To the world, you may be only one person, but to one person, you may just be the world.
I taught in the nursery in our ward for two years. I actually, really enjoyed it (I promise I am not making that up). The children really appreciate you. You never have to worry about whether or not you offended them. Believe me, if they are upset at you, you have no doubt in your mind that you messed up and you had better fix it quick! They don't care if you can't do great crafts, they don't care if you don't cook well. They don't mind if your shape is round, as long as you have a lap.
Anyway, after two years, I had pretty much decided that I would be there the rest of my life, so I had better love it. I did, I especially love the children. I love the ones who come in crying for a few weeks, than one day they realize that you are their teacher and they know you. They stop crying and start playing and you are their new best friend.
I will forever love the little boy (His name is Patrick) who hated nursery. He screamed for three months. John and I used to walk the halls of the church trying to help him calm down. Then one evening, he saw me somewhere not at church. I smiled and waved at him and gave him a piece of candy (never leave home without it!) He yelled all the way accross the room: "Mom that is MY class!" From that moment, he loved nursery. Every week, he would run into the room calling out, "my class, my class, I am here".
He still runs up to me and gives me hugs and my name is still "my class". Anyway, they released me from nursery and called me to teach the primary. I am now the teacher of the 3, 4, 5, and 6 year olds. (I am still not sure why they didn't just leave me in the nursery). The funniest part is that many of those children are the same ones I had in nursery! Yep, they do grow up.
A couple of weeks ago, I missed church because I was attending Time Out for Women in Riverside Ca. And it was a long drive there and back. It was a much needed break from my busy life, but I had to miss one Sunday of church.
I have another little boy in my class that is a real sweetheart, but he can be very difficult to teach. He has more energy than any of the others and it is a challenge to get him to sit still and listen. Of course, it probably doesn't help much that he is now the only boy in a classroom of little girls. I have learned to do lots of actions with the lessons and to have lots of patience and not to worry if a lesson is not very long.
Anyway, when I was gone to Time Out for Women, this sweet little boy was very upset that I was not in church. He wanted to know where his teacher "Sister Pittttterly" was. Then he informed everyone that he did not like his class when I was not there and he did not want to go and couldn't I pleeeease hurry up and come back to church. The primary president shared that with me when I got back and how very much I was missed.
When I came back the next week, Carter gave me a big hug and spent the entire primary meeting on my lap. I think that I never realized until that moment how much I meant to that one little boy. Nor did I realize what kind of impact I could have on just one child. There are little "Patrick's" and little "Carter's" in each one of our lives if we just take the time out to look for them. For some reason, we are able to touch their hearts and teach and strengthen them on their way. We might not know the good we do, but we should never doubt the ability of our Heavenly Father to put us where we are needed most.
"We don't always know the details of our future. We do not know what lies ahead. We live in a time of uncertainty. We are surrounded by challenges on all sides. Occasionally discouragement may sneak into our day; frustration may invite itself into our thinking; doubt might enter about the value of our work. In these dark moments Satan whispers in our ears that we will never be able to succeed, that the price isn't worth the effort, and that our small part will never make a difference. He, the father of all lies, will try to prevent us from seeing the end from the beginning."
I would have you remember that if you are serving and doing His will, whatever you have to give will be enough and to spare. Satan is the one who will tell you that you are not good enough. Don't forget your heritage. Some families can trace their family trees back generations. They can find and document ancestors who crossed the plains, or came over on the Mayflower, or conquered countries in Europe. But your spiritual heritage is only from you to your Heavenly Father. You can trace it back. It is one to one. You have his divine nature within you. Your small part will always make the difference as long as you are doing your best.
For me, my best can be found right in the middle of a small group of very little children. They are teaching me how to make a difference!