"You will be an official representative of the Church. . . . Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ . . . Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children. We place our confidence in you." Thomas S. Monson

Monday, September 1, 2014

"Living in gratitude is to touch the heavens"

Hello, my family, friends, and strangers.  This past week has been full of the Lord's outpouring of blessings upon us.  Each companionship in our district (we have 4 companionships) had a marriage and baptisms this past weekend.  It was fabulous.

My apologies this week for the length of this letter.  It's been a while since I've been able to chat with my family through email like this week, so I've given a bit more time to that.

The marriage and baptism on Saturday were a wonderful experience, but I'll let the pictures explain those a bit better.

Edouard and Clarisse!  Two of my favorite people ever!
Lauriane (9) and Exaucer (4) their kids!  Asso (President Kazotti's daughter) is in the background in the blue dress.
The view of the lake from the top of the Calavi building where the marriage was.
Thought this was cool. 
The venue (on the top floor of the Calavi building). 
Part of the 10 couples (or more) that were married on Saturday!
"Hi. My name is Asso, and I'm a jedi." 
Hangin' in there. 
Exaucer, my favorite little African kid.  He calls me "his white". He's adorable and 4 years old.
Sister Missionaries
Best dressed award
Omar, our Branch Mission Leader.  He got his mission call this week to the Ghana Accra Central Mission!!!  He's an awesome guy.  I love him.
Ring presentation 
Ring presentation #2
Clarisse signing
Elder Sahue signing as a witness.
The baptisms in the Fidjrossè branch this past Saturday.  Our whole zone did the service together, and I believe we had about 15 total.  It was a wonderful day in the service of the Lord!

Elder Sahue, Clarisse, Lauriane, Brother Donatien (who has become good friends with them), Edouard, Elder Jenkins, Exaucer.
After watching President Monson's "Attitude of Gratitude" talk from October 2010 (we have the DVDs at our apartment), I would like to testify today of the strenghtening power of living with gratitude.  As President Monson said, being thankful is good and "honorable." Showing our thanks is "noble." But living with gratitude is "to touch the heavens."  I testify of this statement.  After an exhausting week, I was wondering how I could apply this to my life more completely.  I decided to try something that has been counseled to me for a long time but thet I've never trie: praying to give thanks to Heavenly Father and asking for nothing in return.

I was a little apprehensive before kneeling to pray, but this has been one of the most sacred experiences that I have had on my mission.  As President Monson, said, I felt as if I were "touch[ing] the heavens."  Many small and simple things came to mind as I continued.  I even realized that I had been a bit too impatient with my companion that day.  Every problem that I had seemed to melt away.  As I laid in bed that night, my mind was at peace, being filled with the Spirit.

I woke up Sunday morning with almost a complete absence of the fatigue that had weighed me down the day before.  There were times on Sunday where that fatigue came back, but I tried each time to remember that I need to live with gratitude.

This has been a very edifying experience, and I invite all of us to take more time to be grateful for our lives no matter where we are and strive to LIVE with gratitude in our hearts.  We will all be so much happier, and imagine the changes that would take place in this world if we all took time to be more grateful.

I love you all so much.  I hope you all have a great week.  I, too, am hoping to have a great week with two meetngs with Elder Curtis of the Quorum of the 70 and also the president of the Africa West area.

Avec amour,

Elder Jenkins

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