Arnold has had the unique opportunity the past few years of traveling the different parts of the world and working on various humanitarian projects. Her life is forever changed as a result of these experiences and as parents we have seen tremendous growth as she has seen the impoverished circumstances that other people live in and the joy they share.
We haven't wanted to talk about it very much because service is such a special thing and the experiences she has had are sacred in many ways. I also know that not everyone is able to have these unique opportunities. It is truly a blessing, one that I hope each of my children will be able to have... with the exception of Whitney because she is too old to participate in this particular program. However she has had her on special view of the world and I'm sure it will continue to expand as the years move on.
As I have prepared the photos for the posts and thought back to the the things Arnold has shared with us, I was humbled once again by these special opportunities she has had. More importantly I was reminded that it is not necessary to go across the world to find ways or people to serve. In our own communities and homes can and should our influence be felt. I am reminded of this quote by President Eyring, "When I was a young man, I served as counselor to a wise district president in the Church. He tried to teach me. One of the things I remember wondering about was this advice he gave: “When you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time.” (Henry B. Eyring, “In the Strength of the Lord,” Ensign, May 2004, 16)
We are all struggling in some way, some difficulties are more visible than others, but each of us can use added strength from someone who cares about us. That is my hope for my children, to always remember to serve no matter where they are and no matter who they are. They have a great example of that in their father. Arnold recently said that the only friends she has ever met of John's have either been ex-convicts or people who would otherwise be ostracized by the world (due to physical or mental limitations). How blessed we are.
"Serving others need not come from spectacular events. Often it is the simple daily act that gives comfort, uplifts, encourages, sustains, and brings a smile to others. May we always find opportunities to serve." (Elder Michael J. Teh, "Out of Small Things," Ensign, Nov. 2007, 37)