"shall i laugh or shall i cry?"

{my grandpa is the top left}

we had today off at school and clinic, because of veteran's day. i am so grateful for the men and women who have served our country in the name of freedom and liberty and for their sacrifices, as well as the sacrifices of their families. all weekend, i've been reflecting on my grandpa newman and remembering his laugh. when he'd laugh really hard about something, it would become this weezing/soundless laugh and his eyes would scrunch up. i love thinking about it.

i read this talk this morning about looking on the positive side of life. it reminded me of two experiences i've had since i came up here and how laughing in these situations have made them so much better.

humbled from spending three hours at discount tire

i don't know if i mentioned it on here...maybe i did, but my tire blew out on the way to church at the end of september. it was pouring and i was about six blocks away from church. it was probably one of the most terrifying things of my life. i was about seven blocks away from the institute of religion (where we have church) and i let it coast down the hill to the institute. my friend in another ward grabbed my arm and said, "hey, how are you?" and i told him about how my tire had blown out and how i needed to get to sacrament meeting. he started laughing and saying, "what a great trial for you." as i walked upstairs to go to sacrament meeting. i heard some truly uplifting messages:
2 Nephi 31:20; Ether 12:4; D&C 64:32-34 (are we both willing and obedient in all things?)
 "The Lord welcomes all--not just the best or most capable."
"Enduring is not a DIY project. Let others help you and serve you.
They will love and serve you right back."
then my roommates found someone in our ward to put on the spare during sunday school. i was so especially grateful to be a member of the church and to have the support from so many wonderful people. 
a few days later, i was at the tire store for almost three hours waiting for it to be fixed. the same friend called me while i was there and i complained and shared my frustrations about how long the wait was, but all he could do was laugh and remind me that it was such a blessing to have this happen. i went along with it and i couldn't help but laugh at the whole situation. when my car was finally finished, i picked up some dinner (soup and sandwich from panera, along with hot chocolate) and i was still a little miffed about how long it had taken to have this fixed. but when i was waiting at the light, i felt overcome with how blessed i truly am as i looked out the window at a mom and her child holding up a sign for money. i rolled down my window and handed her my hot chocolate i had taken one sip from and told her to have a good night. in that moment, i realized i really am so blessed to have had this experience, to have had all of the help and support i did through it. and that translates to this entire life i'm leading right now as a whole. i am so humbled by all of the love and support i've been receiving from family, friends, roommates, ward members, classmates, loved ones here and loved ones who have passed on. like i was reminded by my good friend, what a great blessing this experience and so many more have been for me.

two stitch(es)

the friday after halloween, i was making these cookies (delicious, by the way) and i didn't use the entire can of pumpkin, so i was going to save it to make another batch of pumpkin cookies later and i somehow sliced the knuckle of one of my fingers on the lid of the can. after about twenty minutes of trying to doctor it up, it was still bleeding pretty badly and i could see the tendon...so naturally, i called my mom to see where the nearest clinic/urgent care was. my roommates were gone and i didn't have anyone else to call, so she found a clinic three blocks north of my house. i walked there with a bloody washcloth wrapped around my hand and i had my first stitches ever. two stitches to be exact. i was in and out within forty-five minutes, then i called my mom and we talked about the part in adventures in babysitting when brad gets "one stitch". we couldn't stop laughing about it. the whole experience could have been a total damper on my friday, which turned out to get even weirder from that point on...if that's possible. but, i decided to laugh about it and it made all the difference.

one thing i've had to constantly keep in mind while living here is this:

"Our attitude toward life determines life's attitude toward us." 
-Earl Nightingale

i truly believe it and i need to constantly work at this. i'm not a pro at it by any means and it's been especially difficult as i've been adjusting to my life in seattle. however, i'm grateful for the people in my life that remind me to laugh instead of cry when trials come my way. as quoted in the talk above, i agree with sister hinckley...i truly do prefer to laugh, because crying gives me a terrible headache. trials are always blessings in disguise. we usually just realize that in retrospect, rather than in the moment. i hope i can be better at viewing every situation in a positive light, as well as being a brighter light amidst the gloom. 

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