Saturday, November 1, 2008

A month of thanks: Day 1

My friend speaks so highly of his mother and sister that when I chanced upon his sister's blog, I couldn't help but read it. She's absolutely darling. I say that having never met her just knowing from her brother's remarks about her and by reading her delightful posts. She has set a very noble goal for this month. She will be posting three things she's grateful for everyday in November. I aspire to do the same. Thanks, Laura, for the idea. (I won't count that as the first one.)
I am thankful for
1. The gospel of Jesus Christ. The greatest happiness I have experienced has come from the relationship that I have with my Savior. Read my testimony and some of my experiences on my other blog.
Tonight, I had the opportunity go on exchanges with the Sister Missionaries. The appointment I went to with Sister Kula had to be rescheduled, so we spoke briefly with a few others. It was such a joy to share my testimony and knowledge of Jesus Christ with those we visited.
I will be attending Catholic services with a girl from the dorms. She usually goes alone to church making attendance a little less appealing. Her RA was trying to help her find other Catholic students at the dorms to go to church with her. As soon as I heard about this, I went over to her room and offered to go with her. I love to go to church. Attending worship services each Sunday make my week so much better. I'm excited for this opportunity to attend church services with her and to share with each other our love we have for Jesus Christ.
2. Hymns. I love to sing hymns. My favorite part of church meetings is the singing of hymns. I'll admit it; there are times when I don't want to attend church or stay for all my meetings. The only thing that gets me there or entices me to stay is the opportunity to sing the opening and closing hymn.
My sister and I love to play and sing hymns together. I can play and/or sing hymns for hours on end without growing tired or bored.
Last week, I played the piano for my friend to sing a special musical number in her church meeting. She was asked to speak on the importance of music and hymn singing in our church services. After she spoke and sang, the meeting was opened for members of the congregation to come to the pulpit and share a favorite hymn of theirs; after each sharing, we sang the hymn. It was such an amazing meeting.
Recently, I attended a multi-denominational hymn singing/celebration at the Grace Episcopal Church. Four congregations (Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopal, and LDS) were represented with members of their choirs joining together to sing hymns that were unique to their sect. You might even call them their defining hymns. I had intended to sing with the group, but my schedule did not align with their rehearsals. However, attending and listening to these hymns was a very powerful experience. The celebration was called "Ties that Bind" which rightfully suited the evening. The choirs and later the congregation as well sang together. We shared many common beleifs and united in our love for God.
3. Higher Education. Although my classmates hear me say all the time that today is the day that I'm going to drop out, I couldn't be happier. I love to learn. I love to challenge my little brain. Not only has my intellectual self benefited, but my social, spiritual, and emotional well-being has increased ever so rapidly. Every day I feel like a new person. I look forward to professional development after graduation and going to graduate school in a few years.

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