Saturday, May 24, 2014


This morning my father would be proud of me!  When my mother first met him on the University of Utah campus, he was known as "the man with the shiny shoes."  Growing up, one of our regular Saturday chores was shining our shoes so that that we would be ready for Sunday.  It was not a chore that I relished.  It was messy and smelly and kind of hard.

Last night as Hermana Merkley and I were out doing visits, it was raining.  Our boots were pretty trashed by the end of the night between a couple of inches of rain and the dirt roads and mud.  So while Hermana Merkley was resting, I decided to polish our boots. 

As I was polishing Hermana Merkley's boots, I remembered a comment from one of the other sister missionaries here.  She mentioned how nice the boots were and asked if Hermana Merkley had bought them in Argentina.  Hermana Merkley told her that she had brought them with her from the U.S.  The sister then went on to explain that similar boots here cost about $5200 pesos.  When we did the math we found out that is more than $640.00 USD!  Hermana Merkley said she felt that paying $80.00 USD was a lot, and she couldn't even imagine spending eight times that!

I felt that polishing and taking care of these boots was a worthwhile effort because we certainly weren't going to be able to replace them here.  As my father taught me, when you regularly clean and polish your leather shoes, they will last a very long time.  Then suddenly, my thoughts turned to a scripture that Hermana Merkley and I frequently use as we visit people here.  "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God."  (D&C 18:10)

If a little bit of elbow grease and polish is worth it to make our boots last a while longer, how much more important is to put a little bit of effort into saving our own souls, the souls of our families, and the souls of those around us?

I am often humbled by the grace that God bestows on me as we serve here in Rio Gallegos.  The tender mercies He shows and the inspiring thoughts that He grants me are overwhelming.   We sometimes wonder if we are doing enough but then He shows me that even a little bit of boot polish and little bit of shine will keep the leather from cracking.  What each of us can do is all He asks, and it will be sufficient.

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