I had the chance of a lifetime tonight. Let me explain myself a little better. We'll start from the beginning.
We got a new Bishop put in a few weeks ago and he has been so good to Dave and me. He has been sending women over to visit me and chat with me and just bring a little joy to my life. They are some amazing women. Well a little while ago I sent in a little "request" I guess you could say. I asked the Bishop if he would have the Laurels (16-17 year old young women) come to visit me. Ever since I have been in this ward I have wanted to get to know the Young Women, but have not had the opportunity because I have been so ill. Tonight my request was granted. The Young Women showed up at my house to come hang out with me for a little bit with their amazing leaders. We had planned on painting nails, but didn't quite get there. I had all of them come in and sit down and we just started talking.
They asked me how I met Dave and when we got married. They asked about my illness and the struggles I have been going through, and everything just progressed from there. I just started talking. What I was saying to them just came to me. I was so nervous to meet these girls because I just wanted them to like me. I wanted them to know that they have a friend if they ever needed one. That they have someone to talk to that is completely impartial and not part of their families or their lives.
I told them about how I was an inactive member for 7 years. I told them how much it meant to me to be able to be worthy to take the sacrament and what a blessing it is in my life. I told them about my experience getting interviewed to get my temple recommend with my Dad as my Bishop and the clear distinct feeling of the spirit that I felt that day. I told them the trials I had growing up as "the fat one" in a skinny family. I told them about meeting Oprah and how getting gastric bypass surgery changed my life. I shared with them the understanding I have about how difficult it is to be a teenager and the trials you face on a daily basis. I told them to remember that their parents are sent down to earth with a manual from God on how to be great parents. They are learning just like we are and they are doing the best they know how. I told them that if they strive for one thing in their lives to strive to be temple worthy always. The moment you share inside that temple with your eternal companion is the single greatest experience of your life, and every daughter of God should experience that. I guess I just basically in a round about way shared my testimony with them. I shared my conversion story. It was so incredible.
The spirit those young women brought in my home was touching. I can't begin to express what incredible young women they are the amazing spirit that they bring with them. They have such beautiful souls. They are all so stunningly beautiful inside and out. I loved them instantly. I was so touched that they came to see me. I mean it's not like going to a girls house that you don't even know is super fun and exciting, but the fact that they took time out of their busy day to come meet me was so touching. I feel so blessed and a much better person for being able to be in their presence. I wish I could tell each one of them what amazing daughters of God they are. How pleased their Heavenly Father is with them, and not only that, but how much they touch other people. I am truly a better person for knowing them. This was one of the greatest days I have ever had in my life. Those leaders are so lucky to be able to get to know such inspiring young women.
I have total faith in the generation that is coming behind me. After meeting with these girls I know that my Heavenly Father truly loves us. I know that he is there for us always, and I know he listens and hears us when we speak to him. I know they came to see me and to get something out of talking with me, but I have to say that I am the one that walked away with so much more. I don't think I could ever replicate the feeling I had while those young women were in my home. I know one day they will understand how I feel. One day they will know if they don't already, how truly incredible they are and how many lives they touch.
I'm so thankful to my Heavenly Father for granting me this opportunity tonight. I really hope that they take me up on my offer and consider me a friend and come over and spend time with me whenever they want. I have so much love for the youth of the church. They are the elite. Those young women are the best of the best and I hope they never forget that. If the hope of our church is left in the hands of today's youth then I know we are in good hands. I know we will come out on top.
Ladies, thank you so much for coming to my house and allowing me the opportunity to talk to you and stand in your presence. You truly lifted my spirit. I only hope that one day I can have a daughter as amazing as each of you are. I thank your parents for raising you the way they have and making you into the most amazing young women I have ever met. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!