Giving Good Gifts

When I was 8 months pregnant I attended a conference. The opening session of the conference was packed. Fortunately I had gotten there early enough to get a good seat. Unfortunately about 30 minutes into the presentation I needed to use the bathroom, one of the joys of being 8 months pregnant. I was irritated, knowing that my seat would be taken once I left. When I returned from the bathroom the room was even more packed than before. Every seat was full and there were about 30 people standing in the back. Tired and hugely pregnant, but not wanting to miss the captivating speaker, I joined the people standing in the back of the room. Standing was even more uncomfortable than I had anticipated and I was feeling more and more irritated by the second. After standing for maybe 10 minutes or so a man came up to me and offered me his seat. I was incredibly relieved and grateful. That small act of kindness from a complete stranger made my day.

Over the last 6 months I have been the recipient of small acts of kindness like these that have made such a difference. There was the manager at the grocery store who insisted he help me unload my cart when I was enormously pregnant, the woman who rushed to open a door for me when she saw me pushing my stroller, the person who returned my cart to the store when my baby was screaming, ย and many others. These acts were simple, but someone saw that I was in need and they helped.

These complete strangers have made me want to be more kind, and I think that is the biggest difference that these people have made. Too often we focus on the bad in the world, but we can do something to make sure there is more good. Since seeing what a difference small acts of kindness can do, I have been trying my best to look for small kind things I can do for others. I have also made a goal to be more accepting of ย the kindness of others, because I believe that is just as important.

I can’t help but think that by being kind to others we are in some small part doing the work of God. In the Book of Mormon I read in Moroni 10:18 “. . . remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.”

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Service

Not much is happening here. Personally I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, as it has always been one of my favorite holidays. I like taking time to be grateful for what I have. One story I have from last Friday is that I was standing in line to buy tires at Costco. The lady in front of me was panicking because she had them fix a flat and thought it was covered under her warranty. She had three little kids who were trying to comfort her but it wasn’t working. She did not have a debit card on her nor an American Express card, (because that’s all Costco accepts). Costco was not going to let her leave and come back and her husband was unavailable to help. I stood back, hesitating initially, but then I volunteered to pay her $47 bill. She was grateful and promised to send me a check. It felt good to serve but as I was reflecting about the experience, it was out of my comfort zone to talk to a random stranger and offer her money, especially not knowing if she was going to pay me back. I had to remind myself to be more Christlike. Overall, it felt good to help somebody out who needed it. I remember doing that frequently while serving my mission. Don’t ever forget that you are doing a great service.

Love,
Joe