These weeks are flying by way to fast. Someone stop the time!!!
This week was great--full of all sorts of ups and downs, but at the end of the day, there is never any place I would rather be than here!:)
This Fourth of July is one that I will NEVER forget. Not because it was the first 4th of July I spent away from family and tradition or because I got to do a ton of fun things (don't worry, we didn't), but because it was an incredibly humbling experience.
Our sacrament meeting was of course a fast and testimony meeting, but each individual of our tiny branch got up and expressed their love and immense gratitude for this country. Just a week prior, we had been able to participate in the branch's cultural activity where everyone was so incredibly proud of their home countries. They love their home countries, yet there in sacrament meeting, they expressed sweet testimonies of gratitude for this country in which we live. One sister commented (I am doing my best to translate what she said into English:)--
"Back in my country, fireworks were a dream. They are incredibly expensive--not to mention dangerous. Yet here, in America, we can buy fireworks for dirt cheap and enjoy them safely with our families."
Just about every person expressed their gratitude for this land of liberty, safety and opportunity, but this sweet sister even recognized and gave great gratitude for the fact that she and her family could use fireworks here in the US. These people are so humble. They still have so little, but they are grateful for what they have and are happy because of it.
I couldn't help but cry as we began to sing the Star Spangled banner, of course in English. Very few speak but broken English, yet they sang with all the pride and conviction of their little hearts and souls. They cried and held each other as they sang the national anthem, not of their home country, but of the country that has given them such freedom, opportunity, and happiness.
I hope we can all take a little time this week to ponder on the opportunity and freedom we have in this country. Although at time it seems it is falling apart, it is still far greater than many.
I love this scripture in John 10:
"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have itmore abundantly."
Christ came that we might live more abundantly. He suffered and endured that we might have His gospel and example-that we may have eternal life. We were able to share this scripture with a family this week and ask, "what is it about the gospel of Jesus Christ that makes your life more abundant?" As each individual in the family shared their personal, heart-felt answers, it turned into a testimony meeting. The Spirit in this sweet family was so strong. After a hard week, the Lord truly softened out hearts and let us know he never leaves us alone.
So I would extend to you all the challenge this week. Ask yourself, and even your family, "what about the gospel of Jesus Christ makes my life more abundant and joyful?" Write it down. I promise a sweet Spirit of love and appreciation will fill your hearts, just as it did with mine:)
I love you all! You guys are awesome and keep up the work where you guys are! We are all enlisted!:)
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.