Recently on Facebook, Annie Schmidt's mother, Michelle, shared a letter Annie wrote to her brothers Jonny and Chris as they prepared to enter high school.
The letter, which was shared at Annie's funeral, captures Annie's love of life and others, offering profound advice all members of the Church should take to heart:
IF you want to TRULY be remembered and have a LASTING influence and effect on your school and community…STRIVE TO ALWAYS BE MOTIVATED BY LOVE. Desire to serve, because you care about your eternal brothers and sisters all around you (and not to mention potential eternal best friends!) The best kind of leader is motivated by charity, the pure love of Christ…and something I KNOW to be true is that CHARITY NEVER FAILETH!
In other words: If you sit by lonely people at lunch, because you care about them, YOU WILL BE HAPPY.
IF you invite people who are different, the same, insecure, mediocre, stand out, or blend in, to join your friend circle (in class, at events, etc.) and if they can feel that care and charity from you…and when you SEE the AFFECT of them suddenly grasping the fact that you are doing this, not for attention, to be popular, good, whatever, BUT FOR THEM…YOU WILL BE HAPPY. [. . .]
Soooo here’s the thing. ☺ I could go on and on, but it would be so cool if you guys could absorb the idea of LEADING WITH CHARITY and just make it your own!! Keep the spirit with you and do ANY and EVERY random thing HE prompts you to do and I promise that you will make a mark for good, not only in the heart of your school, but upon EACH and EVERY human heart you take even just 5 minutes to care for and to encounter EVERYDAY. I promise that this mark will be lasting.
Annie lived up to this motto that she set out for her brothers. On Facebook, Michelle shared a comment someone sent to her about Annie that demonstrates the charity we should strive for in our lives:
“One night Annie came to midnight sushi with a group of friends and me. As we excited the restaurant there was a homeless woman playing the guitar. We all hurried past, but Annie stopped, knelt down by this woman, and folded a dollar bill into a ring. She told the woman how beautiful her music was and put the dollar bill on her finger while we all stood a safe distance away just watching. This stuck with me for years.”