Hope and Faith
“I have strengthened hope and resolved faith that I can overcome the challenges of my life.”
I was referred to Deseret Industries when I was 75 years old, after a full and eventful life. I emigrated from Germany to Canada when I was a teenager, where I learned English and even taught classes. I lived in Canada until the death of my first husband. I remarried and settled in the United States where we managed a ranch, raising and selling sheep. I never had kids, but my little lambs were well loved and taken care of. After years of marriage, my second husband stepped out on me and I was left alone. My world had collapsed and I felt worthless and shattered.
I was in a deep depression when I was referred to Deseret Industries. My first few months were pitiful as I grappled with emotions of self-doubt. I was constantly on the brink of tears, feeling as if I didn’t matter to anyone and that no one cared if I existed. This was when my new friends at Deseret Industries put me to work, giving me assignments and responsibility. They supported me in everything I did and had confidence in my abilities. I felt comfortable because the environment at DI is one where you can make a mistake without fear. Slowly, my self-esteem began to be restored and my confidence grew. Healing came because of these good people and this wonderful program, “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God" (D&C 18:10).
For months, I applied for full-time work, sometimes submitting applications for five or ten jobs a week. I worked hard at finding a job, but had no offers. One day, after a particularly trying week of interviewing, our store manager and the development specialist committed to finding me a job. They identified potential businesses, and then I selected two I was interested in.
I remember this eventful day like it was yesterday. As soon as we got off the interstate and were clear of traffic, we pulled over and said a prayer that we would be led to the appropriate place. Our first contact was the local pharmacy. We explained the business partnership program, where DI will pay my salary for an arranged amount of time. They felt it was a wonderful idea, but it just wasn’t right for them at that time. We crossed the street to the flower shop and left with the same answer. When we left each facility, we asked whether or not they knew of any businesses in town that were hiring. Each time we were given the name of the same business—so we went there.
As we met with the assistant manager, we talked about the business partnership program. She was familiar with the program, because her mother had been assisted by DI. Before we could finish our thought, she blurted out, “It is Elfi isn’t it!” Come to find out, her mother and I were great friends. She was more than happy to partner with DI; however, she wanted to hire me instead.
Within two weeks I was working as a “sandwich artist.” I began part-time, but because I worked hard, had good customer services skills, and had cashier and customer service certification, I was bumped to full-time.
Now at 76 years of age, I feel like I can take on the universe. I have strengthened hope and resolved faith that I can overcome the challenges of my life.
“I felt comfortable because the environment at DI is one where you can make a mistake without fear.”
For more amazing stories like Elfi’s, visit the DI’s Facebook page by clicking here.