Week 10 – The Day of Thanks

MTC November 25, 2010
Bar-rev bowl-or-een
(hello to all)
This week has been one of the most trying weeks of my life. I am in what could be considered a sanctuary, but I have felt more emotion in the last week than I have for a long time. I have felt inadequacy, sorrow, love, excitement, joy and anything else. Last night I felt like I wanted to ask for the Lord’s help but I decided that I would just thank him. It was hard, I wanted direction and help. I needed assistance to know how to be a better friend and leader. I wanted to ask for more time. I struggled to give a prayer of pure thanks. I could not help but to cry at first, struggling to submit my self-pity into gratitude, After a time I began to feel grateful, instead of just saying things. I began to realize how powerfully gratitude plants the seeds of joy and perspective.
Over the last few weeks I started a little exercise that I would like to share. Every morning as my companion and I walk to class it is quite. So one day I decided to list things that I was grateful for on that short walk. Everyday that I did this I was blessed with greater love for those around me and more joy. I invite everyone to try it.
Today Elder Holland came and spake to us. His grandchildren sang. It was great. I realized how much joy I find in seeing the growth of others, especially children. I realized that teaching( whether it is through parenthood or in a class) has been the most fulfilling thing I have every done, even though it has been the hardest. I thank all of you that that taken the time to teach me. I thank you for having th courage to plant a seed in my heart, especially you mom and dad.
I have started taking notes on 8X11 paper so that I  can share some of my insights. I will send some your way, do what you wish with them (I know I say this every week, but this week it’s for sure)
I would like to spend the last few words speaking about very practical but deep concepts.
Goals
(how should we set them?)
-What ever you want to to accomplish,whatever the task (Semester of school, another year, a mission) decide what you would like to be the end result
– Deicide what your motives are
– – Pray and study and meditate on your thoughts to see if they are complete and good.
What is the Doctrine behidn this goal 

(Docrtine understood changes attitudes and behaviors – Packer)
(Study the doctrine and understand it with your heart so that you are motivated by a sure knowedge)-Decide on the applications
– Choose landmarks in tiem,
– Plan 6 month, Monthly, Weekly Daily,
– What are the logistics
MOST IMPORTANT
– PMG pg146
the ultimate measure of success is not in achoiveing goals alone, but in the servivce that you render and the progress of others. Goals are a means of helping other.
I know this is true.
I know that we will manifest our gratitude by seeking to effeciently utilize our rescoureces and time.
The most foudnational priniciple of our faith and love is gratitude. That is the first gift we should seek
Love,
Elder Cook
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