Festival of Trees: Week Three

What a week! I know I need to write so that the rest of the family and friends can have the stories, but right now, I just want to hold off until Christmas when I can actually tell them to you!

But here's one of my favorites.  A few days ago, there was a special needs group that came in.  There were 5 adults, all with disabilities, and two chaperons.  The 5 with disabilities all seemed a little bit scared, and wary of the new place they were in, but Sister Gordon played the Christus narration for them, then came to get me to take them on a little tour.  We talked about Christ's love for them, and how he knows each of them by name.  It was interesting for me to say those words to them, after having said them so many times to so many others, but to feel like I was saying it for the first time.  Every person in this little group, seemed to be listening a little better and feel a little more comfortable after we talked about our Savior.  

We went into the international nativity exhibit next and one man with special needs was adamant about standing right next to me.  His name was Earl, and he couldn't talk to tell me what he was feeling, but he just grabbed my hand and stood there with a huge grin on his face.  He just needed to be close to someone.  It was so simple, but beautiful for me to see how that was all it took to make him happy.  It was the sweetest experience to be there with them, as each person found "another baby Jesus!" and as I saw their countenances change from frowns to smiles. 

We walked around the rest of the Visitors' Center and talked about the Book of Mormon a little bit, then the group decided to watch a movie.  I suggested Nora's Christmas Gift (about the woman who loses her vision), and set them up in a little theater.  Susan, an older woman who wasn't able to speak, was sitting in the back.  Throughout the tour, she'd made noises, but nothing coherent enough to understand as a word or sentence.  As I was introducing the movie, I heard myself talking about the resurrection.  It wasn't something I'd planned on, but as I was saying it, I realized that it was a message that everyone in that room definitely needed to hear.  As I promised them that one day, each of them would have perfect bodies like our Savior, I was interrupted by a voice in the back which said clear-as-day, "Jesus?!"  I looked to Susan, realizing that it was her who had asked the question, and answered, "Yes!"  Then she looked surprised, but asked, "ME...?!" And I said, "Yes! Even you Susan."  I watched quietly as the childlike disbelief in her face turned into pure joy and she just started to laugh.  She was SO happy. 

This is what the gospel does for people.  It heals them.  It touches their spirit because it's true!

I love you all.  Stay true to what's eternal.  Merry Christmas!

-Sister Welch

1 comment:

Sylvia said...

Here is to healing, to resurrection and to the miracle of the atonement of Jesus Christ--the Only Begotten, Beloved Son of God.

Merry Christmas, Sister Welch!