Another week in Saskatoon. It has not been too cold, relatively. I am always wearing my winter coat, but it is not too bad--for the most part. Today I woke up to -20C, but it has warmed up as the day has gone by. Yes, I am still teaching that 86 year old, Marge Harder, and she is doing well. She attended my ward's Fast and Testimony meeting and got a lot out of it. I even shared my testimony, and it is always a good feeling to do so. Marge came up to me afterward and told me that she almost went up, and therefore thinks that she may be close to joining, and reinforced the MAY. She is funny because she is so stubborn, and I think she knows the message is true, but wants to appear to put up a fight. But she is still as sharp as a tack, let me tell you. She teases me all the time, and speaks her mind...a lot. But that's ok, she is full of energy and is enjoyable to teach. She feels like God speaks to her by "kicking her rear end", and she told me that she is expecting that in order to know that the Church is true. I have told her that is not how it always works, and every time she says that my insides scream "NO! That is not how is always works. Sometimes, but usually not, ah!" Something like that. Anyway, she told me after church that she felt like she was close to getting kicked in the rear, and how that is a testament to her that the Church is true. See...any time people earnestly seek after truth, and appeal to God, and approach with an open mind and open heart, and intend to act upon how they feel, then will they know that the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is His restored gospel, and therefore the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church.
Anyway, that is a missionary rambling for you. Long story short, that 86 year old I am teaching is coming along.
I feel as though I am becoming a missionary. I cannot remember if I told you this before or not, but a week or 2 ago I dropped my scriptures in the snow. I brushed them off as best I could, but when some of the snow melted it did a little bit of water damage to the edges of the pages (nothing really bad, just that the silver on the edges of the pages is dulled and page-corners have crinkled some). Anyway, seeing my scriptures like that, no longer in pristine condition, felt like the end of the world. It felt like I had lost a long-time friend. I was so sad! I kind of moped for about an hour or so, and the scriptures are still fine and in pretty good shape--just not perfect. But, I thought that if I saw my scriptures as such a good friend, maybe I am becoming a missionary. Hmmm. I feel as though I am learning how to work DILIGENTLY. I focus on having an upbeat attitude while finding and teaching.
So I had a Zone Conference this past week and it was great. We learned about different ways of finding new investigators, because that is something we as a mission are struggling with. It was good, and I walked away with the mentality that finding is a privilege. Also, I cannot stand not working and lounging around. Ugh. I feel like a bum if I am not doing something. Hopefully that translates over to school when I return.
Each December Zone Conference we as a zone get to watch an inspirational Christmas movie. This year we watched "It's a Wonderful Life". Boy, I think that is my new favorite movie! I felt like I connected with everything in the movie: the guardian angel, the message on gratitude, the family message, everything....I think I want to make a tradition of watching that each Christmas when I return home.
So I no longer meet with the group of Muslims that I used to. That is no new news. But what is new news is that I now have 2 Qurans!!! I got one tracting Saturday night. I tracted into a guy that was mad and told me to read "his book", and was going off about who knows what, and I mentioned that I met with a group of Muslims in the past and that I have so much respect for them. Then he said, "hey, do you want to come in for a bit?" Things changed that fast. Now I am not teaching him, but it shows how fast people can change. No, I did not get my first Quran from him, but from a guy across the street from him, and then I got a REALLY nice one yesterday from the group of Muslims I taught. I will probably send those home sometime. But I love Muslim people! They are so great, and the "Muslims" we see on TV blowing people up, really are not good Muslims. But I have 2 Qurans!
Anyway, Mariners...good stuff. Lopez has needed to go for a while.
Please remember to save all Car and Drivers. Every one!
My quote for the week is one from last Conference: "Faith builds character, and character is a measure of what we are becoming" --Elder Richard G. Scott
So after Zone Conference (where missionaries going home share their testimonies), I wrote my own testimony in my journal. I will close with it:
"While listening to the other missionaries giving their testimonies, I thought of my own, especially regarding missions and missionary work. I know that I am happier because of my choices to follow the Savior. Although I am only 4 months into my mission service, I feel I am a better worker, a better person, more Christlike, and absolutely more sure of who I am, and pleased with the relationship that I am developing with my Heavenly Father. I have never seen an angel, but I have seen miracles occur. I know of about 3 or 4 major experiences where I had truly profound spiritual experiences, testifying to me that what I am learning is true. But those did not come without great effort and faith on my part! Long did I trudge on with hope in finding my so-called testimony. I did not know how to "find it", cultivate it, or even recognize it. But as my life tumbled onward I continued reading the Book of Mormon, attending church, seminary and Mutual, and slowly I began to see my faith, feel something at church that is NOT of this world, but divine. These feelings (often through prayer) have secured a knowledge that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and that He restored His Gospel through Joseph Smith, in these the latter-days. My hope in Christ's Gospel, which kept me from straying in my teenage years, truly was as Ether 12:4 claims to be "an anchor". Especially after seeing "It's a Wonderful Life", and my mission service to this point, I hope for a "better world". For these reasons, and many more, is Ether 12:4 my "mission scripture", because it so genuinely describes my experiences. This is my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.