I hope you all have been enjoying the warm weather, as it couldn’t be more opposite here.
Wonderful news, Brendan was baptised this week and he wasn’t the only one dressed in white, but the Ewloe Chapel was also as it was snowing !
I wish I could say that the day ran smoothly, but there are two reasons that this wasn’t the case. Firstly, I am still Mads. Secondly, there must be ‘opposition in all things’.
The night before I couldn’t sleep at all, and the reason for that is because someway, somehow I lost the key to the chapel. This didn’t only mean that we couldn’t get into the chapel, but it meant that we couldn’t even turn on the font. Great. It wouldn’t of been as much of an issue to lose the key any other week, however, it was very much needed for the baptism, and also because it was just this week that Chester Elders emphasised the importance of me not losing the key as they allowed it to be in my possession. As you can imagine, that was playing in my head over and over. I didn’t want to tell them and to hear their comments as I already felt sorrowful enough, therefore I asked the Zone Leaders if I could borrow their key and no one would have to know. Long story, short, I found the key in the chapel and that was literally in the moment of the Chester Elders picking up their phone as I was going to regretfully tell them of the situation. God is good.
Moreover, Sister Arthur and I taught our first lesson over Facebook. I was sceptical at first as I thought it was going to be 45 minutes of technical difficulties, miscommunication and confusion, however it was a spiritual lesson, and our friend, Danielle, even brought up baptism herself. We proceeded to invite her to be baptised and she said yes. Here is hoping that we can help her to progress !
We celebrated the American holiday of Thanksgiving with a family in the ward. It’s ironic as we were celebrating in Wales, with a British family, with missionaries from Nigeria, Ghana, Canada and Australia. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the second time and idea of getting together to appreciate all that the Lord has for us.
Doctrine and Covenants 78:19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.
I have very much seen that despite where we are on the emotional roller coaster that is life, when we take the time to look for the blessings in our lives, we truly do invite happiness through a positive perspective. From experience, I know that there is always something to be grateful for. Additionally, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said gratitude “is a quality I have found in every happy person I know”.
There is a LDS Hymn of which the words are ‘Count your many blessings; name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.’ And so, I would invite you all to write a list of the things you are grateful for.
I would just like to leave you all with a few things that I am grateful for.
- I am very grateful for the knowledge that I have of my eternal identity. I am grateful to know that I have a Father in Heaven that loves me more than I can comprehend, and He sent His only begotten son in order for me to gain strength and find peace through forgiveness. I am grateful for the witness that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that we have a living day prophet, Thomas S. Monson to lead us and guide us through tumultuous times and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is evidence of God’s love for ALL of His children as the gospel and church is and will continue to become established to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people (Revelation 14:6).
- I am grateful to my family and friends. Whether you have known me since I was an infant as Madeleine, through the adolescent years as Maddy or Mads or for a couple of weeks as Sister Turnbull, I am truly grateful for all of you. Words cannot express my gratitude for your kindness, support and smiles. I truly could not be the person that I am today without each of your individual traits and attributes. In reciprocation: if there is anything that I can do for any one of you, let me know ! (Doctrine and Covenants 121:9 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands).
- I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to call Australia home, and I am grateful for my home of the previous 18 months, Great Britain. They are geographically beautiful places that are very privileged when it comes to their standards of living, and it is a blessing to have that level of security.