Let me introduce you to MERJA and her family!
I have seen Marja before at the temple. Several times in fact. I wasn't sure what her name was or where she lives but she has an infectious smile and always seemed friendly enough! I didn't realize what her friendship would mean to me when I first saw her. Let me back up a minute.....
Several days ago we got an e-mail from Becky. She is serving as the Relief Society President in her ward in Arizona. It was a 'shot in the dark' but there was a sweet sister in her ward who was dying and she has family here in Finland. Not quite sure how close either of the sisters would be to where we live here in Espoo. Would we be able to see what we could find out. Within a matter of hours we had located one of the sisters......right here in Espoo and not far at all from where we live!!
We had arranged a month ago to attend the Espoo 2nd Ward today.......just 'happened' to be
the ward that one of the sisters is in.....Merja. I was looking forward to 'finding' her on Sunday. However, on Saturday while working in the temple, Sisar Haikkola, temple matron, pointed to a sister and said....'That is Merja, the gal you are looking for!' I totally recognized her but just didn't know her name.
There was an instant bond between the two of us. I told her who I was and told her why I was looking for her......that our daughter was her sister's R.S. President in Arizona. Becky wanted her to know that her sister was being well taken care of so very far away from her here in Finland.
The plan was to talk with Merja more at church today and find out what travel plans to the states would be for she and her other sister, in Turku.
As we were leaving for church this morning, we got an e-mail from Becky letting us know that the sister had passed away last night, Saturday night, Arizona time! When I saw Merja at church this morning, I was able to tell her that important information. She had not even found that out yet.
The plans had changed for her in a matter of minutes. Instead of just she and her sister going, it would also be her husband and 17 year old son that would leave early on Tuesday morning. I was able to get a picture of Merja with me before she left church.
And a family picture to send to Becky and David. They have offered to have them stay in their home for the couple of days they will be in Peoria.
What a blessing to have the spirit whisper little promptings to us and for us to be willing to listen to those promptings! It has been amazing to be a part of this little 'miracle' unfold before my very eyes! It has certainly strengthened my testimony that the Lord knows each one of us and is looking out for each one of us! He puts people in place to take care of the things....big and small......that are important to us!
Merja and her family will have quite a reunion when all of her family, spread out all over the US, once they get there. And I am sure her sister, Hannele, will be there as well!! :-)