Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
So it's not for a few days, but I want to say a few things I'm grateful for now.
I am grateful for all of the service opportunities we had this week. We did three different projects. The first we went and translated at an elementary school for parent teacher conferences. I think i goes without saying that I was completely terrified. It went pretty well though. I didn't end up being used much just because so many of the teachers spoke Spanish, but we did a lot of good. The second was our Ward Relief Society had collected socks and wrapped them for Christmas to give out at a local nursing home. We went with them to hand them out and sing a few hymns. It was a lot of fun and we met this sweet tiny little old lady named Maria who was completely overwhelmed with joy that we had come to visit. The hymns were a little painful because our Ward is 100% tone deaf, but it was tons of fun and I don't think any of the residents cared at all (probably only half could hear us anyway).
The last service activity was with CDA Cares through JustServe. JustServe is a new church run program completely centered on service. It partners with tons of other churches and organizations to help organize volunteers and services. Right now it's in its beginning stages, I'm not sure when it will be fully launched to the whole church, but it's going to be a big deal. There will be a representative called in each stake to help find opportunities and encourage the members to volunteer. Our whole zone went to this project. For two days we volunteered at a dental clinic that provides all kinds of dental care completely free of charge. There are no requirements you just have to be willing to wait. I worked as a translator for some of the time. That was kind of rough because how the heck would I know any dental terms? But I managed and everything worked out so no worries. Most of the time I worked in sterilization. It was totally crazy. We cleaned, packaged, sterilized, sorted and distributed probably a million dental tools. We were working as fast and as hard as we could for about 6 hours straight. Plus I have no previous knowledge so I had to learn very quickly which tools were which, if they were surgical or basic and who to give them to. It felt so good to work so hard though and see such cool results. Lots of families came in that desperately needed help. There were many people who hadn't had teeth for years and when they left they had smiles they could be proud of. It was amazing to see so many people come together and make such a huge difference in just two days.
I'm also very grateful for my companionship. I am always learning so much from Hna B. and Hna R. They really take care of me and I know I can count on them for anything.
I am grateful for the early saints and all that they went through so we could have the restored gospel. At our Ward thanksgiving dinner we watched the joseph smith video no it made me think about how grateful I am for their sacrifices. My life has been so blessed by this gospel and now I have the great honor of helping others have those same blessings.
I am grateful for prayer. I can kneel down at anytime and ask the creator of the universe in all of its complexities and mysteries anything I want. I can turn to him whe I am scared, when I feel worthless, or when I simply want to talk. And he listens. To all of my petty problems and insignificant worries. And he answers. He gives me the tools and encouragement I need to keep going. He continually lets me know that he is there and he is providing a way.
I am grateful for my Savior. I am such an imperfect being, but through him I can leave behind my mistakes and try again. It's hard to have the humility to recognize my imperfections and buck up and make changes, but he is holding my hand all of the way and he never judges me for my mistakes. We are each loved with a perfect love, free of disappointment, judgement or shame. We are loved and embraced with a hope and faith that we will become better.
I am grateful for all of you and for your support and love. I know that maybe not all of you understand my decision to serve a mission, but you have supported me anyway and that has made such a difference in my life. I love you all so much.
Wishing you all a happy holiday,