I am thankful today for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that has redeemed my past and made my future have a purpose. I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for the wonderful lessons that He taught through example and principles. I am thankful that my Heavenly Father had the love great enough to sacrifice His Son for me to bleed and to die and to make it possible to my family to come back to Him.
The blessings have been daily and my heart is full upon thinking of what He has given my family. I feel caught up in the middle of a chain of blessings that has always existed and continues to grow. Just as the Seventy said in Conference, in the temple the mirrors on both sides of the Celestial Room help us to realize the eternal nature of blessings. One cannot really bless a person without blessing his whole family and future generations.
I think of what little the missionaries really knew they were doing as they knocked on Bruce Turner’s door so long ago. They had no idea that upon teaching and answering a few questions they would reactivate a Priesthood leader and baptize later his wife. They didn’t know that they would later be sealed and have an active family with each child walking in the same path. Did they know that many of the grandkids would serve missions in all parts of the world blessing literally thousands of lives? I doubt it either, but God did.
Thanks be to God that things happen when missionaries aren’t there. Did the missionaries know that their faith and teachings would eventually reach Nicaragua? Did those two missionaries know that in a small humble Nicaraguan dwelling two more missionaries would find recent converts conversing over doctrines found in the Book of Mormon? Did they know that their faith would promote many to walk 30 minutes one way in blistering sun and heat to watch Conference on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon? Would they know that Nicaraguans because of their teaching to the Turner family would invite others to come unto Christ, leave on missions; put goals to be sealed in the temple too? I don’t think so. I doubt it. But God did.
I thank Him for His wisdom. I thank Him for seeing everything I have seen. The chain continues and more people will be blessed but I am especially concerned about thanking the chain link most near and dear to me: my family. I cannot adequately express my love to you. I thank you. I know that you were good to me. Using President Monson’s story as a base, I don’t know how many times I forgot about the light bulbs and thought of the turnips and jackrabbit instead, but I now realize that my days were brighter and happier because of all of you. I thank you for the changed diapers, the nights in the rocking chair, the tummy rubs and warm showers. I thank you for the tickling (even when you didn’t like giving only 15 more minutes). I am thankful for sleep monster and family vacations. I am thankful for Father’s blessings and help from mom on School projects. I am thankful for your testimonies. I am thankful you made me play piano. Thanks for your examples in church service, temple attendance, and scripture reading. Thanks for web cam and cell phone chats, BBQ Sundays and Christmas pajamas. Thanks most of all for being you. I LOVE YOU. Thanks the spankings, the counsel and thanks for being there always…second grade graduations and soccer games. I think you model ideally our Heavenly Father for He says that He will be with us even unto the end.
In all of this I just hope that you realize that I am who I am because of you. There are people we meet on the course of life that give us direction and we end up in a much better destination because of it. I am in Nicaragua and being here continues to give others direction and purpose in their lives. I think I had lost track of all the blessings…but I am trying to live in the spirit of thanksgiving so that my heart can touch Heaven.
God lives. He shows His love but blessing us with SO MUCH. May we be grateful for everything He gives.
Elder RussellP.S. As for the menial, the mission is great. People continue to progress. I will keep you posted on the progress...