On Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving Day everyone!

We hope you’re able to enjoy your family and your own Thanksgiving Day traditions.  We’re grateful that this Thanksgiving Day we’ll be sharing the afternoon with our missionary family, including our T2 Team (21 OHMS) and Beth’s mother, as well as the parents of one of our teammates.  Turkeys were readily available this year and Bethie has made a mess of pies and she’s baking a turkey.  Our team leader and his wife are having a turkey boiled in fat and also preparing a ham.  The entire team will bring side dishes and more pies!  What a feast!

In Spanish this day is called “El Día de Acción de Gracias.” I find it much easier to simply call it Thanksgiving Day but I have to admit I like seeing that word “acción” (action).  Giving thanks as an action?  It is worth contemplation.  Often times our thanks, or at least my thanks, is a rather passive effort…rather effortless to be honest.  That’s probably because to simply say, “thanks” or “thank-you” doesn’t take much effort at all.  For those who have no problems spilling words out of our mouths (like me), other than remembering to say it, there isn’t much effort or action involved.

That’s not to conclude that saying it isn’t important.  It is very important.  However, I think perhaps it’s important to remember to give thanks…as an action.  How is that done?  Well…just for one example in the immediate context of the day, maybe us fellas who are SO thankful for all the wonderful cooking and baking, before (or after if absolutely necessary!) taking that post-feast nap, we could roll up our sleeves and wash a kitchen full of dishes.  Did I just say that?!  Isn’t that a good way of not just saying “thanks” but of “giving” thanks…action.

Sorry if I ruined anyone’s afternoon plans with a guilt-trip.  I didn’t mean to make you feel guilty, but if you should feel guilty and if it will help with the persuading you to practice the action of giving thanks, then go ahead…feel guilty!  🙂

We all have a lot to be thankful for…God has done great things.  God is great!  You may be experiencing some tough times right now, but there are always worse experiences that you don’t have and can be thankful for that too!

I was thinking of this just before starting this post.  Having read some recent, local news articles, I couldn’t help but think that I’m thankful to be here in San Juan del Rio.  I read of a newly released government survey that discovered that 80% of intimate young couples in this area suffer from violence within their relationship.  I also read of another study just released that discovered that in the age range of 12 to 29 here in this area, 81% are addicted to alcohol, 47% are addicted to drugs, and 24% have committed crimes.  Those are sobering statistics representing real lives that are broken and hurting and in need of our Savior.

This past Tuesday evening Imelda returned to the community center for an English lesson.  She had been absent for a couple of weeks.  It was good to see her return.  As Tim O’Brien and I worked with her, she interrupted the lesson by telling us that her younger sister Elisabet (age 25) has a large inoperable mass on her brain and she is in serious condition with bleeding from her nose, and with doctors in Querétaro and Mexico City having declared that they don’t know what to do for her or that there is nothing they can do for her.  Tim asked Imelda if, after our lesson, she wouldn’t mind if he prayed for her sister.  She was happy to accept the offer.  Tim prayed.  Imelda smiled and she thanked us.  It was a great moment.

We’ve been actively praying for opportunities to turn our social efforts of helping the community through the programs into spiritual input and to earn a hearing for the Gospel.  This seemed like a huge first step in that direction.

As you give thanks today, maybe you could remember Imelda and her sister Elisabet (Elizabeth) and for their spiritual need of the Savior as well as the physical need for healing.

I thank YOU for caring and praying.  I thank God for everything.  Without him we are nothing and have nothing.

Say thanks!  Give thanks!

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One Response to On Giving Thanks

  1. Jon Dewald says:

    Those statistics are shocking! and very sad. jd

    Like

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