Today I was sitting in one of my classes when the teacher announced that we would be taking a quiz on the material we'd recently learned. She also announced that it would be a partner quiz, and that made me just a bit nervous. I've always struggled talking to people I don't know very well, especially asking them if they want to be my partner on an assignment. I don't have a lot of people I know very well in that class, and those I do know aren't super close. My closest friend in that class is my own cousin.
Everyone I already knew in that class was already paired up with somebody else. Before I knew it, I found myself in the situation I dread: having to not only ask someone I don't know to be my partner, but also face it if they already have one. But just as I was getting ready to stand up and ask around, a girl from the back of the classroom walked up to my teacher. Her best friend wasn't in the class that day, and she bluntly told the teacher, "What do I do? I'm a loner."
I didn't leave the teacher time to react. I leaned back in my chair so this girl could see me and said, "I'm a loner, too! Why don't we be partners?" Part of me was like, what the heck did you just do??? But the other part of me was like, yes! Good job!
This girl I was partnered with was not LDS. We didn't have much in common. I like to read and sing, she likes to skate. But she was quiet and nice; something I wouldn't have known about her if I hadn't been in the situation I was in.
As we were sitting there working on the quiz, I felt like that was what I was supposed to do, and where I was supposed to be right then. It's kind of like Ammon from my last blog post. He had to be an example to those around him before he could teach them. I felt that the best thing I could possibly do was just be a friend to this girl who found herself temporarily alone.
As I was thinking about this, I found this quote:
"Everyone you know could be blessed in some way by your ministering. The Lord is counting on you to reach out to them." ~David L. Beck
I love that so much! Even though I was not preaching the gospel to this girl, I was ministering to her. I was being a friend when she thought she'd have to be alone for the test. I was talking to her as I would someone I already knew.
This may not be considered an "amazing experience" when you think, the girl didn't ask me questions about my faith. Or, the girl isn't now my best friend. That didn't happen, but it didn't need to. When I consider this, I think it is absolutely an amazing experience. I could tell that the girl noticed something about me. Maybe it was just simply that I was smiling and reassuring her about the test. Maybe it was that I trusted her enough to ask questions, even though I hardly knew her. I'm not sure what it was, but that feeling is there. And I can only hope that maybe, she'll think back on that experience and remember that I was trying to be her friend.
I know that God often works in ways that we don't recognize at first. I would never have thought that my not having a quiz partner would lead to a missionary experience. And I wouldn't have even recognized that experience as a missionary experience at first. But I know that God is watching over all of His children. Just that experience testified of that to me! He was watching over me, making sure that I could still have a partner. He was watching over her, giving her a partner. And for both of us, it turned out to be the partner we needed to be working with at the time. I know it's important to be in tune with the Spirit. Because if we aren't we won't be open to inspiration from God. We can be instruments in His hands if we are righteously living the gospel.