23 November 2010

I Am Grateful For…

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and I don’t know about you, but I plan on getting stuffed that day! Well technically my Thanksgiving dinner is this Saturday because Ramsey and I were invited to one of the branch member's home for a Thanksgiving feast that day. We also had a pre-thanksgiving dinner with a bunch of friends. See pictures below.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I would like to take the opportunity to express my thanks.

I am grateful for my God, and his son and my brother, Jesus Christ. I know that when I am “heavy laden,” he will share my “yoke.” Having God in my life has given me sweet purpose. He is my creator, my father, my friend, and my master. I am forever grateful my family introduced me to the gospel. My father and mother have always been great examples to me of unshakable faith.

I am grateful for our branch. When I first moved here, I was overwhelmed by how small and lost I felt in this large, bustling city. My first day at church was amazing. I remember so many people introduced themselves to me and wanted to get to know me. I thought for sure I would escape through the cracks but instead I got tons of “smiles” and “hello’s.” I had a new family! I really feel like this branch is closer than most because we are all far away from our families, so we fill that role for each other.

I am grateful for my husband of 5 years! It's such a comfort to me to have such a great priesthood holder in my household that will take care of me and our future children. He always knows what to say to cheer me up and strengthen me.

I am grateful for my best friend, Vishnupriya, when upon thanking her for something, she attests and says, “Please don’t thank me! It’s the least I can do!” I think about that phrase a lot. When I do a favor for a friend, I sometimes think about how it had been a bother. But Vishnu’s attitude is very different. To her, being a friend means serving the other as a basic principle of friendship and shouldn’t even evoke surprise. Recently, I’ve been really trying to implement this attitude into my actions.

I am grateful for China. I am grateful that the Chinese government has allowed me to live and thrive here and hasn’t restricted my participation in church. I am grateful that I only have to work 3 days a week at my university, so that I have time to take Chinese classes at Donghua University. I am grateful for the kind people here.

Happy Thanksgiving and don’t forget to say your prayers and tell your Heavenly Father all the things you’re grateful for!

“When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.” ~Chinese Proverb

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