“We Came for Our Gifts,” Liahona, Dec. 2013, 43
When I was a member of our district presidency, I helped coordinate an activity in which the members of our district donated toys to poor children living in the city of Soacha, Colombia. We had a wonderful response from all the members. Not all the gifts were new, but most were in good condition.
As we finished loading the gifts on the buses that would take us to the city, a young girl came up to me with a plastic ball that had been heavily used and was scratched. I held the ball in my hand, wondering who would have donated such a beat-up ball. With some disdain I tossed it under the seat.
When we arrived, our youth began singing Christmas hymns. Their music, along with their Christmas hats, attracted a large group of children. When we started handing out the gifts, those children called other children. Soon we had given out all our gifts.
When we were about to leave, I saw a boy about eight years old running toward us, holding his little brother by the hand. When they arrived, the older boy said, “We came for our gifts.” His innocence left me without words and touched my heart.
I explained to him that the gifts were gone. He responded, “It doesn’t matter if my gift isn’t here, but my little brother’s must be here.”
Then I thought of the ball I had tossed under my seat. I told the boys I did have one more gift but that it was a humble one.
“It doesn’t matter what it is,” he said. “That is the one.”
I got on the bus and found the ball. When I gave it to the little boy, his joy overflowed. Jumping with gratitude, he said, “A ball! That is the present I asked the Christ child to bring me.” He continued to dance around happily as he and his older brother went away with their treasured gift.
I quietly stood there and wept as a warm feeling of peace and gratitude enveloped me. The concern and selfless care the older brother gave to his younger brother touched me, and I silently hoped that I would be as eager to bless others as the older boy was to bless his brother.
As the boys happily walked away, I was reminded of the Savior’s love for us. He did not even forget a little boy on a mountainside who had asked for a simple ball for Christmas.