Last week, we heard from my sister at the MTC. She told us she would be flying to Australia on Monday and she was so excited! We were all very excited to get that phone call from the airport as well. When Monday rolled around, my mom did get a phone call, but not from the airport -- still from the MTC. My sister told us her visa had not come through and she would be staying in the MTC another week. When my mom told me this, I found it sad at first. But then she told me what my sister had said about it: "obviously we just have more to learn!" She has the greatest attitude. If I was in her situation I can't say I would be the same, but she's just moving forward with a smile on her face. And honestly, it's really a blessing too, because now my girls will all be reunited in the MTC for a few days, since Lauren just left yesterday. That will be so fun for them!
I'm just so proud of my sister. And even though for some dumb reason my emails to her didn't go through and so I haven't heard from her personally since she's been gone (cursed technology), it's been so wonderful to read her emails to the family. She's doing what she's supposed to be doing and already learning and growing so much. I tell ya, the whole she's-my-older-sister thing is definitely going to persist after her mission, if for no other reason than based on her maturity compared to mine. She is so strong and I look up to her so much.
Another wonderful example of having a good attitude is my cousin, David. When my 3 girls all got called to Australia (different missions) we were pretty excited about it. There's also the 3 boys that are seniors this year. Two of them got their calls to Peru and we thought "could it be? Will all the boys be going to the same country just like the girls?". Dave got his call a few weeks after the other two and we were all waiting in suspense! I wasn't able to be there when he opened his call (darn school) but I watched the video of it. At the beginning he said something to the effect of, "Don't judge where I'm going, because I'll be happy with wherever I'm called." And when he opened his call to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, you should have seen his reaction. His subsequent freak out and tears were completely unrestrained. He was SO happy, just like he said he'd be. Dave is an incredible example to me of having a testimony that he's going where the Lord needs him to go.
From these examples and many others, I've learned in my own life that there's much to say about having a good attitude, no matter what life throws at you. It's easy to get caught up wishing for this, or waiting for that, or thinking "I'll be happy when...". And I honestly fell into a rut like that at the beginning of this semester. It was awful. I look back on that time and hate that I wasted away so many hours and days worrying and complaining and being frustrated about dumb little things. It's amazing to see that when I'm choosing to be happy, and choosing see the good in others and in everything around me, that I suddenly don't have much to complain about. My roommates and family have noticed that I seem much happier, and I AM! And it's not because my life has changed, it's because my attitude has changed. I think we all go through times where we don't have the greatest outlook on things, and I wish I could say that I will never go back to feeling that way, but I know there will be more hard times in my life. I will, however, always look back on this time and remember what a difference it makes when I choose to see the good instead of the bad. The light instead of the dark.
I'm happy not because of my circumstances, because circumstances change. And even though my life is pretty wonderful right now for lots of different reasons, ultimately I'm happy because I'm a daughter of God. I know He loves me. I know He sent his Son to die for ME, and that when I'm feeling low and alone, "His hand is stretched out still." He's always there to pull me from the depths of despair and remind me that there is so much light and good in this world. It's overwhelming to think about how much good there is! I'm happy because I know I have a purpose. A divine purpose. And no matter what life throws at me, all of this knowledge is enough to get me through anything.