This last Tuesday after one of our missionary meeting went out to lunch. Which is unusual because of the limited funds we have. As me and my companion walked into a well known Mexican restaurant, we were noticed by an older man, maybe in his sixties or seventies.
He said, "Do you work at Safeway?" (Which we get a lot of because of our black name badges.)
We replied, "No, we don't work at Safeway, but we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ.."
Drinking from his coffee cup, gave us a different look, being a little embarrassed by his accusation. We both smiled and he asked us where we were from.
We replied, "UTAH."
The conversation went back and forth about subjects of family and interest. He asked us why we had black name badges and in uniform. I explained our purpose as missionaries and invited him to learn more. I asked him if there was any type of help he was needing around the house, garden or anything.
He stopped, looked up from his coffee cup and said, "Are you an Electrician?''
"No" I said, "but I can do the small things."
Almost tipping over in his chair, Said "I need someone to help me put batteries into my smoke alarm. Can you help me? The smoke detectors keep me and my neighbors awake because of the beeping."
It was a simple job to be done. I told him no problem. We exchanged information, and agreed in one hour we would meet him outside of his house.
The hour went by and came time to meet our new friend. As we walked into his square apartment, by the looks of his one seat couch, he hadn't had many people into his home. He lived alone, with only a small radio as his company. He was a retired vet, living off of what seemed to be nothing.
The old man showed us the project he had in store for us and set up a small latter. He handed the batteries to my companion Elder Bevan, and took up his long arms to adjust the smoke detector.
Out of the blue this old man started yelling at us. He said, "YOU BE CAREFUL! Don't screw it up! Can you read?! Open your eyes and read!! You don't know anything about this! You broke my smoke detector!!"
Consistently he told us we didn't know what we were doing. He said to Elder Bevan, "open your eyes to see." Ranting and raving, he kept giving us rude remarks about how we had no clue what we were doing.
I about had enough of his yelling and telling us we had no idea what we were doing. Just a simple act of service was my objective. Not to be yelled at for trying to help.
After we figured out the problem with the smoke detectors, and put in the batteries. The beeping noise coming from the smoke detectors had shut off. The old man finally realized we weren't crazy and settled down a few seconds. He put away his ladder, and paused in the middle of his room. Looked at me and Elder Bevan, and told us how grateful he was for what we had done for him. He said, "Now I can get some sleep tonight." The old man was so thankful for us. He took out his wallet and willingly wanted to give us money. We told him no, but thanks and gave him a card and told him we would be back to visit.
It was interesting to be in this mans home. He had no family, small possessions and little to entertain him. Although he was ranting and raving, but was so grateful for our service.
The Lord wants us to be a tool in his hands. Sometimes we don't understand all the reasons of the Lord, but there is always something in store for us. The Lord used me and my companion to serve, even though at a time I didn't know why we should have been helping this crazy old man when he was yelling at us. But I found out soon after how thankful he was for our help.
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." Ask Heavenly Father to help you serve others, to place you into opportunities to serve. As you do so the Lord will bless you and your family because of your love and kindness.
Check out this web page about service and how it can bless your life. http://www.mormon.org/service/
I know how service can bless us in our lives. I know that when I do help and give service I feel better about myself. I can have a comfort in my heart telling me my service was acceptable. Service is love towards our Heavenly Father. He cares for you and me. Write an experience you had in the past about service? Why it changed your life or the life of someone else. How did you feel the love of God in your life? When did you need service the most? Did Heavenly Father send help?
I love stories so let me know..