.widget.Profile .widget-content>a img.profile-img { min-width: 80px!important; min-height: 80px!important; max-width: 80px; border-radius: 100px; } .widget.Profile .widget-content>a img.profile-img { float: center; } .widget.Profile { text-align: center; float: center; margin: auto; }

Monday, February 8, 2016

Brothers and Sisters

Dear loved ones,

The foggy evening Hamburg light highlighted the smoke streaming from Dieter's skinny hand-rolled cigarette and trailing up the books stacked on every available surface in this crowded, dingy apartment and for 20 minutes, his gravelly monologue was interrupted only by intermittent drags. As missionaries, it can be tricky to know how to interrupt such tangents with grace and sensitivity to put the lesson back on track. From the blank looks on Sister Porter's and Elder Smith's faces and the faint snoring from the brand-new trainee in the overstuffed chair behind me, I felt the weight of directing the conversation back to our lesson plan fall entirely on me. After a few futile attempts to segue the conversation back to the Book of Mormon, I was getting frustrated and I felt like we were wasting our time.

Then, I remembered my name tag: "Sister Hendricks - Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage" - and what I had studied in chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel the day before: "You are surrounded by people. ...All of them are children of God, your brothers and sisters. God loves them just as much as He loves you." Immediately, I began to listen to his tangent a little differently; not with annoyance or impatience, but with a real desire to know what he needed. I began to see Dieter differently. He was no longer the slightly crazy, stringy-haired, long-winded, book hoarder that was taking up way too much of our time, but rather my brother. Once I really started really listening, the Spirit helped me know where I could bear my testimony and how to go about teaching him. As we left, he looked at the cover of his Book of Mormon and promised to read the introduction and the testimonies at the beginning. He tapped his finger on the word "Mormon" and said "You know what? You kids are my brothers and sisters. If you ever need anything, you know where to come. It doesn't matter how early or late - my door will always be open for the children of God."

We are all brothers and sisters, folks. When I think about my siblings Maddy, Abby, and Mark, my heart is so full of love for them that, as any companion of mine can confirm, once I start talking about how wonderful they are and how much I love them, I can't stop! And the love that I have for my siblings should be training for how I see everyone around me - with love, respect, and recognition that there is God-given potential within each of us. This coming week, I hope to see with clearer eyes.

Love to you all,
Sister Hendricks

No comments:

Post a Comment