Hello! This is Elder Sargeant's sister, who manages his blog. Just wanted to say sorry for the tardy posts! I'll try to be better!
This past week has been a week dedicated to service. It's no coincidence that service is a commandment because, man, does it provide some immense blessings. We had the privilege of providing about 12 hours of service this past week for members as well as investigators! Needless to say, I was hesitant when accepting so much service because I was unsure that we should do that much service in one week. However, I cannot help but say yes to these people because I cannot picture Christ denying people service who sincerely and honestly seek it.
So, to start I want to talk about the benefits of service:
1st experience. We were able to go to the Home of a member named Leslie Smith. He is a 71 one year old man who works about as hard or harder than ANY young man I have ever seen in my life. He grew up basically with two trades: being a butcher and chopping down trees. Now, he still cuts down trees and owns his own farm. He has 3 horses, heaps of "chooks" (Chickens), a giant parrot, and a very large tractor with that he uses to carry heaps of logs. We were asked to help chop down some dead tress out in the middle of the bush where he lives. He cut the trees down, made them into smaller sections and my companion and I were in charge of carrying them up and then stacking them. In about 2 hours we banged out 6 trees, and stacked ALL the wood. The wood would be used to give to some elderly women in our ward who are without firewood and could not provide for themselves in that area.
What did I learn from this experience? One, no amount of rain can keep from doing good to others. It makes me realize that we should not use the elements as an excuse to get the job done, EVER. Two, I learned that a man as old as Brother Smith can be the best example of priesthood service I have ever witnessed. None of the logs were for himself. Everything he did that day was for the benefit of others. We spent hours cutting down trees and making logs not to warm ourselves, but to help those less fortunate people in our area. He does this all the time and it made me aspire to be like that when I am older. I want to freely give of myself, and Heavenly Father has given us heaps of opportunities to do such service for others. We stacked close to a ton of wood that day, or so he says, and I know that he will be greatly blessed for his love and care of others.
Another experience. We were asked to go to tea with a member family named the Says. They told us anxiously of a friend they had who was seemingly interested in the Gospel and who was very dear to their hearts. We ate Thai food with them, and were introduced to a lady named Ju Young Kim from South Korea. She is younger, probably late 20's, who has a 6 year old son named Joshua. She is a widow of about 5 years and works as a primary school teacher (elementary equivalence.) We ate, talked, and got to know her well. We shared a couple quick Mormon Messages with her called "I am a child of God" and "families can be together forever." Needless to say the room filled with tears as the spirit penetrated our hearts. We testified to her that she is a daughter of God, who is loved beyond measure by Him. He created us and we are His children. He loves us so much He provided a Plan of Happiness for us that we can return to live with Him again, and also with our families that we have here on earth. She sweetly and powerfully nodded and said "Yes, yes, I know."
We offered this humble woman our hands for service to help out around her flat. We went over with Brother Say the next evening and worked for a good hour and a half to trim trees, hedges, stack wood, cut grass, and get to know each other better. We set up another time to do service, and it just goes to show that service is such a powerful tool in allowing others to see the fruits of the Gospel.
There are other examples I could give but I am almost out of time, unfortunately. However, service is an amazing opportunity. I remember being younger and being so reluctant to help out others at times. I have come to realize that what I have to give to others is a way to show not only my love for them but my love for my Heavenly Father. Service is our way of giving back. Who are we to deny others the blessings we have been given, the substance we hold in abundance? We are not. I know that King Benjamin of the Book of Mormon was inspired in his words when he said that giving of ourselves is something we MUST do. Not because we should, but because we can. Not because it's our duty, but because we want to help others. Not because it gives us blessings, but because it gives others blessings.
Simple truths you learn on a mission amaze me. I love being a missionary for the Lord, and it blows my mind how quickly the time seems to go.
I love you all heaps, and I pray for you often. Enjoy your summer time and your holiday! (Vacation).
I'll hopefully have photos to send next week. I haven't had much of a chance to take any these past couple of weeks because well... we are so dang busy! I love being busy though, because you forget about yourself, and it makes time seem so fulfilling to pass by.