Monday, November 7, 2016

October 31, 2016

From Joshua:

The start of my year mark transfer is scary and exhilarating! I have been a missionary for nearly a year and I am almost starting the countdown home!... not that I am but honestly it is the down hill rush from then on. 

Time flies when you are having fun... or working hard, but if you don't enjoy it then it isn't the greatest time spent, for me I have loved my mission, i have had my high times and I have had my low times and there have always been the in between, where I just don't care. It is true that missions are mini lives and are the best and hardest experience.
A few days ago we were knocking a street where no one was interested in the least and I could not find the words to say to help them understand that this Gospel is wonderful, it was a struggle for me on one of the doors a child opened up and said hello and from the background we heard the parents say they weren't interested and as the child closed the door the simple words "looks like we don't need you" sounded from her mouth, and I walked away with a heavy heart, because the young girl had spoken aloud the words on so many peoples mind to God, to religion, to help, to forgiveness, We don't need you, we don't need God, religion, help or forgiveness, we can live on our own... are there times in our lives where we feel we don't need things? Jeffrey R Holland Said, "aren't we all beggars? Don't we all beg for forgiveness?" Never should we feel like we can live this life on our own, we all need help from our savior, we cannot do too much on our own, we are dependent on God for everything, for every breath for every step we take, for everyday we wake up and are well, for a wonderful family we have and all the many things we have been blessed with, for the fullness of the Gospel that is living in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, may we all take the opportunity to humbly bow and thank God for all we have, and when we pray, make sure we mean it, too many times when I bless my meal I shoot off a hurried prayer "Thank you for this food, please bless it." So focused on the food that I forget who I got it from, and I find that far too often I have no gratitude in my voice, no love and appreciation, just words that are automatic and empty. 
So I have determined to catch myself every time I say an automatic prayer, and to put much more meaning and respect to the God whom we are indebted to in everything.


Speaking of New experiences we were going door to door on a different day and started talking to this lady who believed in lots of gods, (first person I have met that believes such a thing) and why does she believe in lots of gods? because the God of the Hebrews is too harsh, he is a wicked God who kills people by flooding the earth, we tried explaining how he is actually a loving God in fact it says in the New Testament that "God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son" she in turn presented a scripture that showed in her view that God hated Jesus "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" she used that to show that Jesus was forsaken by God and that he was so loving that The God of the Hebrews didn't want him to be loving. So he forsook him, then we shared how Christ commended his soul to God as his last words, she again refuted that idea, so after ten minutes of trying to persuade her that God was a loving God that he was the one person we should worship and none other, we finally gave up because she was convinced of the evilness of a God she didn't know and would never try to know because of the things done in the Old Testament. But the answer I came up with for myself was without an eternal perspective a lot of things in this life seem limiting, and horrible, but when we take a step back and look at the marvelous plan of salvation in which God has laid for us, we see that the hardships we go through in this life are to prepare us for the life to come, and those who die in this life without having had the chance to hear the Gospel will be given that chance in the spirit world, Moses 1:39 "This is my work and my Glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." and I am blessed to be part of that work and glory. 

Elder Blodgett my new companion is a boss, he served a year as a service missionary and is now nearly done his two year mission as a full time missionary, his dedication to the Lord is so amazing, we were biking to visit a Potential investigator and it started pouring rain for the first time in 9 months in fact it was the only water from the sky we had seen in that period of time, needless to say we were not prepared and biked in our white shirts and ties till we were soaked through to the skin, I felt we should go back home and dry off, but he kept trucking onward determined to meet the man we planned to visit, we got there and we were greeted by a woman claiming to be atheist and said he wasn't there at the moment, so we got back on our bikes and headed home fruitless but knowing that we did what we could, rain or shine. 

I love you all please keep yourselves safe and will be seeing you in only another short year.


Joshua



From Mom:

Dear Josh,

We're deep in the heart of fixing up the house for rental. Pray we'll find a good, responsible tenant. I hear what you're saying about people feeling like they don't need God. And maybe that's the big problem of our day ... Pride. And I'm speaking for myself as much as anybody else. I've been praying lately for help to choose humility more often and it's a dangerous thing to pray for so I specifically asked God to not give me a devastating life experience, but a gentle one... to open my eyes to the every day stuff. Oh, man, do I ever see a need for improvement. But the funny thing is that I'm appreciating the experience as a refining one. I'm learning to think before I speak, too. Don't I wish I learned this lesson earlier in my life....

Anyway. The secret is in the striving. Don't give up. Find joy in the process. Endure well. Totally and completely worth the peace of mind. I think when discouragement strikes, a good practice is to ask Heavenly Father to open your eyes to His tender mercies. They abound. They really do.

A giant tender mercy for us my parents being here. They've helped us so much, more than we could ever do on our own in so short a time. Pictures to follow. 

I love you a million. And I'm so honoured to have you for a son. I'm not sure if there is anything better in this world than to see your children walk in truth.

Love,

Mom

From Dad:

Sorry we didn't get a letter off today. Busy week-end with Grandma and Grandpa Bruce here helping to renovate. Also have the Ames here for Halloween. I'll send some quick pics off to give you some idea of what we're up to. We love you and are proud of all you are doing.


Dad










Sunday, November 6, 2016

October 24, 2016

From Mom:

Dear Elder Smith,

I'm sure you have the same problem as me. Sometimes, when I look back on the week, I can't remember what I did or how I spent my time, only that it seemed I was extremely busy doing something important. I think it's time to start writing in my journal again. I do really well with journal writing in the winter when we stay inside, and that time is fast approaching. I think I told you we had a dump of snow Thanksgiving weekend (Oct 8). I was positive winter was here to stay but Mother Nature is full of tricks and it actually melted and dried up! (Probably in time for the next snowfall. lol!) We are grateful for it since the construction site of our house was a muddy apocalypse. All those big tires sinking down and chewing up the meadow (which is now our front yard). Does it seem weird that you will be coming home to a different house? Abby is worried about it.

So, yes, our time (and especially our brain space) is tied up with getting the Leduc house ready for rental and the Wizard Lake house ready for an inspector to come and deem it worthy for occupation. Mix in our regular life with those two worries and you have a mother that feels like her head is about to explode. So, I think I will tell you what a godsend it is to be served by angels disguised as humans. You will be very proud of me, as asking for and receiving help seems to be a difficult thing.

Angel #1) Paula White. She has taken it upon herself to cook me a giant hunk of meat every week. She drives from Edmonton with a fully cooked ham/roast/chicken early the week so we can eat it with whatever we can add to it. Usually her contribution stretches over the course of a few meals. It's helped tremendously as you know, cooking is the first thing to go when I'm stressed. (We've been eating a lot of cereal and pb&j lately.)

Angel #2) My mother. She came for a week after Thanksgiving and got right to work helping me dejunk and to start painting. We cleaned the entire garage (and I won't even try to explain the mouse infestation. Ugh. I almost died of gross) and painted the back entrance and the girls room. Her and grandpa are coming this week to help some more (like fixing your bedroom ceiling where the pipes froze a few years back). Angels, I tell you. They are saving me and my sanity.

Angel #3: My visiting teacher, Diana. She came to me and said, "what is the best way I can help you during this time?" Honestly, it just feels good when someone cares enough to ask. She's also bringing us food. Do you see a theme here?

Angel #4: Your father. He is the best of men; doesn't ever give up, even in the height of stress. And he's very patient with me all the time without one critical word.

I know that more angels will be made manifest over the course of the next six weeks. As for you, you can send us your faith-filled prayers. We need those, too.

I went for my first ever parent/teacher interviews last week regarding Ben and high-school. The first teacher (English), Ms. Peacock (isn't that a great name?) walked directly to me with her hand outstretched and big smile on her face as I entered the room, "I am SO glad you came! I wanted to meet the parent who raised such an extraordinary child."

Um. Okay?

Apparently, Ben is, and I quote from Ms. Peacock (I had to type that name one more time...) and three other teachers (English, P.E. Career and Life Management, and Math).

"A breath of fresh air."
"A delight."
"More mature than all his peers."
"A leader."
"I would have never known he was homeschooled." (Funny, right?)
"Personable."
"Curious."
"On an entirely different level."

So, basically, I went from room to room hearing teachers praise Ben's name. It was a good day for a Mom. As I walked away, I considered how honestly extraordinary you all are (Abby and Mia are still under construction). Extraordinary. Valiant. Strong. Self-confidant. Humble. I wish I could take all the credit for Steph, you, Sam and Ben, but I know you all really just came to me that way. You are MY teachers now. And the funny thing? It took public educators to open my eyes to the fact.

Humble pie. I am eating it.

Sam is still working everyday and we're waiting for that happy day when he is laid off, but also hoping he can work longer to save up. You know the dance. He went in and asked Jack for a raise, which Sam received because you know what a hard worker he is.

Abby and Mia are still the same as always, although Abby is shooting up. She will be in Young Women's in January, if you can believe that. (I can't.)

And life goes on.

I was thinking this morning how much I adore the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we could be reminded every day of his transcendent sacrifice, like, REALLY feel it in our heart, it would affect every aspect of existence, guide our every action and bring peace in every moment. I haven't reached that point yet, but I would like to get there eventually.

Keep on, my boy. A worthier fight there never was.

I love you forever,

Mom


P.S. A few pics of the house, which is all I ever used my phone for last week. That is your dad climbing in the front door. 








From: Joshua

Another week, I must agree it flies by, its hard to believe that I have been out for almost a year, and its even harder to believe that am nearly coming home in another year at that, it goes by so fast that I can't keep track of it, and you are right the only thing I have to remember it is my journal. I wish I wrote in my journal more often then I did, but now is the time to change that, so my advice to Sam and Ben and Abby and Mia is write in your journal! find the best way for you and do it. 

this week has been crazy we were packed all day every day with back to back appointments which is hard when you are on bike because you have to peddle like nuts to get to your appointment and even then it takes 10 minutes to get there, so my thighs are starting to get bigger and bigger, so when I get home I will have thunder thighs and will have to get new pants... even now I put my wallet in my bag because my pocket is too tight now... the wonders of a bike. 

There are a lot of things that can be discouraging as a missionary, a lot of our investigators went from progressing towards baptism to all of a sudden not being interested in learning the Gospel, which really saddens me. The other day we had a crazy encounter with an middle eastern man who was catholic, he gave us a book called reasons to be a catholic, which was weird, but after reading a little bit of it I determined that I like being Mormon, this church is a life style not a class we go to. I know that the Gospel has been restored and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, I have heard nearly every piece of anti that there is and have come to the point where it only strengthens my testimony when I hear it because I have learned from the spirit that this is true and my foundation has been built, may we all build our testimonies so that our foundations are set never to be moved, you will hear a ton of anti through your life, you will see people you love turn away from the Gospel but we are called to be elect of God and we will never turn away, may we grow our humility and our love, may we reach out to those who are struggling and help all we can. There was something I read recently that said "others should be able to see your commitment to Jesus Christ through your example..." which is hard because your character has to be such a one that you reflect all aspect of Christlike attributes. We all need to dedicate ourselves to this cause and never look back. Follow the council of the Prophets because they know what they say and they too are committed to Christ, and in bringing you closer. 

Elder Orchard is getting transferred to a different zone and I will be taking over the area which is a bit nerve racking but I asked the Lord for trials to shape me so I am looking forward to aligning my will with Gods because when I do that I am filled with confidence and love for all people.

I love you all 

Joshua


Me and Elder Orchard weekly planning
 

Tracting


More weekly planning


Sewer pipe graffiti



street art (If you look closely they use everything from pennies to mother boards)


From Dad via Grandpa Smith:

Thanks Dad for the weekly emails. It is a great way to stay connected and use the internet for good!

I think in many ways we are finding joy in the journey of building this house. I don’t think that it would be true joy if it didn’t come with stress and challenge as per the fall of Adam. We’ve had some of that, but also many moments of excitement and anticipation. This last Thursday, Ben and Abby and I went out to lay down insulation and wire in the basement in anticipation of the in floor heating pipes and were sure thankful when we ended up having Sam come out after a full day’s work to help. Sam is a builder and doer. He jumped right in and did most of the cutting around footings etc and we wouldn’t have finished that night without him. Abby and Ben placed insulation, and mostly tied wire sheets together. Finally finished at 11 pm, tired but triumphant!


Basement Insulation Crew

 
In floor heating, here we come!


We also had some moments this week where we were totally wondering if we’d offended the world as we saw work on the home grind to a standstill while contractors argued over the foundation walls and how to fix them, came home Saturday to a flooded basement (and eventually replaced the HW tank), picked up the van from the dealership with a hefty repair bill, and saw our washer stop full load and not turn on again.


Sam and Ben mopping up the flood


But guess what? Life didn’t end, the repairs got made, some money miracles occurred and things are back on track this week! Life is a proving ground for us to learn to trust the Lord that’s for sure!

This week I had the chance to teach Priest Quorum and ended up only having 5 or so minutes due to an ordination as well as some planning conversation. I had completed the Christlike Attributes survey in Preach My Gospel and enjoyed the opportunity to see opportunities for improvement. The 3 areas I identified for myself were:

1.       I trust the Savior enough to accept His will and do whatever He asks.
2.   I find joy in others’ achievements. (Alma 17:2–4)
3.   I set goals and plan regularly. (D&C 88:119)

I’m grateful we have a lifetime and more to develop Christ like Attributes and I have gained a testimony of the joy and peace that comes as I do.

We are grateful for our growing family. Steph is enjoying the stress of applying for grants and carrying a full course load, Tyler is pondering his future career with this current company vs future prospects and rock climbing to relieve stress, Sam thought he was finished work after it snowed but we’ve been granted a grace period where things are thankfully drying up a bit, Ben is doing well in public school and looking forward to basketball tryouts, Jen is handling the stress of the budget and trying to pack up our house and fix it up for renting, and I’m trying to keep the bills payed, coach Ben’s struggling community basketball team and coordinate contractors etc. Busy but great and certainly worth it!

Love you all. BTW, how is Demond doing? Do you know when he may be let out?

Have a great week!

Chad.

October 17, 2016

From: Dad

Hi Josh,

How is that great city of Van Nuys?  Glad you have been safe so far. We are praying daily for your safety and success.

This week has been a whirlwind for us. Our last letter came to you from Sparwood when we were down for Thanksgiving. We had just seen our house be put on the foundation the Thursday before and we were excited about the progress.  

When we got home and started on the next steps (e.g. electrical) I made a visit to the home to meet the electrician and help him know where to put everything. When we were scoping out the place where the electrical would come into the house, we noticed that the house was not exactly lining up with the basement and came to realize that the basement wall on both sides of the house were bowing in from the pressure of the earth and house. That was quite alarming! After frantically calling the different contractors involved, we realized we had a problem and quickly dug out the back fill and started looking for answers. As often happens, things quickly became a finger pointing exercise about who was responsible and we felt quite a bit of concern and anxiety of the state of things.

At the same time, we had to take our van into the dealership to be serviced because it has had no power and has been choking when changing gears. Came to learn that it would cost $1600 to fix! 

As I was pondering these trials and contemplating what actions I could take, I realized that though there were some things I could do and follow up with, we were not able to solve this ourselves. I felt a strong feeling that I needed to do something more to invoke the Lord's blessings upon our family and situation.

Interestingly enough, I was also preparing a talk for Sunday on the Law of the Fast. Ever since last Fast Sunday I have been pondering and feeling that my fasts have lately been half hearted and last minute affairs. As is often the case, it is in when we are feeling opposition, trials and concern that we find ourselves and our hearts crying out to the Lord for his tender mercies. I talked with your Mom and we decided to fast together starting Saturday at noon. I felt good about that and I felt a lot of comfort and power from what I was studying about the blessings of the Law of the Fast (e.g. Isaiah 58).

Wednesday I had to head out to a last minute customer visit to Spokane Washington, so when I got back on Friday, not much progress had been made on the house. After some hard conversations on the phone with the builder and foundation contractors, we kept praying and breathing :).

Saturday morning, the boys and I borrowed Cal Carlson's trailer and went to pick up the insulation for the in-floor heating and on the way there, had a couple of scary experiences with the trailer jumping off the hitch on the highway and riding on the chains. We finally figured out the way to lock in the ball, but it was some panicky moments as I contemplated the cost of the trailer we were pulling.We took the insulation to the acreage and Sam and Ben were a great help unloading. It is a blessing to me to have such helpful and willing sons.

When we arrived home, we went downstairs and Ben stepped in a puddle of water at the bottom of the stairs. We realized that there was flooding in the storage room! At first I thought it was due to the melting snow (yes, we already have a bunch of snow on the ground!), but soon realized that there was water flowing from somewhere. I shut off the main water valve and the boys and I "cheerfully" spent an hour mopping and wringing water with towels and buckets. We hauled out 25-30 gallons of water out of the basement. After a few tests we determined that our hot water tank had died. Can you just see the blessings flowing? :)

Thankfully, Bro. Mike Lawrence was available to come by and within the next 4 hours we had a new hot water tank! That was truly a blessing. We had to drain the water storage tank and tear the corner out of the little room under the stairs to make it work but it was worth it to have hot showers again.

Meanwhile, the washer stopped working and so we fell into bed exhausted and wondering why the world was crashing down around us even as we fasted for help. 

Just before bed, we got a tender mercy with a phone call from Sunshine homes telling us that the contractors had agreed to come together and find a solution starting Monday morning. This gave us some relief and allowed us to feel a measure of calm and assurance that all things would eventually work together for our good.

Both Mom and I, though anxious, believe strongly in the promises of the Lord and trust that all these things will work together in the long run for our good.  

Sunday was a wonderful break. I was able to give my talk and felt a lot of strength from that process and felt a strong spirit come into the meeting when Abby and Mia sang the song "Miracles" with Ben playing the piano. 

So I'll end the epistle of our crazy week with my testimony that the Lord is over all and is watching over us. We are looking forward with an eye of hope and faith to see our house be repaired and back on track this week. We will keep you updated!

Trust in the Lord and watch for his hand as he directs the great work you are doing. Please share with us if you can some of your experiences overcoming challenges and we always love hearing about the people you are working with.

Have a great week, my son.


Love Dad.

From: Joshua

I was thinking a lot about challenges and trials lately, and I kept thinking of a quote I heard, though I don't know who said it. 
"God gives the hardest trials to his strongest children" 
and I have had to think about that a lot, on my mission I have experienced more trials then I have ever had in my life, we went to the temple on Friday for Elder Orchards birthday, and while in there I felt an overwhelming feeling of peace and love, and I felt as well that I never wanted to go back out into the world, because it is exhausting, it is hard dealing with people day in and day out, the people here range from super nice to super mean, and even members of the church aren't exempt, there are so many less actives because people repeatedly get offended and angry at others, people gossip and back stab, and it saddens me to thing that because of pride and neglect people leave this wonderful gospel and miss out on so much, and I continually ask myself what I can do more to help. 

We went on an exchange with our district leader Elder Green and near the end of it we were biking to district meeting and this guy shouted at us to stop, and he said he had a question. So we stopped and listened. "Why would you name a school after an adulterer?" that is something that I had never heard of before, asking for clarification he said stated that Brigham Young was an adulterer because he had many wives, now this question was interesting and I felt like there was some understanding we needed to get to to explain it, we asked if he believed in God, and he shouted that that didn't matter and we should answer his question, we told him that polygamy was something that God had established in that time, we related it to Abraham who had multiple wives and he disregarded it saying it was the old testament. We finally told him that we don't know why it was named after Brigham Young, but we believed him to be a prophet and that if he read the Book of Mormon he would be able to find out for himself, he told us he had nothing against us but that we were not in the right, and needed to check for ourselves whether God has a Prophet on the earth or not. and walked away. 
There are times when it is hard not to be rude back to these people, sometimes I want to yell back but what would be the point? what would it prove? it would prove that I am no better then he is, that I have not self control but anger issues. The knowledge I take comfort in is that I know that there is a Prophet of God on the earth today that he lives and presides as senior Apostle on the earth and president of the church, that Christ is at the head, he is behind all we do in this great work and I need to live up to the call that I have been given. We all need to live up to the call we have been given.

We have been teaching a lot of less actives who are also recent converts, they have a testimony but are confused because they think that baptism is the final step, but it is only the beginning, I feel like that is a trap all missionaries get into that they teach like baptism is the end, but it is only the beginning, its a spring board to greater things, the temple is proof of that, we make covenants with God in each ordinance, baptism is when we covenant to take upon us the name of Christ meaning to be an example and to keep ourselves checked to be always like Jesus Christ, we covenant to stand as witnesses of him at all times and in all places... what are you doing to be a witness in every moment where ever you are?
There is something called the law of consecration, which means we give of everything we have to the Lord and expect nothing in return, It looks like all the trials that have happened so far have to do with temporal things, and something I have learned, especially in California where people have everything that the world can offer, that the world offers nothing that is eternal, and with the basement breaking apart and the house flooding, it shows that we should never put too much of our focus on the physical things and lay up treasures in heaven. Of course it is super important to take care of the things we have on earth but as Paul put it, "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil" the money itself is not evil, but when we start loving it more then God then that is when it becomes evil. So with our house, the new house and the car all these trials serve as a reminder that one day we will not have these things, but what counts is the relationships we develop, the love we have for each other and most importantly the love we have for God and the service in his kingdom, these are the last days and the time to prepare for Christs coming is now. 

Trials are to help us learn, they suck but something I remember is that "profound change comes from profound heartache"

and in Ether 12:27

 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Let us remember to always look to God and be humble.


I love you Guys and hope all turns out well

Josh

Missionary meal.


Our district
 

Passing by the homeless every day

Me at the temple.

October 10, 2016

From:Mom

Dear Elder Smith,

We are currently driving through a snow storm and the thought of you riding a bike makes me shiver. Tell us about the Western Union money transfer. Did you get the money okay? Any bike success? Give us the details! We've been thinking of it since we talked last Monday

It was really great to hear your voice despite the subject matter. We got all the information they needed. When you receive the statement in the mail, we need you to sign it right away and send it ASAP, and don't forget to send a diagram of the accident, where pylons were, where cop cars were parked, etc. Then, I think, our part will be done.

By the way.... Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!!!

Here is what we are grateful for:

Dad: He is grateful for challenges and that life is never boring. I think this sentiment comes from our house being delivered and put on the foundation. YAY! It feels exciting and scary at the same time.
Mom: I am extremely grateful always and forever for the Atonement and Gospel of Jesus Christ. It affects every aspect of my life in such profound ways. I am thankful for a husband who never gives up, for kids who make me laugh and feel proud of every day; for the beautiful country we live in. I love life.

Sam:  I'm thankful for time. Time spent with family, time spent with friends, time spent working on hobbies and time spent working earning money. Before I started working I took time for granted, always saying I don't have any time now when I get an hour or two off early from work I say: what am I able to do with the time that I got? Now that I have Saturday's off I've been going on lots of dates. I love you Josh.

Ben: I'm grateful for the opportunity to go to school and learn new things, I'm grateful for my family and the experiences I've had with them, I'm happy I was raised in the church and am able to experience the blessings that come from it. And finally, I'm grateful for my families awesome ability to cook good food.

Abby: I'm grateful for our house we're going to move into,i'm grateful for my family, I'm grateful for heavenly father and his blessing and the love my family gives me, I'm also thankful for Coco and the laughs that she brings to us I love you Josh and I hope that your doing amazing and your feeling awesome (because you are).

Mia:I'm grateful for your safety on your Mission and that I have a grate big brother and that heavenly father loves me and I'm thankful for holidays. From mia

(Everyone wrote their own except Dad, who was driving.)

Grandma, Mark and I had a fantastic discussion about prayer and how much praying actually can affect the person(s) we are praying for. Think of Alma, who prayed for his son, which in turn enabled ab an angel to appear to him. So, prayers for others doesn't affect their agency, but it can affect their environment. It is comforting doctrine to know that we can pray for others, that our faith can aid and assist in others' progression.

I wonder about it because we pray for you all the time. Something I pray for often is that Heavenly Father will open your eyes to His tender mercies. We also pray for your safety. I also ask that you will be magnified and strengthened and that your personal conviction and conversion will run deep. Personally, my lifeline is the relationship I have with God. It is my most precious possession because it influences everything in my life for good. Perspective. Peace. Love. Patience. All good things. And I want that for my children, too. I am filled with gratitude that you chose to serve a mission. The benefits you will gain are enormous. Grandma said that the experiences a person gets on their mission cannot be attained in any other way. So, I am grateful for you. Actually, my heart fills with gratitude that you are where you are. I love you so much! Look ahead at all the wonder your life is going to bring you. Don't look back any more. Learn your lessons from the past, but now look forward. ☺


Love always,
Mom