“Brother to Brother (Part Nine)” Friend, Sept. 1989, 13
Cub Scouts is awesome! We do lots of fun things. This week our den put on a Thanksgiving play for the pack. Rollin was Myles Standish, Sam was Governor Bradford, and I was Squanto. Other Clubs played other Pilgrims and Indians. We learned that the first winter was very hard and that many Pilgrims died. Then the Indians helped the Pilgrims plant corn and catch fish. The next fall they had lots of food, so they had a feast for three days and invited the Indians to it. The Pilgrims thanked Heavenly Father for the food. They were glad that they could worship Him the way they wanted to. That was why they had come to America.
Then we had our feast. First we put five kernels of corn on each plate because that was all that the Pilgrims had some days that first winter. Then we had turkey and potatoes and cranberries and punch! I’m glad that we have a nice home and good food and clothes. I’m glad that I live today and not back then.
What will you do on Thanksgiving?
Today was a Thanksgiving Day that I’ll never forget! We spent the morning tracting without much success. It was cold, and everyone was busy and didn’t want to talk. Then we spent the afternoon with some members who had invited us for Thanksgiving dinner. And did they ever put on a feast! The food was so good that I kept eating and eating until my belt yelled for mercy. Sister Marshall seemed to enjoy watching us eat, and she kept passing the food around. Then when we left, she gave us each a big package of leftovers wrapped in aluminum foil. It’s great to have members like the Marshalls who help the missionaries.
But it was what happened as we were riding our bikes home that made this an unforgettable Thanksgiving Day. Even though it was cold and windy and almost dark, we took the long way home to help work off some of our dinner. On a lonely road on the outskirts of town, we came upon a girl with long black hair who looked about your age. She was gathering sticks at the side of the road, and she was wearing a long-sleeve blouse, a shawl around her shoulders, a skirt, and sandals.
Elder Butler and I stopped, concerned about her being out in the bitter cold. Her name is Rosita. She didn’t know much English, but she took us to her mother, who was also gathering wood not far away. We helped them gather broken branches and old sticks until everyone’s arms were full. Then they took us to their home.
They live in a small shack with a woodburning stove in the middle. The only one who speaks much English is the father, and he was on a mattress in the corner, sick with a fever.
Their name is Morales. They recently came from Central America. Mr. Morales said that he brought his family to the United States to have a better life. He had a job here, but he lost it when he got sick.
There was hardly any furniture, and the room was smoky and drafty. They need so much—even simple things, like clothes for winter. All they had was what they’d brought in three suitcases. And each other. As I looked into their faces, I felt that I was in the presence of modern Pilgrims. Suddenly Thanksgiving became much more real to me. It is more than parades and football games on TV and tight belts from eating too much turkey and yams and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving means hope and freedom.
Elder Butler and I gave Mr. Morales a blessing, and we gave our leftovers from dinner at the Marshalls to the Morales. They thanked us again and again and asked us to come back to visit them. We will.
Riding home, I no longer felt the cold wind blowing in my face and up the sleeves of my coat. All I could feel was the warmth of gratitude for all the blessings that we enjoy.
Our den wanted to do a kind deed for the Morales family, so we invited our friends and neighbors to help us. It wasn’t a ward-sponsored project. We collected blankets and winter clothes, and some people gave us money. Dad put the money in the bank and has enclosed a check. We sent a big box of stuff today, but you should get this letter first.
It was a lot of work, but we all feel great.
Querido (Dear) Buddy May,
Your muy amable (very kind) brother gave us una caja grande (a big box) of warm clothes and blankets. He also gave us money for to buy food and medicina (medicine). He explained that you and your Scout friends and neighbors sent all these wonderful things.
My family is muy agradecida (very grateful) for todo (everything). And now that I am sano otra vez (healthy again), I can find another job.
Espero que (I hope that) you can understand my letter. I do not always have the English words I want. God bless you and your friends.
(To be continued)