Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sami M. Al-Jamal

I vaguely remember the first time I meet him. I was four years old and I was pressing my face on the window at the hospital's nursery as my aunt pointed out which one he was. They named him Sami, a name that I called him when my mom was pregnant with him. I picked that name because it happened to be the name of my preschool crush. Gasp, yes I was boy crazy when I was FOUR people.

When my mom brought him home, none of the new born clothes fit him. They dressed him up in cabbage patch clothes. AWESOME.

Fast forward 14 years later...I despised him. He made my life miserable. He caused all kinds of mischief with me just to tick me off. I didn't really become close friends with him until his senior year of high school when he moved to Utah.

The boy had a ritual. Every day he would come home from school, go straight to my house, eat dinner with us and watch our t.v. cause we had cable. I threatened to kick him out lots of times, but I couldn't cause we kinda became pals.

He began to share his deep secrets about girls (no mom, I'm not telling you) and how he really wished that this one particular girl would like him. They sorta dated and I was the only one that had the privilege to meet her (well Brock meet her too). The girl was awesome, and a super cutie. I liked her and so did he- a lot. I felt honored that I got to meet mystery girl.He had me go with him to pick something out for her birthday. He refused to go into the girlie stores and would stand outside and point at things for me to look at. It drove me nuts but I have to say it was a little cute.

He went off to BYU and totally partied like a rock star. His grades suffered a little, but he had an awesome time. He volunteered at an elementary school and was assigned a specific boy--a boy they called a trouble maker. When he asked what he could do, they told him to play basket ball with the kid. He did that and then helped the boy learn how to read. Then he confronted the teacher and told her that maybe she needed to spend a little more time with this student. When that didn't work, he wrote a letter to the Principal explaining how he felt. I remember him telling me "He just needs some time, and some one to pay attention to him." My brother, a total rebel who will always stand up for what he believes.

Speaking of being a rebel, he totally protested with the young Democrats when Cheney came to speak. The boy was also super passionate about Barack Obama. I learned about Obama from my kid brother. Sami listened to every speech that Obama gave, and even watched the Oprah interview. When Obama announced he was running for president, he text me and said "It's about time! Obama '08."

He struggled with the decision about going on a mission. He had no plans on going , but slowly began to change his mind. He prayed, he fasted, and read the entire Book of Mormon in a couple of days. He then made up his mind and sent me an email at 2 in the morning telling me of his choice to serve. Since he didn't want any doubt to seep into his decision, he had his papers all prepared, saw a Dr., scheduled an apt to get his wisdom teeth taken out, and received the Melchizedek priesthood all in one week.

Then he spent about an entire month waiting. All of his other friends who sent in their papers after him had already received their calls. The agony was getting to him. He would check with the front desk lady at his dorm several times a day. He even had me call the dang post office to check and see if they got it. Seriously. Then he finally got his call, and that was a pretty awesome experience.

He is currently serving in England and he blows me away with his emails every week. Really I have no idea where he learned how to write like that. Sami (Elder Al-Jamal) works really hard and loves what he is doing. His mission president once called my mom and told her that he was one of his best missionaries. He serves the Lord with all his strength and might. Sami knows without a doubt that this is the best decision that he has ever made.

As you can tell Sami is one of my best friends. He has taught me a lot, even though he doesn't think he has. I've learned to stand up for what I believe, even though others might not like me, to work as hard as I can in serving others, and to love people just to love them.

Ladies he is single, and is up for grabs when he comes home from England. Just saying...

6 Grass Lovers:

Diana said...

So maybe I'm dumb and cant quite understand, but Sami is your brother?? or Cousin?

Layla said...

My brother.

Myrna said...

He sounds so cool, Layla. Lucky to have a brother like him!

Diana said...

Hook him up with Sarah! lol.

Layla said...

He took Sarah to his Senior Prom.

Jenni Boyle said...

Layla, I don't know you but I know Sami from Arabic. We bonded when we both were in Jordan this Summer. I love this post sooo much.