When the bishopric handed me a list of Young Single Adults for the ward, I was flabbergasted.
I had graduated from high school a year early, and as soon as I did, I was called as the Young Single Adult Relief Society representative in my ward. Not even yet 18 years old, I was excited but somewhat daunted.
On Sundays, a handful of Young Single Adults would drift into our Sunday School lesson. Of varying ages and interests, they had very little to do with each other outside of church. My aim, together with the priesthood representative and our YSA advisory couple, was to strengthen and enlarge our group. We wanted the YSAs to become friends who supported and strengthened each other in their efforts to live the gospel.
I set a goal to contact a certain number of people every month and started to work my way down the list. Every name was foreign to me; so where better to start than at the top? I would report my progress at ward council each month. Phone numbers were incorrect; numbers would ring eternally; people would politely tell me they weren’t interested. My ‘progress’ consisted of informing the clerk that someone had left the ward or that we needed to track down new contact details.
One day, as the bishop listened to my report, he suddenly asked: “Have you contacted Karen?” (Name has been changed.) Surprised, I said no; Karen was quite a way down the list and I hadn’t got that far. “I think you should call her,” he said. I noted her name along with a few others.
The month flew by, and the Saturday before the next meeting I looked at my notes and realized I hadn’t yet called Karen. No doubt it would be another failed attempt, but the bishop would want to know.
“Hi!” she said. “I’ve been trying to get hold of you!” Karen explained she had recently looked up the number of the local chapel in the telephone book and tried to phone a few times. Each time she called it just rang. I knew that feeling.
We chatted easily for a few minutes, and then I invited her to church the next day.
“Sure!” she said. “See you then!” I almost leapt with excitement!
The following morning, I was filled with trepidation. A large part of me expected Karen to get cold feet. But a few minutes before church, in walked a beautiful, smiling young woman with sparkling eyes. She greeted me with a hug. I couldn’t stop beaming.
All it took was the influence of the Spirit. And one – just one – phone call.