Photographs by Norma Smith
Deedra R., 15, of Malaysia has had a chance to work with Latter-day Saint Charities to serve her fellow countrymen. She says, “I had some wonderful experiences with the humanitarian aid projects. The one that was my favorite was going to the Orang Asli village [a native village] teaching them about family home evening. I like teaching little children and helping them understand what I know. I loved how they were so willing to listen. I really felt the Spirit when we visited them.”
For the past few years, LDS Charities, part of the humanitarian aid services of the Church, has provided opportunities for the youth of the Church in Malaysia to serve their neighbors. They are learning valuable lessons as they work together with a common cause, in addition to feeling the joy of service that changes lives.
The diversity of their service is as varied as the diversity in their country, where the young men and women are making a difference by helping people in their country. They have assembled furniture for many schools that have no funding, put together hundreds of school kits, built soccer goals, given educational toys to schools, taught games at a school for disabled children, presented motivational talks to youth at a community learning center on the importance of gaining an education, and performed in musical groups.
Brandon C., 16, says, “I feel grateful that I have limbs and a mind that are able to serve others and help in every way I can. I am honored that I was given the opportunity to serve as God’s instrument to help our brothers and sisters who are in need. Service is one of the best things we can do for others, and I am thankful for the activities that have been held.”
When the call goes out for a service project, the Mutual leaders never have trouble filling up as many cars as they can muster with eager youth who love to join together to accomplish whatever task may be at hand. The youth are enthusiastic and tireless, most often working in the sweltering tropical heat and humidity until the project is completed.
Shashita A., 14, says, “From these activities, I learned to appreciate what I have and be thankful. I know that the people we serve are special children of God just like us.”
Find Ways to Serve
You can serve in your home or with your friends or Young Men and Young Women groups. Fulfilling My Duty to God and Young Women Personal Progress provide many ideas. You can also talk with your parents and Church leaders to see if they know anyone you can help.
The Blessing of Service
“Service to others is an important characteristic of a disciple of Jesus Christ. A disciple is willing to bear other people’s burdens and to comfort those who need comfort. Often Heavenly Father will meet the needs of others through you. …
“As you devote yourself to serving others, you will draw closer to Heavenly Father. Your heart will be filled with love.”
For the Strength of Youth (2011), 32–33.