Did I Ever Tell You The Story about The Shoe Shining Experience?

Years ago I served as a missionary in the Mexico, Torreon Mission. It was the greatest blessing and experience of my life. It was also very hard work and very humbling.

When I first arrived I was the only English-speaking sister in the Mission. All my companions were Mexican. (how I loved them!)

For several months I couldn't understand hardly anything and I was far from home and far from the culture and comforts that were familiar to me; and...I didn't have anyone I could talk to about all those things except for the Lord. And, I talked to Him a lot! He became my closest and dearest friend.

And, over time, I came to understand a lot of the language and to love and cherish the culture and the people and....my Mission President. Oh, how I loved him!

On the last night of my mission, we gathered in the home of our beloved President Victor Cerda, who spoke with us and of his gratitude for our service.

He told us how he had been a shoe shine boy on the streets of Mexico City when he was a young boy. He then took out his kit and knelt at the feet of the first Elder. He said "you have served me and my people. Now, I would like to serve you." And he went to take the Elder's foot.

'No President' said the Elder uncomfortably. Here was his beloved leader kneeling at his feet.

But, President gently insisted. Please let me do this for you as you have done so much for me and for my people.

Hesitantly the Elder accepted and Pres. went around shining the shoes of the Elders who would be departing in the morning.

This experience touched my soul deeply. I have often thought of the Savior who washed the feet of His disciples -- John 13 and taught them about it and what they ought to do for one another. There is much to learn and study about this sacred story. Much more than meets the eye. (Jesus is our Savior)


I have pondered that experience in Mexico many times since that day. It humbled all of us and gave us a much greater and eternal message than we could probably then understand.

Our missionary daughter serving in Ohio, recently shared this photo - after she and her companion had shined the shoes of some of the Elders in their area. They wanted to serve and she was touched with how she felt by being able to do this for them.


The Savior gave us the perfect example of how we ought to love and serve one another.

Our shoe shining experiences were both meaningful and even sacred; and remind us that we ought to love and serve one another as He has served us. Only by learning of Him and His life and example are we able to do that better.

It is my continued prayer that I can be a better servant; that I can be more loving and more holy, more kind and more caring, more pure in heart and 'more Savior, like Thee.'



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