Playing with dolls might seem like a silly thing for a Laurel to be involved with, but Kancie Schaefer, a member of the Pleasant View Ninth Ward, Provo Utah Sharon East Stake, knew that dolls would be a great way to send her love and friendship to places where she couldn’t go. For a Laurel project, Kancie organized several “doll days” where she and several other girls in her ward made rag dolls to be sent to Africa and the Philippines.
“If I could meet one of the little girls that receives a doll, I’d tell her how much I love her and that the doll is straight from my heart to hers,” says Kancie.
The two best years of your life? Doesn’t everyone say the best two years were spent on a mission? But for Graton (but you can call him Sparky) Gathright, who served as first assistant in his priests quorum in the Waxahachie Texas Ward with Bishop David Jarrard, the two years he spent in his priests quorum were right up there at the top.
When he was in the MTC, learning French before serving in the Paris France Mission, Sparky wrote a letter explaining how he felt about his good friend—his bishop.
“I once heard a young man comment that he thought highly of his bishop because he often visited their priests quorum meetings. How grateful I am for the constant leadership of our quorum president. The bishop was our president, not a featured guest! He presided over our meetings, led and tutored in our presidency meetings, played with us at our activities and campouts, attended the temple with us, and even supported us in our activities outside of church. He was our leader and our friend.”
Lela Godwin, a Laurel in Pensacola, Florida, knows that when it comes to friendship, age doesn’t really make a difference. In addition to being a candy striper at the local hospital where she meets lots of new friends, Lela has made friends with Grace Hardin, an elderly woman in her ward.
“Sister Hardin is so sweet, and I love her,” says Lela. “She always tells me how much she loves the gospel and her children. She loves having me around and makes me feel good. Who wouldn’t want a friend like that?”
Jamie Sue Richie, a Laurel from St. David, Arizona, has lots of friends, a fact which didn’t change when she got cancer and had to go through treatments that made her lose her hair. But one friend, Preston Pollock, was especially supportive. When they were voted royalty at a school dance, Preston switched her tiara for his crown since it was easier for her to keep it on her head!
Lindsey Lawrence (below right) wanted to meet Jamie Gregory. Lindsey had seen her in the halls at school in her home in Woodstown, New Jersey, but wasn’t sure how to approach her because Jamie is deaf, and all Lindsey knew was finger spelling. Communicating was a potential problem.
“And I didn’t want to approach her because I didn’t want her to think I was stupid if I messed up or something,” says Lindsey.
Eventually she did approach Jamie, she learned American Sign Language, and now Lindsey and Jamie are fast friends.
“Jamie’s a good example for me. I’ve always felt close to her. When I first saw her, I knew she was one of those people you’re going to absolutely love.”