Today we had our department Christmas social here at the COB. One of the very best things about working here is that the General Authorities come to our socials, and they often speak to us. It's wonderful to be with and hear them in small, intimate settings (at the summer social, the Apostles show up in Dockers and no tie, which is fun to see). Today Elders Perry and Holland spoke to us. Always, when I'm sitting in these meetings, I think that I'm going to remember everything they say and then share it with my family, or write it out here, and then I realize that it wouldn't be the same as being there. So much would be lost, that there isn't much point in trying. So I'm writing now not to try to repeat what they said, but to share my own gratitude for being in this unique place. I really don't feel like I've earned it. I'm so flawed. I never get up and get to work on time. I'm usually grumpy, and I admit to sometimes cussing under my breathe when the phone rings, but there I was listening to an Apostle telling me and my coworkers that they are grateful for us and the work that we do, and reminding us that we are part of the great missionary effort of the Church. It's humbling, but more than that, it's uplifting. I want to be a better person.
I sometimes wonder about the blessings in my life and why I was chosen for certain things - like being in the missionary department, or having the friends I have, or loving so much my nieces and nephews, or sleeping in a comfortable bed at night. I think about people in India or Iraq or Africa who suffer every day and have to put all of their energy into just surviving. And of those here close by who have faced heartbreak that seems to me should be heavy enough to crush a person. I've had some sad, lonely days it's true. I'm sure each one of you have had the "opportunity" to listen to me carry on about all of my troubles. But, compared to others, I've gotten off pretty easy. And always, at the end of every bad stretch, there's something to remind me that there is a God in heaven who loves me, and a Savior who died for me, and promises for the future that will be kept, and I'm ok again. I don't know why when lives were handed out I got this one, but I'm pretty happy with it, and hope that I take the time often enough to let the Lord know that I'm grateful.
I love all of the people in my life, including you. I love that I went to a department social with Apostles of the Lord today. I love that it's Christmas time. I almost wrote, "God bless us, everyone!" Ha ha. Let's stop just short of that.