“Counting Blessings Not Problems,” New Era, Jan. 1989, 10
“Of all the 15-year-old girls in the world, why me?” I asked myself. I always knew that having to move away from the place where you grew up would be tough, but I didn’t really understand just how tough until it became a reality for me.
The first week at my new school was terrible. I didn’t know anyone and soon found out that I was the only Mormon among the 2,500 other teenagers there. I had always loved basketball, but when practice began I could feel myself giving up. Being a freshman didn’t help matters any. And, if all of that wasn’t enough, we moved into a community where 90 percent of the people spoke Spanish. In seminary this didn’t help at all! Although the lessons were taught in English, the class discussions were in Spanish, and I had a hard time understanding.
After the first month I was ready to give up. I wouldn’t go to seminary and didn’t care about my grades, about making friends, about my family, or about myself.
One night after an extremely long day, I had the feeling that I should read my next scripture assignment for seminary. I don’t know why I began to read. I hadn’t been going to seminary, I was way behind, and I didn’t really care. However, one of the scriptures I read that night affected me in a way I will never forget.
“Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days” (D&C 24:8).
I felt guilty for the doubts I had been having about Heavenly Father’s love for me. Now, rather than letting the problems of life affect the steps that will lead me nearer to the Lord, I am trying to base my life around this scripture. My life seems much easier when I look at my blessings instead of my problems.
When we take the time to look beyond our immediate problems and listen to the Spirit’s promptings, we discover that our Heavenly Father is there protecting, guiding, and helping us every hour and every minute of every day.
I have to go to a new school.
I have the opportunity to make a whole new set of friends and learn new things from them.
I’m the only Mormon in a student body of 2,500.
This way I’ll have lots of opportunities to share the gospel.
I’m only a freshman and can’t do very well on the basketball team.
But workouts are a great way to stay in shape, and they’ll help prepare me fornext year.
Most people speak Spanish here, and I don’t understand them.
Great! I always wanted to learn a foreign language. Here’s my chance.