I Was Given A Gift

Jesus art 1

Today John and I went into our local Orem Costco to pick up some food, now that we’re home again. The parking lot was full of cars and there are new town homes surrounding it.  The mall nearby has had a face lift and now includes a splash pad for children. There seems to be more traffic and more people everywhere we go. We’re trying to get used to all the changes.

As we went into the store warehouse, we passed the customer service and information desk. The same people who were there 3 years ago, were still there, taking returns and answering membership questions. It caused me to pause and consider where my life has taken me these last 3 years–to Washington and back, and through the hearts of 100s of missionaries and friends there.

I could have been standing behind one desk, or sitting in one chair, or talking to the same small circle of friends. Instead, I feel like I’ve been to heaven and back. I’ve met people and I’ve seen things and I’ve felt things that never would have happened had I stayed here. I occurred to me that I was handed a Gift in the invitation to go and serve in another place, away from my home and family.

Sometimes people talk about our mission like it was a great sacrifice and a noble thing we did. That’s not really true. Serving a mission is more like an offering given, a small offering. But God’s economy is vastly different from ours. We may think we are giving, but the reality is that we received WAY more than what we gave. We returned changed, with hearts brim full of hundreds of loved ones we never would have known and we had experiences that have changed who we are. I’m grateful for this incredible gift!

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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4 Responses to I Was Given A Gift

  1. Glad you have you back in Utah. It has changed quickly down there.

  2. Matthew Gray says:

    Hi Ann – it was great to meet you and John in person this week in MN!

    What a great blog! I love what I’ve read and seen so far: this post, lessons learned from the mission, the book recommendations and the reunion and family pictures!

    I’ve thought more about your question about what my goal is with Family History. As discussed, until now, it has really just been finding enough names to keep a steady flow going for our temple visits. However, your question made me think about this a little more and I want to add finding inspiring stories from my ancestors to the effort. So, if you have any you can point me to – I would love to read them.

    This morning, I read about a great great grandfather on my mother’s side who was a twin. There were some fun stories with that and growing up late 1800s but I guess most inspiring was that “he was a good neighbor and every one around loved him. They came for him when an animal was sick. He always knew what to do and would leave his own work anytime to be of service. All his life he was called out to administer to the sick and had great faith and power.” Speaking of his administration to the sick, this daughter said, “I, myself, have been healed instantly under his hands.” She also said he was always “praising mother, her looks, her pretty long hair, her cute smile, that twinkle in her eyes; flattering we children” saying “He looked all over town, saw no one our equal.”

    Thank you for your inspired question!


    • Thanks, Matt. It was wonderful to be with you and your family. We are going to have fun working on these FH projects together! Wally told me all about you years ago and had confidence in you and the future of FH work in our family! I will help in any way I can!

  3. Pingback: Opportunity Cost | Ann's Words

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