My brothers Maher and Walid decided to go to Las Vegas in the summer. So, we will plan to meet there. Hopefully it won't be too boring for me because they may spend most of their time gambling. But, I guess I can enjoy swimming and relaxing at the hotel instead.
Today I got to teach a missionary discussion to a man from Sudan who lives in France. Isn't technology amazing!? The Gospel always finds a way to reach every nation, kindred, tongue and people. Meanwhile I hope we can love and be accepting to all.
I am saddened by the frequent terrorist attacks, most recently in my beloved Turkey and also in Iraq. I flew in and out of the Istanbul airport at least twice a year while I was studying in Turkey. Many killed by ISIS in the recent attacks are Muslims. I hope everyone can refocus and understand that ISIS does not represent Islam. We all mourn for those killed whether they be Muslim, Christian or whatever their nationality is.
Tomorrow is the 4th of July and all Americans are celebrating independence day. I went yesterday to the Rodeo (well the end of it) and watched the fireworks afterwords.
Here is a video of one of the bull riders that did exceptionally well:
The fireworks were great too. As I am now in the process of applying for a US citizenship, I can't help but think that this will be my country too. My cousin has a problem now because she is forced to give up one of her nationalities. She can't be both Jordanian and German, she has to choose one or the other. Nationality is an interesting thing...I think it is really where your heart is, not what document you hold. I will always be Palestinian, even though many don't acknowledge that as a valid nationality. I think you don't really live in your country, your country lives in you wherever you go.
I have always longed to have a US citizenship, it was a dream of mine to be a citizen here because of all the freedoms and other things that come with it. But, as I look at the US today, I can't help but wonder 'What in the world happened to this country?' It used to be a great nation and now it seems like it is going down hill. Many are using their freedoms to choose the wrong. I have many friends that are Americans and they are amazing. I hope that they can have the strength to stand for what is right and point this country in the right direction.
This is the land promised to Lehi and his children and it has been a promised land to many. Without the freedoms provided in this land the Gospel could not have been restored. Many came to this land over the years seeking refuge and protection and they made this place their home. But it does not come without a price. Hopefully those here in the US will realize that the promise in Ether 2 applies to them:
"9 And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.
10 For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off."
I hope we can serve God wherever we may reside. I hope that we can realize that our identity as His spirit children is more important than some nationality. He, the God of the whole universe, loves us, cares about us and is aware of our every need.
He blesses me every day, and even if I am one of billions of people on this earth, He still answers my prayers and blesses me with what I need all the time.