“A Spirit of Service,” New Era, Dec. 2012, 46
About two years ago I was living in Mexico City. My family and I were enjoying it there, but we saw a lot of people living in poverty. A wonderful opportunity to provide charity came when we had a little money we felt could be used to help someone else.
That Christmas our stake organized a “Family Help Tree.” We chose a name from the tree and started planning. We couldn’t wait to help this family on Christmas.
One month later, Christmas arrived and our family was ready to deliver the presents. We drove to the address and walked down a dark alley. There were gray, eroded cement walls, a plastic roof, and a wooden door that was too small for the doorway. When we knocked on the door we saw dirt floors and only one couch. There was a fridge that was not plugged in and a little bit of food on the shelves. We then found out that the mom, dad, 9-month-old baby, 4-year-old girl, and 6-year-old boy all slept either on the floor or on the couch and had only two light blankets.
We explained why we were there and then proceeded to give them the presents. The look of joy and happiness on their faces was truly priceless. We gave them a couple of alphabet toys, some food, and last but not least, some warm blankets. They were so grateful. Everyone cried tears of joy. I felt the love of the Savior for this family.
After that humbling experience, I asked my parents if we could use any money that was going toward my gifts for others who are less fortunate, and then my two little brothers asked if they could too. That moment made it a Christmas to remember. It was truly a humbling event and increased my testimony of service and the love of the Savior. When we are in the service of others, we are in the service of God, just as it states in Mosiah 2:17.