"Recognize the blessings that are raining down on you, and enjoy them with thanks. D&C 109:12."
Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. It's not because of the amazing surplus of food (although that's a plus), but it's because I really get to see more clearly the hand of the Lord in my life! There are SO many things to be grateful for! Through the month of November, I've decided to post one thing a day that I'm grateful for on facebook. #30DaysofGratitude! That has really opened my eyes to see what the Lord has done for me! I'm so blessed!!!
I was just reading my scriptures, and read Alma 34:38 in the Book of Mormon, which says, "That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."
That scripture brought a wave of amazing memories from my mission! Story time!
Last Thanksgiving, I was blessed to still be serving in Windermere, FL (although most of the area was actually in the city of Orlando). It was my first area, and I loved it SO much! Thanksgiving week was my last week in the area. It was time for a change, as I'd been there almost 9 months, but I learned so much there! But as I had the most amazing holiday in my last week there, I knew I had to make it count!
My companion, Sister Eagar (I know, laugh all you want... Good and Eagar... we got jokes EVERY day from complete strangers) and I didn't have many appointments for the day, but we wanted to make it the best Thanksgiving we could for everyone around us! As we planned what we would share for the day, we decided to find a great Thanksgiving scripture we could easily share with people we met to remind them of the many blessings the Lord had given them. And we found Alma 34:38, the scripture from above.
This was perfect! It was going to be a great day!!!
We were ready to contact everyone we met to share the wonderful news of the Lord Jesus Christ and to help them reflect on His many mercies. This was exciting! This is what missionary work is all about! It was really easy to find a lot of people near our apartment, because I lived practically across the street from Disney World. So we had the blessing of meeting so many people from around the world! Usually, people around there are "too busy" to take time to talk to us. They just blow past us when we try to talk to them. But Thanksgiving day was different. If we started talking about the holiday, people were excited to talk to us. :)
We started out on our bikes on that wonderfully warm November day (heaven for an Idahoan) and started talking to everyone, asking them if we could share a Thanksgiving scripture with them, and then we would read the scripture, really focusing on living in thanksgiving daily. We asked them what they were thankful for and then transitioned it to how we were grateful for the Book of Mormon, where that scripture was found. We testified how any answer to any life question can be found in the book. We testified how grateful we were for our Savior, Jesus Christ, who that book is all about. We testified how it has helped us, and WHY we were so thankful for it! And because of that, we were able to hand out multiple copies of the Book of Mormon that day. That book truly changes lives!
But as we talked with complete strangers about "living in thanksgiving daily," it became really easy for us all to realize just how much we have to be thankful for! It reminded me just how much Heavenly Father is in every aspect of our lives. It reminded me how the scriptures truly apply to everyone. It reminded me how loved I am! That was probably one of my favorite contacting days. It was just FUN all day!
Missionary work is fun. The scriptures are fun. Seeing God's hand in my life is fun. All of my blessings are fun! That's why I'm so happy! I have EVERYTHING to be thankful for! Even my trials turn out for the better, because God knows what's best for me.
I can't express how grateful I am that I have this amazing gospel in my life! It has truly changed me and made me the happiest person I could be! I have gratitude in my heart every day for it!
When times get tough, think of the blessings you have! There are always more blessings than trials!
Live in Thanksgiving Daily!