"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Proverbs 17:22
Welcome to my blog, thank you for joining me today. Secret confession, I've always wanted to host my own cooking/talk show and that's how I would start it. Except I would substitute the word home for blog. But that's off subject (a place my mother taught me was fun to go sometimes). What I really want to say is that this coming Wednesday I will be halfway through my time here at the MTC! I am feeling utterly elated about this. Even though time goes by very fast here at the MTC, it also feels like I've been here my whole life. Sometimes I have to remind myself that there is a real world outside these walls and that this isn't real life, but rather life intensified and secluded.
The time I have spent at the MTC so far is what I want to tell you about. I suppose that's what every post has been about so far, but this is more of a summary of my experiences, or rather a certain aspect of them.
Second confession of the day- I'm a whiner in my mind. Thankfully it's not all of the time, but occasionally I'll get into these ruts where nothing is really what I want it to be. It's a problem. Its even more of a problem Here because I have had compatriots to commiserate with.
About two and a half weeks into my stay here I noticed the tale tale signs of a whining binge coming on ( I hope you're okay with me calling it that - if you're not, I apologize, it is what it is.) I would whine about class or about how hard Korean was. I would whine about the food, a lot. Whatever it was, I was just sick of it. I began to notice that most of my district was getting the same way, we were all just a little burned out. So, we had a little district meeting and as a group we decided to try and be more positive. We had seven more weeks here and whining wasn't going to make it go by any quicker. Plus, it wasn't fair to our teachers or to each other to continue with a negative attitude. I personally decided that postivity was something I really wanted to pursue. What could it hurt? So I started thinking of ways to implement a more positive attitude.
As I thought over my plan of action I decided that firstly, when I have negative thoughts I need to keep them to myself. It's not kind or considerate to make those around me deal with my grumpiness. Secondly, I should search for something every day that I am truly thankful for. Since I've been at the MTC I start my journal entry every night with something I am thankful for that day. Sadly, they had not been very meaningful lately. It appears that I would just write something to get it out of the way, just so I could check it off my list. I began to really think about my day and spend more time pondering the days events before I wrote anything down. Third confession of the day- to be honest with you, some days I was really thankful that I could put on stretchy pants in my room at night, and it was truly what I was most thankful for that day. Even in the short time I've been working on my positivity I've noticed a difference in my attitude, because even on the bad days I can still find at least one thing I am sincerely thankful for - and that gives me hope. Thirdly, and finally, I have promised myself that when I get discouraged I will only look at the improvement I've made. It often seems that it is too easy to compare our happiness with the perceived happiness of others. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of this, however, maybe you aren't. We all learn at different speeds and in different ways. It's easy in the MTC to think, "well they are better at conjugation than I am" or "they know so many more vocab words than I do". I think that this is so gratitude defeating. So I decided that instead of comparing my progress (or lack thereof),with others, is that I will only compare myself to where I was yesterday. Doing this creates the opportunity to set goals for myself and then encourages me to strive and reach them, whether others surpass me or not. This is how I can focus on the future and gage how far I've come, not how much I still need to do.
I am a firm believer that attitude is everything. If we are excited and want to have a good experience, we will have a good experience. The responsibiltiy to be happy is on our own shoulders. We reap the benefits.
We can take comfort in knowing that our Father in Heaven wants us to be happy. This gospel is a gospel of happiness. There is a reason we call it the Plan of Happiness. This is what he wants for every single one of us. Happiness! Over and over in the Scriptures He tells us to rejoice. To put our faith and trust in Him and rejoice. There is a scripture in Proverbs that reads, "...and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he." (Proverbs 16:20) That is the true solution. First we must do all we can to create our own happiness, it is then we gain our happiness by trusting in the Lord's plan. In reference to the title of this post, the scripture reads: "Behold my beloved brethren, remember the words of your God; pray unto him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night. Let your hearts rejoice." (2 Nephi 9:52)
I invite all of you to rejoice. To examine your lives and look past the bad (and often the perceived bad), and to find the small, sweet, tender and incredible blessings God has given you. I testify that pondering these things will bring happiness. Doing this daily has brought me so much more happiness, and in just the short time I have done it - it has greatly elevated my attitude.
I love you all and wish you the best.
Sister Annie Atwood
P.S. Questions, comments, concerns? Write me a letter or email me. I promise I'll respond. If you email me make sure to include your physical address because I will probably have to write you a letter in response.
Sister Annabell Margaret Atwood MTC Mailbox #17 KOR-BUS 0618 2005 N 900 E Provo, UT 84604-1793