I am so grateful for friends who share ideas with me. This past Monday I had a Seminary meeting with my team teacher. We got everything scheduled out for this semester, which is a huge relief. But, as we were visiting at the end, she was sharing with me some of the things that she did to help her son on his mission feel like he was remembered by the family, and share a little bit of extra love, not only with him, but his companion as well. I will share with you what I decided to do for my daughter who is on her mission, that will hopefully brighten her day when she gets it, along with her companions, hopefully.

But first, a couple of stories from today. My boys enjoy adventures, but not always the same kind I do. Today I decided to drive down to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. I haven’t been in the summer in years, and I wanted to see the animals and get some inspiration for paintings. But, they didn’t think that sounded like much fun if that was all we were going to do. So I bribed them. If they would go with me, we would stop at the rock climbing gym in Anchorage (which they had never been too, but looked really cool), and I would give them an hour or two to climb on our way back through. I think it took less than five minutes for them to get ready to go. But regardless of why they came, they didn’t complain, and they ended up having a lot of fun looking at the animals, as well as climbing.

On our way home we decided to stop at McDonald’s for some ice cream. As we were sitting in the drive thru I noticed that the lady beside us had an almost flat tire. I told my younger son to go knock on her window and let her know. He was hesitant, but I was going to need to move, so I hurried him out the door. He knocked and let her know, got back in the car, and said she didn’t really seem to be bothered by it, but she had briefly said thank you. I was glad we let her know regardless. We pulled up and ordered, and ended up just in front of that car. My younger son said to me, “that lady looks really tired, we should pay for her order.” I try to help people, but I am always more concerned about money than I should be. I asked how many kids were in the car. He said 3. I told him it could be upwards of $40 if they all got meals. He said he’d pay for it. I debated, and then was chastened by Heavenly Father for even questioning. I paid for her meal, we got our food and left. I am always so grateful for the willingness of my son to share. He is all the time giving people cash when they look like they need it, buying a sandwich or extra burger when he sees someone panhandling on the way in to a store, so he can give it to them on the way out. He cares for people. He is such a great example to me. Sometimes I tell him that we don’t really know the person’s circumstances, they might not really need it. But he tells me it’s not about them. I am learning it’s more about our, especially my, heart. I am grateful tonight for the quiet chastening from the Spirit, and for my sons big heart.

There are so many ways to care for people. I tend to look at the physical ways, like taking cookies, or helping with firewood or meals. I also tend to look more within my circle of comfort than without. But everyone around us needs something. I am going to work on being in better tune with the Spirit, so that I can set as great an example for my kids as they are always setting for me. What do you to do care for others, family, friends, or neighbors you meet along the way?

Lastly, here’s the box I made up for my daughter on the mission. This is obviously a little more work and money, but you don’t have to spend any money to show someone else you care. A simple text, phone call, email, or better yet, a lunch, smile, and/or hug! But, if you feel like mailing something, which is super fun to do as well (and who doesn’t love mail!), here’s one idea, and it was fun to put together. My daughter is super happy most of the time, but she has found her mission to be more difficult than she originally thought it might be, so I chose a theme of yellow because she loves it, and she has always been a sunshine to me. It’s amazing how much color packaging has when you start shopping based upon color! There are so many ideas like this on the internet now. And, there are companies that put things like this together for you, so there are a lot of options. The things I put in the box cost around $15, and it’s a flat rate box, so another $15 to mail. The cards I printed out at home, hopefully she can display them somewhere to read when she gets down, even when the box and goodies inside are gone. Decorating the tabs on the inside was a fun idea I found online as well, and it sends a nice bold message that can be discarded with the box, or taped to the wall as a reminder as well. I hope you have some great ideas of how to show someone else you care. I would love to hear some, especially for missionaries!