Monday, December 1, 2014

Gratitude increases your attitude!

There was no Turkey this thanksgiving. (Looks like a couple of Turkeys in the photos above don't you think?) We worked and planned the day like any other. Except we did change one thing. Prayers of only Gratitude. From the moment we woke up, to our studies, to all visits, to planning, and to moments of need, we only gave thanks. We started the lessons with a prayer, thanking the Lord for the privilege of knowing the individual and his/her progress in the gospel. 
There were many times, I wanted to ask for things. I never realized how much I and others ask, ask, and ask, until I made a conscious effort to stop. The lessons I learned this thanksgiving were amazing. I had an amazing feeling of joy by the end of the day. I could feel within my soul that we having a Loving Heavenly Father willing to bless us in all things.
 I learned that because of my often ingratitude, I focus on what I see as a problem to be removed, and fail to see the miracles already wrought. I learned how this truly is a marvelous work and a wonder, it is still however- a work in process. With only some small daily quirks to be worked out, that we often stress over these relatively small issues and if we are not careful, we will fail to see the big picture of the Lord hand pushing things forward. .  
With each stress that day, instead of pleading for help, I gave a heart full of gratitude. I felt my faith and hope grow. My worries were always calmed. Because it takes faith to just give gratitude when we only see a problem. 
Things are going really well here. We met Zeek´s wife, Cristina who´s an american. We taught them all together at the home of Daniel and Josey- (whom are in the process of marriage papers to get baptized!) Today we went and saw the beach with Zeek and had lunch by a neat lake.
I felt so happy when I saw Graziela stand up in sacrament meeting yesterday, called as a ward missionary. To think it was only a couple months ago, she told us she would never return- now she´s teaching everyone with us. 
Another Family close to our hearts are the Estake´s. The Father São Paio is kind to us, but is not yet a member. His wife, Rosangela, their 4 kids are less-actives for many years. Many in the ward knows this family. They receive many visits from members trying to help them. As we´ve prayed and fasted together we felt that it must start with Rosangela. That if she were to return to activity, her family would follow. 
We met once again with this family this week with her home teachers. But we did it a little different, before we started her family and home teachers looked to us- the missionaries- to start teaching, we looked at Rosangela and ask her to give all of us a message. 
Singing a hymn and the opening prayer were just enough time for her to find a scripture to share. She gave a great message of the importance of studying the scriptures and the sacrifices of others so we could have them. The conversation lead to the pioneers and those that had given their very lives so we could have the gospel. 
We asked Rosangela a simple question ´If these people that went on before us, were here now, what do you think they would expect of you?´ 
Rosangela had tears in her eyes when she said ´To return back to church, so I can help them.´
We explained that we needed her, that the church needed her, that her ancestors needed her, and her children and many generations to follow needed her. Then she stated with firmness ´I will be there. I will come to church´ 
And she did.  

.   Love you all! Love you mom and dad! I´m so proud to be your son. 

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