Changing Friends
    Footnotes

    “Changing Friends,” New Era, April 2008, 44–45

    Changing Friends

    I have always had a hard time making friends. I knew people and had a lot of acquaintances, but I didn’t feel like I had anyone that I could hang out with without feeling out of place.

    When I started 10th grade, I had a group that I ate lunch with from junior high, but I just didn’t fit in with them. I tried to stay strong, but it felt like I was being dragged slowly down where I could never escape. I decided that no friends were better than bad ones, so I stopped hanging out with them.

    The period of time when I had no one to eat with was the loneliest time of my life. Still, I tried to be good. I told my Mia Maid leader about it, and she said, “You are a great girl, and no matter what happens, you will be better because of this.” I took her words to heart, and my world brightened. I prayed that I would meet good people and find happiness. I felt as though weights were lifted.

    Soon at school I met some Latter-day Saint girls who went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead nearly every week, and they included me in their circle of friends. I felt happier than ever. They were so nice and honest in everything they did. They were wonderful, but I was scared they would change and end up just like the others.

    Before an important test, my father gave me a blessing. He said something that took me by surprise. He said, “You are doing what’s right, and your Father is very pleased. If you continue in righteousness and do not falter, you will gain friends. Your friends will encourage you to be good and strive to be your best.”

    I was struck deeply. I followed the blessing and found these girls to be more than I had ever hoped for. They introduced me to other friends, and we became a strong support to each other.

    I found that Heavenly Father listens to my prayers and cares about what I feel.