“Cookies and Carols,” Ensign, Dec. 2008, 16–17
Armed with 10 plates of cookies and 10 copies of a Church Christmas DVD, our youth group set out on a snowy Mutual night to sing Christmas carols to the neighbors. It was the bishop’s idea, a chance for leaders and youth alike to meet the people who live near our Church building in Connecticut.
The house across the street had a huge, barking dog, and the only way to get to the front door was by passing him. No one appeared to quiet the dog, and I wondered how we would be received. As we sang our first carol, the youth stood back, hesitant to be on the front line. A woman answered the door, and one of my fellow leaders handed her a plate of cookies and the DVD. The leader informed her that we were from the church across the street and wanted to express our appreciation to them for being good neighbors. She was pleasantly surprised and listened politely until the end of our song.
With the first home behind us, our confidence grew. We walked a little more quickly to the small apartment complex next to the church. This time the woman who answered the door recognized two of our youth. She had been their teacher in elementary school, and she reached out to give them a big hug.
This positive encouragement was all we needed. From then on, Kourtney, one of our Mia Maids, wanted to deliver the cookies and DVD at every door. As leaders, we no longer had to physically move the youth closer to each doorstep—they encouraged each other.
Although one man listened uncomfortably to our song and declined our gift, every other person who answered a door was gracious and appreciative. One woman had tears in her eyes and gave Kourtney a kiss as she delivered the goodies and DVD. But the most amazing of all was door 19.
A man came to the door and stepped outside to listen to our carol. When we finished, he asked if we had heard of Fayette, New York. We excitedly said we had, and he responded with, “I was baptized in Fayette.” He went on to tell us that he had been baptized about 10 years before but that since moving to Connecticut, he hadn’t sought out the Church and no one in our area knew about him. He said, “Well, I guess this means I’d better come to church on Sunday.” As we walked away from his door, I recognized the Lord’s hand in our service and knew that this man had never been lost to the Lord.
By this time we were having so much fun we didn’t want to stop. So despite being empty-handed, we caroled at one last house. The Spirit of the Lord filled us with joy as we then trekked, arm in arm, back to the church. We all felt grateful for this chance to spread the Lord’s love—and His joy—to the world.