We just returned from our vacation trip to Ohio, where we lived for 12 years prior to moving to Missouri for my current job. It was wonderful to see old friends (and those that aren't so old - *grin*), but I want to mention publicly my gratitude for the generosity that is so common among LDS Church members - and others.
Whenever we have visited Ohio in the past, we have stayed with a particular family. They have more children than we do and enough room in their house to put us up without too much strain - but they were out of town this past week, so their house was unavailable. We didn't realize that would be the case until fairly late in the planning process, and we realized it would be impossible for us to make the trip this year if we had to stay in hotel rooms the entire time. It simply would have been too expensive.
So, we called the former Relief Society President of our old ward and explained our dilemma - asking if she knew of anyone who would have enough room for us (nine people, all together) to spend a couple of nights to lower our overall cost. (We were planning on being in town for five nights total.) She suggested three possibilities - two of whom we had considered on our own and the other whom we hadn't considered.
There were unusual, practical reasons last week why we didn't try one of the couples we had considered, and the other couple wasn't home when we called - so we called the third couple. We explained the situation, and these good people not only told us we could stay for a couple of nights but insisted we stay with them the entire week. They are a retired couple, and I'm sure housing seven kids (our six plus one) and two parents wasn't something that had been on their radar - but they gladly opened their home to us and insisted we spend our entire time in Ohio using their house as our base. Their generosity allowed us to do FAR more than we could have done otherwise, and all of us are grateful for that.
Thank you, Brother and Sister Gardner!
This was an obvious example of generosity, but I also want to pay tribute today to all those who do things that are not required strictly out of love for others. In some ways, examples like ours last week are "easier" than other, less obvious, seemingly smaller things. Many people respond in a time of obvious need, but many also respond in less obvious times - and many people help others in situations where those others don't even ask.
In that light:
Thank you, Brother and Sister Moellmann!
Your generosity in seeing a need and making an extraordinary offer of help will be appreciated eternally by Mama and me - and Ryan. Your kindness went WAY beyond any expectation; it was nearly unimaginable to us when you made your offer. It is an example we cherish - and I will reference it, I'm sure, in talks and trainings and other situations for years to come. What makes it even more selfless is that I am positive you would be embarrassed to have it shared publicly, so, when I do describe it more fully, I will share it only as a wonderful example of dear friends.
May God bless all the good people in this world who reach out and help others - both when asked and, even more importantly, when a need is seen and met without being asked.