Special Delivery
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“Special Delivery,” New Era, October 2015, 28–29

Special Delivery

Heather Gonzalez lives in Utah, USA.

I’d always relied on other people for my testimony, but one Mutual service activity helped me gain my own testimony of God’s love.

Special Delivery

Illustration by Ben Simonsen

I grew up in the Church. My family and I went to church every Sunday, and when I turned 12, I started going to Mutual every week. Even though I was active in the Church, I still relied mostly on my family’s testimonies. I liked going to the activities, but I mostly went out of habit. Sometimes I wondered why I went at all.

One Mutual activity very clearly answered that question. We went to a local food bank and started by sorting through giant bins of food that had been donated. After a little while we divided up into groups to deliver food to different families in need.

We all chatted as we drove from one place to another. The families had big smiles on their faces when we gave them the food. At one point we all got out of the car to deliver the food together. The air was crisp as we walked toward the building. We crowded into a small staircase of a rundown apartment building.

We knocked on the door and waited for a bit, shivering, until the door opened just a crack. I could see a woman’s eyes peeking out. Someone in our group said a few words but stopped when the woman almost closed the door. We stepped forward with a box of food. She told us to wait and closed the door. The other girls and I stared at each other, wondering what was happening.

We waited for what seemed like forever. Finally, a man came to the door, the little woman right behind him with a baby wrapped in a big blanket in her arms. Tears of gratitude were in her eyes as we gave the food to her husband. Warmth started in my heart and filled my entire body, and I started to cry. I looked at the little family, and I didn’t know what was happening. I’d never felt anything like it.

Walking away from that humble apartment, my heart still felt so full. The snow on the ground looked more beautiful than before. I was more grateful for my family. I felt like I was going to burst with love.

When we got back in the car, I was quiet, thinking about how I didn’t even know those people, but I was so happy and full of love. I sat there bewildered until it hit me like a stampede—it was the Spirit giving me that warmth and love. The words of King Benjamin came to my mind: “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).

My mouth nearly dropped open with the realization of how much God loves His children. He had just allowed me to feel a little bit of that love. He is aware of His children’s needs. He has a plan for us. It is a plan that I’d learned about since I was a little girl. It means that He loves me! In that moment the Spirit burned within me. I knew that I was supposed to be at Mutual that night so that I could learn that lesson of God’s love. And I didn’t have to rely on anyone else for that testimony.