Serving in the Arlington ward, my knowledge and testimony of the plan of salvation has really began to be more deeply understood. Recently, my favorite person in this ward passed away: Francis Padgett. For lack of words, Sister Padgett was a riot. She was an older lady that took life to the extreme and held nothing back. In the last six months, I have grown to learn so much from this lady, in which I’d like to share a few of them.
First, above everything you do, serve God and others before yourself. Sister Padgett never took the time for her self. She was the most caring person as she poured her heart out to so many people. She told me to make sure that you see others are taken care of first. She lived the scripture that said when you have done it to the least of my brethren, you have done it unto me. Christmas time, she purchased over three hundred gifts to give to under privilege kids. She wanted to make sure that every child was looked after.
Next, she taught me to make sure we are always taking time for the good word. Whenever we would go see her, she would be all excited to tell us everything that she was involved in. She would sporadically be telling one story from the next and then she would stop and say ” this ain’t important, tell me the good news.” She understood our purpose and she would always tell us that there is nothing more important than the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Sister Padgett has more awards and honors than I have ever seen anyone hold. To name a few, she has the gavel and the key to Jacksonville more than once. She had more certificates than anyone ever. Despite all of these awards, her most valuable piece of paper can be found in the back of her so called zoo of awards. Next to the Salt Lake City temple, there is a piece of paper that tells her that her husband and her are sealed for all time and eternity. The most amazing award we can be given on this earth is our family. Our family is where we can find true happiness and success.
This lady has taught me so much but I would have to say the most favorite lesson she has taught me is to always have a fun life and to make most out of it. First time I met her, she asked me if I liked skydiving. She proceeded to tell me that she had gone 22 times and was preparing to go zip lining soon. She lived life on the extreme because it made her happy. She refused to slow down and would often say that life is too short to be miserable. This life was a blessing given to us and we needed to make the most of it.
Words can not describe how incredible this lady was. She always put a smile on my face and was a pure excitement. She is one that I will forever miss and I am grateful for the chance to call her my dear friend. Hopefully when I’m as old as her, I will have as much energy and drive. I also hope that I will stay as rooted in the gospel as she was. Till next time, I am thankful for the many moments I was given to share with my dear friend Sister Padgett.