Notes for Sister Puckett

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“Notes for Sister Puckett,” Friend, December 2019

Notes for Sister Puckett

“When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).

Friend Magazine, 2019/12 Dec

Illustrations by Greg Newbold

Tyler peeked over at Dad during sacrament meeting. There he was again, scribbling down notes as fast as he could. Weird. Was Dad trying to write down the whole talk or something? He never used to do this before. But for the past few weeks, Tyler had noticed Dad copying down as many notes as possible during church.


“Hey, Dad,” Tyler said after the meeting. “I keep forgetting to ask. What’s with all the notes?”

Dad gave a small smile. He looked a little sad at the same time.

“These are for Sister Puckett,” Dad said. “I thought she’d like to know what was said in church. She misses being able to come every week.”

“Oh! That makes sense,” Tyler said. He knew that Sister Puckett was very sick. “That’s pretty cool, actually.”

“Thanks,” Dad said. “Now isn’t it time for you to head to Primary?”

Tyler gave his dad a fist bump then hurried down the hall. The note-taking mystery was solved! He knew that Dad and his ministering companion visited Sister Puckett and talked with her a lot on Sundays.

Tyler had been surprised to learn that just talking with someone could be a way to serve them. He’d always thought service meant stuff like raking leaves or helping move a couch. But now it looked like service could be as simple as taking notes!

A few weeks later, it was time to meet with Bishop VanWagoner to talk about becoming a deacon. Dad went to the interview with him.

“How do you feel about being ordained?” the bishop asked.

“I’m really excited!”

Bishop VanWagoner smiled. “What are you looking forward to the most?”

Tyler thought about that for a minute. “Well, for starters, passing the sacrament. I’ve been watching the other guys. I think I know what to do.”

“Good for you,” Dad said. “Plus, if you forget, the other deacons will help.”

“True,” the bishop said. “Everyone in your quorum should care for and help each other.”

That’s good to know! Tyler thought. He really was excited to help pass the sacrament, but he had been a bit worried about remembering which rows to pass to.

He leaned forward in his chair. “Actually, there’s something I’m even more excited about,” he said.

“What’s that?” the bishop asked.


Bishop VanWagoner nodded. “I think that’s a great thing to look forward to.”

“Me too,” Tyler answered. “I want to minister the way my dad does! He helps people in all sorts of ways. Like with Sister Puckett and the notes.”

Bishop VanWagoner tilted his head a little. “The notes?”

Tyler nodded. “Yeah. Dad thought Sister Puckett would like to know what was said in church on the weeks she can’t come. So he writes down a bunch of notes and brings them to her. I like the idea of doing things like that for people.”

Bishop VanWagoner smiled. “You know, Tyler, I think you’re going to make a great ministering companion one day.”

Several days later, Tyler smelled something delicious in the kitchen. “Is that taco soup?” he asked.

“Yup,” Mom said.

“Did you add in the corn?” As far as Tyler was concerned, that was the secret ingredient that made this soup extra tasty.

“Of course,” Mom said. “Would you like to help Dad take some to Sister Puckett?”

“I’d love to!” Tyler answered. As he carefully carried the soup, Tyler thought about other ways he could help brighten Sister Puckett’s day. He always wanted to serve like Mom and Dad. He would try to be kind every day.

My siblings and I take out the garbage bins for my elderly neighbors each week.

Samuel A., age 9, California, USA