Friday, December 9, 2016

Week 54 - A quieter Thanksgiving in France (Nov 28th)

Hello all!

I hoped everyone doped on tryptophan and gorged themselves with mashed potatoes and perhaps other foods and took naps as a family collective this last week! I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!

We didn't really get a chance to do anything for Thanksgiving over.  (For district meeting this upcoming week, however, we plan on doing a Thanksgiving themed meal.) Instead, we ate leftovers and a frozen pizza for the actual holiday! We were a little busy that day! We had been fasting that day too. I found the sacrifice and the simplicity of the whole affair kind of cool. How I was able to be happy and content far from what I was used to got me thinking about all the things I love and for which I am grateful!

In what is really a surprise to nobody, I will talk about a few of the things for which I am grateful!

In no particular order-

1) Plants and the air/beauty they generously donate.

2) Squanto, he saved the pilgrims! What an underrated American hero!

3) The Elderly! They have so many stories and experiences to share. There really is a wisdom (I think they store it in their wrinkles) and understanding old people can have. Be sure to tell an old person near you how cool you find them.

--Unprompted story that I remembered this week: I received a telephone call 2 years ago or so from a dear friend of mine called President "mad-dawg" Skipper. The "mad-dawg" is optional and signifies nothing. Skipper is not the usual road trip company for a teenager. He was, and is, between 3 and 4 times my age. We have different hair colors and quantities. We have different numbers of grandchildren. We don't have too much in common. We were both big fans of my grandpa and we bonded over that. I was a little hesitant at first but agreed to a 3 hour trip to Denver Colorado. Don't you get any ideas now-- It had nothing to do with the legalization of a certain substance either... we were "picking up motorized wheel chairs of a deceased friend." That's what they call it nowadays. Picture Elder Hacker and this gentlest fellows of ripe age crammed into the wee Chevy S10 pickup that I piloted at the epoque. My iffy attitude melted after 15 minutes of asphalt. That road trip became a very special memory and an experience I truly treasure. We talked about everything and nothing. He had plenty of stories to share. I asked him questions. He gave me advice for my mission. We made it there alive and he complimented my driving. He bought me a burger. I met some of his family. Then we put everything in the truck and drove back. As I fought off drivers fatigue by chatting with my dear friend I discovered a real person! He was more than just old! He wasn't a shriveled version of someone young with more wisdom. He wasn't a raisin! He was a grape! This was a person with feelings, thoughts, fears, ideas, questions, pains, jokes, music preferences (weren't exactly on the same page here). He was like me or any of my other friends. He needed to be loved just like I do. He needed friends just like I do. He was just like me. He redefined my perspective on age that night there.--

4) How gifted and different each person is. We all have pretty similar squishy envelopes, and essentially the same squishy red bits inside that enable us to walk, eat, create, and punch one another. Though in terms of individual talents, capacities, likes, weaknesses, we are hardly the same species. If all those things were expressed physically i.e. a passion for art equaled a third arm, patience was expressed as eye color, etc... we would certainly make a bizarre menagerie. What would I look like compared to you? What are my talents? What are yours? Every human has so much going for them! Such a diversity and variety. It makes the world a more exciting, beautiful, and happy place when you try and find those third arms.

5) The holiday season and the excuse that gives us to love one another and spend time with one another and give each other gifts.

6) My Family and Friends

7) Jesus

8) Being grateful

9) 100+ other things!

I gratitude is really something impressive. It is something that turns what we have into enough. It slays enmity, jealousy, pride, and discontent. I think we are asked to be grateful because it is something that allows us to be content with our current situation! It is something that makes us happy! It helps us to find the beauty of what we have and find things we didn't recognize before.

And that is all I have for this week!  We are starting up on week 6 of the 6 week cycle. This Saturday we will know what's going on in terms of changes. I'm excited to see what will happen next! This next week should go pretty fast I think. We have a day of finding in Calais, a day of finding in Saint Omer, and a day of finding here in Dunkerque.

Have a great week everyone!

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