One of my memorable experiences with an angel came in 1986. My marriage was rough, and I was sad, very sad. So sad that I knelt down on my green carpet, at the living room couch, and prayed, "Father, I hurt. I don't know what to do. Please help me." And within a moment's pause, my doorbell rang - it was Beulah - 70 years old, saying, "I came to your corner, I knew I needed to stop. What can I do for you?" And I cried, and she held me, listened, lifted me up, dried my tears, went on her way. I don't remember what she said, that didn't matter. What still matters is that she stopped, she listened. And she kept my confidence.
And this experience with Beulah is not unique. There have been plenty of times where others have reached out to me, and honestly, plenty of times when I've served others, via sign-up sheet or prompting of the Spirit. I ask little of my ward family, but my friends and family have been the angels who have known exactly what I've needed - and they have practiced their art of being on the Lord's errand and bringing comfort and joy to me.
I bet you've been trained to be an angel - what makes you a bonified, trained, with wings (or without) angel?
I'd say we learn how to be angels by watching those around us serve. We have mentors - those men and women in your life who truly know how to care for others - quietly, unassumingly, and we follow their example. D&C 84:85 says, "Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say…and it shall be given you in the very hour. Go - the rest will follow. "
I say it's having developed that awareness of circumstance, having a heart open to the promptings of the spirit and not being afraid to act. Your kind acts have probably been well-received, whether it's a loaf of banana bread, a bottle of lotion, or a card saying, "You were missed." And then with that reinforcement, you continue to reach out. You may have also been visiting teachers (LDS assign 2 women to visit 3-5 other women in the ward on a monthly basis; we are to reach out to them, become friends, care for each other, be aware of each other's needs) - administering angels. Visiting teaching sometimes forces us to interact with women we might not otherwise associate with, yet we do, and in that doing, that visiting, we are angels, and again, we are vessels of the Lord's goodness.
Angels are usually prepared for anything - do you really know what the answer will be when you ask a sister, a friend, "What can I do to help you?" Are you prepared for their answer? One time I was at the hospital, where I serve as a hospital volunteer, and I asked a woman what I could do to help her. She answered, "Stay with me until my family arrives." That meant sitting in a chair, next to her hospital bed, for 12 hours, until her family arrived from Texas. I held her hand, rubbed her neck, wiped her forehead, and listened. Another time, as a visiting teacher (with no companion), I asked what I could do, and I was told, "We have nothing for Christmas, can you help?" I had very little myself, but I called a few friends, checked with United Way, went home and cleaned out my freezer and storage room, and provided her with a simple Christmas. It can also be as simple as - "Here's the baby, dirty diaper, running my son to the ER for stitches."
Angels are bold. Angels care enough to watch out for us. One of my angels, Karin, said to me, "Ronda, are you sure this is what you want to do? Have you explored all of your options? Can I help you find resources, so you can make an educated decision?" I trusted her, agreed, and this wise angel helped me in ways that I still have a hard time putting into words. Another angel laughed when I told her I was doing something out of character. She smiled, and then she said, "So will I." And we made a bold move together, and it was joyous - a blast, a bonding moment. And this is a trait of an angel - often those being served cannot put into words the way they were served, only knowing that it happened, that an angel was there.