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Editor’s Note: Michelle wrote this tribute to her Christlike friend in response to the Dec 2 prompt on the #LightTheWorld service calendar. to download a copy of this service calendar, CLICK HERE.
Every time I buy a book of stamps, I think of my beloved friend Ellen Patton who purchases nearly a thousand stamps a year. “I believe mail is powerful,” Ellen told me. “You reread letters, you use them as a bookmark, you can put a letter in your pocket to give you courage on a challenging day, you can hang a card on your refrigerator to remind you that you are loved.”
Maybe you’ve received a letter from Ellen? She creates clever photo cards and sends them to friends and acquaintances. Newly called missionaries receive her card, “Jesus Saves,” anyone expecting a baby receives her “Bump” card. Graduates, anyone with an injury or an illness receive one of her postcards. Friends called as a president in a church auxiliary receive her ‘President” card (fun fact: this photo was taken in the Boston Temple parking lot and Ellen also gifted this card to her boss who is the President of MIT. He’s kept it on his desk for years.).
Two-year olds receive $2 bills in their birthday card from Ellen and babies all over the world cuddle soft toys created at Ellen’s sewing machine. Aprons, quilts, baby dresses, coin purses and cross-stitched wisdom all pour out of Ellen’s home and into the arms of anyone who needs a little extra love.
How does a single woman living in Boston have so many friends? She creates them. When a new family moves into her ward, Ellen visits with a plate of cookies and a print of the Boston Temple. At work, she chats with everyone who walks into her office, on the subway, in the grocery store, at the Boston Temple Baptistry, on Instagram and through her blog http://ellenpatton.blogspot.com/.
Ellen reaches out, expresses interest, connects people and offers love and service.