So pretty much all of Canada shut down yesterday...including all libraries and school campuses, meaning no email for me! So today I am in a library in a sketchy part of town in Saskatoon. Nothing to really worry about, it’s just weird is all. But, me being in a library means less time on a computer. Sorry there.
Marge's confirmation went really well. She has really warmed up to the Church, it's amazing. Member-fellowshipping goes a long ways! Marge has really bonded well with a member, and that helps retention. Anyway, the confirmation. I was pretty nervous as the time kept getting closer and closer. Confirmation is a big thing! So right before I got up to confirm her, I checked the White Handbook, and was good to go. I know the ordinance is not for me, but is for her, so that helped ease some of the nerves. Everything went well, and I did everything right the first time. What I found interesting is what was (not) in my mind during the ordinance. Normally, my mind is continually jumping from one thing to another, worrying about this and that, but during any blessing or ordinance my mind literally clears. Giving the ordinance, my mind was completely blank: I could only hear the words I was saying. I was focusing SO hard on what was in my mind. I would have a few distant impressions surface, but because they were the only things in my mind, I would say them. I remember that a few things seemed to apply to Marge, but that is for her and the Lord to decide. Marge is so great, I am seeing her today and then leaving!
Yup, I found out that I am leaving today instead of Wednesday, and should arrive in the US Wednesday night. Oh man, here we go!
I wanted to thank Natalie, Tasha, Auntie Sharon, Mike and Kelly, and my Mom and Dad for their letters! I received some just before Christmas and those were Christmas letters themselves!
On Sunday I street-contacted a guy that only spoke Spanish, so I got to dust off my old Spanish skills. It was really fun! Elder McDowell will be proud of me. Sure tough though. I am surprised by how much I remembered, but with the Spirit, I guess I can remember anything really. He understood (well, I think he did) who we are, what we were doing, we gave him un Libro de Mormon, and got his address, but he didn't have a phone number. Ga. So I understood him, and I think he sort of understood me. Good.
Packing on a mission is a pain for sure. I had to sit on my bags to close the zippers! I know my Dad is saying "that's bad for the zippers". I know, and am sending you things that I could not fit and do not need. So much stuff! My 2 Qurans and 3 other Baha'i books fit, but my 5 inch Muslim philosophy book didn't. Sad day. Yup, measure it, 5 inches thick.
I will be sure to read D&C 6, but I challenge you all to reread my "mission scripture" this week and ponder what it means to you. With me leaving Saskatoon, a lot of members are asking me what my favorite scripture is, and I tell them Ether 12:4, and have had the chance to reread it and reapply it to myself. The Savior is the ultimate source of hope. He performed a perfect, and infinite, Atonement to save us from the effects of sin if we are willing to accept Him and follow His commandments, which are only meant for our own good. Reading the Bible and Book of Mormon, I am finding more sources describing "faith without works is dead". It is! Faith is not faith if we are not willing to follow the Savior and do His will. What does it profit us if we cannot take 3 hours of our schedule all week to attend church? NOTHING. Back to the scripture: the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been a tremendous anchor in my life to me, and it is that constant hope, as Ether 12:4 describes. The entire scripture is so packed with doctrine and "good stuff". I know I would be drastically different if it were not for the Gospel, the least I can do for Christ's eternal Atonement is to serve for 2 years and proclaim what He has done for us, and what he still does do for us each individually.
Well, I am out of time already. I really enjoyed talking to my family. That time definitely was not enough. I laughed when you said I sounded older. Ha, its just because I was not throwing down the slang, kind of thing like I did back home. I still know how to have fun, how to enjoy myself. It will certainly be different being in an outlying town because I will not have P-Day activity to go to. Oh man! I will find something to do.
I will keep you up to date with how my back is doing, and I will send Michael some of the pictures of my lower legs to show him the bending that is occurring. The bending is supposedly causing me all the problems. I have a few exercises to do, so I am hopeful, nothing to worry about just as of yet.