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Friday, March 4, 2011

I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can!

A little steam engine had a long train of cars to pull.  She went along very well till she came to a steep hill. But then, no matter how hard she tried, she could not move the long train of cars.  She pulled and she pulled. She puffed and she puffed. She backed and started off again. Choo! Choo!  But no! the cars would not go up the hill.  At last she left the train and started up the track alone. Do you think she had stopped working? No, indeed! She was going for help.  "Surely I can find someone to help me," she thought.  Over the hill and up the track went the little steam engine. Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo! 

Pretty soon she saw a big steam engine standing on a side track. He looked very big and strong. Running alongside, she looked up and said: "Will you help me over the hill with my train of cars? It is so long and heavy I can't get it over."  The big steam engine looked down at the little steam engine. The he said: "Don't you see that I am through my day's work? I have been rubbed and scoured ready for my next run. No, I cannot help you."  The little steam engine was sorry, but she went on, Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! 

Soon she came to a second big steam engine standing on a side track. He was puffing and puffing, as if he were tired.  "That big steam engine may help me," thought the little steam engine. She ran alongside and asked: "Will you help me bring my train of cars over the hill? It is so long and so heavy that I can't get it over."  The second big steam engine answered: "I have just come in from a long, long run. Don't you see how tired I am? Can't you get some other engine to help you this time?  "I'll try," said the little steam engine, and off she went. Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! 

After a while she came to a little steam engine just like herself. She ran alongside and said:  "Will you help me over the hill with my train of cars? It is so long and so heavy that I can't get it over."  "Yes, indeed!" said this little steam engine. "I'll be glad to help you, if I can."  So the little steam engines started back to where the train of cars had been standing. Both little steam engines went to the head of the train, one behind the other.  Puff, puff! Chug, choo!

Off they started!  Slowly the cars began to move. Slowly they climbed the steep hill. As they climbed, each little steam engine began to sing: "I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I think I can - I think I can - I think I can I think I can--"  And they did! Very soon they were over the hill and going down the other side. Now they were on the plain again; and the little steam engine could pull her train herself. So she thanked the little engine who had come to help her, and said good-by.  And she went merrily on her way, singing: "I-thought-I-could! I-thought-I-could! I-thought-I-could! I-thought-I-could! I thought i could - I thought I could - I thought I could - I thought I could - I thought I could - I thought I could I thought I could --"

The story of the "Little Engine that Could" is a story of hard work and optimism.  Just yesterday we had a zone conference and, for me, the underlying theme was to be more optimistic. 

Let's face it, as a missionary, we have a TON of hard times.  We go outside to work no matter what the weather conditions are like (talk to one of the Montana missionaries about that :P ).  We talk to everyone we see.  Which can result in either a- being ignored, b- being yelled at, c- talking for a little and exchanging information, d- a miracle, or e- a dog being sent after you.  I'm sure there are many many other options, but those are a few.  Staying happy through all of this can be very hard and exhausting.  But, there is a trick ( I like tricks). 
The trick to being happy is to decide to be happy.  Yes, that is the secret.  Simple and sweet.  Does it work?  Can someone be happy when they are having Slurpee's thrown at them and dogs chasing them?  I am a standing witness that it does work!  In Alma 26:11 it says "...but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy..."  The joy that Ammon has in this chapter is found from his success as a missionary.  But, if you read more into his story, you know it wasn't always happy trails.  He and his brothers were bound, some were put in prison, mocked, and scorned.

 We are here to find joy and to be happy.  Having a "glass half full" attitude about things will make your life happier.  It will allow for joy to be found in the journey.  Choose to be happy and optimistic!  I know how it has helped me personally and can promise that it will change you.


Sister B. D. Gorder said...

Yes.. Optimism. Something you trained my very well in! Something that I am still working on being. Being happy is the best thing, and I know that the gospel does bring happiness. Its great to be able to share that with others.

Elder Brian Menasco said...

We must have the right outlook in life, we can't just be upset about everything because that would get us no where!

I needed this post sooo much! Thankyou!

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