Hello! This is pretty fun to email you when I know that you will all be together in a couple of days. This email will be one of gratitude. "With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o'er" is my theme.
What am I grateful for? Too many things to count or name. I will focus on the three things that surpass all others on my list of gratitude.
1) The Gospel of Jesus Christ (and all that it entails).
I'm grateful that Heavenly Father loves us. "God loves us to He sent His son. Christ Jesus the Atoning one" (Hymn #87). My entire purpose in life rests on the foundation that I know God lives, Jesus is the Christ, and that "Salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent" (Mosiah ). The gospel of Jesus Christ defines me in every way possible. I'm so thankful that it is REAL. It is not only simple steps that lead to eternal life (although it is that-See Article of Faith #4) but it is an enabling and living power that changes my character, weaknesses, and abilities. I love the gospel. I do my best to live the gospel and "Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men." I know that if I do that for the rest of my days I will "have eternal life" (2 Nephi 31:20). I am thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2) My Family
I truly was "Born of goodly parents" (1 Nephi 1:1) and "blessed be the name of my God for it" (Enos 1:1). In some of my darkest moments and most confusing times of my life, the lessons that my parents taught me of "the coming of One Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world" (Alma 36:17) saw me through and brought happiness, steadiness, and light. I love my parents and miss them very much.
I also was blessed with the best sisters! They are women of "sound understanding and they [search] the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they [have] given themselves to much prayer, and fasting...and had much success in bringing [their sister] to the knowledge of the truth" (Mosiah 17:3-4). They were such good examples to me in countless ways. They only saw the good in me when I saw a whole lot of bad. They truly are my best friends and I miss them.
Both my parents and sisters have supported me every step of the way on my mission. Without them, I never would have made it past the first week of the MTC let alone 14 months! I am grateful for my family.
3) My Mission
Besides my family, this mission experience is the greatest blessing the Lord could ever have given me. I can't even describe the happiness and joy that I have experienced while being "made an instrument in the hands of God to bring about this great work." Serving the people of England has been such a joy! I "have entered into their houses and taught them, and have taught them in their streets; yea, and have taught them upon their hills; and have also entered into their temples...and have been cast out, mocked and spit upon...that perhaps [I] might be the means of saving some soul." And I can tell you that "there never [was a woman] that had so great reason to rejoice as [I] since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God" (Alma 26:29,30,35). Every area, companion, and experience has "[worked] together for [my] good" (D&C 105:40). I have met people that have changed my life, changed my character, and changed my destiny. I'm grateful for my mission. And I'm grateful I still have time to fully develop and become the person I'm supposed to become.
That is my gratitude list for this week of Thanksgiving. I love you all and hope you have an amazing week. I can promise you that I will be having a great week in England counting my many blessings.
All my love,
Sister Jenni Bement