Monday, October 18, 2010

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

I have erased the beginning of this blog almost 100 times, the reason.... I'm trying not to let negativity cloud this blog. There is enough negativity in the world, I don't need to contribute to that. So I have spent all day trying employing various strategies to help myself keep a positive outlook. This week has not been a good one, my internship has been challenging, I have gotten in trouble for something that I didn't do, it's been hot (and therefore I've been miserable), I looked at a picture from China and thought, "if only I can look like that" (those who have been to China can understand how sad that statement truly is), I have looked through pictures of Spring Summit and realized how much I miss it. I have forgotten what it feels like to be in such a loving, caring environment where I have the opportunity to be so physically and emotionally close to Heavenly Father's creations, I have gotten sudden waves of sadness as I think about my life and friends I have left in Idaho, I get even more sad when I think that just a year ago I was in China with 10 girls who love me and who I love dearly, and most of all I have felt more alone and isolated than I have ever felt in the past 8 weeks.
Today's activities have included a lot of positive self talk, a conversation with a good friend, some pondering, watching any Mormon Message video that have the word "trial" or "adversity" in it, a few tears, some Josh Groban, and lots and lots of sugar.

I have found myself frequently watching this video by Elder Jeffery R. Holland. Even though it won't take away my trials and adversity, it does give me hope that there are good things to come. I love when he says "every one of us has times when we need to know that things will get better. My declaration is that that is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us especially in times of need." Being here has put my newly acquired testimony to the test. I have spent much of my free time reading the words of the prophets and apostles as well as communicating to my Heavenly Father, because I need to know that there are "good things to come." This quote found at the end of the video is what has kept me going through the hard times I have been faced with, Elder Holland states, "Don't quit, keep walking, keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead, some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven, but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ they come. It will be all right in the end, trust God and believe in good things to come."

I watched this video a million times today, reminding myself that I have much to be thankful for. 

There are many lessons I can (and have learned) while being in Hawaii and I will never regret the decision I made to come here. I have been able to meet many wonderful people and I have had the opportunity to solidify my testimony and grow closer to the Lord through my trials. As Elder Oaks says, "Let us give thanks for what we are and for the circumstances God has given us for our personal journey through mortality." 
And just when you thought I would make a whole post without making a list here is a list of events I am thankful for that have helped me become who I am today

1. I am thankful for Tim and Virginia and their family. For all of the support and opportunities they have given me to grow. I think of them as a 2nd family. Words cannot adequately express how much I love them. 
2. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to be the group leader of 10 amazing girls in Changzhou, China Fall 2009. These girls were so patient with my shortcomings as a leader and they allowed me to grow so much. I love each and every one of them. 
3. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to live in Changzhou, China. It was here that I had a mighty change of heart that is spoken of in Alma. I learned about the principle of sacrifice and the blessings that can come from it. I sacrificed to go to church, I sacrificed my time, I sacrificed resources, I sacrificed sleep, not because I had to but because I love the children, I love the girls and most of all I love my Heavenly Father. 
4. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to go on Spring Summit. This experience (combined with China) has made me who I am today. This gave me confidence in myself and my abilities. It also gave me 14 wonderful friends who have all had a hand in shaping my life at one point or another. These wonderful people know me better than anybody else in the whole entire world know me, they've seen my good days and they've seen my bad days, they have seen me succeed, and they have seen me struggle, they have been there for me when I wanted to give up and just when I didn't think I could make it any farther they were there to give me the strength and confidence I needed, and at times they have even saved my life.  They know what I am capable of and they are constantly pushing me to be better and I love them with all of my heart!
5. I am thankful for my career choice. There have been many tender mercies throughout my life that have led me to Therapeutic Recreation (none of which I realized at the time),  nevertheless I am grateful for every single one. 
6. I am grateful for the wonderful teachers I have had at Brigham Young University-Idaho, they have all been wonderful and have helped prepare me for the "real world" I am grateful for the many unseen sacrifices they make and continue to make so that I can be successful in life. 

Elder Oaks states, "God offers us opportunities for blessings and blesses us through our own adversities and the adversities of others we can understand why he has commanded us again and again to thank the Lord thy God in ALL things."

I don't know why I am here in Hawaii, I don't know what I am supposed to learn, I don't know why I have had to struggle so much, but I am so grateful for the people I have met, the lessons I have learned, and the opportunity I have had to grow close to my Heavenly Father.


  1. You silly girl... you never told me you had a blog!!! Thanks for the positive words in your post (I am going to show that video by Elder Holland at my group tomorrow) Thanks for letting us be a positive segment in your life. Love you..... Virginia Arnold

  2. Thanks for your thankfulness! Even though times are hard, you definitely are looking in the right direction! I love that video you shared :) Remember watching that in TR?

    I miss walking up to the Ricks with you!! It's just not the same by my lonesome.

    Keep it up Tiff! Enjoy that last bit you have in Hawaii! Take advantage of the gorgeous scenery there! Even though your internship is on the tough side, I'm sure you have made a few people that you work with happy and they have appreciated your spirit around them. :)