“Helping and Building,” Friend, July 2009, 12–14
Nine-year-old Jared Simpson lives with his family in a house surrounded by a beautiful forest outside Meredith, New Hampshire. He might be found riding his bike, practicing trombone, exploring the forest, or quietly watching two deer that visit his yard every day. No matter what Jared is doing, he works hard, is kind to others, and knows how to have fun.
Jared helps his family build a skating rink in their backyard during the winter. They shovel snow to make a flat, hard space and then use the water hose to make a smooth ice layer for everyone to skate on. Jared also builds with small blocks, and makes paper airplanes to fly off his back porch. He built a fort in the woods, and he would like to build wooden boats for the backyard pond. For a Faith in God project, Jared and his dad made a chair. When he is older, he hopes to build houses like his dad. By being a hard worker, Jared is building something really special—good character.
Jared works, plays, and learns with his mom and dad; brothers Joshua, 11, and Jacob, 5; and sister Gracie, 7. His family stays strong by spending time together, helping with chores, having family home evening, reading scriptures, and praying together before bedtime.
Jared and Joshua take turns giving water and food to their bunnies, Fluffernutter and Velvet, and their cat, Foxey. Foxey was a stray cat that Jared’s family decided to take care of. They joke that Foxey “adopted” their family.
Every May, Jared and his brothers look forward to going with their dad on their ward’s father-and-son camping trip. They build a campfire, catch salamanders, and play games in Sharon, Vermont. The Prophet Joseph Smith was born in Sharon, and they go on a hike to see the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial. Jared has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God.
Jared is a good example at school by trying to be nice to everyone, helping other children to be nice, and saying “I’m sorry” when he needs to. He also sets an example by not saying bad words. Jared has lots of friends at Primary too. When Jared was younger, he had a speech disability. Interacting with his friends at Primary and speech therapy helped him overcome his speech challenges.
There are lots of fun things to do outside where Jared lives. He likes to ride his bike to the end of the road and back. Jared likes to catch frogs, turtles, and salamanders in the backyard pond. When camping, he plays capture the flag and football with his family and friends. In the winter, a hill in his backyard is great for sledding. Jared also plays halfback on a soccer team. With all that outdoor fun, his shoes must get muddy!
Jared works hard to help his family and neighbors. One day, he and his brother helped their dad sand and restore an old truck all day. And he takes time to be kind to others, such as visiting elderly women in his ward. He is a friend to many people, no matter how old or young.
In music class, Jared is learning to play trombone. He also enjoys geography, art, and math, especially subtraction. During recess at school, he plays “wall ball.” He kicks the ball against a wall and it quickly bounces back for him to kick again.
reading the Book of Mormon
bowling with his family
eating pepperoni pizza