My valentine's day was fabulous for many reasons- but mostly because I got to experience true love. Christ's love.
On Sunday, I signed up to feed the missionaries for Valentine's Day. After doing so, I remembered that we had offered to have our neighbor come the next time the Elders did. I called Sue to invite her to dinner. Sue is the woman that I gave a Book of Mormon to in September, didn't talk until I visited with the missionaries and cupcakes a few weeks ago- unknowingly on her birthday.
Sue agreed to come and I was excited. I was also excited because Valentine's Day was a "free" day from my weight loss program to eat what I wanted. To plan a menu to both: ignore calorie count and impress an acquaintance made me giddy. I made Danish soup with heart shaped carrots (never again will I make heart shaped carrots... Pinterest is a liar! But I digress...), individual potatoes au gratin with leeks, mushrooms and gruyere, top sirloin, lemon basil shrimp on rosemary skewers, roasted asparagus and chocolate fondue.
Dinner turned out great and I had invited my friend, Susanne and sister-in-law Ashley. I was hoping that Sue did not feel double (or septupletly? Since there were 7 of us and 1 of her) teamed. The evening was moving at a leisurely pace and I could tell the missionaries were getting antsy since they usually had to eat and go in a hour time frame. But, I let Sue set the pace. After dinner, we invited everyone over to the living room for a spiritual message. We ended up talking about the gospel for three hours!!! You know when you bear your testimony by the spirit and then sit down and can't remember anything you said? That's how I feel- we talked and talked, but honestly, all I remember is the strong and comforting spirit. The poor missionaries were practically steamrolled by us all. They started the discussion but were quiet because the rest of us kept bearing testimonies. Kate even got in on the action! She got out her scriptures and had Sue read the first vision- without us telling her where it was or anything! I was really proud of her. Susanne, who is a new convert to the church, shared her testimony of living a life without the gospel and finding it late. Ashley talked about how difficult it was to be in High School with high standards and how being a member of the church and having scriptures and prayer to help was awesome.
We just kept getting deeper and deeper in conversation and had to stop because the missionaries had curfew! What an amazing experience it was to share my testimony. What I realized was that it wasn't one day of prayer that helped me be strong tonight. It was months and months of prayer, scripture study, repentance and progress. I was able to share personal experiences that helped me grow and heartache that changed my life because of God's supplication.
I don't know if Sue will ever be a member of this church, but that's not why I did this. That's not why I invited her. I invited Sue because of my love for her. That may sound silly, I barely know Sue. But, when you see your fellowman through eyes knowing that they are all sons or daughters of God, you gain an otherworldly love for them. When you love someone, you want to give them everything. This gospel is my everything. She may choose not accept it. She may just chalk the night up to good food and good conversation. However, I know what I felt. I felt true love this Valentine's Day.