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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Featured Friend

My lovely friend, Jamie, this one's for you.

Yes, I stole this from her Facebook photos.
I have to tell you how I met Jamie, and why I love her so much. First of all, I have to say that there was one time I went on Facebook and was feeling so happy that I decided to start a "love-fest." I went to the  walls of the six people who happened to show up in my "friends" portion of my page and wrote a quick note to each telling him/her what I loved about him/her. I love that I know so many wonderful people and have so many strong feelings for them.

I, though, have never love-fested on my blog. Well, at least not officially, so Jamie, you're the first.

Jamie and I met when I was pregnant with #7. For the first time EVER in my life, we had sister missionaries serving in our ward. Transfers had taken place, and they needed someone who would go pick up the new missionary that was coming to serve in our ward. I was called upon to be that lucky person. Jamie happened to be that missionary.

That day, it was so exciting to be among all of those missionaries at the Lake Oswego Stake Center. It just gave me goose bumps practically the entire time.

image: shopping.com
When it came time to leave, we walked out to the parking lot. I'm trying to remember all of the details but for some reason, there was a newer sister missionary that was trying to help her companion back one of the missionary cars up. Jamie had brought two yellow, shiny snap bracelets with her and trained this younger missionary that she was supposed to wear those bracelets and direct the driver--kind of like a person would direct an airplane in lining up on the tarmac. It was a "mission rule." As I recall, Jamie asked me to video tape the whole thing. I had a very hard time keeping a straight face, but we all, me, Jamie, and a couple other sisters, snickered behind our hands the entire time. The younger missionary didn't have a clue that she'd been taken. She was VERY serious about the job she had undertaken.

From that moment on, I knew our ward was in for a great time.

image: dakotagraph.com
I have to tell you, she is my kind of person. I mean, you know that wagon train thing? Yup, she'd be one of my first wagon train buddies. She makes me laugh, but her laughter is a symptom of her faith. She is strong and never gives up hope. I love her for this.

While she served in our ward, I had the opportunity to go out with her as her "companion" a few times while her actual companion went with someone else from the ward. This was a fairly new thing for me. We had done similar things when I served in Japan, but until we had sisters serving in our ward, all these years later, I never had the chance to go out and act in the supporting role.

When these opportunities came, I jumped at them. It was so fascinating to watch these sisters at work. Now, from the above story, it's clear that Jamie was a kick in the pants, but when these times of teaching came, Jamie was amazing to watch. Her love and concern for the person she was teaching became so apparent. She was kind and sweet and serious, with a little glint of the Jamie mischievousness behind it. She was always herself, but when she was on the Lord's errand, it was no time for play.

Lives were changed because of Jamie's service. Many lives. Including my own.

Jamie, as I became more and more pregnant, shared that she was a little freaked out by the whole pregnancy thing and babies, but the day after I got home, there was Jamie and her companion. They came to see #7. They were some of our first visitors, as I recall. It was just a quick stop by to say hi and see us. So nice!

Because I hadn't had experiences with sister missionaries before this, obviously when I was one, I had no concept of how I came across to others. After having the time with Jamie and the few other sisters that served in our ward, I came to understand the impact they can have. I was so impressed. I doubt that I was anything like Jamie. I didn't have the vision that I do now of how many lives can be touched by the loving heart of a great sister missionary.

Thank you, Jamie, for giving me the ability to see this. I love you for the amazing person you are and for all the good you brought to me, my family, our ward, and our community. Thank you for serving a mission. It makes me much more eager to send my own off into the world. I hope she gets taught by someone just like you, even if it means she ends up wearing yellow snap bracelets. 

1 comment:

Julie Hess said...

I need to add a little comment here as I've been pondering what I wrote here. The story of the slap bracelets is especially dear to me for a special reason....My family, specifically my grandfather, came into the church because of a missionary who played a practical joke on him. It spoke to his heart, and it taught me that very often, if not always, missionaries are meant for the people they teach. I am grateful for missionaries who learn to use their greatest gifts--their own personalities, to teach others and change their lives for the better.

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