At Your Service

by Tamara Leatham Bailey

Called to serve … but your line was busy? Life can get hectic with Church activities, club involvement, schoolwork, homework, and social life. Sometimes it may seem there’s no time left over for service. But service doesn’t always have to have the magnitude of a Laurel or Eagle project. Often it’s the little services that mean the most.

Here are some ideas for mini service projects. Each one takes 15 minutes or less:

  • Smile at someone you haven’t met yet.

  • Pick a handful of dandelions for your mom.

  • Read a story to a younger sister, brother, or neighbor.

  • Say thank you, with a smile, to a store clerk.

  • Send a postcard to a friend.

  • Give a sincere compliment to someone.

  • Invite someone new to join your crowd for lunch or a movie.

  • Pet your dog.

  • Turn your socks right-side out before tossing them into the laundry.

  • Clear the table after dinner when it’s someone else’s turn.

  • Make the bed for someone in your home.

  • Give your dad a hug.

  • Care for a ward or branch member’s crying baby so she can enjoy sacrament meeting.

  • Send a postcard to a missionary.

  • In your prayers, remember someone who you know needs a blessing.

  • Study with someone who needs your help.

  • On a bus or in a meeting, give up a seat for someone who doesn’t have one.

  • Pick up a pencil, pen, coin, or other item for someone who dropped it.

  • Really listen to someone who needs you.

  • Invite a nonmember friend to your family home evening.

  • Drop a coin where a child will find it.

  • Hold a door open for someone.

  • Sing with all your heart during sacrament meeting. This is a service to those around you, the chorister, and your Heavenly Father.

  • Pray for, and listen for, promptings from the Holy Ghost for opportunities to serve.

  • Help your younger brother or sister repair toys that have been damaged or broken.

  • Iron a shirt for your dad or brother to wear to church on Sunday.

  • Rent a favorite video for your mom and dad to watch together.

  • Find out what your neighbor’s favorite flower is and plant it in his front yard.

  • Take a child for a walk to see the sunset.

  • Dust the living room before the home teachers come over.

  • Stay after class to thank your Sunday School teacher for all the work he does for your class.

  • Read the scriptures 15 minutes a day to a younger sibling who is too young to read.

All Dolled Up

The Young Women in the Hemet Third Ward, Hemet California Stake, used their artistic talents to provide a quiet activity for children waiting to be sealed to their parents in the temple. The girls painted wooden dolls and puzzles for the children to play with.

After their project was completed, the girls were told they could see their toys in use when they went on their next trip to do baptisms for the dead. Now they have other reasons to look forward to going to the temple!

Keeping His Composure

Although Allen Madsen of the Kent Washington Fifth Ward is only 14 years old, he has composed two large works. One of them, titled Majestic Spirit, has been played several times by his 25-piece school band.

Allen was also the student of the year at Mattson Junior High, where he is in the ninth grade. Allen shares his talent with his ward, often playing organ duets with his mother.

Blooming Brothers

Brothers Aaron and Nathan King are great examples of people who bloom where they are planted. Originally from the U.S., they are now living with their family in Belgium and have managed to excel in both cross-country and wrestling.

Aaron is a senior and president of his seminary class. Nathan is a sophomore and a class representative at school. Everyone they come in contact with quickly finds out that the boys are LDS, and their values are greatly admired.

Friends in Deed

The ten members of the Toowoomba seminary invited their teacher and their parents to participate with them in baptisms for the dead. Since the Sydney Australia Temple is 1,100 kilometers (682 miles) away from Toowoomba, it is a rare opportunity for the youth to do temple work. After a 12-hour bus ride, despite sore muscles and weariness, the youth were eager to begin. Four days and four baptismal sessions later, the class had completed 981 baptisms for the dead.

Johanne Mutzelburg, the seminary class president, said, “This experience of being together as a class for four days brought us all closer together as a group.”

Johanne loves seminary. “I think it’s great to have friends in the gospel,” she says.

Heartfelt Holiday

The Young Women of Eight Mile Plains Ward, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, decided to share their love for Valentine’s Day. After spending a Saturday preparing paper hearts with messages of love and friendship, the girls sneaked into the yards of their “victims,” leaving their messages behind, attached to sticks in the ground, and taped to doorknobs and doorbells.

The girls did the entire project in secret but were found out by some people who loved the idea so much that they did the same thing to their neighbors the following day. The Eight Mile Plains girls have decided to make it a yearly tradition.

Painting the Town White

When the city of St. George, Utah, decided to designate historic sites with white picket fences, it called for volunteers from the community to help. The young women from the St. George Third Ward were quick to lend a hand to a young Boy Scout who needed help with his Eagle project by painting fences—and each other!

The project gave the girls a chance to get to know each other while they provided a service to their town.

Tooting Her Own Horn

At least that’s what she’d like to do. Jane Hammond, 16, from Sutton Coldfield, England, enjoys playing the French horn with her school band so much that when she leaves school she plans to buy a horn of her own. Jane plays with the Fairfax Wind Band and Orchestra, touring local schools and towns.

Jane credits her musical success to the discipline she gained getting up for early-morning seminary.

“Getting up early is hard, but worth it and good fun. It’s been the same learning the horn,” she says.

Photography by Steve Bunderson