Monday, November 29, 2010

Grateful! E-mail - Monday, November 29, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,
I hope you all had a good holiday season. I had a wonderful time,although the homesickness was a little harder, but I got through it fine. I'm glad to hear Spencer's talk went well, wish him luck for me. By the way, mom, just send it to the apartment if you don't it could get mixed up with stuff. I also do not know if I'll be here for Christmas.  It looks like one of us (either Elder Fly or myself) will not be staying since we have been together for two transfers.  We still have two weeks till transfer calls, so whatever happens I'll let you know. Well, Thanksgiving wasn't something special. It was basically a day off  where we got to stuff ourselves and eat with families and tell what we were grateful for.
Starting this e-mail I had no idea what to say,but I feel I know what to write now.  While at the Evans house(an active family in the Ward) we each told three things we were grateful for.   It was kinda weird because I have always done that back home, but it was different. We were in a room full of people we barely knew listening to some of the most personal things ever. As I waited for my turn (I was last)  it surprised me that I didn't think I could share these things with them. I slowly watched each person stand and talk about the things they were most thankful for. Obviously, the top ones being the Atonement, Family and The Gospel. How could I tell these complete strangers how the Atonement has affected my life?  How it has truly changed me? How could I express the feelings of my family who I hadn't seen in four months and four days, a family who has given everything so that I could come to California and spread His glorious message? How could I ever and I mean EVER tell them how the Gospel has blessed me, and explain how I've watched people go from smoking, drinking, drug using to a caterpillar, to a beautiful and respecting and fun butterfly.
This is how I shared my feelings on gratitude:
"My three things I'm definitely grateful  for, is first and foremost the Atonement. I feel as if we truly forget how much it means.  Imagine if you will, every single time you have ever been hurt, emotionally or physically. Now imagine your family, all your friends, neighbors, there are six billion people on this earth at one moment at one time. Christ felt all that pain, that is what the Atonement is for me. I cannot truly tell you how grateful I am for my family.  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland states it the best in his last conference ( I'll let you look it up).  Finally,  just look at any convert and the change the Gospel has done in their lives.   That is how grateful I am.  One cannot put a price on Gratitude.  Gratitude is a gift of Love." 
"The Institutions of the world Challenge us to know something, the Gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something."    Dallin H. Oaks
Elder Zachary David Daniel

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