Today I attended church. I wanted to stand and bear my testimony. My heart was so full. But "I was a stranger in a strange land (a ward I'd never attended before)" and decided I would write my testimony to those of you who know me and as a part of my journey to health instead.
Today is also Independence Day! And as I listened to many people stand and express their gratitude for the service of those who came before us and of those who are now serving for our freedom and our country, I too wanted to express my gratefulness for them. Their SERVICE has made it possible for me to go to church on Sunday. Their SERVICE has made it possible for me to become a music teacher. And their SERVICE has made it possible for me to make the choice to be married in the temple for time and all eternity to my sweet husband. I reflected on my own father's service during Vietnam and my grandfather's service during WWII. I'm proud that they love our country enough to SERVE. And I'm proud to be an American! We stood at the end of sacrament and sang our national anthem! I was glad to sing out-loud and honor our great country and the flag that symbolizes our freedom and the SERVICE of so many great men and women!
Thinking about SERVICE made me realize how appreciative I am of the Gundersons and their true show of unselfish SERVICE for me during my recovery from this surgery. I've always loved to serve others, and it has been truly humbling to have to be served. But Joanne, Dexter and even Payton have unselfishly given of their home, their food, their bed, and most especially their love to me over the past month. I feel eternally grateful to them. The Gundersons remind me of someone else who was unselfish in their SERVICE: the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She taught that “one thing will always secure heaven for us—the acts of charity and kindness with which we have filled our lives.” Doesn't that describe the Gundersons? When MOther Teresa died, the First Presidency of our church declared, “Her life of unselfish service is an inspiration to all the world, and her acts of Christian goodness will stand as a memorial for generations to come.” That is what the Savior called losing our lives in service to others. Thank you, Gunderson's for your example and love!
SERVICE is the hallmark of a Christlike life, the highest expression of Christian stewardship. Service drives out selfishness, the great enemy of spirituality. And the greatest example I can think of unselfish service is my Savior, Jesus Christ. He said that “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Not only did he give us the perfect example for earthly SERVICE, but for our sake he willingly gave up his life. He went through horrible things both in body and spirit, which I cannot comprehend, just to give us the blessing of the atonement and the resurrection. Christ both lived and died for us. His SERVICE inspires me to be a better person!
Christ once asked the question: "what manner of men ought we to be?" He answered by saying: "we ought to be even as He is." I hope I can emmulate his love and SERVICE! So I can return and live with Him someday!