Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Week

What am I thankful for?  Food.  I'm thankful for food.

Never, ever, in my entire mission, have I had so many consecutive days of amazing food to eat.   I mean, we are often taken out, and fed at houses, and sometimes we even get creative and put together a makeshift feast of our own.  BUT, never have all of those happened day after day, meal after meal, all within one week before.  And it was just perfect that it all happened around Thanksgiving.

Monday, all of us Elders in Daejeon decided to get together for P-day and eat at a meat buffet.  "This week is Thanksgiving" we figured.  "We have to eat celebrate somehow".  And so we did.  It was delicious, wonderful, and filled us up with the Thanksgiving spirit.  Or so we thought.

Tuesday, we were all-of-the-sudden invited to a dinner appointment with our investigator and the APs.  And where did he take us?  To an amazing restaurant called All-that Barbecue - full American buffet.  We were in heaven.  And we were filled with the American Thanksgiving spirit - or at least our stomachs were.

Then, on Wednesday, I went on an exchange with an Elder in my Zone.  He's been going through a real rough time recently, so I figured I would cheer him up and pay for him at that one really nice burger restaurant I ate at on the Fourth of July.  $30 later, we were both geared up for the holiday to come.

On Thursday morning, the alarm went off.  "Happy Thanksgiving"  the four of us sleepily mumbled to each other, and we all went about getting ready for what was going to be just a normal day until right around 10 o'clock, we heard a knock on the door.  Sure enough, it was my Thanksgiving package from my wonderful mother, full of mashed potatoes mix, stuffing mix, jello, and all of the essentials you need for a Thanksgiving feast.  The only things missing were rolls and a turkey.  But alas!  I still had the rolls mix from last year my mom sent me, and this time around, my house had an oven!  And for the Turkey, right then and there, Elder Oliverson and I hit the streets and bought a chicken (no turkeys in Korea) but it looked the same as a turkey does, just a little smaller, and so we called it good.   Starting right then, we all worked together to make our meal, and the four of us ate a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch together.   Really, all I could feel the whole time during that was the overwhelming amount of appreciation I have for my family and everything they have always done for me - especially all the help they have sent me from the other side of the world during my mission.  The four of us all felt the spirit of Thanksgiving for sure!

Friday, our member spoiled us to another American buffet restaurant for Thanksgiving and on Saturday, we had a massive Thanksgiving party at the Colver's house for the English/American Branch here in Daejeon (with food made BY Americans, FOR Americans!).  Then, following that, we taught our weekly English class and, of course, the topic was Thanksgiving.

All in all, it was an amazing Thanksgiving week.  And my goodness, were we given so much to be thankful for.   But beyond the food, it was the time and care and love that we received that really mattered.  And At the same time, we also did our best all week as missionaries to continue to give to others as well.  Really, it was a great week of both.  A week of giving and getting, and a week of showing thanks, and being thankful.  There's so much I could say that I'm thankful for, and I really don't know where I would be able to stop if I were to start a list.  So I'll just be a cheater, but completely mean it when I say it:

What am I thankful for?  Everything.  Absolutely everything.  And I'm grateful to my mission for helping me see that.

Elder Graf

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