"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
(1 Corinthians 13:13)
(1 Corinthians 13:13)
( BE PREPARED... A NOVEL!! )
I feel like I'm about to give a talk in church. I've got the emotions close to the surface, and yes.. even feel a bit weepy. How lame, because I'm just sharing our experience on a post, but it will be hard not to cry through all of this.
I am the Enrichment Counselor in our ward. It has been my favorite calling so far in the church, which means that I'm sure I will be released soon. We are a very busy ward. Since I am a stay at home mother, and know what it's like to need to get out once a week, we have an Enrichment class offered once a week. The classes are usually mini classes, ( unless it's a craft ) but, we offer something once a week from making bread, to canning pickles, knitting, card making, photography, quick cooking, and you wanna do it, we try and offer it.
We have so many skilled and talented sisters in the ward. We have them teach classes, and we help enrich each others lives. Some sisters have only been to one or 2 classes in 3 years, and some sisters go once a week to socialize, and actually get out of the house. Whatever the reason, it has seemed to work in our ward. I know this may not be for everyone, but too often when I tell people what we are having for our weekly class, I hear someone say that " Our ward doesn't do anything".. I feel so bad, as this new program is inspired. It has been a great way to learn new homemaking skills, invite non-members into our homes, and just get together and laugh. I love the sisters in my neighborhood.
Last year in May, the Stake asked each ward to do an on-going service throughout the whole month, and then report of it. As a Presidency, we sat down and brainstormed what to do.. Then, ( I'm sure it was inspired) I thought of a time when I was a young woman, and we "serviced the whole neighborhood " ~ meaning, we did an act of service for each neighbor. I still remember the happiness that I felt as a Young Woman. Well, the ladies all agreed that we would try it, and went to counsel it with the Bishop. He gave us " Go forward in Faith " counsel, and we did.
We passed out flyers to every home a week before the service started so that we could give a " heads up " to all of the people in the neighborhood. We went out 2-3 times a week, and had different RS sisters sign up to do different days. We worked 2 hours a night at about 20-30 minutes a house. We did everything ... Vacuuming, reading, babysitting, dusting, sweeping, and sisters used some of their talents offering haircuts and whatever skills they could offer.
I'm not going to lie, I was stressed. I was 7 months pregnant, and going out to every night of service, and then each night coming in to a hot bath, and falling on my knees to ask to make it another day. Well, we made it. Over 100 homes conquered, and THE best experiences ever.
Our ward mission leader said we got into homes that even the missionaries couldn't get into.
We still had people that said " No thank you", but we usually chatted, and got to know them.
One non-member said " I've been waiting for you" ~ And then came out and talked the whole time with us. Another sister with health probelms said she had gotten home from work and was stressed, and tired, and looking at her house in despair-when the doorbell rang. She said that she didn't even want to get up to answer the door, but the spirit told her to do it, so she did, and we were there. That sister cried a lot. She was so grateful.
From this experience, I would tell any new RS presidency, that if you truly want to love your sisters with a PURE love of CHRIST... SERVE THEM.
So, here it is again... May.. and yes... we have done it again. We have been busy, busy, busy with many sisters to serve, and I just pray we can get to each one.
I have seen the need even greater for many sisters in our Ward this year, and somedays I feel overwhelmed that we don't have enough help for what we need to accomplish.. But, then I remember that all things are possible with Faith in the Lord. This is HIS work.
This year the Bishop counseled the Presidency to not over due it ourselves, but I can't even explain to you the feelings of Love that I feel as I serve each sister. I WANT to be out the 2 or 3 days a week serving them. I LOVE them.
I feel almost as a convert to the church would after reading the Book Of Mormon. I sometimes wish I could instill how true and important this work is.. But, I have learned that you cannot guilt, or force any sister to do anything.. It has to come from the willingness of their hearts.
This experience last year, and the one this month, has definately made me a better person. I am VERY far from perfect... But, I am a witness of this work and can testify that if we follow the commandment and " Love thy neighbor as thyself" ~ We are a step closer to the Savior. I am beginning to understand why -when Christ was on the earth he served so much..
I am grateful for this opportunity. ~ If there is anyone that has any questions about any of this, please feel free to e-mail me. I may not have been as specific as I should have been.
I will update this Service project after the month is over.
I pray that we can help every sisters needs.
I am so grateful to work with such a great Presidency, and such outstanding Women.
Charity is Awesome.