Learning to Love Samantha
Samantha, * a girl in my first-grade class, was kind of mean. She would step on people’s heels, yell at them, and even hit them. Nobody liked her. Nobody played with her. Sometimes other kids told lies to get her into trouble. I didn’t like her at first, either, but I always defended her when I knew someone had lied to get her in trouble.
In second grade, her desk was next to mine. She kept on being mean, so she was moved away from the other kids. I felt sorry for her and offered to help Samantha with her schoolwork. The teacher let me.
Then Samantha’s baby brother died. That’s when I learned that she has a hard life. She had lived in another state, and her father had drinking problems. When she moved, one of her cats died and another ran away. Then her two dogs died. One day in class, she started crying because she missed her baby brother. I went over to her, and I got to help her that day.
At Christmastime, I drew her name for our gift exchange. Mom and I prayed about what to give her. We gave her a small nativity set, and she really liked it. She became nicer to everyone, and soon everyone wanted to sit by her.
For Valentine Day, we gave each other the same card. We didn’t plan it that way.
She moved away at the end of second grade. That was the last time I saw her. I miss her. Sometimes I even cry a little bit. My teacher thanked me for helping Samantha and said that I had changed her life. I feel good that I chose the right.
Name has been changed.
Sharing the Gospel with a Friend
I am the only member of the Church in my neighborhood. My best friend, Jared, lives in the home behind mine. One day, I invited Jared to come to church with my family. He couldn’t come that day, and I decided to give him a Book of Mormon. I hoped that he would read it. I thought that maybe he wasn’t ready to come to church yet and that I would ask him another time. Mom didn’t think we had an extra Book of Mormon, but I went to the basement to look for one, anyway. I found three copies that our family had forgotten were there.
I combed my hair, put on a white shirt and a suit coat, and got some cookies from Mom to take to Jared. When my four-year-old brother, Cameron, found out that I was going to “be a missionary,” he wanted to go as my companion. He held the plate of cookies, and I knocked on Jared’s door. Jared and his mom invited us in, and we gave them the cookies and the Book of Mormon.
One Monday night Jared came over. Mom and Dad said that he could stay for family home evening. It was my turn to start with prayer. I asked Heavenly Father to bless Jared and all of my other friends. Then Cameron and I sang “When Jesus Christ Was Baptized.” Our lesson was on honesty, and we watched a filmstrip about it. After the lesson, Mom asked Jared if he wanted to say the closing prayer. He said yes, so Mom showed him how to pray. He did a great job!
It makes me feel good inside when I share the gospel with Jared.
“Everyone Wants to Smile”
Greg is a boy at my school who has Down syndrome. One day, some kids were making fun of him and being unkind. Nobody likes to be teased, so I stood up for him. My mom was the nursery leader in our ward, and Nathan, another boy who has Down syndrome, was in nursery. Whenever I see him, it reminds me of Greg, and I realize that everyone wants to smile.
Our family has been reading stories about the latter-day prophets. They all learned to work hard when they were young. We read that when Brigham Young was only eight, he made most of the family meals because his mother was very sick. When Joseph F. Smith was about the same age, he chopped wood, hauled water, and drove an oxen team.
Jamison (Jamey) is five and the oldest child in our family. He always tries to set a good example for his two younger brothers. Every morning, he does a chore. Some mornings, he helps fold laundry. Others, he vacuums or cleans the bathroom. He also makes his bed, cleans his room, and helps watch his one-year-old brother.
Even though it isn’t always fun, Jamey says that he gets a really good feeling inside when he does his best work. He says that he wants to be like the prophets and work hard. He knows that Jesus is happy with him.