I had a conversation with Sister Nelson at the mission president’s seminar that really touched me. I wanted to share some of the things she said and what I learned. She is a general authority’s wife and she talked about trying to find her way in that role. My memory was that Julie Beck came to her mission or area, or something,....anyway she was talking with her said, (This is Sister Mullen, quoting Sister Nelson, quoting Julie Beck, you gotta love it.) “Stop. Stop doing what you’re doing. There are people everywhere; right in front of you, who need cheering up. Stop thinking of yourself, how your being used, needed, valued or appreciated. You are a personal minister. Bring your life into a smaller scale; downsize! Who is right in front of you who needs cheer, love or understanding? Sit down and talk with them. Listen to them for 5 minutes. When you listen you are giving love to the one. Look for the one. There will be a ripple effect that goes out from them and affects others through you. Your small act for the one brings meaning and value to your life. The important thing is not the business of life, schedules, organization of events, group activities or worldly importance. We can get lost in the thick of thin things when we don’t understand, the one, is what is important. That is when we truly make a difference.”
Robert D Hales wife gave a talk 25 years ago, (Sister Mullen is now quoting Sister Nelson quoting Sister HalesJ) that talks about the same thing, “WE DON’T GO TO CHURCH TO GET, WE GO TO CHURCH TO GIVE! Who needs a friend? Who can you bless, help or love? Don’t criticize the speakers, teachers or leaders. Mentally encourage and pray for them as they struggle through their talk or lesson. Hope for the success of others. Support and Encourage.”
All of this was paraphrased at what I remember. But what touched me was that this is exactly what I’ve been feeling on my mission. The Lord wants me to see the one. The one right in front of me who wants to share a miracle, struggling with feelings of inadequacy, heartbroken at a parents’ divorce, on fire for the change they are seeing in an investigators life, excited because they learned a life changing thing, or depleted with the emotional struggle they are facing. There are important children of God right in front of all of us, all the time. Can I SEE them, can I SEE the one?
I really feel this has been a weakness of mine. I have often longed to be able to see the needs of people better. It is not one of my natural abilities. I have a friend, Molly Dayton who seems to say or do the perfect thing in the perfect moment. She has touched my life profoundly on 3 different occasions. How amazing to be able to see like that. I'm still working on it.
I feel the spirit has been teaching me that to really fulfill my calling I need to see the face in front of me and listen to them with all my heart, try to understand, listen to the spirit with all my heart and see if I can’t help, cheer, or bless. I feel strongly that the Lord is trying to lead me to love, all the time. Trying to be a personal minister has changed me. I certainly know that I am not perfect at it. But I know he can help me make a difference to just one person in my path. Because of this I know each one of us can make a difference to that person in front of us. We can respond with kindness, we can ask questions, we can listen! We can look at our spouse, child, friend, coworker, or stranger and meet their need in the moment. I know it changes our life when we see ourselves as a personal minister that can make a difference to one person.