"Do material possessions make us happy and grateful? Perhaps momentarily. However, those things which provide deep and lasting happiness and gratitude are the things which money cannot buy: our families, the gospel, good friends, our health, our abilities, the love we receive from those around us. Unfortunately, these are some of the things we allow ourselves to take for granted." President Thomas S. Monson
Thanksgiving. The day of the year families gather to eat more food than they should, take extra long naps, plan for an insane day of shopping, and remember to give thanks for the things in our lives. I have been thinking over the past few days just what I wanted to post on this Thanksgiving day, compiling a mental list of the things that I am grateful for. So here goes...
First and for most, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Without it I don't know where I would be. It is my light in this other wise dim life. As I have gotten older I have grown to love it more and more. In September I took a challenge to read the Book Of Mormon by Christmas. I was doing so wonderful at sticking to the schedule when I first started, but I slowly fell behind. I still plan on finishing it by Christmas, why? Because this book is wonderful! I read it on the bus ride to school and it makes a huge impact on how my day goes. I have reached a point where I am sick of school, so many times I go to the bus stop pretty ornery, but when I start reading, my mood improves and I am filled with the Spirit, and am ready to face the world.
I am ever so grateful for my family. Each and every member. Your family members will always be there for you, even when no one else is. I am grateful that most of my family lives close by so I see them often. I am grateful for the traditions we have as a family, Sunday afternoons spent at Grandma's house, seeing both sides of the family on the holidays, and many more. I am grateful for the memories I have of family. The memories of gatherings, lessons taught, advice given. I am grateful that we are able to enjoy a good laugh of some of those memories. Holidays have been a little hard for me the past two years, first with the passing of my Grandpa so close to Thanksgiving and then the passing of my cousin a few months after that. But it is nice to know that despite the pain, the tears, and the sad moments, we can rally together and enjoy a few laughs and smiles.
I am grateful for my friends. For the love and support they show. The encouragement they give. The laughs that we share. I am grateful for the life lessons they teach me, each and every day. I am grateful for the growth that I have seen because of my friends. I am grateful for those friends who allow me to be myself and continue to love me. For a long time I was scared that once high school ended that would bring the end of many friendships and that I would have a hard time making new friends. But I was wrong, I have made some of the best friends I ever could have asked for since graduating. They have shown me how to truly enjoy life.
I am grateful for emails that make my day a little bit better. I am grateful for those emails, that continue to make my day even after I have read them every day for a week.
I am grateful for technology. Any form of it, especially since it allows me to read those emails mentioned above. I am grateful that it makes communication across the world faster and easier.
I am grateful for missionaries. For the examples they are in my life. For the strength and the faith they have to serve the Lord for two years. Along with that I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to do missionary work with my ward. For the opportunity it has given me to meet some amazing people, to see different sides of people that I otherwise would not have seen. I am grateful that it gets me out of my comfort zone and challenges me to do things that a few months ago I never would have thought of doing.
I am grateful for my singles ward. For the people in it. For the spirit that I feel every time I go to church. I am grateful for the bishopric (even though they can be a bit pushy about marriage..). It is nice to know that they are there, and they care for us. I am grateful for the people I have met because of the singles ward. On a number of occasions I have told myself that I was going to stop going to the singles ward and go back to the family ward, and every time I say that I end up going to the singles ward and after I get home I wonder why I would ever go back to the family ward. The Lord definitely knows where I should be at this time in my life and He will keep me there no matter what.
I am grateful for snail-mail letters. Something about receiving a hand written letter, and the envelope with your name on it, is the best thing ever. With that I am grateful for the post office employees who go to work no matter what, just so we can receive those lovely envelopes.
There are definitely many more things that I am grateful for but I am going to end this before it goes on any further..
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!