Friends, Hearts, and Invitations

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    Friends, Hearts, and Invitations(click to view larger)

    Photographs by Christina Smith

    The girls in the Holladay Stake First Ward in Utah, USA, know their activity day plans are much more fun when more girls are involved. That’s why they made a special effort to get every girl in their neighborhood to come to the activities. The group was praying for more members when they realized that there were many girls nearby they could invite to attend. With the help of their leaders, they decided to reach out to their friends from school and in their neighborhood.

    At first the girls were nervous to knock on doors and talk to others, but their leaders encouraged them and let them do all the talking. Soon they had many new friends! When they started their project, only four girls were coming regularly. Now the group has more than 20 girls who participate every week!

    “It was exciting because we were doing missionary work. We helped the other girls feel special and cared about. That is what Heavenly Father wants.”—Beth V., age 11

    “I remember getting a phone call every time for the activities. It was nice to be reminded, but mostly it felt like they really wanted me to be there.”—Arianna M., age 12

    “I felt good inside that I helped someone.”—Eleanore P., age 10

    “The first time standing on the doorstep, I felt uncertain. But after a couple of times, it was no big deal. I just thought, let’s go get another girl to come and join us and make it more fun!”—Erin P., age 11

    After Santina B., age 11, was invited to activity days, she started coming to church too. Eventually her mom started attending with her. “Activity days helped us know more people and feel comfortable. We belonged there and were included,” Santina said.

    One of the girls’ favorite activities is called a “heart attack.” They cut out paper hearts and write messages on them. After quietly taping the notes to a neighbor’s door, the girls ring the doorbell and hide where they can watch their neighbor’s reaction as she sees all the hearts. The girls are happy they can serve and have a special place to belong in their activity day group.

    How can you invite and include others?

    • Be a friend to people at school or in your neighborhood. Say hello when you see them, and help them feel included.

    • If you want to knock on doors and invite people to activities, get a leader and a friend to go with you.

    • Make a list of activities, times, and phone numbers to give to those you are inviting.

    • Have a plan before you get to the door. Decide who will talk, and think about what you will say.

    • Pray for courage and for the Holy Ghost to help you. He will help those you are inviting to feel your friendship.

    Elder Robert D. Hales

    “As we follow [the Savior], He blesses us with gifts, talents, and the strength to do His will, allowing us to go beyond our comfort zones and do things we’ve never before thought possible.”1

    Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

  •   1.

    “Being a More Christian Christian,” Ensign, Nov. 2012, 91.