Monday, December 1, 2014

Grateful in any circumstances (Katie-Belgium)

I learned a valuable lesson this week, that has been learned before but for some reason Heavenly Father thinks it's extremely important to relearn things a hundred times. This time I had the opportunity to remember all of the things for which I am grateful. It was pretty exciting if you ask me. :)

I don't know if any of you remember this, but this week was Thanksgiving! This week was also our last two exchanges! With Thanksgiving came three different opportunities to eat a lot of food coupled with time to reflect on all of our blessings. It was neat. The day that really stands out to me, however, is the day of: Thanksgiving-même (Thanksgiving day). Our "plans" went like this...finish exchange in Villeneuve d'Ascq with soeur Mangum and soeur Walton coming up from Bruxelles (Brussels) on a train at 12:17, where we would then reunite, eat lunch, and head back out to Bruxelles at 2:08, getting back just in time to get to our dinner with the missionaries and the Steenbliks (mission couple) and a couple of members. Normalement (Normally), this was the plan. Then their train was delayed an hour, giving us exactly 4 minutes to change gares (train stations) and catch our train--which was successful! Until we missed our stop. DUMB. And we may or may not have accidentally gone into Dutch-speaking Belgium...and out of our mission. We got off the train, slightly bewilderered and more than a little lost, and this man who heard us speaking French said to us in English, "I hope you speak English...they don't speak French here." WHAT?! Luckily, we speak English ;) Anyway, we figured everything out and got on a train headed back to Brussels and ended up being about a half hour late to the dinner. Oh, and did I mention we did all of this while carrying 2 pies and all my stuff? 

This led to a reflection session while on the train back to Brussels, and both Soeur Mangum and I started saying everything that we were grateful for. We went back and forth until we got there, about an hour and a half later. This made my mind turn a little bit...there are SO many things to be grateful for! It's just that sometimes we get caught up in the moment. But it's freezing outside! We are going to be late! I can't believe we have to walk all the way back! And this is when that talk comes to mind by President Uchtdorf, and we remember that we can be grateful in any and ALL circumstances. It is a state of mind, not an action (but it can also be an action!). The night ended with all sorts of laughter and exhaustion and full stomachs, and I'm just so grateful for all of that. And for all of you. I'm grateful for all of the opportunites that I have every day to testify and to spread the power of the spirit. I'm so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord.

I am so grateful to be a missionary.

I'm also really grateful that I can officially listen to Christmas music without feeling guilty because thanksgiving isn't over yet! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I love you all! Remember that no matter what happens, has happened, or will happen, we can forever be grateful. And gratitude will bring miracles. Happy Thanksgiving and happy CHRISTMAS! #sharethegift 
Go and watch it:

Gros bisous, 
Soeur Katie Pettingill
district meeting thanksgiving with the whole zone!
cutie liège soeurs cutting pie
waiting for our comps with a surprise tarte to celebrate..
néerlandais! oops... 

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