; hearing that made us so happy to be in Micronesia. He also told us that the new office couple, the Princes from St. George Utah listened to Elder Bednar speak while they were in the MTC, and he said the new policies for missionaries have definitely occurred because the Lord is hastening his work.

Elder Johnsen still wasn’t done when everyone left at 6:00 P.M. He had to go out to Airai and see how many families he could home teach.  He and Rodney visited 13 families who were home, and left a message for 4 others—not a bad night home teaching.

We feel that we have tried to observe and serve A LOT this week; we definitely were ready for our day off on Monday!

No comments:

Post a Comment