Prologue

Circle of Prayer

December 31 2006

{0}

Uncle Charles and Aunt Karen are waiting for me. I'm wearing the brand new purple PJs I got on Christmas Eve and it's so fluffy and cozy. I walk into the living room and kneel next to them on the round carpet. "Can you see better with your new glasses?" Karen asks me. Her face is red and her eyes puffy. I think it's because she's bummed no one else came.

"Yes," I nod. "I love them!" My old ones broke right in the middle because Eve 'accidentally' threw the basketball in my face.

"Good," Uncle Charles has a nice voice. Karen always talks about how he may become the next bishop or stake president. Charles was the one who told me to count my blessings, even when bad things happen. Well, if I wasn't wearing my glasses my nose could have broken, and they were a boring brown, plus the lens were narrow like a sewing needle. My new ones are bright pink, my favorite color. Wearing them is like taking all the blurry colors and giving them black lines to stay in, and I can actually see without having to squint my eyes.

"Before we break our fast," Aunt Karen gets me to focus. She rubs her eyes. "How about we do a session of Drops of Awesome?"

"Are you sure it isn't Drops of Awesomeness?"

"Uncle Charles!" I laugh. Karen gives us a small smirk.

"Would you like to go first, Rachel?" Uncle Charles looks at me. I nod and think about the day. In about twenty minutes it will be two thousand and seven. Outside there are booms and bangs going on because everyone is blasting fireworks.

"Something you did awesome today, Aunt Karen was teach me how to sew and crochet. Something you did awesome Uncle Charles was going with Brother Ring to the hospital and giving Brother Loreplez a blessing."

My uncle chuckles and reminds me it's actually Lopez.

Aunt Karen was next, and she talked about how I helped her feel happy. I don't think I did because she's been mourning for most of the day.

For Charles she shared how nice his shoulder rubs were.

Uncle Charles's smile takes up a good portion of his face. I can't decide if it's creepy or hilarious. Maybe it's a mix of both.

His grin shrinks as he watches me fidget with the bright red buttons on my PJs. "Rachel, thank you for being so willing to fast with us. I know it isn't easy-" my stomach growls loudly in response. Uncle Charles chuckles. "It's an act of faith and sacrifice, and I know that the Lord recognizes your efforts." Karen nods her head in agreement.

"Karen," He squeezes her shoulder. It sounds like she's laughing when really Aunt Karen is trying hard not to cry. "Something you did awesome was how you've spent time with Rachel and I. Also, thank you for seeking out the good, even during these trying times."

"I try," Karen closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. "Alright, let's say prayer."

"Finally," I said. "I'm starving."

"I'll say it," Uncle Charles volunteers. We bow our heads and close our eyes. "Dear Heavenly Father, we are breaking our fast on behalf of Susanna, Cliff and their children."

Karen is sobbing.

"We are grateful to have Rachel with us, that we have been able to help her. We pray that thou mayest continue to comfort her." A warm, fuzzy feeling grows in my heart and spreads throughout my body.

"...Ingrid, that she may be protected...we pray for her return to us, that thou mayest send angels to guide her," Uncle Charles clears his throat, "...for Clark and Sydney, that they may have their needs met, and the baby…"

The baby. Now I'm crying too, but I bite my lip so I don't yell it out. Nope, I'm not going to think about the baby.

I must have zoned out because someone taps my shoulder.

"Oh sweetheart," Aunt Karen strokes my cheek. I wipe my face and stand up just as Uncle Charles does the same.

"What's for dinner?" He puts an arm around Karen. "I'm starving." For some reason that makes me laugh.

"Chicken alfredo," Aunt Karen winks and I follow them into the kitchen. The old grandfather clock and more fireworks tell us it's the new year.

Hopefully, it'll be a good one.


Author's Note: I realize that not everyone who reads this will be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so I'll point out a few terms that may not be as familiar to some. If there are still questions as to the definition of a term not covered, feel free to PM me and I'll add it to my note here. I used churchofjesuschrist dot org as a resource to better explain the definitions. If you have more questions, visit that website. Note that I am only a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am not a prophet nor a seer or revelator for the Church of Jesus Christ. Our current prophet as of the date I'm writing this is President Russel M. Nelson.

Bishop: A volunteering position in which a righteous/worthy man is called to serve. The bishop is a high priest that presides over all the members in his ward. (A ward is basically members of the Church of Jesus Christ who live in a certain area/region. The members within that area worship together every Sunday, and the people that go to a specific Church building/area to worship is what makes a ward. The name of a ward may also be related to the reigon. Example: Sunrise Ward, Denver Ward, etc.)

Stake President: A volunteering position in which a righteous/worthy man is called to serve. He is in charge of overseeing several wards within a certain geographic area. This includes church programs and activities. The stake president's goal is to make sure everything is in order within his assigned area and to help members in their efforts to follow Jesus Christ.

On a side note, Drops of Awesome was something I did whilst serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ. My companion (another female missionary who stayed with me 24/7) and I would share one thing the other person did awesome that day. It's what I'd call a part of our 'missionary culture.' as this was common with many missionaries I met and served with. I thought it would be a good touch to the story.

Brother/Sister- When children/younger people are addressing adults, they are required to call them 'Brother' or 'Sister' surname (for other adults this is optional). It's kind of like how we call a teacher Mr. or Mrs. We address fellow ward members this way because we know we are God's children so we are all brothers and sisters, so to speak.

Fast: Fasting is commonly known as a religious practice when one person or a group of people go without food or water for 24 hours. They do this with a specific purpose in mind, usually under dire circumstances or when there is a great need (ex: a relative getting major surgery). During a hardship, fasting can be a bonus to praying. It shows faith unto the Lord.

Angels: Most know what angels are, though to summarize we believe that God (Heavenly Father) sends angels to answer our prayers.

Thanks for taking the time to read this :D


Story and Cover Image (c) ChildAtHeart94

Definitions (c) Edited by ChildAtHeart94; some words and phrases may be from the original given definition from thechurchofjesuschrist dot org