They were typical 11-year-old Scouts, lots of energy with fluctuating levels of concentration. But moving from one knot-tying station to the next on this summer day was a scene of controlled mayhem.
The secret to success, noted the Scout leaders, was dangling the right carrot to get their attention. The carrot, in this case, was the swimming pool of Portia and Jerry Boggess.On any given day, members from the various wards in the Exeter New Hampshire Stake can be found in the Boggess' swimming pool. The Boggesses have a reputation for enjoying life, a reputation earned over the years while rearing three sons.
It's the little acts of kindness that endear Sister Boggess to her neighbors and friends. When the second-grade daughter of a friend was struggling with reading, Sister Boggess offered to help. They could have sat around the kitchen table and read from page to page. Instead, she chose to enliven the little girl's study by taking her to buy a birthday card where she read many humorous selections. Laughter – mixed with a little loving care – seemed to work magic. The girl's teacher remarked about the sudden and steady improvement.
On another occasion, when a single mother with four daughters moved into the area several years ago, Sister Boggess offered friendship and support. Being a friend during a challenging time of this mother's life meant sitting through divorce court proceedings.
Because of Sister Boggess' example, this single mother was willing to study the gospel and joined the Church.
Caring for others is, in part, the result of the rearing Sister Boggess received as a child in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. She remembers one morning during the winter going with her mother and sisters to visit an elderly widow in the ward. Sister Boggess noticed the odd-looking tracks in the snow that were made where this widow dragged firewood to the house.
For the rest of the winter, Sister Boggess and her sisters carried wood for the elderly sister.
"She showers love on everyone," explained Teri, a daughter-in-law. "Her influence spreads throughout the community. She builds up and helps everyone feel better about themselves."