On Saturday, I went to the temple. I met a worker there, a woman in her mid 30s, who had a thick Spanish accent so I asked her where she was from. “Peru,” she replied.
I started talking to her in Spanish and explained that I had served my mission Spanish speaking but hadn’t had many opportunities to speak it since I got home. Her face lit up and she got really excited. “You’re going to teach me English and I’m going to teach you Spanish! Don’t leave today before you give me your phone number!” I was a little caught off guard, but still willing. She came and found me again before I left to make sure I knew where to leave my phone number so she could get it.
She texted me yesterday and said she had some homework and she needed my help with it so I met her at the library today to work with her on it. She told me that when she had first moved here several years ago, she was in an accident that seriously damaged her brain and made learning and retention extremely difficult for her. She told me how she begged God to help her recover and how she had become a temple worker to show her gratitude that she was alright. Since then, she has prayed to find people that could help her with her homework, to explain it to her in Spanish because learning it all in English is very difficult since her accident, so that she could continue with school. With the new term starting this week, she was really worried because she had no one to help her. Before she went to her temple shift last week, she prayed that she could find someone to help her this term, then I came in and she had found someone who could speak Spanish.
I’ll admit that as I began to help her, I was a bit frustrated. Like has happened so many times in the last 2 months, as soon as I tried to speak Spanish, I struggled to think of the words I wanted to use, either thinking only of Russian ones, or simply forgetting the Spanish one altogether. Then, as we sat there and talked, I realized what a great blessing it was that Heavenly Father had chosen me to answer this woman’s prayer. No doubt there are countless people at BYU who are better teachers and far better Spanish speakers than me, but out of all of them, for whatever reason, He had sent me to help her.
It made me think of a quote by President Monson: “I know of no experience more sweet or feeling more precious than…to discover that the Lord has answered another person’s prayer through you.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about service lately, and how I want helping and serving others to be a large part of what defines me and my life, then God gave me one opportunity to do exactly that. I know that our Heavenly Father knows us and is aware of us, and as we strive to do what He wants us to do, He will give us opportunities to do just that.