by Miriam Franson
We moved to our current ward ten months ago. Our family has spent the last ten years in the Midwest, most recently in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan.
Sisters in our ward there lived in everything from mansions, to typical suburban neighborhoods, to a domestic violence shelter. I have friends there facing struggles with domestic violence, substance abuse, and just plain feeding their families.
On one of our first weeks here I heard about the "Doing Good Daily" challenge. For me, it seemed such an irony of timing to have this be the theme. I knew exactly the kind of "daily good" that was needed desperately in our last spot. But, now here I was in the heart of Zion--in an area where I saw so much strength and no needs!
Although I felt initially skeptical that "doing good" in this place could really matter, I tried to take the challenge. Let me tell you one story that happened along the way.
A refined older sister in our ward was an obvious choice early on to reach out to. I hadn’t bargained that in the process she would become one of my dearest friends. In an effort to serve her, I found how much we have in common and how much she has to offer. In the end she’s been the one to watch my children for me and understand my heart in moments when I’ve needed it most.
There are times when I have felt like those truly qualified to serve are people who have callings with direct stewardship, know others’ circumstances and needs really well, or get very specific promptings on who and what to do. Since none of those have been true for me in these last months, I’ve had to reassess my assumptions.
Most of my attempts to do good have involved being prayerful and then, with my limited knowledge, doing whatever random thought comes into my mind that “leads to do good” (D&C 11:12), in hopes that sometimes maybe it wouldn’t be random…it would be guided.
President Henry B. Eyring says best what I have come to feel: “And if you then go and do what He would have you do, your power to trust Him will grow, and in time you will be overwhelmed with gratitude to find that He has come to trust you.”
I testify that some of the times of greatest joy in my life have been those small moments when I’ve felt Heavenly Father trust me enough to use my hands as an instrument to do His work in serving the one.
I am so grateful for the many wonderful people here who have shown inspired kindness to our family whether they’ve known it was inspired or not. It’s made all the difference for us.
I have come to believe He needs each of us, EVEN and MAYBE ESPECIALLY HERE in this stake.