Sunday Stories: The Missing Church Bag

Welcome to Sunday Stories! The Sabbath is the perfect time to share spiritual stories as a family. Share one from your life and a simple gospel principle you’ve learned from it! If you need some ideas to get started, read some of ours. 

I serve as the Primary secretary in my ward. For those not familiar, the Primary is the children’s organization in our church. At the start of the new year there is a lot to get organized and prepare for. I remember one of those first Sundays I had to get to church extra early to make about a million copies at the library. Sunday mornings are already a whirlwind getting 3 kiddos ready and out the door, and as special as I know Sundays should be, I struggle to really appreciate them. With everything I had on my plate that day, I was admittedly feeling a teensy bit crabby as I headed to church that day.

Sunday PhotoI arrived a little flustered, but on a mission to check off all my boxes before my meetings started. The librarian from the other ward was working in there when I arrived, and she was eager to help me with all my work. I had a mountain of copies to make–stapled packets, things cut, you name it. I was probably in there giving her my instructions for a solid half hour, and she did every last drop with the best attitude. While she worked, I could feel my own begrudging attitude start to change. She asked me questions about how my calling was, about my family, and we ended up chatting about motherhood and our kids the whole time. The time flew by, and I found myself feeling grateful for this one-on-one time with this sweet new friend. Did I mention that we were still really new to our ward? This move hadn’t been the easiest transition for me, and so making this new friend really meant a lot.

We wrapped up our conversation, and I headed in to meet my family for Sacrament meeting. I was feeling grateful to have made such a sweet new friend, and humbled at the example she had shown me of serving so cheerfully. I felt so different about being there, and was able to enjoy sacrament meeting even more after having that little change of heart.

At the end of that meeting, I headed back to the library to pick up some final papers my friend said she would finish up for me. As I was thanking her again for all she had done to help me that day, I glanced down and saw a black canvas bag on the counter. I had probably looked down at it many times before I really noticed it. Once I did, I recognized it as my kids’ church bag. During the first month of being in the ward,we left the bag at church. It was stocked with all our best quiet, sacrament meeting activities for the kids–some of them pretty expensive. We checked for it for weeks in the lost and found, library, and clerks’ office, but never found it. I was so surprised, I interrupted our conversation and explained, “I think this is my bag!” Sure enough, after looking inside I knew that it was. My new friend explained to me that she had seen that bag sitting in a cabinet for weeks. After I left to go to sacrament meeting, she decided to clean out the cabinets in the library and put the bag on the counter with the hope that the owner might come in later and recognize it. I could not believe what I was hearing!

DSC_5647My heart filled with emotion as I heard her relay this to me. I know it’s something trivial and small, but almost immediately I could feel the Holy Ghost teaching me the important principle this experience illustrated. This sister had come to church that day with the right attitude, willing to serve and prepared to be taught. She had already helped me so much through her kindness and service that morning. When she found my bag too, it was abundantly clear to me that the Spirit was truly working through her. After months had gone by, she was prompted to bring out that bag precisely on the day that I would be spending so much time in there with her.

I’m so grateful for this friend, and many others, who show an example by their willingness to serve in whatever way they are asked, and who do it with all their hearts. When we serve with humility and obey willingly we allow the Spirit to truly work through us to bless the lives of others. Months have gone by since this little experience and I still have tasks to complete at the library almost weekly. My library visit with my friend is now one of the highlights of my Sunday.

Comments

  1. says

    When I was first put in as YW President I was beyond overwhelmed. My husband is gone for weeks at a time for work and I had 4 kids 8 and under. There were some Sunday mornings that I wanted to hide under the covers and not go but would grudgingly pack everyone up and then fight them all through sacrament. I felt so alone and incapable. I remember a day that a woman put her arms around me and told me how proud she was of me and all I was doing. She said that the spirit had told her that I needed to know I was seen, and that she saw me. The spirit worked through her to touch my heart and it changed my attitude. My calling stopped being an overwhelming chore and became a deep connection with my Savior. I learned to love those girls I served with all my heart. I sobbed when I was released. It will forever be the calling that changed my life… and it all came to be because a sister followed the Spirit. So powerful. Treasure that little church bag and the lesson it holds! Happy Sabbath!

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