The other day I sat in a congregation full of thankful people. Twenty-four Missionaries were heading home from the Provo Utah Mission. Many in the congregation were touched by these Elders and Sisters and had stopped by to give a final greeting. Each missionary took their chance to share his or her testimony. God’s love flowed freely. Smiles stretched across faces, eyes watered with tears, and children waved excitedly at their friends. It struck me during this experience how truly beautiful and profound a setting I was in. People wanted so much to express how those missionaries had changed their lives. The missionaries desperately wanted to express their love and the Savior’s love to their friends.
Suddenly floods of memories returned from my days of missionary service. I remembered how very much I loved those people that I had been blessed to meet during my service. I remembered how urgently I prayed and fasted and hoped for their progress. Faces flashed before my mind and I realized how deeply I still loved them and would remember them forever. I thought of all the lessons I had learned from the members. (The images flashing through my mind) Then I thought of how much I on the other side of the coin wished that this missionary could understand how much good he had done. The Lord had worked through him. Would he ever know His impact? Right then in my chair I had an Alma 29:14-15 moment. It reads:
“I do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren who have been up to the land of Nephi. (Provo) They have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit; and how great shall be their reward.”
It finally struck me how much we all mean to each other. I don’t think this experience with the missionaries and the members is unique. I would venture that throughout our lives many people come and go as life events change. Unfortunately, we don’t often have moments to stop and think about how much each individual has changed our lives, but that doesn’t mean that the effects aren’t just as real.
It is easy to know how much we love other people, but sometimes I think it is hard to feel and know how very much they love us in return. My invitation for all of this week is two fold. First stop and appreciate the good folks that are influencing you each day. Second, allow yourself to think about who you have touched. (No, these don’t need to earth shattering moments, just gentle kind moments) As you do these two things I will be bold enough to promise you that your life will have more meaning and your will more thankful in your heart to be just exactly where God has put you at this time.
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.