Out of small things—even “honeybees”—great things can come to pass.
Though I lacked the funds, the feeling that I should do something to help a missionary’s struggling family in Tonga persisted. This elder had served long and faithfully in our stake; now his mother’s diagnosis of cancer and mounting medical costs darkened his imminent homecoming and future.
In contrast, my own blessings were evident everywhere I looked, from my sparkling Christmas tree with presents underneath to the manger scene resting on the mantle. The holiday season added to my feelings of urgency to help this family in their time of need. In the hush of early morning, I knelt and pleaded for help, telling my Father that I wanted to serve but didn’t know how.
Following prayer, as I sat quietly pondering, my gaze rested on a copy of the Ensign. As I picked it up, the page fell open to Elder M. Russell Ballard’s talk “Be Anxiously Engaged.” Reading through the talk, learning how honeybees work together to provide for the needs of the hive, I had the thought: I can’t do it alone, but with help . . .
Through the influence of the Spirit and the help of several bishops and ward leaders, word about this family’s needs quietly spread throughout our stake. We had only three weeks in which to raise the needed money and present it to the missionary before he returned home to Tonga—could it be done? Stake members rallied to help, yet with one week left, we were short of our goal by one-third. Many members of our stake were exercising their faith; what did we lack?
While I was reading my scriptures, the thought came: Ask the missionary to pray for his family. With permission from the mission president, I called the elder. I told him simply that it was a prompting I had received after reading Moroni 7:33–48. He quietly responded that he would fast and pray and asked, “How did you know that’s my favorite scripture?”
On the last snowy evening before the elder’s departure, my children and I anxiously added up all the contributions. Imagine our gratitude to find that the goal was exceeded by one-third! In the final week we had gathered twice what we needed. With great joy, on the following day, we surprised a very tearful missionary, who flew home to Tonga with our love nestled safely in the breast pocket of his suit coat. Through prayer, fasting, exercising faith—including the faith of the one we wished to bless—and following the counsel of a prophet of God, our stake “honeybees” accomplished what we once thought impossible. And through our individual and collective sacrifice, the missionary and our stake family were blessed beyond measure as we worked together to serve.
Be a honeybee! Read or watch Elder M. Russell Ballard’s talk “Be Anxiously Engaged.”
Source: October 2012 General Conference
—Susan L. Martin, Idaho Falls, Idaho
feature image by jenni peterson
Find more insights
Read or watch Elder M. Russell Ballard’s talk “Finding Joy through Loving Service” to discover how gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ is shown through our service to one another.
Check out President Gordon B. Hinckley’s talk “Words of the Prophet: Forget Yourself and Serve” on how we can experience greater joy by reaching out to others.