Sundays with Sylvia

“Sundays with Sylvia,” New Era, Dec. 2003, 42

Sundays with Sylvia

“Sister Sylvia Gaitan was in a four-car freeway accident last week,” explained my Young Men president. “She’s in the Westlake Medical Center, and we need someone to take her the sacrament.”

“Westlake?!” I thought to myself. That was at least a 20-minute drive.

I pleaded for volunteers. One hand went up. “I don’t have a car,” said Russell, “but I’ll go with someone.”

On the way to Westlake, I said to Russell, “Next week we’ll make someone else take this time-consuming drive.”

We arrived at the hospital and wasted a few minutes getting lost. When we finally found Sister Gaitan’s room, my heart fell right into my stomach. Not even five feet tall, she seemed even smaller lying in a giant hospital bed surrounded by medical equipment. Looking at her I immediately felt guilty for having complained.

“How are you feeling, Sister Gaitan?” I asked.

“Oh, I’m all right,” she said, “but I’ll be much better after they perform those two surgeries they keep telling me I need.” I was amazed by how upbeat she was.

Russell and I blessed the small piece of bread we had brought and then blessed the water in her hospital drinking cup. She was so grateful to us for coming. I smiled and said, “We’re just doing our priesthood duty.”

I decided that I would bring the sacrament to her the next week, too. I took Sister Gaitan the sacrament every week until she recovered. Seeing her always made my day brighter.

The brightest day was when I saw her back at church for the first time. I was happy, not because I no longer had to drive to the hospital each week but because she was finally able to take the sacrament with her ward family.

I’m grateful I was able to take Sister Gaitan the sacrament, but I’m even more grateful that she taught me to fulfill my priesthood duties with a smile and a happy attitude.

  • Brandon E. Barrick is a member of the Springwood Ward, North Salt Lake Utah Stake.