Monday, September 8, 2014

Count Your Blessings

Hey everyone!

Well, I have given a lot of thought to what I could send to you all as things are coming to a close. Yes, there's still one more week, but these are going to be some of my last words as a missionary. As I thought about the things that I have learned with my time here, I realized how truly happy I am. It's something simple, but it is the truth. I'm just happy and I am grateful for what I've been given. 

One of the hymns that we sing in nearly every lesson we teach is "Count Your Blessings." It's basically become our motto for our lives. Sister Tenorio and I have been focusing on how blessed we are and how great this life is. There are so many things that we have been given, so many blessings, and it seems as if we sometimes forget that. 

As I was studying the book of Helaman this week, I came across a story that really caught my attention. In chapter 11, it talks about a famine that came upon the people due to their wickedness. After many prayers, this is what happened:

17 And it came to pass that in the seventy and sixth year the Lord did turn away his anger from the people, and caused that rain should fall upon the earth, insomuch that it did bring forth her fruit in the season of her fruit. And it came to pass that it did bring forth her grain in the season of her grain.
 18 And behold, the people did rejoice and glorify God, and the whole face of the land was filled with rejoicing; and they did no more seek to destroy Nephi, but they did esteem him as a great prophet, and a man of God, having great power and authority given unto him from God.

These prayers began in the seventy and fifth year. It took an entire year for the rain to fall again. And when the rain fell, it came in the season that it would have usually come. It wasn't like Heavenly Father sent a big rainstorm immediately, or that the fruit miraculously started growing again (even though those things would have definitely been possible as well). No, Heavenly Father sent a little blessing. He did perform a miracle in the eyes of these people. They saw that He had answered their prayers. Maybe it took a while, maybe it wasn't anything extreme, but it came. And they recognized it. 

The Lord is present in our lives. He lives. He loves us. He helps us every single day. Sometimes we look past those miracles that He is performing, and sometimes we forget that He really is the One that gives us our all. I'm working on that. All those little blessings that we have are because of Him.

I love my mission. I love these people here. I don't think anyone will ever truly understand how grateful I am for my mission. I say it each week. I love everything that is taking place in my life. I am trying to count my blessings, see the good in every situation. And you know what? There always is a bright side. Always.

I love you all so much. I am so excited to see you all again, to hug you and squeeze you and tell you about all these miracles that I have seen. Thank you for your love, your prayers, your support, and all you have given me. I would have never been able to do it without you all. I love you. I will see you soon (:

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