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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sisters, Sisters

Dear Readers,

I used to be "searching for a sister", someone who could locally meet my needs that my own sisters couldn't due to geography reasons. Well fate smiled upon me, Heavenly Father blessed me and indeed a "sister" appeared into my life. We first met because I mentioned some of my infertility issues during a Relief Society lesson. She found me after church and our friendship was born though not instantly sister status.  Then she was assigned to be my visiting teacher and she went beyond what most visiting teachers do. It was heavenly.

I showed up at her house unannounced, borrowed things from her, ate her food, she watched my kid, I threw up in her toilet, laid on her couch doing nothing (while she cooked my meals), she nursed me back to health, we watched movies together, we laughed, we cried, my daughter drew on her walls with crayon and terrorized loved her dog, we slept at her house for 4 days when ours was flooded, she gave me rides around town and once to a neighboring state to save money on a rental car.  She grocery shopped for me, and of course ALWAYS refused my money even though I knew that we were in a more stable financial position than they were.  We filled in for each other with our church callings, we counseled each other through doctor visits and hoped together for babies. You name it. We did it.  We were true Sisters in Zion.  I couldn't believe that I actually found some someone like I had hoped for in my earlier blog post (worth re-reading if you haven't).

And

then

she

moved.

(sigh)

From one coast to another. And it makes me cry just thinking about the self-less service and friendship that P.M. and her husband rendered to my family.  For of course I feel like she gave way more to me then I ever gave to her.  And I felt alone and back to square one as a true sister is hard to come by.

As I pondered/ pitied myself I began to open my eyes around me in new ways. I realized that Heavenly Father had indeed placed a situation right before me again. I have been visiting teaching a sweet single girl who has been faintly calling out for a sister. She's asked me to be her scripture study partner for months, and talked about how lonely she was, but it didn't really click for me that I could do for her what my visiting teacher had done for me.  I hadn't ignored her pleas and they certainly didn't fall on deaf ears.  I visited her more than once a month, and made her little "care packages" to let her know I was thinking about her.  I invited her to my home for dinner several times and offered her a ride to every Relief Society activity because she doesn't have a car. We had had some deeper level conversations, so in my mind I thought I was doing so much more than what I was, but I wasn't being the “sister” that she needed.

So,

This past Saturday morning I called her. I asked if she wanted to go watch a parade with my daughter and I. Then we ate lunch at a park together and she helped me put together my materials for my Sunday calling in Primary.  We were cutting and taping and talking the whole time, making plans to become scripture study partners.  I answered her questions about missionary service and attending BYU.  I had mentioned that I was involved with a community service event that I thought she might like to be involved in and told her that I could give her rides whenever I went.  She was so excited by the idea that we made plans to go that same night (though I originally had planned not to go that night).  We went out to dinner and off we went to the evening’s activity, spending 10 hours in a row.

I knew she was a recent convert.  I knew she had little support from her family.  I knew that she didn't have any friends that lived the same standards that she did and she was weary from trying so hard to do what was right in an atmosphere where others weren't.  I also knew she had a strong testimony and a desire to serve a mission, but had no idea where to start.  Heavenly Father has provided the way for me to be the “sister” that she needs to make this happen.  That’s not to say that it HAS to be me and ONLY me to help her, but I know that right now she is reaching out to me for help and I can choose to help her as a true Sister in Zion or I could keep doing more of the same which was better than nothing, but not what she really needed to help her with the desires of heart.

I already enjoyed Visiting Teaching and knew it was inspired, but the events over the past few weeks have really made me appreciate the blessings that come from this program.  I always just thought I was extra “needy” or something by wishing for a sister, but I’m beginning to see that everyone could really benefit from one.

And tell me that you LOVED Elder Eyring's talk from the General Relief Society meeting where he related that story about his daughter's Visiting Teaching companion listening to a prompting and arriving in time to drive her to the hospital.  Brings tingles to me when I think about the miracles that we can perform for each other as "sisters."  (All you men should read the talk with some tissue!)

Oh, and one last note.  I have appreciated the emails that came my way after I posted that I was searching for a sister.  While I appreciate your long-distance well-wishes, I implore you to pray and find someone in your community that you could minister to as you would have ministered to me.

Sorry it's long, still getting my regular posting mojo back.

With love,
Lindsay