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Written by David Bell

Eight months into her mission in Seattle, Washington, Gabby Day found herself blindsided when her mission president assigned her to a new area, speaking Arabic. She didn’t know Arabic, but she went to work anyway.

It was here Day met the Alshmere family and found her purpose in life.

Day loved the Alshmere family and loved teaching them the gospel. But more importantly, she loved what they taught her.

One night, the Alshmere family invited Day and her companion to dinner to join them in breaking their fast as part of Ramadan, a month-long time of fasting for Muslims.

The family’s home, a two-bedroom apartment, was cramped and dimly lit. There wasn’t much furniture, just a small, green couch and a couple of simple chairs.

Even though she was the minority in that humble home, Day was enlightened and inspired as she learned about the Alshmeres’ beliefs and traditions. The more she learned, the more she grew to love them.

Day learned what the family went through to immigrate to America after being forced from Iraq because of political unrest. She learned of their struggle to adapt to Western culture, find a house and good employment while learning a new language. She learned that having a handicapped daughter had instilled in them an unconditional family love.

Day, now a 23-year-old junior studying communication, has developed fierce compassion for refugees. She wants to live in a big city and work as a high school counselor, where she can make the country a safer place for people just like the Alshmeres.

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