Dear Family and Friends,
This week after we taught Isabel, we were invited to stay and eat (shocker---more food), but this time the other four elders were invited too. So as we were waiting, we just were talking to the family, and we kept waiting and waiting and waiting. I thought, "what are the Elders doing!?'" Then Isabel's mom gets a call, and her husband, and the four Elders are stuck in the elevator in the building. It was a four person capacity; very tiny elevator. And they crammed in five men. The Elders and the father of Isabel are all pretty big boys. And just to let you know, the elevators here are tiny tiny tiny---not like the ones in the U.S. Like with four people, you are all shoulder to shoulder, smashed up against the wall. So I don't even want to know how they all got in.
Thanksgiving was really good. The day before, we had a zone conference and we had a Thanksgiving dinner. And guess what we had there?? Costco rolls!!! Tender mercy. Oh how I've missed those guys. I may or may not have eaten 7 or 8. We then had pumpkin pie! Costco pie!! (I guess a Costco opened up in Madrid somewhere). Man it was way sweet! Cakes and sweet things here aren't sweet like us Americans make it. Normally, it's some weird dry foamy stuff with gross frosting. So Thanksgiving----Oh, it was good. We know how to make sweet stuff right.
But on Thanksgiving day guess what I did in the morning?? I took the good old Thanksgiving quiz. I had a copy of that guy with me. Let's just say, it was way easier doing it with Sara by my side telling me all the answers. But, it was really good. At the top before all the quotes, it invites us to think about what is being said in the quotes, and this year I took more time to really think about what was being said.
I love Thanksgiving and I loved it this year.
Also in the renfe (train) today, this weirdo German guy who was like a walking ken Barbie doll, kept trying to escort me and Hermana Graff around. He spoke English and he kept following us around with his little leather gloves and big scarf and brief case. Ugh. These kind of things always happen to me and Hermana Graff. I know he was just so excited to practice his English. So of course, we talked about why we were here, and in the end gave him the website to look up.
It's kind-of a funny story now, but at the time, Hermana Graff and I didn't want the ken guy following us.
I told you to read Mormon . I will tell you what I learned from it.
I love what Elder Orson F. Whitney said: “The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things. The opposite or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield obedience.” We should honor the Savior’s declaration to “be of good cheer.” (Indeed, it seems to me we may be more guilty of breaking that commandment than almost any other!) Speak hopefully. Speak encouragingly, including about yourself. Try not to complain and moan incessantly. As someone once said, “Even in the golden age of civilization someone undoubtedly grumbled that everything looked too yellow."
"Those who are happy shall be happy still, and those who are unhappy shall be unhappy still." - Mormon
2 Corinthians 9:7
D&c 61: 36
D&c 68: 6
D&c 59: 15
D&c 78: 19
Yikes that's a lot.
But if you want, read these verses and think about it.
I think at times we think... "In the end of it all, at last we will be happy!" But if this scripture is true, if we aren't happy now, what makes us think we will all of a sudden be happy then? Happiness is now. We don't need to wait to be happy. Yes, at times things are hard, but I believe it's possible to have 'celestial' happy moments in this life.
I think-----really, we are here to figure out happiness. We are here to learn to be happy in all circumstances. That is the test. Not just to fake a smile and have deeply sorrow, but to learn to truly be happy. And that's where faith and hope in Christ make it possible. Yes, it is possible.
"Men are that they might have joy."
"He wants to give us everything we need to be happy now and to return to Him after we die" - in the restoration pamphlet.
I know I sound like Tom when he gets excited about the scriptures, or mom when it comes to the gospel. . .
But, it's just the thoughts I have been having. It may be common sense to all of you----but to Junie B Jones, she has been having this thought process.
So let us realize that if we want to be happy in the end, we need to be happy now.