We are getting old and too tired to stay up to see the New Year in. Around midnight I was awakened to the sound of 3 booms and figured the fireworks here in Karen were starting. But since there were no more booms, I realized I had slept through it all. Sad. I would have run outside to see the fireworks. Oh well. The New Year arrived without my help!!
Today in sacrament meeting I was again impressed with the strength of the people and the leaders. There were only 31 people in attendance but the spirit was strong. These people sing with gusto -- even the young children. The sacrament was prepared by the priesthood brethren and passed by our newest member -- a convert of about a month. The speakers were our branch president and one of his counselors. Excellent talks about making commitments and keeping strong in spite of hardships and holding firmly to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The people who give prayers often ask for protection against terrorists and for peace and freedom to come to all nations.
I think we in the West forget what a blessing it is to live in relative peace. We don't realize the bounteous blessings that seem to fall into our laps so easily. Being here in Kenya, where life is very different from the West, I have been made increasingly aware of the blessings we have and the responsibilities we have because of it. "Where much is given, much is required."
I'm so grateful on this 1st day of January 2017 for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for Jesus' amazing atonement which allows each of us to go back into the presence of our Heavenly Father, made clean and spotless through the "blood of the Lamb." I'm grateful for my strong children and happy grandchildren and for this opportunity to serve the Lord in the Kenya Nairobi Mission with my best friend and eternal companion, my sweetheart, LeRon. I have been blessed beyond measure. Yes, I get discouraged. Yes, I get sick from time to time. Yes, I worry. But on the whole I am filled with gratitude to my Heavenly Father and to his Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ.