Hey y’all! How was America the Beautiful this last week? (We sang that for our comp study song!) I hope as purple and spacious as ever.
You really don´t realize how awesome America is until you aren´t there. Seriously, I love Germany so much and everything that goes with it, but I definitely bleed red white and blue when it comes down to it, and not for France or Russia. This 4th of July we spent making Mexican food with a young British couple named the Southalls! They´re great. We´ve been working with them a lot lately because they´re extremely missionary minded and seriously invite everyone and everything they meet to learn about the gospel or come to activities or visit church or whatever! They´re just great and full of energy, so we had a blast with them!
The Mini Mission is indeed still up and running! We made some switches around with K-town, and they´ll be having another week in August! They want another, because they have been spreading the news and success stories and so more and more youth want to join in! It´s a great problem for me to have! Also, every stake in the mission now has a date for the mini mission except one. So things are really getting rolling, and this is about to get crazy up in here! One of the stakes set their date for the end of October through the beginning of November! And right now, I am literally the only person in the mission who knows how this runs anymore, so that might be guaranteeing me staying here in Frankfurt up until then and the mini mission is all finished! We´ll see what happens.
I apologize for the lack of time, but there have been a lot of computers breaking down in the Frankfurt Ward House, so we´re emailing in an Internet Cafe where we need to pay, and we don´t have much time left! But I wanted to share something with you guys that I learned in church yesterday that I found really interesting. We were talking about gratitude and thankfulness, and someone shared the thought about saying a prayer in which you ONLY express thanks. Don´t ask for things, just tell Heavenly Father how thankful you are. And then the teacher brought up an interesting point. He said "imagine that tomorrow morning when you wake up, everything you DIDN´T express thanks for in your prayer the night before, was taken away and you didn´t have it any more. Your house, your school, your teachers, bus drivers, trees, birds, trash cans, anything. It makes you realize how lucky and dependent we are to our Father in Heaven, huh?" And it really does.
Gratitude has changed my mission. Gratitude has made the hardest moments the richest learning experiences, and the best of times the most rewarding. Gratitude changes attitude, and attitude changes altitude. Everyone loves being thanked. And when you do something nice for someone else and they thank you for it, it makes you feel like doing more for them, because that feeling feels good. I believe sometimes Heavenly Father feels the same way. He already knows everything, but he appreciates us thanking him for what he really does every day. And when we thank him, he feels good, and is even more willing than he already was to bless us more. I could go on and on, but I challenge you guys to find that out for yourselves, how powerful Gratitude is. Sometime this week, say a prayer of just thanks to Heavenly Father, and even imagine the situation I told you guys about before if you want, to try to think of how much you really are appreciative of. Show Heavenly Father you appreciate him, because just the fact that our heart beats and our lungs breathe is because he lets us do that. Try to be a little more grateful, and see where that takes you in just a week’s time. I know something will change, because I tried it and I know for myself. :)
I love you guys! The Church is true, as is the Book of Mormon that supports it. Thomas S. Monson leads this church today. Families are forever, and temples are definitely worth visiting more often than we do. Don't take what you have for granted! I´ll hear from you all in a week. :)
-- Elder McGinn
P.S. GO DEUTSCHLAND! 2014 World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday!