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Friday, October 7, 2011

Stranger?

It's been seventeen months now in the mission field and I can still say that receiving mail still feels like Christmas.  Snail mail is the bee's knees in my book!  Today I received a letter from my "adopted" grandpa.  He is one of my best friends and the story of how we became such good friends is one of the greatest stories ever told, by me that is.

By now all of you are well aware that I worked at a swimming pool prior to coming on my mission.  Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning from 9:00-1:00 I was in the pool teaching swimming lessons.  While swimming lessons were going on there were a few water aerobics classes, lap swimmers, and people getting in their pool exercises.  It's like seventh heaven there!

Every day I was there to teach swim lessons there was a man that would come and do one of the water aerobic classes.  Because I am a talker and like to say "hello" to everyone and their dog, I started to talk to this elderly man that was attending water aerobics fairly regularly.  First thing I noticed was his German accent.  We talked about his days growing up in Germany, what it was like to be a member of the church there during that time, and he told me all about himself.  Each bit of information intrigued me to no end because my grandpa Nestman is from Germany. 


Jan, Me, and Reiner (adopted Grandpa)

We continued to talk over the next many months and became friends.  When the time came for me to go on my mission, I invited him to come to my "farewell" talk in church.  Excitedly he told me he would be there.  That Sunday when I got to church my friend was there waiting with open arms for a hug.  He then looked at me with a look of shock, happiness, and excitement and said "you never told me your last name was 'Nestman'!"  Blankly I said "huh, I guess not."  He continued to tell me his last name and said "your grandpa and I are related.  He sponsored me to come to America." Whoa right?!?!?!

This whole thing taught me just how small this world really is.  One "stranger" that came into my life turned out to be someone I was related to (distantly).  The family of God is much smaller than we all think.  Each of us is part of this wonderful family.  You, you, and you there, each of you are all a part of my family (awe, tender moment).  Seriously though, we are all sons and daughters of the most high.  As part of this family we should reach out in love to one another.  In Mosiah it says:
1 "...as ye are [in] the fold of God, and called his people, and... willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and... willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort"
My family
Normally this is used to explain the promises made during baptism, but I know they are things each of us should strive for each day with our fellow brothers and sisters.  Each of you think of someone close to you right now.....(are you thinking?).......Now think of an acquaintance.....(keep thinking)......  Okay, what I want to invite each of you to do is to find a way to show them you care.  Show them how much you love them as one of your siblings, because they are your sibling.  I know this will bless you in more ways than you can even fathom!  The more we love, the more we become like Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.  So, go and do!

4 comments:

Brian Menasco said...

What a wonderful invitation! I really think I should show people I care for them more than just think they already know.

Katrina said...

I love you! You're amazing! I'm going to try and me more loving!...

Elder Chris Spendlove said...

never cease to amaze, Sis. Nestman. What a great story and what an inspiring post! puts it into perspective, for sure. Makes me want to be a little kinder to... well, everyone!

Elder Elison said...

I love how Heavenly Father arranges things like what happened with your German friend--our Father really takes care of us and shows His love for us often. Pretty cool how He blesses us with things like that even when we don't really need them. He just does it to make us happy! This post was a good reminder to pass that love on and help others feel the joy :)

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