Taken from a talk given by President Uchtdorf called "Grateful in Any Circumstance"
"Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach. It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessings we can count. True, it is important to frequently “count our blessings”—and anyone who has tried this knows there are many—but I don’t believe the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease. In fact, most of the scriptural references do not speak of gratitude for things but rather suggest an overall spirit or attitude of gratitude.
In any circumstance, our sense of gratitude is nourished by the many and sacred truths we do know: that our Father has given His children the great plan of happiness; that through the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, we can live forever with our loved ones; that in the end, we will have glorious, perfect, and immortal bodies, unburdened by sickness or disability; and that our tears of sadness and loss will be replaced with an abundance of happiness and joy, 'good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.'
How blessed we are if we recognize God’s handiwork in the marvelous tapestry of life. Gratitude to our Father in Heaven broadens our perception and clears our vision. It inspires humility and fosters empathy toward our fellowmen and all of God’s creation. Gratitude is a catalyst to all Christlike attributes! A thankful heart is the parent of all virtues."
It will be difficult for our family to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner without Hayden. But as I read his email this week, I realized that Hayden's gratitude is the very thing that keeps him going. He sees people all around him and knows that the gospel is the tool to give them hope. That dedication and endurance is the very thing I will put at the top of my gratitude list.
The weeks are starting to fly! How the heck is it Christmas time? Last time I checked I was competing with little niños during Halloween.. They were knocking the doors.. and we were too. But for a different purpose.
I am so happy right now. In all honesty I love my sector.. and I actually have grown to really like my companion. My investigators are progressing! Danny, Patricia, and Milton are the three that are going the fastest.. But we found 4 families to teach this past week! I love it when we find families. Hopefully they can progress as well!
Well we skip Thanksgiving down here, but it´s kinda funny how I am the most grateful I have ever been right now.
Let me share a little story that I will NEVER forget!
The last week in the CCM (MTC) missionaries always get to go out into the field and do splits to see what it´s really like. Well I was all pumped to go! I got sent up to the Chile Santiago North Mission.. It is like pure farmland.. And the most poor. I got sent to the poorest sector in the entire mission! The first door I knocked in my mission was the house of a less active member. His tiny little house was made out of concrete and barely had a roof. I imagine that his whole house could fit in whatever room you put your T.V. in back at home.. It had all the windows broken out because of a robbery.. There was shattered glass glued everywhere to keep people from climbing his fence.. We go in and sit on his two little stools.. There is a fire going in the middle of his dirt floor. He had NOTHING. NOT A SINGLE THING. His dogs were just about dead.. and the food cooking in his little fireplace was not lookin' too hot either. We taught him and left. Ernesto! That´s his name. Thanks to Ernesto.. I now know just how lucky I am.
I won´t be eating a huge Thanksgiving dinner and watching football this year, but I know that I am doing something much more important. The Church is TRUE. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Getting a REAL testimony of it will change your life forever. I didn´t have the strongest testimony before I left, but let´s just say that it has grown A LOT during the mission.
Love you guys! Thanks for all you´ve done for me!"
Hayden says, "Pictures..
Graffiti, me getting ready to mark up the town,
(With Silly String.. Wow I am sure glad I am funny LOLOLOLOLOL)"