This Thanksgiving I find myself far, far away from my homeland but with sweet memories of friends and neighbors and most especially families gathered together to break bread, laugh, tell stories, play games; eat turkey, dressing and pie; watch football and feel the love and support of one to another. I am thankful for that memory, for family, for the opportunity I have to serve here in Australia; for the beauties around me and for all the things which we take for granted: clean water, electricity, food, clothes, shelter, beds, cars, the ocean, the mountains, the valleys and on and on.
I love to sing the Hymn with music by Johann Cruger and Text by Martin Rinkhart:
“Now thank we all our God
With hearts and hands and voices
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom this earth rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms,
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love
And still is ours today
Oh may our bounteous God
Through all our lives be near us
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us
And keep us in his love,
And guide us day and night,
And free us from all ills,
Protect us by his might.”
We had a Thanksgiving feast in the mission home for all the Senior Missionaries on Friday which was Thursday in the US so we were celebrating in concert with the actual Thanksgiving holiday. It was wonderful to visit with all the seniors and the food was exquisite. The feast that will long last in my memory, though, was in the city branch on Thursday for the Chinese Zone hosted by Elder and Sister Maughan. They had perfectly cooked a big turkey and we had salad, scalloped potatos and, of course, pumpkin pie. The most tender part of the evening was when Elder Maughan asked everyone in the room express what they were thankful for. Each missionary stood and bore sweet testimony of what was in their hearts; some of them in broken english. No matter country or language, there is Thanksgiving in hearts around the globe.
Here is a picture of me working with a sister missionary who decided to take a selfie of us:
We are preparing for Christmas and the Light the World Campaign. It is such a wonderful time of year. Love certainly does abound. I am excited about singing in the Stake Christmas choir and again with a few of the senior missionaries in a stake kickoff of the Light the world campaign.
I love you all. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. You are in my heart and in my prayers.