We did some service at a toy drive kind of thing. People sign up for free food or clothes or something, have an interview, and can also get a few free toys for their kids. The come into a big storage room decorated with lights and tinsel, and they can pick out some toys, books, and craft supplies from the shelves. Different people from various organizations show up, drop off bags of toys, then drive away.
Our job is to guide people through the process of signing in and choosing the right number of toys. We had a really sweet experience when a young mom was standing at the front, just looking at all of the shelves. She started to cry. She said that even though her husband was working, they were having financial difficulties. Before finding out about this organization, she didn't think she was going to be able to get her kids anything for Christmas. It felt really good to be able to help.
Our other cool story was when we were out knocking doors and a family let us in. We shared a video about Christmas, then had a great discussion about how important God is in our lives. When we were leaving, the mom asked her teenage daughter to get us water, specifically from the cabinet. Even though they had a case of regular water bottles sitting on the floor, they gave us each a bottle of Fiji water. I was shocked. Not only were they giving something to complete strangers, they were giving the best of what they had. I don't remember if I had ever tried that water before, but it is good stuff.
I rationed it out for like 3 days, and every time I drank it I thought of that family and smiled.
That story probably doesn't mean much to other people, but it greatly impacted me. It was one of the moments when I realize the truth in the scripture "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Sometimes I realize that I share some shadow of the same experiences, rejections, disappointments, and joys as some of the greatest people this world has ever seen. It is humbling to think of prophets, missionaries, and disciples of Christ whose stories we read as scripture. My missionary experiences are nothing compared to theirs. I am sure Elijah would be like, "Fiji water? I mean, it's nice...but it's not THAT big of a sacrifice. Where is the test of faith?" But I was impressed. Every day, we seem to be living at the mercy of other people. Sometimes we are rejected, sometimes we receive respect as if we were disciples of Jesus Christ who have been called of Him to declare His word so that His people can have eternal life. There is nothing like this life.
And those were some of the bigger events in the week. Add in some bike problems, exchanges, and Hispanic food. Rinse and repeat. Haha
Love you guys! Have a good week!