In all honesty I have no idea what to say about this week. I was mostly focused on my talk so I slacked on journal and prep for today (don't hate). This week was good though. We had some highs, we had some lows, we had some rain, we had some sun. And through it all we did missionary work with smiles on our faces :)
I went on an exchange to Renton last Tuesday. I'd call it mas o menos. I wasn't really feeling Renton while I was there, and it felt really good to come back to Clark Lake. And that was when I realized that Kent has become home to me. And so has Federal Way and Puyallup. Which is CRAZY!!! I remember my very first day in Washington when I was sitting in the Del Solar's home. I looked out the window in their kitchen and saw all of the trees and had this overwhelming feeling of "what did I just get myself in to?" combined with "this place will never feel like home to me." My mission prep teacher said once that we would find ourselves and personality traits in cities we've never even heard of, and I can testify to that. I've learned so much about myself here and I have loved everywhere that I've served. Each of these cities will hold a place in my heart forever.
Enough of the sappy stuff. I'm pretty sure Brother Ortega was inspired to ask me to speak on gratitude because it was something that I needed to study and learn more about. I'm not going to send my talk, but I did want to share a few things that I learned while preparing.
There are a TON of commands to be grateful all throughout the scriptures. I started to ponder why, and then started to think about my perspective of gratitude. If I do something for someone and get a less-than-thankful reaction from them, I'm less inclined to do something for them the next time. I had a hard time believing that God was like that though, because He's perfect, and I'm not. President Uchtdorf in his talk Grateful in Any Circumstances said, "All of His commandments are given to make blessings available to us. Commandments are opportunities to exercise our agency and to receive blessings. Our loving Heavenly Father knows that choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness." I can't believe I never realized that! We're commanded to be grateful JUST BECAUSE Heavenly Father knows that it will make us happy. He is so great!
I was talking to another missionary about gratitude and she shared something interesting she learned in a communications class. Apparently if you want to build a relationship with someone, the fastest emotion to do that with is waitforit . . . gratitude. When you show gratitude you're telling the person that you notice and appreciate what they do, and they feel that you actually care about them and what they do. And thus a relationship forms between two people. That brought a new light to me as to why we should express sincere thanks in our prayers, because as we do that a stronger relationship is forged between us and God.
To finish off, I found a quote this morning during my personal study that I fell in love with. The Spirit prompted me to share it with yall and I know someone needs to hear it because it has nothing to do with what I have been talking about even a little bit.
"If you have determined to live righteously, don't become discouraged. Life may seem difficult now, but hold on tightly to that iron rod of truth. You are making better progress than you realize. Your struggles are defining character, discipline, and confidence in the promises of your Father in Heaven and the Savior as you consistently obey Their commandments."
-Richard G. Scott
The Transforming Power of Faith and Character
Ensign, Nov. 2010
I love you all! I hope each of you notice this week all the little blessings we receive daily and express gratitude for them.