THERE ARE SOME DAYS THAT YOU NEVER WANT TO FORGET.....Today was one of those days for me. Here on our Mission, you never truly know for sure what your day will hold. I love knowing that any corner, any part of a conversation, any chance given to testify and any gift you have been given from above is accessible in ANY MINUTE WITHIN YOUR HEART.
Before our mission, I've really never pondered deeply upon or given much thought to those adults that don't read or write, and their plight on a daily basis. I've thought of children and their opportunities and dreams, but not of those adults that are lost in the world of English speakers. As I come in contact with them on a very personal and intimate way, I find them hungry to read the powerful words of God.
Today, in observing an on going literacy class at church, I found my attention focusing on an elderly woman advanced in her years struggling to hold the pencil. What fastened my eyes upon her was the small black purse that laid on the desk beside her. It contained a pencil and pieces of erasers that she was using during the class. I watched her for a moment as she held her pencil and was practicing the letter "R" with such painstaking patience. My heart was flooded with love for this daughter of God that was driven to this class that she may write, speak and read the gospel.
I was thankful that the class had two teachers, and one teacher was giving the elderly woman her individual attention, as others in the class were much more advanced and writing sentences. The wide margin of skills was humbling to watch. I took the teacher and explained gently the methods that we had taught in training and the power they would have on Grandma. The picture we showed her was of Joseph Smith sitting in a chair holding the bible and reading James. I asked the teacher to have her just name some of the things she saw in the picture in Twi since she spoke no English. She saw many things in the picture, but the one that she steadied on was the bible. She thought it was just a big book at first until I brought out a set of scriptures and sat them on her lap and she looked at the picture and back at the scriptures and said BIBLE. Next, we asked if she had any memories or experiences with the Bible, and she told a sweet story in Twi about all of her grandchildren spoke only English and she could not communicate with them as they read the bible. She wanted to share God's words with them.
As I took her small notebook that she had been practicing her ABC's writing them over and over, I had the teacher write "BIBLE" in her workbook. Her homework was to write this word and show it to her grandchildren. That word now meant something to her, because of her desire to be part of her grandchildren with God. The look in her eyes as you looked up at me brought me to my knees as we gazed into one another's souls. With no English except for the word "BIBLE", she smiled with eyes that were clouded with cataracts. I knew in that moment that the word "BIBLE" belonged to her for the rest of her life.
The story God's grace upon Grandma didn't end there. During the Relief Society Lesson, they were speaking about The Power of the Word of God, and a woman raised her hand about halfway through, and said what about if you can't READ. They spoke of going to the gospel literacy class, and I wondered why this woman would ask such a concerned question. As we were ready to leave, I asked the teacher of the literacy class to tell me the name of the woman who they just called Grandma. The woman who asked the question about not being able to read turned and said, "That is my mother and her name is Margaret". We shared about our experience in the literacy class about her mother knowing the word "BIBLE", and how she had an assignment to write that word in her notebook. We spoke of her children asking their grandma what she learned today in class.
As we parted and I walked out into the parking lot of the church, I looked up into the heaven's and felt His grace spread to His children that hunger to read His words. He knew I would be there, the teacher would be there, the daughter would be there and most importantly He knew that Margaret would be there connected together. Within this view of heaven, His miracles happen just that way.
The pictures below tell a beautiful story of gospel love....and more Margaret's waiting to learn!