If you had asked me in August if I could imagine that the semester would have ended this fast I would have laughed. Even though time has flown by these last few weeks have been tough ones in school. The desire to study or to even care is very evident in many of my classmates. I am just grateful that Thanksgiving break is here..or at least was. It was a break that I needed. I like my classmates well enough, but I think we have spent too much time together, so it was a nice change to spend more time with family.
Elisa and Alex decided that this year they would spend Christmas with my family down in Vegas, but because Alex's family is scattered and his parents are on the other side of the country, he and Elisa were planning to stick around for Thanksgiving. Matthew's mom waskind enough to invite them to celebrate Thanksgiving
with us. Matthew's extended family gets together every other year for
Thanksgiving and this year Cynda was in charge of the planning and instead of heading to Price, we had the party just up the street from our apartment in one of the church buildings in our Stake.
Because Alex and Elisa worked morning shifts on Wednesday and didn't have to work on Thursday, they decided to come down to Salt Lake Wednesday night and spend the night. For about a year Matthew and I have been wanting a Wii and with the graduation money that Matthew received from his parents we planned on getting one, but we were waiting to find one on sale. In the mid-afternoon on Wednesday, Alex called me telling me that he had just purchased a Wii for about $80 cheaper than it usually is and he was wondering if he could bring it down with him so we could play it all together. I told him of course and then asked him a few questions about where he got this Wii system. Alex told me he bought it used at GameStop and so, later that evening when Matthew arrived home we drove over to our local GameStop shop and bought a Wii of our very own! We are such proud owners. That evening we enjoyed trying out some games so much that we were up well past midnight.
On Thursday we joined Matthew's family for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. We also spent most of our time talking and playing games. It was really nice to have the majority of Matthew's immediate family there. I was able to talk a lot with Matthew's sisters in particular. My favorite game that the family plays when they all get together is called "Smash Ball." You play with a little ball and each player has a paddle. There are 9 spaces on the ground and the point of the game is to get to the first space. You do this by getting the players in the spaces above you out by getting the ball to land in their space. It is a very exciting game with the right crowd. It was a great afternoon and the food was amazing, of course.
For me the best part of the day wasn't all of that though. A lot has been on my mind lately about the decisions about children that Matthew and I are making. I am for the most part excited for all the things to come, but with all of that I have also had fear and doubt. Change is sometimes a scary thing, especially when you are comfortable. I think that when things are good it is hard to imagine them differently, because what if different isn't better? And I know, at least for myself, that my fear increases when I can't see how it will all work out. I was contemplating all of this when I sat down to read my scriptures.
My mind and heart were filled with mixed emotions and I had known for a long time that I needed to turn to the Lord. I had finally decided to do it. I prayed for clarity and comfort. I knew that I didn't need all the answers, but most of all I needed reassurance. I ended my prayer and turned to Preach My Gospel. It is the study manual I have been using for my personal scripture study for the past few months. I have been studying about faith and the next scripture I was to look up was Alma 32: 26-43. It was a familiar passage of scripture to me and to many I know, but I gained new insight as I read it. Verse 27 reminded me of the many times I have "experiment[ed] upon [the Lord's] words" and how each time He has kept his promises to me and I have felt of His love towards me. I realized that this situation was no different. In order to increase my faith and trust in the Lord I must be willing to do those things that He has asked me to do.
As I continued to read on I realized how this section of scripture relates to more than just faith, but also children and the blessings that come from having them. I learned that in this situation I must soften my heart and not resist the Lord's will because of my own fears. As I follow the Lord I will be blessed in many ways.As Matthew and I begin to build upon our family we will feel "swelling motions" and will know that it is a good seed and this new soul will "enlarge [our] souls" and "enlighten [our] understanding" and our joy will be increased.
Continuing into verses 37 to 43 I realized that these verses teach us how we should and what things we should do to raise our children. If Matthew and I will take "great care" in nourishing our children, both temporally and spiritually, they will "grow up and bring forth fruit unto us." We need to have faith and be diligent and patient. Only then will we be able to enjoy "everlasting life" with "the fruits of our labor" or in other words, our posterity.
It was a marvelous opportunity to see the Lord answer my prayers through His word. This is another testament to me that He is there and cares for each of us. He cares about our worries and wants to help to guide us and give us comfort and strength. So, the thing I have been most grateful for this Thanksgiving is my Heavenly Father and His willingness to answer my prayers and calm my fears.
Friday morning Matthew and I went out to his parents home to make Christmas cookies with all the kids. It is a little
earlier in the holiday season than normal, but Cynda decided that since all of the grandkids were in town, it would be the best opportunity. It was a lot of fun to spend time with the niec
es and nephews, and especially nice to meet Lucy. The kids were really excited when grandma gave each of them their very own plate of cookies, but I think the parents were even more excited when the kids were still willing to eat apples with their lunch. I am very grateful for family and I'm excited that Matthew and I get
to visit mine for Christmas.