Many stake members joined the Rodriguez Family and others for the ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, Dec 10. Janae Rodriguez was given the keys to the house, and then stake members helped her and her daughters move in—finally home for Christmas. President Moon emphasized the service and human warmth of the project, and how fitting it was that it culminated at Christmastime. He observed that when we remember our real home is with our Father in Heaven, and we yearn for and serve Him through the holiday season, it gives special meaning to the sentiment, “I’ll be home for Christmas.”
These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever. (D&C 76:62)
Sami, Janae, and Yvette Rodriguez.
At the ground breaking ceremony, Yvette Rodriguez shared this poem that she wrote:
Whatever our hands touch
We leave fingerprints!
On walls, on furniture,
On doorknobs, dishes, books.
There’s no escape.
As we touch, we leave our identity.
Wherever I go today
Help me leave heartprints!
Heartprints of compassion,
Of understanding and love.
Heartprints of kindness
And genuine concern.
May my heart touch a lonely neighbor,
Or a runaway daughter,
Or an anxious mother,
Or perhaps an aged grandfather.
Send me out today
To leave heartprints.
And if someone should say,
“I felt your touch,”
May they also sense the love
That is deep within my heart.
With the backhoe working and a donated SAM storage unit being delivered, about 35 people gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of this home for Janae Rodriguez and her two teen daughters Sami and Yvette.
Habitat for Humanity’s local Executive Director, Kena Jo Matthews, said this would be the 45th home built or remodeled through their efforts in Utah County. Lehi Mayor Bert Wilson said he was pleased to have this home and what it represents being built in Lehi.
President Moon of the Alpine Stake explained that the stake presidency wanted an extended service effort for stake members, not a Saturday kind of project, but something that would nurture a more habitual attitude of service. He added that just as much as this family needs a home, members of the Alpine Stake need this opportunity to reach out and contribute to the larger community in a significant way.
Sami Rodriguez, age 14, read a letter and said how excited she is to be able to paint her room yellow. Yvette, age 19, read a poem about the fingerprints and heartprints people can leave on all they touch.
Finally, Janae, Sami, and Yvette joined President Moon, Todd Barney of the stake high council, and Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Matthews in throwing shovels of dirt in the air. They got to throw the dirt over and over again because there were so many cameras.
Mayor Wilson said (in a comment that many people from Alpine and also Logan, Utah, might dispute), “If you live right and die right, you’ll come back to Lehi when you die because you can’t get any closer to Heaven than this.” For the Rodriguez Family, this Lehi home will be a kind of Heaven.