My companion, Elder Robert Brown, and I were working in Surabaya, a city on the island of Java in the Indonesia Jakarta Mission. We had just returned home and were preparing to eat the ritual night-time martabak (a kind of pancake filled with peanuts and chocolate), when our servant, Soekimin (who is also an elder in the Church), came in and told us that he’d just received a letter from his family and that a cousin was extremely ill. The letter said the doctors had done everything they could for him, and had said that he would soon pass away.
After Soekimin told us this, we asked him what we could do to help. He asked us to go with him to his village to give his cousin a blessing. We agreed and asked him when he wanted us to go. He said, “How about tomorrow morning?” When we said yes, he grabbed me and said, “Thank you, thank you, now my cousin will live.” We were very moved by this man’s faith.
That next morning at 4:00 A.M. we got up to take the 3 1/2 hour bus ride to Soekimin’s village—a small farming village in the middle of a rice plain. Here we found the small hut with bamboo thatched walls that Soekimin called home. His sick cousin, lying on a bed inside, truly looked as if he would soon pass away.
After it was explained to him who we were and why we had come, we asked him if he wanted a blessing. He answered yes.
We anointed and blessed him and then turned to leave, but found that word of our coming had spread throughout the village. Other people were bringing their sick to receive a blessing. First one, then another, and yet another came to us. As we were giving the blessings, I couldn’t help but reflect on how it must have been in the Lord’s day when the poor brought their sick to him to be blessed. I thought that it should always be so wherever the gospel is preached. We learned of the power of the priesthood that day in that small village in Eastern Java and were humbled by the faith it inspires in people. A few days after we returned home, Soekimin received a letter saying that his cousin had completely recovered.
Elder Gaylen S. Gurr
Indonesia Jakarta Mission
I cannot praise you enough for your article on the Lamanites and on Elder George Lee (December). It made very inspirational reading. I found Elder Lee’s words about his father very interesting. His father’s reverence for life and protective feeling towards animals is an example for us all. Look at what such a heritage did to mold the character of Elder Lee.
I suppose you know—the spiritual quality of this magazine is beyond compare. It helped me so much when I was the only member aboard a submarine.
David A. Dion
U.S. Navy, Connecticut
You have carried an article on helping children deal with feelings of jealousy. Here is what we have learned about helping a child when we bring home a new baby.
When the first baby came, I was able to give her all my attention; then came the second, third, fourth, and fifth. With each homecoming it was most pleasant, but it seemed each time that the child who was smallest resented the new baby just a little. When cooing and talking and loving the new baby, I always watched the once youngest child looking on with a “longing” feeling.
Our sixth baby arrived home recently, and it was a joyful experience. I had prayed for enlightenment as to what to do about Shellece, our four-year-old daughter, and the answer came. As I was sitting one day cooing and cuddling new baby Brian, as Shellece was watching on, it all began. I called the new baby by his name:
“Oh Brian, you look just like your sister Shellece. Cootchi, gootchi, goo, etc. etc. I love Shellece, and when you grow up you’re going to grow to love her too. Shellece is such a good girl and we all love her, etc., etc., etc.”
Brian didn’t care about the words that were being said; he is too young. But with Shellece watching on and hearing words about her, she ran over and hugged Brian and they became fast friends. When we three are together, alone, and I talk to Brian, I always talk about Shellece. She, understanding the words, is good to the baby and always treats him perfectly.
As Brian grows and learns to understand words, I will, of course, not always talk about Shellece. But at this point, just the sound of my voice shows love, concern, and warmth for him, and it is helping both children.