Help from Our Ward Family

“Help from Our Ward Family,” Ensign, July 2010, 58–59

Help from Our Ward Family

By Laurie Ellington

My husband serves in the United States military and was recently deployed to Afghanistan for a year. Before his departure, he did all he could to prepare our home and me so that all would be well while he was gone. He taught me how to turn off the water and the air conditioner and even the gas in case there happened to be an emergency. He informed ward leadership of his departure. He asked them to take care of me and of our family. He shared the same things with our good home teachers.

Our home teachers were wonderful. They came each month and gave me a message and helped in a variety of ways. They moved a heavy bookcase, replaced hard-to-reach lightbulbs, and even organized the Young Men and their leaders to do some work in our backyard to prepare it for some landscaping I was doing. The home teachers came one night to rescue our house when a water hose sprang a leak and filled the kitchen with water. They came later to replace the same hose! My visiting teachers were great too. They came every month to visit and cried with me if I was having a bad day. And though these people say they didn’t do much, their service was huge to me because they did things I could not have done or would have found difficult to do for myself.

In addition to my wonderful home teachers, other good members of our ward took it upon themselves to serve our family in my husband’s absence:

  • A neighbor brought his 12-year-old son over on snowy mornings to shovel my walk and driveway. That same son took care of mowing and edging each week in the summer.

  • A brother took care of some drywall mudding in the kitchen.

  • Another offered to do some other finish work. He spent several hours and days trimming and edging areas in the house that could have waited for my husband’s return, but how wonderful to have it finished when he got home!

  • Several sisters in the ward gave me a hug every time they saw me. It is amazing what a hug can do for someone who is missing a loved one.

  • A number of members prayed for us. Both my husband and I felt their prayers.

  • One brother came and pruned the apple trees in our yard.

  • Another replaced dangling lightbulbs with beautiful new can lights.

  • Then a brother and his son-in-law, not assigned as my home teachers, stopped by after they had visited the families to whom they were assigned, asking what they could do to help.

My ward family was truly my family while my husband was away. They were willing to serve me, and it seemed that they truly enjoyed helping.

My husband is home now. It was not always easy to be alone while he was gone, but my ward family eased the burden and made the deployment go by a little more quickly. My husband and I will be forever grateful for the ways they helped in his absence.