My father passed away a week ago, and I had Pres. Paulson call Elder Galbraith to give him the news.
Well, I suppose I am writing this just before Grandpa's memorial, with it being after 1 my time...I am glad to hear that all the family was able to make it safely. You know I wish I were there to see all the family and pay respect to Grandpa. That phone call was very difficult for me to make. Mom, once Pres. Paulson told me of Grandpa's passing, I knew if I should call, that I should call immediately. I really struggled with calling home, and a lot of things went through my head. I wondered if I should, if I could really help....Obviously I wanted to talk to my family, but I would not allow myself to call home just so I could talk to family!!! Going through my head: if I were to call, it would be to comfort my parents, reassure them of the greatness of the Plan of Salvation, and none else (not to take advantage of an opportunity to call home. Pres. Paulson gave me the option to call home if I felt I should). I prayed about it, and still struggled, and thought about how I may view the situation after-the-fact. At long last, I did call home, and talked you Dad. I was really shaken due to "my motives" behind calling. (For those who do not know, I am normally only allowed to call home on Christmas and Mother's Day to talk to family.) I was glad to hear that you were doing alright. A death in the family puts a totally different perspective on the Plan of Salvation--the merciful Plan that God prepared for mankind before the Earth was created, which allows us to return to Him, predicated upon our faithfulness and Christ's Atonement and grace/mercy. To know that the Plan of Salvation is true adds a tremendous comfort to the passing of family members. Without it, life would be miserable. I love you Mom, and especially Dad, at this time.
Ah, Dave Neihaus passed away too? Wow. He was the best.
Hey, with end/beginning of transfers, I got some mail! So, here are my belated thanks to all: thank you to Sis. Crandall for the Primary things, thanks to Auntie Sharon for her letters, thanks to Edilyn (my investigator from Winnipeg) for her letter, thanks to Ashley Johnson for her letter, Sis. Tryon for her letters, and to my brother Mike for his letter. Thanks to all, because letters are as good as Christmas presents Yes, I did get the gloves which will be greatly appreciated, thank you.
As for teaching the Muslims (in their mosque! haha, but seriously), I do not know. I am quiet sure that Elder Butterfield, being the missionary he is/was, would have reported it to higher-ups. My Stake Presidency all knows, and have been over a number of times. So...pretty sure. Anyway, we are sure no baptisms are going to result from this, so Elder Fackrell and I are visiting our Muslim friends for the last time tonight.
This past transfer I feel like I have grown a ton! I am confident in my teaching ability, and am eager to lead a lesson. I am learning how to recognize the Spirit, and it is becoming easier to be led by it. If it is a good thought, it is inspired of God! How hard is that? If I see someone across the street while I am tracting, I go to them. How hard is that? The only thing that would hold me back is myself, so I do not hold myself back, and I talk to them. The message I have to share is of eternall significance. I cannot bear the thought of someone approaching me in the Spirit World and saying, "why didn't you talk to me that one day?" So everytime I talk to someone I make sure to get a definite answer out of them. None of this, "well maybe..." stuff. I say: "would you allow us to come back and share these things with you?" That necessitates a yes/no answer, and that way, if I meet that individual in the Spirit World, I can tell them that I did my part. Confidence and the Spirit are everything in tracting!
My companion, Elder Fackrell, is a great worker. He knows that going out to work is paramount. How else will the Lord bring people to the Gospel unless his servants are immersed in His work? Read the analogy of the fisherman at the end of Preach My Gospel chapter 8, and that is what made it click for me.
So everything is good up here in Saskatoon. It is a bit tough to know that all my family is about 8 hours away (nothing in Canada), but don't worry--it does not get to me. I am doing really well. The ward is great, this upcoming week has all sorts of appointments, and a baptism for my investigator Linda Jurgens! We are trying to prepare another for baptism: Margaret Harder. She is 86 and full of spunk, like Grandma Jeannette. So Kingsmere is doing well! Have you looked me up on google maps yet, or seen Saskatoon on Google maps? Its a good city...its been unseasonably warm here still, but tomorrow or the next day its supposed to get unseasonably cold (-18C), which is really cold for me. -40 is going to be ridiculous, oh man. Apparently Saskatoon does not get much snow in December and January, with it being too cold to snow. I did not even know that was possible! Too cold to snow? The parts of Canada that get the most snow are the "warmer" places by the US/Canada border. Oh dear.
Love you all,