Be grateful for Thanksgiving. This is my first Thanksgiving away from the United States (The year before I was in the MTC and it was the most glorious thanksgiving of my life) and I'm missing it so much I'm sick.
Dear rest of the World, Be grateful that because of Thanksgiving, you have Black Friday, because I miss that even more.
I know I'm early, but today we got together as a zone and had a Thanksgiving P day, so I've been thinking of this awesome holiday all day long. Here's my 2015 list of Thank yous:
~Foreign missionaries I don't know about other missions, because I'm only in this one, but the Tokyo Mission is FULL of missionaries from all over the world. For example, in my district right now, there is a Portuguese sister, a Brazilian elder, and a Peruvian elder. That's way random! I honestly feel like our district approaches the Temple Square mission when it comes to diversity. It makes for a lot of funny accents and English mistakes, but it's the funniest thing in the world! My first transfer in this beloved Portuguese speaking area of mine I met the most interesting sister in the world at a zone conference. She was born in Tahiti, so she speaks Tahitian and French natively. But as she's speakin' English to you I swear you can't hear an accent. She also happens to be half Chinese so she picked up Mandarin, and she studied Spanish in high school. When she told this all to me, I threw my arms around her and squealed: "WELCOME TO OIZUMI!" It's a rash conclusion, but I felt good about it.
~False eyelashes My dearest mother mailed Sister M and me the coolest Halloween costumes ever, and among the ensemble were two pairs of false eyelashes. We had a ward Halloween party this last Saturday as I'm sure everyone did, and as we were getting ready, Sister M asked me in the quietest voice: "Will you help me with my eyelashes?" Thankful for the hundreds of times I've glued tiny pieces of hair onto my eyelids, I shouted: "Sure!" and landed them carefully into place. I shifted back into my own routine when she peeped up again: "Would you fill in my eyebrows like you fill in yours? You're so good at it...." She hadn't even finished that sentence and I was already patting my MAC Charcoal Brown into her face. It's way interesting to do someone's makeup. You're way close, personal space doesn't exist anymore. In this vulnerable position, the other person makes herself even more vulnerable and shuts her eyes. Both! Anything could go wrong. This other person trusts you a ton during this small intimate moment. For some reason, Sister Ma had all the confidence in the world that when she opened her eyes and saw my only artistic ability pasted onto her face she was going to like what she saw. She trusted me with her face. She wore my art all night long, let all kinds of people take pictures of her when typically she likes to slither away from such moments. In those two minutes that would turn into three hours, I had the most beautiful little moment with Sister M. I got to stare at her face while her eyes were closed. It's like watching a rambunctious kid sleep. Everyone is more adorable and lovable when they're asleep am I right? Then I got to watch her as she opened her eyes and grinned into a mirror. She grinned and grinned and grinned. She looked and looked and looked. In fact, no human hand would be able to tear that mirror from her until we were out the door. We had the most fun together that night than we have all transfer. I know makeup is a "cruel trick" as men would say, but when you go out, feeling good, looking good, with friends that love you even when you're not wearing makeup, there is no better feeling in the whole world! The elders would give her a hard time, because not only she wore more makeup than usual but she switched her glasses for contacts. They would say she looked totally different but she would just laugh for days and days.
~Cool Ancestors I hope at this point the whole world knows about Family Search and looks at it daily because I sure do! I have THE COOLEST family history in the world. I love love love stories, even just a stinking picture makes me feel all warm and bubbly because as an investigating friend told me once: "It's so cool to see where you're face comes from." So all throughout my mission I've had crazy cool experiences with no explanation how I got out of them. My legs have caught me from wild jumps and my arms have stooped to catch impossible UFO's. My hands have braked when I never thought to brake. I only have one explanation: Genealogy. There's no way the missionary who baptized my great-grandma in Guatemala isn't watching over me and doesn't occasionally guide my leg to keep me from falling. There's no way my grandpa Rick hasn't entered into my fingers and forced me to brake. I didn't really believe in spirits inferring with our world, but after a week of particularly daring stunts, I am grateful for my ancestry.
~God's Timing I believe that God's timing has been aligned in my life more than I think. I never gave it a second thought when I started filling in my papers at the end of senior year as to leave on my mission as soon as I turned nineteen. Man has that guided my mission or what! I've met incredible missionaries from all around the world that I wouldn't have met otherwise (Yes some Americans that I might have met eventually at BYU but heck I'm grateful I caught them mid-mission too). My first day at the MTC was already destined because I met a Brazilian who was a friend of a friend leaving for the same country I was on the same day. I caught my trainer during her final two transfers. The Lord sent me Sister G. during only my fourth transfer but boy am I grateful for that. I would spend two special transfers with the one and only Sister M. before she would unexpectedly return to Brazil. A lot of my time spent in Chiba would feel like it was for naught until we saw a baptism my last week there. (Now, months later, I would hear of friends we taught setting baptismal dates) Then, right during the split middle of my mission, the Lord would send me to a Portuguese branch, nearly leaving behind half of my mission and starting a new one. This was my only chance to get in though, as Portuguese speaking sisters are few (I'm talking like 3/200). The timing of everything has been so gorgeous I just look back on my mission and cry tears of absolute joy. I can only dream the rest of my life turns out this way: Incredible trials and seemingly impossible obstacles that I would only look back on with love months down the road.
I love you all, I'm so happy about all the time I still have left on my mission, but I guess eventually I will see you soon, Sister Goldsberry
Mom picture. Brothers got asked to pose with her life size cut out in a witch hat in our living room with their customs on Halloween day. Second Halloween out. The first one was at the MTC.