On Monday night, it was raining and we decided although we were in Seattle on vacation, we wanted to go to Family Home Evening with the singles ward there. We got the address of where it was from the Relief Society President, typed it into the GPS and went.
When we showed up at the house, we introduced ourselves to the guy that lived there, told him we were visiting and wanted to join in on their FHE. He was cool about it. The more we talked to this guy, he really reminded us of someone that used to be in our ward. It got to the point where it was so similar that we had to ask. We asked him if he had any siblings in Provo. Right away he said, "Were you in my little brother's ward?" We asked what his last name was.... yep. This guy in our ward that just recently got married, it was his older brother's apartment. I told him his brother and sister in law live in the house right outside my front door. It was a trip. When you are a member of the church.... it really is a small world. So many connections. While talking to one of the guys in Everett on Sunday, I told him I was from Santa Barbara and he told me he was good friends with one of my friends from my stake back home. It just happens... a lot.... and I like it.
Not the point of my story though.We just went to meet new people and be social, but left being thankful we went for a completely different reason. We didn't really feel like we met anyone that fun or exciting there, but the lesson and activity was watching a video about the gospel going to Africa and Black's receiving the Priesthood. It was a pretty long video, but it was an inspiring video that was very touching. I had known some of the details of this true story, but it was really neat to watch the video as they interviewed different members there. They had groups of people that would walk many miles to attend church long before any of them could be official members. Although they could not be baptized or receive the priesthood for many years, they continued to be faithful and attend church and preach the truth of the gospel. When they were finally able to be baptized and hold the priesthood, the prophet had come out and said that every member should be worthy and hold a current temple recommend, even if you are not able to attend a temple regularly. These members of the church walked 20 miles to get a temple recommend interview, knowing that they would never be able to attend a temple.... because they didn't have one. Watching this video about the members of the church in Africa was humbling. The hope, faith, determination and courage that they had for the gospel is inspiring.
As we talked about this video on our drive back home, we had a really great spiritual discussion. I enjoy these topics of conversations because I gain a lot of incite from others that make me want to strive to be a better person. Other people's examples actually help and encourage me a lot. We talked about the cultural difference between our countries. Obviously, Africa is very poor. I guess that is a big part of what makes them so humble and faithful. For a lot of them, that is all they have (Family, Friends & Faith). For us, we have everything. We get to thinking we can do everything on our own and we forget we need our Heavenly Fathers Help. This conversation started with why the girls in our ward have such a hard time doing their visiting teaching. We are told over and over how important visiting teaching is and that we need to do it. We need to take care of each other, yet so many girls don't do it, or they don't make it easy for the visiting teachers to come. Why? It is so easy.... especially when we all live walking distance from each other. People blame it on the fact that they are busy and don't have time. At first I thought it was just laziness, but I came to the conclusion that they don't have a testimony of visiting teaching. If you have ever had an experience where visiting teaching had blessed your life and you personally saw the importance, I believe that you would have a testimony of it and you would do it every month. I think this concept goes for a lot of things in the church. Do you have a testimony that we have a living prophet that leads and guides our church in these latter days? If you do, then you wouldn't argue or put up a fight when they ask us to vote to protect the sacredness of marriage and family. You wouldn't ask questions or rebel when the prophet says to only have one pair of earrings. You would attend all 3 hours of church. It is all about being truly converted to the gospel.
Watching that video made me want to try harder. To encourage others. We can all do better. We can all be a better example to those around us. It is our duty to take care of each other and support and uplift each other. We can start with Home and Visiting Teaching. :o)