While reading the scriptures and watching unfolding situations, I am acquiring a new perception of consecration. It is very clear in the Old Testament that God or the Lord wants the poor taken care of and that Leaders are to teach and care for their people and not take advantage of them. Isaiah, Joel, actually most of the prophets are pretty clear on not abandoning those in need of temporal or spiritual care.
The days before I left in October last year, I kept thinking how I would like to bring a sewing machine as I love to create simple things and thought I could find a way to be creative and blend it into my mission somehow. Luckily for me, I have a very understanding husband who allows me to have my wishes. A few months after we got here, Jeffrey bought me a sewing machine. So I happily started sewing up simple pillowcases for friends and children.
The next step happened when someone asked me for sewing lessons. Another step someone asked me what I was going to do with my sewing machine when I left my mission. I realized that others wanted the same joy and creativity that I enjoy. I started seeing the situation differently. I needed to share the privileges I have with others.
My Relief Society in California responded big time and helped me out when I asked for items someone beginning to sew again would need. It was such a treat to give her all those bags of sewing materials along with a sewing machine. Her happiness was evident. Then on a Sunday evening my friends came over to sew up their own pillowcases. They had a really fun time. I am realizing more and more there are many women who would love to have the opportunity to sew if they had the means.
I had an interesting experience when praying for a young woman who I have grown to adore. I asked the Lord to bless her life. The impression I received back was that I was the blessing to her that I was praying for. It was somewhat amazing kind of answer as I continue to feel I receive much more in return than what I can give. Immediately my investment in her life was more personal and thoughtful. I began to search for ways to be of benefit.
Jeffrey and I have worked hard and have been greatly blessed by the Lord. When we came to the Philippines our money suddenly went twice or three times as far and we surprisingly find ourselves in the “rich” section of people. In the Doctrine and Covenants we learn about giving our excess, so that all are blessed.
There is so much poverty and need here, where to begin to help is overwhelming. I’ve decided that whomever the Lord puts in my path is the one(s) I am suppose to help.
Being helpful is a whole other problem. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “We’re just fine Sister Adams, No we don’t need anything.” This calls for all kinds of creativity to not offend but be helpful. Being a grandmother is great as so many grandmothers do so many different kinds of things. They can get away with giving some things a mere friend cannot.
Of course becoming a grandmother was a little problematic but luckily Princess was having a birthday and her dad was hoping to get off work early enough to arrive at her birthday party. So I decided to be a “grandmother” and get Princess something for him to bring home. He was puzzled by my actions, but Dr. Burtenshaw told him to accept the offering of a lady who was frustrated and needed to be a grandmother to someone. After that I just adopted the whole family for a year or so until I go back to California. But when I asked about everyone’s birthday they were all way too many months away, so I came up with the ½ birthday idea. And then I was able to meet the whole family in person when the parents came to do temple work!
Fulfilling my callings in the church I run into all kinds of people to do things for and give presents to. Lately I’ve been toying with the idea of having regular sewing lessons and watch for those who are really interested and then “finding” a sewing machine to give them. I’ll have to kick the idea around the block a few times.
Right now I feel the law of consecration is giving my extra money, time, talents and efforts to those whom the Lord puts in my path. Maybe next month I’ll have a different level of thought. It is really nice there does seem to be lots of creativity involved.