Here's to maintaining some self-respect and sanity while tending to the growth and maturation of young minds, including your own young mind. Here's to recognizing that it isn't necessary to know how everything is going to turn out in advance, and that often Life has much better in store than one can imagine. Here's to hope and happiness even when Life gets complicated, especially then... That's when it's needed it most.

...afterall, the car may only seat seven but room for friends is unlimited...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Dinner Guest

Something interesting happened yesterday, right about dinner time. A young man from Ohio come to the door and asked the kids if their Mom was home. I wandered over, sure that it was someone selling something, and I was right. We talked for half a minute and I mentioned that we were just about to start dinner, or rather that we were going to read scriptures, and then eat. To that he said, "Are you going to read the Mormon Book? My Dad told me about that, I have one that someone gave me and I've been reading it." I told him that he was welcome to come in and read with us, and he said that he would love to. And so he did.

We read Alma 5:38-52. Everyone took turns reading a verse, including our guest. He was very respectful, and intersted in what we were reading. The section of scripture wasn't very long, but it was full of things I'd been wanting to share with my children. I shared everything with them in exactly the same way I would have if our guest had not been here. There is a section in those verses which speaks of learning for ourselves about God's will and plan for his children. I've been feeling that I wanted them to understand how I gained my testimony, so I spoke to them of my experience with the scriptures, starting when I was about 15.  It wasn't anything earth shattering, just that I started reading every day, and my testimony grew so that I didn't need to rely on my parents' knowledge. I knew for myself, and that's what Alma says, that he knows for himself. I can't imagine any more valuable information for the children of an LDS mother and a father who has left the church and is very angry regarding it sometimes. I know that the kids would have listened, but the presence of our surprise guest distilled the situation for us... it was more potent. He was listening and so they listened as we read and talked about it. As we were finishing, he said that he felt what we had given him was much more valuable than making a purchase from him. He thanked us for being a wonderful family, and sharing the message of Jesus with him. I gave him some dinner and he hurried off to meet up with his colleagues.

I wondered today what he will remember most about this experience with us. I'm sure it will be a unique one for him, if not singular, during his traveling salesman days. I hope it is that there are good people and good families in our country. I hope he felt love here. I am almost certain that we won't find another solicitor jumping at the chance to read scriptures with us. I'm sure it will be something that we tell my grandchildren someday. How many of our experiences in life are surprises to us, but not 'chance'. Many, I think, when we are open to them. When we are they have the potential to leave lasting, beautiful marks on our hearts.


Anonymous said...

Once a missionary, always a missionary!
Abby, you are my hero (and not mine alone!) and we are so very proud of you and your family. What a great episode, totally in the spirit of Matthew 25.
You know, I not only also acquired my testimony of the scriptures at a young age (16), but that testimony has been the foundation of my life. I don't know what I would do without it.
What's more, I still use the very set of scriptures you gave me two-and-a-half decades ago! They've served a mission with you and a mission with me and although others have come as prompt replacements, they've all been relegated to second place. Now that my son is a deacon, it does make me proud that we carry similar sets of scripture in identical scripture bags to church every Sunday.
On a different note, thank you for all the hard work in teaching and preparing irma Anjos long time ago. It was my pleasure to baptize her and she became a very special friend. She also became my mum's best friend. She lived a happy and fulfilling life and has recently entered the Lord's rest. Your contribution so greatly altered her eternity - thank you for that.
Stay strong and happy, love to you and the kids. You rock!

Abby said...

Thank you, LM! I had forgotten about that set of scriptures... it is amazing to me that they have travelled so far with you. I'm sure you have self doubts sometimes, we all do. I can't help but note, however, that i know your family is blessed by your desires for goodness in your life. Your foundation will not fail you. I know it hasn't failed me.

I'm ready for the Temple Dedication... just need some money for the plane ticket and the time off from work. I want to make that happen.

cindylee said...

That is an amazing story!