By Anne Maxson
When I announced to my family that I wanted to serve a mission for the church I had joined 2 years prior, the most upset was definitely my maternal grandmother. She told me I would break her heart if I served a mission.
At that time before I left on my mission, she also wrote me a 5-page letter letting me know that her heart was broken and the only way it would be mended would be if I “returned to my roots in the Lutheran church.” It was very frustrating to me because in that letter, she stated things that demonstrated to me that she had many misunderstandings about the church but, at the same time, she would not even listen to me long enough to let me explain them to her.
I felt completely and totally alone during that trip. Since I was just visiting from college and had joined the church elsewhere, I didn’t know any members very well in the area. I didn’t even know anyone I could reach out to for support. I went out to my dad’s cabin on a nearby lake.
I knelt down in the woods and pled with Heavenly Father to let me know that there was someone, somewhere who was on my side and that I was doing the right thing and this wasn’t going to cause a permanent rift in my family. I felt strengthened by the Spirit and knew that I could find strength in knowing that my grandfather, who had passed away 8 years prior, would help to soften my grandmother’s heart.
When that happened, I felt the support of her husband who had passed away, helping me to continue to move forward with my decision to serve. He had gained a testimony of the gospel and wanted his family to progress.
I carefully took note of the day one year later, that her temple work could be completed. The day came and went. I’d thought of doing her work but was just so busy with a baby and a toddler and a husband working the graveyard shift. I did print off the temple cards and did talk to a friend with a daughter in YW about doing the baptism and confirmation but the cards were set on the shelf and the conversation was forgotten.
A couple of years after that time, my mom got really sick and was in ICU. I’d felt nudges from my grandmother to get her work done but with my mom sick, they became a bit more forceful. A feeling of, “She better not end up here without me already having a better knowledge of things so that I can help her!” I reprinted the cards. (And then, ironically, found the previously printed ones the next day.) I gave them to the friend with a daughter in YW and we soon were able to get all of her ordinances completed.
By this time, you, dear reader, may be wondering what in the world all this has to do with laundry. Well, as I was folding laundry that morning on the day that I shared the cards with a friend, I ended up with an unmatched sock. I just put it in the drawer by itself, assuming its missing companion would show up eventually. (Maybe I’m a little weird, but I do always feel a little bad for the unmatched sock sitting in the drawer without a friend.) I thought of my grandfather, just hanging out, waiting for grandma’s temple work to get done so that he could get sealed to her.
As I picked up the laundry basket with my boys’ clothes, I found the missing sock under the basket. It felt nice to be able to reunite the missing sock with the unmatched sock.
I couldn’t help but think of completing my grandmother’s family history work so that she could be reunited with my grandfather after he had done so much work to help soften her heart. I hope that it has been a wonderful reunion for them.