I enjoy the emails when you ask a lot! I will try to get to as much as I can...
I will try to answer your stuff first and then get to "my end of it":
So I get to call you on Christmas as you know, I believe it is whenever you are available. You will have to call me, just tell me when works for you in your next email...the morning sometime would probably be better for me. Do you have my number from the time I called you about Grandpa? (For those who don't know, I was given the OK to call home about my grandpa's passing, so I am not "piling-out", as we missionaries would say). Nope, I have Christmas supper to myself, but there is someone feeding us for Christmas-eve if that counts...No football. I am crushed. I want to play smear-the-queer or something at least, but I doubt that will happen. Too cold! Dodgeball is definitely my best hope. Dodgeball is by far the best indoor missionary sport. Hands down. We play it on lots of P-Days, so I have my fingers-crossed for Christmas too! So it is sure cold here. -22C yesterday, with -33 wind chill. Cold! Yes I was tracting in it. I have been doing a lot more of that the past few weeks, ~15 hours a week average. The weather is supposed to warm up this week getting up to +1! Today is -10, and I am not even wearing gloves, its not bad at all. Its a big jump down to -20. Sheesh. We plug in our truck every night. Weird. Suddenly, plug-in cars do not sound so far-fetched...wait, the Volt was supposed to arrive last month. Did it?! Its funny you jokingly asked about sticking my tongue to a pole...I have NOT done it yet, but have been tempted for sure. So Genny Allred is now Genny Mckay, married and active in my (I guess HER) ward with 2 young kids. Her husband is just about to begin medical rotations. Mikey is probably SO glad that is over.
I play the piano a little, mostly just during my district meetings on Tuesdays. No choir in my ward, but back in Winnipeg I participated in the ward choir and even sang a solo in Sacrament Meeting. In Winnipeg I also played the piano for Elder's Quorum, but I don't here because we just meet in the gym. So not much piano going on now...bummer. Congrats to Dad for singing it up lately! So transfers will be the 29th of this month, making this transfer a rare 7 week transfer, so the following will be 5 weeks, ending about the beginning of February. I doubt much will change in my district, but since there are 2 districts in the city, I do expect a lot of change in the city because the other district will have change. We will get a new Zone Leader and new District Leader in the other district. We still get our transfer calls the end of this week.
So that's that.
Thanks for the Mariners updates. There is still hope! I will come back right as they are doing well again.
Hey what is new on the auto-front?!
On to the rest of the good-stuff:
So the past weekend we locked our keys in our car. Elder Fackrell, myself and another Elder tried opening the door with a hangar and almost did it too! We pried the door open with our fingers just enough for the hangar to go through, but the hangar was not strong enough to press the button. Ga! It was SO close so many times. Once my fingers got pinched pretty well and my finger tips were numb for the rest of the week. But they are normal now, no worries. I have a picture of the whole thing, and I am sending pictures home with your letter today. I hope they make it by Christmas! Sorry!
Thanks for sending me all my buddies' emails! Oh, they were great. Lance's story about his companion saying he was single is a classic!
I have a few good stories this week too. About a week and a half ago, I was tracting and a lady opened the door and said "Missionaries? I am so glad to see you!" I was thinking "this is either really good or really bad..." She said "You know, I would love to meet with you sometime, and come to church, but I can't right now because I am drunk. But another time!" .......I don't think I said anything for a while..... I then asked her about coming to church the next Sunday and long story short is she could not come and just had surgery, so we are still working on getting over to teach her. She did call back when she was sober and said she wanted to attend church, so I think she does have some committment. Ok, the other story happened yesterday in the cold while tracting. We were knocking on doors and were having no success and a guy opened the door and said "Come on in". ---one of those things...really good or really bad---He graciously had us take off our coats and boots and we sat in his living room. He had the TV on and told us to sit down. Of course he had NFL on. Yes Dad, I did see that Seattle took a beating. He offered us eggs and toast and hashbrowns--a full meal! He gave me NICE gloves for the cold, and gave Elder Fackrell good shoes with special cold-weather stuff in them. Just gave them to us! We kept saying "No, you really don't have to, you REALLY don't have to..." But he insisted and...well I have new gloves and mitts! These gloves are a special something-or-another and are silver and shiney. My Michael Jackson gloves I call them. He also gave me wool mitts to wear with them, and they are WARM! The other gloves I have had just do not seem to work in the cold (so cold!) over a long period of time. These have so far. This man, named Bryan, and his wife Brenda, were so nice! Her mom was there and Bryan was teasing her the entire time, so funny! Anyway, he told us up-front that he is an atheist and that Brenda is a 7th Day Adventist, and did not want us coming back...so odd because he gave us all this stuff! I was laughing on the inside the entire time, especially because we had a supper appointment right after! Ha.
So I also had someone work on my back this past week. He is a reflexologist in the ward and enjoys treating missionaries. Mike, do you know much about reflexologists? My upper back has just been annoying lately, even to the point where I would just push my shoulder-blades all the way back and my back would go pop-pop-pop! So I had him look at it. I went to his place and my experience should have been in a movie. He had me go to this room in the basement--sketchy--and when I entered it, it just had this really faint light glowing and the room smelled of spices. I thought of 60s music. "What the...?" I barely made out the figure of an operating table---no, just kidding, there was a table in the middle of the room that I could barely make out, and all of it together was just so funny! I was so excited! He really worked on my back and I think it feels better. He had offered to work on me every-so-often, which I really think will help, because, as he described it, my back is hurting because my legs are so bowed-out, and he said he can work on that. Once again, fingers are crossed!
So after Sacrament Meeting I was asked to teach Gospel Principles. I said "yes" of course, because I love teaching and I am a missionary, and then I saw that the lesson was on the Gathering of Israel. What the...?! Gee, I needed help there. I did quite well actually, its just one of those lessons you cannot just whip-out from memory. It was all good though. My recently-baptized member, Linda, was there, along with Marge Harder, the 86 year-old investigator. She is doing so well! She had us over for supper this past week and signed up to feed us twice more the next few weeks. Oh, she is so fun to teach. Talk about a love for the people! Her and Edilyn from Winnipeg are those that I have connected with most. Linda is up there too, its just that I did not find her.
I have been forced to work on Christlike attributes the past few weeks, mainly patience and the gift of charity. I definitely sense a difference in my approach to every-day situations/challenge(r)s. Using some "advice" from my Patriarchal Blessing, I have really been able to notice a difference in my spiritual life.
Lots of people have told me I talk in "American Slang". Hmmm.
People are so stubborn. I talked with a few people this past week who talked of Christ and "believed in the Bible", but would not even consider praying about the Book of Mormon. So frustrating! Just pray about it! The only thing stopping them, us, or anyone is pride. Stupid pride. Get rid of it voluntarily or the Lord will force it out of you. Our choice. I can understand (to an extent), people being skeptical about The Book of Mormon, but I cannot understand people not even praying to know if it is true. Ga, the frustrations of missionary work.
Mom and Dad, please offer to help the local missionaries by offerring to go on appointments if you can. I promise it will be rewarding and interesting. Let me know how that goes.
So, reading Alma 34, it perfectly describes my testimony because I know the seed is good. I have such good feeling about the Gospel, and I know it is true. Reread Alma 34 and that is how I know everything is true. I read it was closed my Book of Mormon, and was like, yep, that's my testimony eh. No, I didn't really say that, but that is how I felt!
Mom, remember you gave me a card a number of years ago that had the 17 Points of the True Church? Well I got another one from Winnipeg, but I heard the talk that that man gives about the 17 Points. Once I heard the talk AND THEN looked at the 17 Points of the True Church, it shed a whole new light on them! Incredible! Here is a brief rundown, but you have to promise to look at it yourself too: A genius, Mr. Dunbar, heard Albert Einstein conclude a 3 hour long lecture by saying "the more I learn, the more I am led to believe that a Higher Being created us". Eh, something like that. Then, this Mr. Dunbar went through the entire Bible and wrote down 17 Points that the true church of Christ would HAVE to have. And you have to look up the rest.
And of course, I love you all so much.