Tribulation worketh patience

I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving and that you’re surviving the scary weather I’ve been hearing about back in America. Lots of snow or something? Our English students keep telling me that everyone in America is dying because of all the snow. I really hope that’s not true. It’s so weird to hear the news of the “outside world” โ€˜cause it just sounds awful! People dying, race riots, Putin. Geez. I kind of like not being informed about everything that’s going on. It’s a lot more happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

This last week was good! It was a bit harder because I got really sick last Sunday and it lasted until today (I’m still a little sniffly ha) but we had a good week still.

Since my Thanksgiving email was less than stellar due to having little time and also a headache, here’s a retake on what I’m thankful for. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m thankful for the scriptures. Every day I get the opportunity to learn and to feel the Spirit in a way that isn’t possible doing anything else. I love the scriptures. I learn something new every day. I always can feel how much God loves me when I read.

I’m thankful for how gorgeous it is here. It rained this week really hard and then everything froze. Every branch, leaf, and blade of grass is frozen in a sheen of ice. It’s beautiful. And then it snowed. So it feels and looks like Narnia here. I love it. Even though it’s so cold and my feet freeze, haha.

I’m thankful for the people of Romania. They are the most hospitable, generous, warm, and loving people. When they love you, they really love you. They will give and give and give until it hurts. But that’s what love is. I am so grateful I get to love them. They have my heart. I love when they scold me for not wearing tights, haha. I love when they kiss us and tell us we’re just the most beautiful things they’ve ever seen. I love our English student who tells me every class that I look just like Kate Middleton. I will take that compliment any day, thank you. I am thankful for Aurelian, our 9 year old English investigator who wants us to help him learn English and is absolutely in love with me. I feel quite honored to be this kid’s first crush. That’s new for me and I’m figuring out how to navigate it, haha, but he’s so sweet and loves coming to church and being in primary so we figure that it’s not just me that he likes. Phew.

I am so thankful for the members here in Brasov. They have adopted me into their family and I love them dearly. There’s Carmen, the Relief Society President who was just baptized in June, who treats me like a daughter and a sister all at the same time. We talk about boys, school, life, the gospel, etc. She is my best friend! Her little daughter Teo is my other best friend, haha. She and I love to play together, sing and play the piano after church. Carmen looks out for us and we love her for it. Then there’s Violeta, a member who has been less active who has become another best friend. She has a heart of gold and wants so badly to be more active. She came to a baptism we had here on Saturday night and told me that she was so thankful for us and that she feels like she’s becoming a member again. I was so happy! And thankful! I am thankful for so so many people to love. Sometimes I feel stretched and like I can’t possibly love any more people; that I can’t possibly have more to give than I have already given. But that’s the great thing about love – when you love more and sacrifice more, your capacity to love increases. How greatly our Savior must love us. His ultimate and infinite sacrifice for us means that His capacity to love us is ultimate and infinite as well. That is wonderful to think about.

I am thankful for my trials. I am also learning to be thankful for my trials during my trials and not just after. There’s a quote from C.S. Lewis that says, “God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.” I really believe that. My trials really do teach me something, and always bring me strength. In Romans (one of the best books!!!) 5:1-6 it says:

โ€œTherefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the glory of God.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope;
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.โ€

My trials help me learn patience, something I sorely need, haha. Patience with myself, with others, and patience in Christ and my Heavenly Father. It is also true, that my trials bring me hope. How wonderful is that? We can have hope through our trials. What a blessing. I am thankful for everyone who has patience with me and hope in me. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am thankful that I get to wear out my life (and my shoes) in the service of my Savior. There is nothing that makes me happier or brings greater peace, and direction to my life.

I am so eternally thankful for a family who has chosen the better part and who teaches me to do the same. They are my bestest bestest friends and although I miss them dearly, I am looking forward to the day when seeing them again is even sweeter because we have been apart. I am strengthened always by their testimonies, their examples, and their love for me and everyone. I am so blessed.

I am thankful for all of the wonderful friends God has placed in my life who have shaped my life and changed me for the better! You are amazing and I am thankful for each and every one of you.

I am thankful for my Father in Heaven who loves me infinitely, who has given me all that I have and desires to give me even more. How blessed I am! I am so thankful that He has a plan for me and for everyone and that His greatest wish is to be with all of us again. What a party that will be. ๐Ÿ™‚

Last, but in no way least, I am grateful for and to my Savior, my Brother, my Healer, and my Friend. He is everything to me and I just want to try to do all I can for Him, even if I keep failing. One of my favorite scriptures is Psalms 37:23-24.

“The steps of a good man [or woman] are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.”

That’s how I feel – upheld.

I love you all! I’m sorry if this was preachy, or just way too long, haha, but once you start talking about what you’re thankful for it can be kind of hard to stop. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for putting up with me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Love you all,

Em

A winter wonderland!

A winter wonderland!

Caroling outside

Caroling outside

My toes were freezing!

My toes were freezing!

The joy of the season

The joy of the season

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