Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Letter Dated November 24, 2014

Hey Everyone!!
Can you believe it's already here? I swear it hasn't been long enough for Thanksgiving to be here again! I hope you all have fun plans for Thanksgiving, and experience the true spirit of the season! :) I LOVE this time of year, with Thanksgiving, and Christmas on the way.  Everyone seems to be so much happier and cheery.  They seem to have a lighter countenance about them, and experience some gratitude for the things in their lives...and a lot more people open to hearing about Christ because after all, he is the reason for the season of Christmas. :) I'd like to invite you all to seek out opportunities to share the happiness the gospel brings you, with a friend.  This time of year peoples hearts tend to be softer, and enjoy feeling the spirit of Christ in Christmas.
This week I thought it would be appropriate to share some of the things that I'm thankful for.  It would be impossible to list every single person who is and has been a blessing in my life, and every blessing that I have obtained that I am truly thankful for, but I can list a few. :)
First, I'm so thankful for my family! I could not have been blessed any more for the opportunity that I have had to come to this family! Both immediate and extended family! I have been so blessed to be raised by such wonderful parents who have taught me, and helped me to grow. I have been so blessed for parents that have encouraged me to dream big, and work toward those dreams...and to have them there supporting me along the way! I have been blessed to have my two cute little brothers, who are such a great love and support in my life as well. :) they've always been good at cheering me on, and helping me feel loved...even when we express our love by wrestling and pestering...not to mention the name calling. ;) haha! I'm a little nervous I'll come home and I'm not going to be able to hold my own anymore...I may finally have reached the point where they'll beat me..and I'll never see the day to win another wrestling match against them again. haha! Let's hope not. :) I have been so blessed with the most loving Grandparents who have taught me a lot in life...a lot about the gospel, about hard work, how to love more, how to serve others, and truly be grateful in each and every situation. I have been blessed immensely by their examples and great love! I have been blessed with the most amazing Aunts and Uncles...I feel bad for everyone else who isn't part of our family, they don't get to experience how truly great it is to have close families, and feel the support that is there! Not to mention all the fun we all get to have! :) I have wonderful cousins who I've got to share some of my favorite memories with, and to have such a great opportunity to grow up so close to each other! :) And a long list of friends that have taught me so much, and had so much fun with throughout the years! :) Some old friends that I've had for a very long time...and a lot of new friends, that I look forward to seeing in the years to come! :)
I have been so blessed, and I am so grateful for the many opportunities that I have had in my life to grow, and come to a knowledge of the truth of the restored gospel. I am SOOO thankful for the P.14 Ward who have always been a huge help to me in my life! I couldn't have gained and solidified my testimony without the people in our awesome ward and the experiences that they provided for me throughout my youth!! :) Worlds BEST Young Women's group, with some of the most amazing leaders!! :) So many of you in the ward have been an immense blessing in my life, and I'm so grateful for every single one of you!!
I couldn't be more blessed and more thankful for the amazing opportunities that I have had to learn and grow on my mission! There isn't any place I'd rather be...I can't imagine my life without having the opportunity to serve a mission! I am so thankful for the age change that made this option so readily available to me and the countless blessings that have come, and are to come in the future because of missionary work! I am so thankful for every person that has been a part of my mission, and for all their work that they do to make me (and all missionaries) feel loved and welcomed!! I have been blessed to serve in the BEST wards in the mission!! (shout out to E-town, Monongahela, and Butler!! :)) I think one of my favorite things I'm thankful for this year is the amazing opportunity that I've had to share the gospel, and to literally see it change lives! I could not be more blessed!!
And above all, I am thankful for my Loving Father in Heaven and for His Son Jesus Christ. Earlier this month I was studying the Atonement a little bit more, and I was overwhelmed by the great love that is demonstrated in the Atonement on all accounts. I was reading in John Chapter 15:9-10
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
I was so touched by the great love that the Father expressed to us, by sending his Only Begotten into the world for us, so that we could be redeemed and once again enter into his presence.  And how He loves us so much He WANTS us to be with him again in his presence.  I was touched by the Love that the Savior had for the Father, to be obedient to his commandments, and to love us enough to lay down  his life, for us, his friends. His Brothers and Sisters!! And the great desire the Savior has for each of us to partake of the joy that he brings into our lives!! and the great love we can show to both our Father and our Savior, by being obedient to the commandments, and showing great gratitude by using our Saviors Atonement!
What a wonderful and remarkable blessing it is to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!
I love you all!
Love, Sister Thomas

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