Gratitude in Africa

Camille M., Utah, USA

I was tired. Desiree, Jenny, and I were worn out from a day of teaching a disease prevention program in Uganda, Africa. Our hosts, the Mayeku family, had a lively bunch of five lovable children. We came home to their warm welcome after walking home from the taxi stop.

We started right away with the nightly chores of peeling potatoes, rolling out dough, squeezing passion fruit for juice, and setting the table. Everything there seemed to take a long time, and dinner was no exception. The charcoal stove, dull knives, and manual labor all contributed to the four hours it took before dinner was on the table.

After dinner we washed the dishes, and by then it was 11 o’clock. I was exhausted and ready for bed. But it was Monday, and Rebecca, the oldest child, had prepared a lesson for family home evening. I watched this beautiful family gather around their humble kitchen table to listen. I knew that the Mayeku family was even more drained than I was. They worked so hard to be an obedient, educated, and loving family, and it reminded me of how blessed I was to stay with a family who did so much with the little they had. The Spirit changed my unthankful heart as we all sang “The Spirit of God” (Hymns, no. 2). I was overwhelmed by the family’s desire to serve and love the Lord. Rebecca’s lesson was on God’s creations and how He blesses us with what we need, but the greatest lesson I learned that night was the lesson of gratitude.

Blessings from Duty to God

Rahasina A., Madagascar

I know that when I fulfill my duty to God, I will receive blessings. I know that when I follow and apply the teachings in the Fulfilling My Duty to God booklet, I will become a better person and build good relationships with my friends and teach them things I have learned from it.

When I read the booklet, I often share some of my reading with my family, especially when everyone is home. I feel blessed that my parents have accepted the lessons from the missionaries.

I know that when I put my faith in Heavenly Father, everything will work itself out. I know that God answers my prayers. I know that I need to stay in the Church because my knowledge of the gospel and the truthfulness of the Church have grown. I know that my family will continue to progress in the way the Lord wants us to be.

Finding the Beacon

Robin S., Alberta, Canada

A few months ago I went to Edmonton for work. The weather conditions were bad, and I struggled to get there. I didn’t know the city and got lost. I needed to find a gas station that sold diesel.

I started to worry. I was on a time budget and needed to get home quickly. I started to call friends who were familiar with the area. I talked to a close friend who was able to direct me. I then called my mom who comforted me and helped me feel safe again. I ended my conversation so I could continue driving.

I drove for a while and started to think I had somehow missed my exit. Worry again came to my mind. I began to scan my surroundings to find any clue about where I was or if I was on the right track. As I rounded a corner, the Edmonton Alberta Temple came into view. It was beautiful and white, with a spire that soared into the air. I could see the golden statue of the angel Moroni. The Spirit flooded my heart, and all fear was swept away. The Spirit seemed to confirm to me that I was going in the right direction.

In my life, I know that sometimes I get scared or worried that I am not going the right way, that maybe I am not even on the right road. But the temple is my beacon, and it helps me to know when I am pointed in the right direction.

When we feel lost, we can look to the Lord and He will show the way. He will be there. He will come in a way that will best serve us.

May we all walk the path with eyes wide open so that we may see the hand of the Lord guiding and watching over our steps.

Illustration by G. Bjorn Thorkelsen