Shining moments: Touched by example

In 1951 two Mormon missionaries came to my door in Aalborg, Denmark. At that time, I knew very little about my own religion and nothing about the Mormon Church.

These young elders were very nice, and I accepted their invitation to attend their church services the following Sunday. There I met a sweet and loving sister, Oda Lassen, who befriended me.At that time I was a single parent struggling with three young children, and I had just been accepted to a six-month nurses training program. My youngest son, however, was not yet of school age and needed daycare, and I didn't know what to do with him during my training.

I mentioned my dilemma to my new friend, Sister Lassen. She immediately offered to take care of him. I didn't know her very well, but there seemed no alternative. Still, I was worried about my son's welfare. For several days, I spent my lunch hour lurking around the Lassen home listening through the door to hear if he was crying.

Sister Lassen and her husband were very busy. They owned a little milk store and were raising six children. Every morning she arose early to get milk from the farmers.

But despite her responsibilities, she cared for my son and was a wonderful baby sitter. At the end of my training I approached her to pay for her services.

"In our Church," she said, "we are all brothers and sisters and we try to treat each other as such. What I have done for you, you will be able to do for someone else."

Her goodness really touched my heart. I then asked her to teach me the gospel. Many times during the next year I rode my bicycle - past the stone houses that lined the streets - to her house where we sat in her kitchen with fresh flowers on the table and talked of the gospel.

She told me that if I would be faithful paying my tithing, I would never go hungry, which was comforting after the deprivations of World War II. Not long afterward, I joined the Church.

Forty-seven years later, we remain friends. Of all the gospel concepts she presented, the one that touched me the most was not what she taught, but what she did. - Gerda Christensen

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