“Serving Sister Simmons,” New Era, Aug. 2010, 44–45
My day had been absolutely miserable. I wasn’t prepared for a pop quiz in biology, the teacher put me on the spot in English, and after our class ran laps for the entire period in P.E., I was exhausted.
I was a Mia Maid and my Young Women leaders had planned a service project that night for Sister Simmons, an elderly woman whose husband had passed away a few years ago. Sister Simmons’s health was failing, so it was almost impossible for her to accomplish simple tasks. Tonight the Mia Maids were going to do some deep cleaning in her home.
I had had such a terrible day at school, and I did not want to go and participate in this activity. All I wanted to do was watch TV and relax. While sitting in front of the TV, something kept nagging at my heart: “Would you deny this woman of your service?” As I sat there I pondered the Young Women value; good works. Yes! This was definitely good works. I knew that I must go and serve Sister Simmons.
My mom drove me to the church. I walked in feeling tired and worn out, but I was glad I had made the right decision to come to this activity.
Sister Simmons lived a block away from the church, so after opening exercises the seven of us Mia Maids ran in the rain to her house, carrying cleaning supplies. Sister Stout, our Mia Maid adviser, knocked, and Sister Simmons slowly opened the door, looking a little shocked to see us all. She said “Oh my, I had forgotten that you were coming.”
We all filed inside and were assigned chores. Carlene and I were assigned to scrub down the kitchen. Carlene washed all the dishes and the countertops, while I meticulously cleaned the front of all the oak cabinets and the old, white stove. As we worked, Carlene and I were giggling and talking. I was actually having fun.
An hour and a half later we had finished, and the house was sparkling clean. Time had gone by so fast. As we were all heading towards the door telling Sister Simmons “good night,” and giving her a hug, she stopped us and, with tears in her eyes, thanked us profusely.
I left that night with tears in my own eyes. I had learned so much about service. I had always been taught that when you serve someone else, you forget about your own problems. Now I knew that was true. I fell asleep peacefully that night, not thinking about myself at all.
The next morning Mom came into my room as I was getting ready for school. She sat me down on the side of my bed and explained to me that Sister Simmons had passed away in her sleep that night. I was shocked as I sat on my bed sobbing, thinking to myself how glad I was that I had been prompted to go and serve Sister Simmons. I am so grateful for the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and what I learned that night about serving others.