I had a very special experience today. And a very positive one too. I went to the Special Needs Care village place called the Randolf Center where we worked with the physically and mentally handicapped.
I'll be honest, I was fairly terrified because I had no clue what to expect.
But then we were put in groups and I was with some of my good friends in my ward and I knew that it would turn out fine. Then we went up to one of the older lady missionary who told us that we were going to serve with blind people who were in wheel chairs. I was kind of relieved about that because I was afraid that if I had somebody who wasn't in a wheelchair I would probably accidentally make them stumble or something.
Anyway, Lauren and I got assigned Tony. Tony was this small lady who wore a neck brace because she basically did the head banging thing all the time. Lauren and I concluded that she would totally fit in at a garage band performance and we told her so. She couldn't talk, but I felt like she responded a few times with a head shake yes or a head shake no when I asked her a question and talked to her. She was a very great spirit.
I also observed the others while we sang Primary songs and conducted our own church meeting and this is what I learned:
Be like Charlie or the other two ladies who go around and either shake your hand, hug you, or give you a "love punch" so I called it. They did not judge anybody and they all had pure love for what you did.
That they will experience the most beautiful things, like Tony will see the most beautiful things, when they pass on and their bodies are made whole.
Do no take for granted anything you have: the ability to talk, to walk, to hear, to see, to understand, etc...
And keep things simple, don't get too caught up in yourself because it doesn't really matter.
It was a long day and I was ready to go home and nap after my five and a half hour nights sleep because of my trip to U of A for a Chamber workshop retreat with clinician thing, but I did not feel this exhaustion so much until after we returned Tony back to her cottage.
It was a really good day and a terrific weekend. I've learned a lot.