I felt like my life was withering. Because of health problems, I was going to be restricted to my home for an indefinite period of time. I felt depressed and wondered how I could manage, then a strong impression came to me that it was time for me to learn how to use the internet. So far I had simply avoided using the web, leaving all interactions with it to my husband, and, not being a very technical person, I had no idea even how to use it. Besides, I had heard that there were all sorts of evilness lurking on the net which, frankly, scared me.
Now, feeling I should learn to use the internet, I determinedly sat before my computer. My husband reassured me that all I had to do was turn off the computer if there was anything objectionable, and he had even bookmarked several sites for me, such as the Church site and some family history sites. I found that with just a few minutes of instruction, I easily learned how to find information on the internet. Since I double check internet addresses before I click on them and stay with authorized and reputable sites, I’ve never encountered anything offensive. It only took a few days, and I was excited. Instead of being restricted, my life was opening up with more options than I had had in years!
One thing I wanted to do was find out more about the people who came on the Mayflower. I had just discovered that I had several ancestors who where early American colonists, and I wanted to learn more about them and share it with our children when they came for Thanksgiving. I thought it would be exciting to tell them that some of their ancestors were there at that first Thanksgiving, but how could I do this when I couldn’t go to the library? The answer was the internet. Though I was unable to go to the library to do research on early American colonists, I found a wealth of information on the internet and was even able to print up pictures to go along with the stories about our family.
Next, my husband, a ward clerk at a BYU ward, asked if I could find an article on Priesthood leadership. I went to the Church site and looked up Conference addresses and quickly found the article which I printed up for him to take to his meeting.
I even learned how to order books from the internet which enabled me to continue to tutor children in my home. Being able to order books expanded the world for me. Through books, I could travel to any place or time. I was even able to do research that lead to improvement of my health.
Now that I was beginning to feel less thwarted, I decided to deal with my home. Through the internet, I was able to find solutions to problems such as buying all cotton wall hangings to brighten my tired old walls. I was able to comparison shop for a lamp for our bedroom. It felt good to be able to tell my husband where he could buy the lamp. Not only was I able to pick out the lamp I wanted, I was able to save his time. Before, using our digital camera, he had taken pictures of things I wanted which he brought home to show me. Sometimes, he returned again to the store to take more pictures for me to see before making the purchase. Though I appreciated all his effort to include me, I was concerned about asking him to shop for me since he already had to do all the errands due to my health restrictions. Now, I was starting to feel like a help meet instead of a burden, and my spirits began to soar. It also helped to have a few new colorful decorations around the house to brighten my mood.
Another thing which helped me feel better was getting new clothes. I had worked hard to bring my weight down to a recommended level, but was still wearing my old “fat” clothes which now could hold two of me. I had always been able to order clothes from catalogs, but now I was a different size and I wasn’t sure what to order. On the internet I found style guidelines, size recommendations, and was even able to have my virtual model, complete with short gray hair, try on clothes for me. This extra help gave the confidence to finally get new clothes. When I did, I was surprised at how much better I felt about myself. Every time I passed a mirror, I would look and tell myself that I could change and life really could be better.
I especially appreciated being able to shop at the Church distribution center again. I hadn’t been able to go there in many years, so it was exciting to see all the new materials. I ordered some books, music CD’s, picture frames, and pictures. It gives a sense of peace to our home on Sundays to hear the Morman Tabernacle Choir sing the hymns. I had really missed hearing the hymns sung. I also enjoy the spiritual dimension that has been added to our home with having pictures on our walls to coordinate with our scripture reading and remind us of our Savior.
Finally, feeling that my home was in order and attractive, and me too, I decided to tackle family history research. Knowing that I was unable to go to the family history library, I had put off doing research, but felt a nagging concern since I know my ancestors are depending on me. I am the first and only member of the Church on my dad’s side of the family. Though I am just beginning, already I have found some information. I’ve been amazed at how quick and easy it is to find a census record and other records on the internet, and it is kind of fun. I really feel encouraged that I will be able to get the temple work done for my ancestors.
I am amazed at how much my life has changed since I began using the internet. No longer do I feel sorry for myself; spending my time sitting around and waiting to get better so I can get out and do things. Now I’m excited to get up, for I know there is plenty that I can do from my home because of the internet.