Service Changed My Heart

by Larene Young
Dear Relief Society Sisters,
Sorry, the little yellow paper handed out in church was too small to fit all the words I wish to put down. First of all, I want to say thank you for the challenge you gave us this year, and for all that each of you do to serve. Any time I try to express the way my life has been impacted this past year, it all comes out a jumbled mess. As much of it is so personal, it is hard to know what to share with others, but I feel I must share with you some of what I learned this past year.

 I have always enjoyed our stake women’s conference. It has been a time for me to reflect on my life, and I always come away feeling the courage and strength that I can be a little bit better. This past year was a bit different for me. I felt like a basket case last January, depressed and lost, not feeling like I was good enough or able to even do the daily tasks required of me as a wife and mother. I felt like I was failing at the only thing I do.

 When the challenge came out to be mindful in doing good daily, my heart was broken, feeling consumed by my own problems, I thought the task impossible--even though my heart longed to be able to do some great acts of serve, something noteworthy, I did not think it possible. Even now, I am not sure if I really accomplished the task that was given despite my best efforts. I can say that my life and heart have been touched and changed through so many daily experiences this past year.

This would be a 10-page paper if I was to write all of them down right now, and they are so personal it would take some time for me to know which ones to share, but at the advice of Sister Packer, I did write them down in a journal. Through the struggles this past year, I have been brought closer to my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ.

As I think of these experiences that I have had, I realize that they have all come about by the small simple things I do to serve in my callings, and also in my efforts to listen to and follow the prompting of the Spirit, and the things I do as I participate in the gospel. But, oh, how I have been touched by those people in my life who also do the small and simple things to serve in their callings, and to follow the promptings of the Spirit.

I have been richly blessed by others who serve. They have been answers to my prayers and have helped me to feel of my Heavenly Father's and Savior’s love for me. The words "thank you" hardly seem enough to express the way I feel to all those who took on this challenge or maybe just did what they already do every day and touched my life.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!