So, with this past month of change, I'd like to express to you how much gratitude I have in my heart. Not only that, but The Attitude of Gratitude I Long to Have.
Since being back in New Mexico, I have seen so much. I have seen smiles that have lifted me up when I was down, lives changed as they've entered the waters of baptism, and so much more. I've been able to both hear and see the testimony of so many faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Such testimonies which have fortified and strengthened my own. Oh, if I too were an angel, and could have the wish of my heart, I would, with a trump of God, let every soul know how precious they are in the eyes of their Father in Heaven (Alma 29 reference). Yet, I should be content with the things allotted unto me. And yes, the Lord has allotted unto me much. He's allotted a wonderful family so perfect for me. So imperfect, yet so absolutely perfect for me. They are everything to me. How I long to be with them eternally. How I yearn to see all of them happy.
How grateful I am for these sacred allotments. He has allotted unto me friends, recent converts, a priesthood quorum, and my own home teachies. All He asks, is that I do all I can to love those He has given unto me. He asks that I focus on the one, sometimes leaving the ninety and nine just to find them. Which leads to my point: The Attitude of Gratitude I Long to Have. Such gratitude for all the Lord has both done for me, and given unto me.
The Lord knows what He is doing here on this earth. He knows who we should meet, when we should meet them, what experiences we need, and what problems we have. He knows we're mortal and that we'll make mistakes. He sent His Son for that very reason. He also sends messengers to bless all of His children. Some are heavenly, but in my own experience, most of them have been earthly messengers. He makes us somebody else's "allotment", before giving unto us our own. He gives a mother and father children, asks that they raise them in righteousness, and then, once those children grow to a mature age, He eventually grants unto them their own "allotments" (Their own children). And this is how He "brings to pass the immortality, and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). One eternal round.
How grateful I am for these allotments. For they are "a lot", and truly are "meant" to bless our lives.
The main point to today's blog entry, is to express the gratitude I have for an incredible Branch Presidency that were recently released after 5 faithful years of service in the University/Nob Hill Branch of Albuquerque. This change to our branch happened in that wonderful month of change, October. It's been very hard on them, but I know that the Lord has other things He's ready to "allot" unto them. He "allotted" a group of 20 or so active members in December 2008, and that turned into 200 or so active within a few years. The Lord always gives unto us small "allotments", because He trusts that "out of small things, great things come to pass". I was one of those 20 members of this little Branch in Albuquerque. I was away from church activity for 4 or so years, and the very day I decided to come back, was the very first day they were called as the new Branch Presidency. I was blessed to be apart of their little "allotment". I have since, grown immensely. It was through the atonement that this growth has occurred, and with the aid of such leaders, I continue to grow.
President Brown became a father figure in my life and Sister Brown became a 2nd mother. Brother Hardy became one of the bestest friends I have, and his wife, Sister Hardy, one of the most influential people I have ever met. And finally, Brother Cobb, the man who taught me much by example. Throughout five years, I only can account a few conversations with this man, yet... All the words he ever could of said to help me, were spoken by and through his incredible example of faith. And, what great man is there without a great woman at his side? Sister Cobb was and is an absolute crucial part of my conversion. Her smile was and is a smile that has lifted me dozens of times when I've been down. How eternally grateful I am for these leaders, these my brothers and sisters (Words cannot express how I truly feel. My weakness in writing is evident as I try to profess the thoughts and feelings of my heart).
I could write a book full of the many experiences I have had with these individuals. I could spend countless hours expressing the many miracles we all witnessed in that small branch. Someday I will, but for now, thanks be to God. I am so thankful. I am so overcome with joy as I ponder the lives of these leaders. I love all of them. I love them dearly. And I know... I absolutely, undoubtedly know... these individuals and their blessed families, LOVE THE SAVIOR. They love their Father in Heaven, and His Son. They love this gospel. They are consecrated members, and I hope to some day become like they are. The Attitude of Gratitude I Long to Have.
President and Sister Brown with their wonderful grandchildren
Brother and Sister Hardy with their beautiful family (Sister Hardy is in the light pink shirt in the back row right next to Brother Hardy in the light blue polo)
Brother Cobb (white collared shirt) and Sister Cobb (jean jacket), with their beautiful kids and grand-kids
Might we all be a little more grateful as we approach the month when we celebrate our Savior's birth. The 2nd most incredible thing to ever happen, the 1st being the atonement He later performed. A small baby boy, born in a manger... A small and simple thing... Such great things that have and will come to pass because of Him.
P.S. My buddies and I won 1st place in the group costume contest at our Regional YSA Halloween 2013 dance...
Group picture of all the winners of the costume contest. There were roughly 11 different opportunities to win... best hero, best couple, most original, etc...
We were rock, paper, and scissors... Pretty original right??? haha