We had a visitor in our ward today. We often have visitors come to church. It's one of the nice things about Sundays- you get to meet new people.
This young man, with his hair twisted into small braid-like spikes all over his head, a smart blue shirt and an air of confidence began walking up to the members, and in a crisp English accent asked, "What is your name?"
Waiting for a name to be given him, he repeated that name and added, "Happy Sunday afternoon."
His name was Ricardo. I liked him instantly. He is here visiting from Liverpool, England and will be here until the end of October.
I watched him as he walked among us, strangers to him all, and made himself at home. When he left later in the afternoon, there were no strangers in his new circle of friends.
I wish I were more like Ricardo, with a sure sense of himself and the ability to make you feel instantly at ease.
It takes me a while to work up the courage to approach someone and to extend myself in that way. I don't know why, really.
Maybe it comed from being a painfully shy little girl who hid behind her mother when people approached.
Maybe it comes from being led into friendships as a child, only to be betrayed by those that called themselves my friends. Who knows?
But it is something I have struggled with all of my adult life, and wish I could overcome.
So, let this be yet another attempt at shaking off that outer shell of myself and presenting to you a hand of friendship.
"Hello, Everyone. Happy Sunday afternoon."