Monday, November 2, 2015

The Worth of a Soul

Well I don't have much time today because it is transfer week but my new comp just got here and her name is Hermana Tapullima!  She is from Peru and from what I have seen in these few hours she is just a sweetheart!! I already love her so much and I know that she will be a wonderful companion :)

Anyway, this week I wanted to share something special that I have been thinking lots about since my mom got back about a week ago from her volunteer trip in Haiti.  As you can see from the photos below, there is a picture of a painting of Christ and a little boy from Africa.  My best friend Steph gave me this little copy of the painting before I left for the mission.  Since then I have kept in in my scriptures and as I have opened my scriptures each day in the morning to read, I would always see this beautiful painting.  But as I read my mom's email and looked at her pictures from Haiti, this picture and the story on back finally became a reality to me.  So I decided to send all of you the pictures she sent me and I am going to put the story - that is on the back of the painting - below so you will be able to see the beauty that I see in these photos of my Mom:

The Worth of a Soul
by Liz Lemon Swindle

When Mathers Without Borders approached me about going to Africa, I told them I was not interested.  For me Africa was a world away, "and besides," I though, "I am too busy."  Imagine my surprise when I found myself on a plane to Zambia in June 2007.

One of the first children I met was Kennedy, the little boy you see in the painting.  At three years old he has lost both of his parents to AIDS and was found living alone with his six year old brother and ten year old sister.  When I thought of those three children struggling to survive and the millions of others across Africa in similar circumstances, I felt an overwhelming hoplesness and said to myself, "No amount of money can fix this."

Later that day while we were filming, Kennedy jumped into the arms of the man portraying the Savior.  As I stood watching them, Kennedy turned towards me and our eyes met.  At that moment I knew it wasn't hopless.  I realized that the Savior can fix not only the problems of Africa, but of the whole world...and we can be His hands to do it.  

Looking back I realize that my reasons for not wanting to go to Africa are likely the same as yours.  We are busy and feel like we cannot make a difference, but I know now that neither is true.  We are neer too busy to lift another and every good work is known to Him who said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of...these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

As the story says, "the Savior can fix not only the problems of Africa, but of the whole world...and we can be His hands to do it."  I admire my mom so much for going to Haiti and volunteering in an orphanage.  For being the hands of the Savior and helping those beautiful Haitian children feel a little bit more of the great love that our Savior Jesus Christ has for them.  I have to be honest, the first time I saw these pictures I started crying, and I am crying while writing this as well.  I cry because as I look at these pictures of my adorable mom full of joy and light with these children, and the powerful image of Jesus Christ embracing this child in His arms, it is a testimony to me that the Savior lives and can fix all the problems in the entire world.  His grace, love, and endless mercy can change everything.  But not only that, "we can be His hands to do it."  It doesn't take a volunteer trip to Haiti, a humanitarian trip to Fiji, or a thousand miles to do this great work of the Lord and fix the problems of the world.  It takes a willing heart as well as the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and we can even start within our very own homes.  Be the hands of the Lord.  Serve one another.  Lift another.  And remember that "the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." (D&C 18:10) Each and every soul. 

I love you all so very much.
Hermana Anika Van Boerum

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