This article was previously published on “Hi, I’m Bekki.” Republished with permission.
On Sunday, the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral welcomed the Philadelphia Interfaith Visionary Women’s Council.
Over a million people worldwide marched in protest this weekend. The incredible message of unity, despite differences, is being overshadowed by vulgarity.
We had just received our new Visiting Teaching assignments in Relief Society, and I was excited to make new friends. My companion and I clicked at once- we just had so much in common. Then we met the girls we were to teach. They both seemed nice enough, however one of them, “Jessica”, was not my favorite person in the ward.
The creases in his face, and hunch in his back hinted at the frailty of his worn body. But the distance that his lips stretched to form his wide smile, which he so often radiated, illustrated the vivid spirit that was still so alive in him. His rough, gentle hands told a story of the experiences he’d had. And his narrow legs reminded you of the thousands of miles he’d walked throughout his life in the service of his fellow man. More stunning than anything were his eyes: my Grandpa’s eyes. When I looked into my Grandpa’s eyes I felt overwhelmed with all the love he’d gathered into his heart over the past 78 years. His eyes told me more about him than anything else ever could.
We arrived in Israel in late summer 1983 with five ingenuous kids in tow. Actually, not one of us knew what we were getting into. Culture shock set in quickly and lasted a long time. Although there was a kindly community of savvy Mormons there to help out (just as there was in Cyprus, Ireland, Malaysia, and every other country where we later traveled or lived), one still has to personally develop new tools to cope in a foreign environment.