“A Jar Full of Love,” Friend, Nov. 2004, 40
Bart and Chad sat with their mother in sacrament meeting as the bishop made an announcement. “Brothers and sisters, we are blessed to have several missionaries serving from our ward. We have been asked to keep a certain sum of money in the ward missionary fund, and right now we are below that amount.”
He held up a donation slip. “Fortunately, the blessing of supporting the missionary program isn’t just for full-time missionaries and their families. We can donate to the ward missionary fund to help support missionaries from our ward or to the general missionary fund to help missionaries all over the world.* What a great opportunity this is for each of us to personally support the missionary program.”
The bishop then asked ward members to contribute to the ward missionary fund if they felt they could.
Bart and Chad arrived home bursting with excitement. “Mom, we need to help the missionaries!”
Mom smiled at their enthusiasm. “When you earn money and pay your tithing, maybe you could also give a little extra money to the missionary fund.”
A look of concern crossed Bart’s face. “Mom, we have to give more than that!”
“And the bishop said they need money now,” Chad added.
“What do you suggest?” Mom asked.
Bart thought for a few moments, then went to his room and returned with a box of change he had been saving.
“This is all the money I have right now,” he explained, pouring it out onto the table.
Chad followed his brother’s example and soon returned with his own savings, which he added to the mound of coins.
Bart noticed an empty quart jar next to the sink, and an idea popped into his head. “Mom, could we please use that jar for our money?”
“And would it be OK if we went through the house and added any loose coins we find?”
“I think that’s a great idea.”
Bart and Chad discovered that hunting for missionary coins was more fun than any treasure hunt. With each quarter, dime, nickel, and penny they dropped into the jar, their smiles widened and their determination grew.
Together they searched every cupboard, drawer, and closet. They peered under every rug, bed, and piece of furniture. When they were sure they had not missed a square inch of the house, they presented a nearly full jar to their mother. “Would you please call the bishop and make an appointment for us?” Bart asked.
Mom dialed the phone number and soon reported that the bishop would be happy to meet with them that afternoon.
As the bishop welcomed them into his office, Mom explained why they were there. Tears filled the bishop’s eyes as Chad and Bart proudly placed the jar of coins in his hands. Together they counted the money, filled out a donation slip, and poured the coins into a large envelope.
The bishop smiled warmly. “Thank you so very much for such a wonderful contribution to the missionary fund. If you don’t mind, I would like to keep this jar as a reminder of one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had. This may look like an empty jar, but to me it will always be filled with love and the testimonies of two special young men.”
As they left the building, Bart turned to Mom. “I feel just as full as that quart jar.”
“So do I!” Chad exclaimed.
“That makes three of us,” Mom said, giving her boys a big hug.