This week I had the opportunity of really experiencing my greatest missionary moment to date. It isn't that I convinced someone to join the church, or even to come to church, or anything like that - but rather I shared a part of the gospel that I hold very sacred to me and offered to a friend so that they could share and feel the same spirit and it was accepted and I got to see firsthand someone else's life blessed because of the gospel. This, to me, is the best experience and one I will forever treasure. I got a glimpse of what the missionaries in the field must feel like as they share the gospel, and the spiritual high I received I still feel when I think about it.
I have a friend out here who is a very close friend - she has 3 boys that are all friends with my kids, one in Cash's class at school, and we go to karate twice a week together and have play dates often and I have the pleasure of interacting with them daily. She is an example to me of a spiritual and just a REALLY GOOD CHRISTIAN WOMAN! They are catholic, and go to church each week and have the same family values as I have. We have shared many conversations about the gospel and talked on numerous different occasions about our religions to each other. She is always very respectful in asking questions, and always answers my questions about her church nice too. It has been great to learn more about her church and what they do and I have really enjoyed our conversations.
She has been going through a rough time this past week as she found out at her Dr. apt. that they couldn't find a heartbeat and her baby had stopped growing and living. This is the third time it has happened this way and she expressed her sadness and frustrations and questions as to why this happened. She had been quite sick with this one, which she wasn't with her 3 boys, and so we thought maybe it was a girl and were so excited for her and hoping that it wouldn't end like this. When she told me that, in fact, it really was the case and she had to go in for surgery yesterday to have it taken out I felt so devastated and, in fact, a little fraction of the loss she must be feeling for her. It is hard to want something so bad and then have the answer be yes for a moment and then feel like it is taken away. My heart went out to her and I wanted to do something for her, but nothing really seemed adequate. A gift seemed to impersonal, words couldn't really express how I felt or knew she must be feelings, and I was at a loss of what to do.
She expressed how she always gets nervous to be put under with anesthesia and that it is scary and just her hopes it would go well. I knew then what I wanted to offer but was so scared. I really wanted to offer her to have a priesthood blessing before she went in for her surgery. I knew this was something that would bring peace and comfort, and that would be the best thing I could offer, but I was also scared because I know she is religious and this was different then what they do in her church, and I didn't want to come across preachy or like I was trying to convert her or change her or anything. But I also knew without any doubt that this would bring peace and comfort because it has for me so many times.
As we sat at karate on Tuesday we got talking and she brought up religion and we were talking about my brothers and missions and my brother who is out here visiting and I knew the opportunity was presenting itself to bring it up without sounding weird or anything. I was pretty much shaking inside as I told her that I wasn't sure what her religion felt about this but in mine my husband has what we called the priesthood and has the ability to give blessings which are messages from our Heavenly Father to the individual which bring great peace and comfort. I told her that I have them whenever going in for surgery, or having a baby, or being sick in my pregnancy, or feeling anxiety over my role as a mom or a bunch of other things and how they always bring me great peace and comfort, and then offered if she would like to come over my brother or my husband would be happy to give her one before she had her surgery yesterday. She was really sweet and said thank you for offering and that was nice, but then we moved on to other topics and I didn't really think she was interested or would want it.
She later told me she was going to ask her priest for words of comfort and to help her find closure because he always knows what to say and so I thought that meant she was just going that route. And I was fine and we carried on with other conversations and just as normal.
That night I received a text from her, however, saying how she was grateful for the offer of prayer and blessing and that if Chip were up for it she would love to stop by the next day (the night before she was going in) for a blessing. I can NOT tell you my excitement and how happy this made me. I literally felt my heart would burst!!! I was so happy because I know that this would bring peace and comfort to her and that she would feel the spirit.
All day I prayed that the blessing would go well and that she would feel something and be able to feel peace and calm from it. I just wanted her to feel of our Heavenly Father's love for her that I know he has. She texted me at 8:15 and said her husband was home and that they were coming over in 15 minutes.
So they both came, and it was such a cool experience. We talked about mostly other things, but my favorite part was that when Chip asked her if she had ever heard a blessing before she said (giggling in giddyness) how she had never heard a Mormon prayer before but she had woken up SO excited and just giddy that she was going to come have a blessing. She was so sweet and excited how could we all not be excited. She then felt really bad and apologized if that seemed disrespectful or irreverent and was worried she had offended us - ARE YOU KIDDING?!!!!! She was so sweet and excited and I found myself wishing I felt that same way every time I was going to get a blessing - was I that excited or anxious to have it and her example was so perfect to help me see how truly blessed I am to have the opportunity to have this anytime I am in need. We said we weren't offended at all and she went on to say how she loves prayer and just to have someone offer to pray for her is so awesome and she is so grateful. I realized again how lucky I am to have so many people praying for me and my family at all times and how buoyed up we are in the church from other people's prayers in our behalf. I love this and my testimony of this grew so much right then.
So then Chip gave her the blessing and it was beautiful and brought such a great spirit into the house. I hope she felt that way and it helped her feel calm. We then talked about other things and visited and just had a great time with them and I am so blessed to have them as friends and examples in my life of just being great people. They are some of the nicest people on this earth.
It was so great to share something close to my heart and have someone else appreciate and want it and I will forever hold this experience close to my heart. In a week of a lot of bad news in a lot of different things this definitely was the highlight and made me grateful once again to have the spirit in my life.
I am grateful for the opportunity I have to share this with others!