Service That Came Full Circle

Krisi Church Summers, Utah, USA

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    people sitting at table

    Illustrations by Bradley H. Clark

    When I was a college freshman, I would go with my roommate to visit her 98-year-old great-great-uncle, whom we affectionately called Uncle Joe. He lived alone and was lonely, so we tried to visit him as often as possible. During our visits he would tell us stories about when he lived in Mexico and in several border towns in Arizona, including Nogales.

    When my roommate temporarily moved back home, I felt prompted to continue visiting Uncle Joe. He became a close friend, and I visited him until he passed away a year and a half later. I was sad to lose my friend but grateful for the valuable time we had spent together.

    Ten years after Uncle Joe passed away, I was reading through my great-grandmother’s journal. The journal told of her husband leaving her with no money, $30 due in rent, and nine mouths to feed.

    Then she wrote: “In Bisbee [Arizona] the people were so good to us. Even when we lived out of town south of Bisbee, they brought us home [from church]. Brother Joseph Kleinman, who lived in Mexico, brought us home many times, and not only that, but [his family] took us all to eat dinner with them. They served fried rabbit with all the trimmings, which we enjoyed very much. They were transferred to Nogales … and they let us have their rabbits, pretty white ones, and we sure had all we could eat then.”

    As I read this entry, I realized that the Joseph Kleinman who had helped my great-grandmother was Uncle Joe! I felt the Spirit whisper that I had been inspired to continue visiting Uncle Joe as a small thank-you for the kindness he had shown to my great-grandmother and her family.

    I was thrilled to be a part of a story of love and service that came full circle. I know the Lord is aware of His children. If we heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we can bless the lives of others and in return be blessed ourselves.

    Uncle Joe lived alone and was lonely. So my roommate and I tried to visit him as often as possible.