Monday, September 20, 2010

The Power of Examples

I read the other day that Sister Barbara Smith, former General Relief Society President (in fact, she was the President when I joined the Church) passed away. That took me back to when I first joined the Church and I started thinking about the first Ward Relief Society President I had. Sister W. was an older sister (actually probably a little younger than I am right now, so how can I say she was older ; ) She was such a loving woman. She took me under her wing and helped me so much. She never judged me. She just loved me and taught me by example. As a new convert, my skirts were way, way too short, my hair was probably a little weird, and my language was not very clean.

When I think back on how patient and kind she was with me, I am so grateful. I was so blessed with wonderful examples all around me. There were many families in my Ward who watched over me and Stephen. I remember one sister telling me that her daughter was buying some new clothes and she knew I was about her same size, and she wondered if I would like her clothes. I was thrilled. (Now, I could have been offended, but frankly, I didn't have money for new clothes so I was more than happy to have some hand-me-downs, and they were wonderful.) This particular sister has since passed away, but I always loved her and appreciated her for her kindness.

It makes me realize that I need to do a better job and reach out to new members. Joining the Church was a huge change for me--I lived a VERY DIFFERENT life style. Today many new members make great changes, and I want to emulate the example of my first Relief Society President as I welcome them into the Church.

I've been blessed with so many wonderful examples in my life. Currently I am involved in another challenge--I must be a glutton for punishment. Anyway, there are only 5 of us doing. We're all members of our Stake, but not of the same Ward. Each of these women is so so remarkable and I appreciate the great example they have been to me. Today our discussion has been about our favorite scripture. So far, only two of them have responded, but I have been so uplifted by their words. (This is perhaps the greatest reason I do the challenge)

Sidenote: Last night we had 4 of our missionaries over for dinner. It was so fun. One of them will be going home in a little over a week, so it was great to have him in our home for one last time. I decided to take their picture and then send the picture along with a little note to their parents. The little elder in the back told me that he had a problem shutting his eyes for the picture. I took two and he shut them on both--something I could totally relate to. (I told his parents that we just wanted them to know he hadn't changed ; )

I heard back from two of the moms. The mom of the elder with his eyes shut said she really didn't mind, she said his smile more than made up for it. One of the other moms mentioned that it was her son's birthday, and she was so happy to know that he was welcomed into our home for a nice dinner on his birthday..


Sheri said...

You are a wonderful example to everyone who knows you! Great post! I have been thinking a lot lately about setting a good example to my kids and others! Thanks! I am sure those missionary moms were so thankful!

Valerie said...

I echo what Sheri says! As I was reading this I kept thinking, "Yvonne doesn't know what a great example she is to EVERYONE! Those of us who read her blog AND those who know her personally!"

I hadn't heard that Sister Smith passed away. Her name is quite familiar and I know she left a big impact on the R.S. sisters of the world/church.

brown paper packages said...

I've never met you, and you've been a huge example to me. You are an inspiration in so many areas, and I'm glad I have this opportunity to let you know.

I'm so glad we "met"--maybe we will get to see each other in real life one day!

Heffalump said...

You are someone I look up to as an example of the kind of Mom and person I want to be. Thanks for setting such a good example for me!

Carrot Jello said...

That's such a great idea. (to send a picture home to their parents)
You're nice like that :)

Melissa said...

I think you probably are a pretty darn good example!! :) But I know what you're saying... I've had a ton of people taking care of me this last week and I really, really hope that I can be the kind of person to return the favor!!

ShEiLa said...

Everytime I see photos of the missionaries at your house... I think 'they are so lucky' they are spoiled and loved at your home.

I am sure that someone is looking after your Elder in the same way.


Corrine said...

you truly are an amazing example and i have always appreciated your thoughts and encouragement.

Missionaries are lucky to have you. being in utah we don't get to feed them like we did in austin. sure miss them in our home.

(miss your comments)

Garden of Egan said...

Beautiful post Yvonne.
I think your writing speaks volumes for the testimony that you have.

carolyne b said...

hey I know that Elder with his eyes shut... he was in my ward. wondered where he went,appears just down the street. lol.
he does have a nice british accent.

Heidi said...

You are a terrific example to me mom:)

Klin said...

What they all said. For real. You are a great example. I keep hoping I will grow up to be like you. Love you.

Connie said...

You've come a long way! I needed to read that!
I love how you take care of the missionaries! You're a good woman AND example!

Yvonne said...

First of all, as I read all of your comments, I want you to know how much they are appreciated. I want all of you to know how much I marvel at what YOU do and the way you do it.

Sheri: Thank you. It was so fun to hear from the moms.

Valerie: Thanks. Yes, Sister Smith was a great woman.

Brown Paper Packages: Thank you. I hope we get a chance to meet one day.

Heffalump: Oh, thank you. You are very sweet.

Carrot: I was so glad I did it.

Melissa: I hope you are feeling better. You are right--we always want to do for others what has been done for us. It's the best way to say thank you.

Sheila: Thanks. I do know that the people of Idaho are taking care of Elder Rob and I'm so grateful.

Corrine: We are so blessed to be able to feed the missionaries all the time and I love it.

Thank you.

Garden of Egan: Thank you.

Carolynne B: Yes, he does. He's been in our Ward one transfer--maybe two.

Heidi: Thanks, sweetie.

Klin: Oh, thank you my sweet friend.

Connie: Thank you very much.

Nancy Face said...

Don't you just love it when your hubby is wearing an apron? I sure do, because he's a WAY better cook than I am! :D