International Falls was the cold spot in the nation on Friday, at -46, and again yesterday, at -37. Most other days the past two weeks, the extreme low has been within 50-75 miles of International Falls. Then it warmed up and was 11 degrees at about 11 pm last night - that's almost 50 degrees difference. (Sounds like Southern Alberta when a chinook blows in.)
Yep, it’s been cold. The morning that it was -46 I walked outside (@6:30 in p-jays just to feel how sub minus 40 feels. Weird things start to happen when it’s that cold! You take a breath and it just feels like you cannot get enough air.....it was so exciting! Just after that Elder Morris and I boiled water and threw it outside...yup, it vaporized before hitting the ground. Oh ya. We have been tracting in the cold, and it’s been mid -20s (C) for much of the past week. I am SO excited that I-Falls was the coldest place in the nation (twice!) this past week, while I am here! It makes the cold worth it. And, now I can finally say I know cold. Sheesh. There were a few days where I heard we literally had "arctic winds", and they sure felt like something from the arctic. It was the first time my nostrils had ever frozen, talk about a weird feeling. But, of course I am excited every time something like that happens and just laugh it off because it will make for great stories down the road. And yes, 10F feels like a warm spell, I mean, I am in a short sleeve white shirt and a light jacket, what is wrong with that?
An interesting week again, aside from the weather. Many more missed appointments, but we always seem to end the weeks on high notes, and this week we did that again to the tune of finding a great new investigator. His name is Zack, and he is the grandson of a member here. Zack is 20, and is looking to learn about "the Mormons" and change his current behavior. It’s situations like this where I just want to take my brain out and throw it at them because I have no idea where to even start, and just am so excited I have someone who is willing to listen. I feel that Elder Morris and I have built up a solid teaching pool here and will begin to really teach more this week.
One of our teaching appointments was with a stout "Born-again". Sheesh. It is so difficult to visit with someone who just has the intentions of proving me wrong. The whole time I just smiled. What else can I do to a man who literally will not stop talking? Thinking back on this appointment, it was pretty funny. He crossed himself several times in what he said. He thought we knew nothing about the Bible, so he would attempt to explain little things to us. He claimed that John 3:5 claimed that being born of water is at birth, and that some people even give childbirth in swimming pools to fulfill that. Ha...what do you say to that? Ha. Christ was obviously talking to Nicodemus there and he told Nicodemus to be born again, how can that man's interpretation of that scripture prove true, if Nicodemus had to be "born of water again"? Anyway, in preparation for that appointment, I read 3/4 of the way through the book of Acts to make sure I was familiar with the material he was presenting. I just finished the chapter "The Transfiguration" in Jesus the Christ. That book is good stuff!
Going back to that guy...it’s really quite funny that so many churches up here tell people all this false doctrine about the Book of Mormon. A lot do! I think it is absolutely hilarious because of Christ's saying "by their fruits ye shall know them". If they preach hate....enough said. The Book of Mormon testifies of Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of the world and anyone conscious enough to read its title page will know that much.
This past week we had a movie night for the Institute here and watched the movie "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration". Wow. I had never seen it before, and it really brings the Spirit and people walk out of that knowing that Joseph Smith was a true prophet (the parallels between Joseph Smith bringing forth the Book of Mormon and the early Christians bringing forth the Bible are amazing). The movie is only an hour and 2 minutes long, so Mom and Dad, I beg you to find a way to watch it for FHE sometime. You cannot help but feel like you are willing to sacrifice anything to share Christ's Gospel. Will you promise me that you will watch it? Then do something with the strength that it adds to your testimony. Gain every little lesson you can from every detail in the movie. See how the prophet labored among others, see how he was a family man. See how pure joy comes as we do good. As a missionary, I testify it does, and I don't use the word "testify" very often. How blessed we are to have the Book of Mormon, knowing the persecution it underwent, and the sacrifices others made so we can have it! Do not take it for granted.
Speaking of the Book of Mormon, I want to jog your memories of a few verses I read from a couple of weeks ago. Mormon 7, do you remember what it says? The last 3 verses clearly state that it was written to testify of, and to strengthen, the Bible. Read it. And, I finished the Book of Mormon while on my mission (and just before). I am reading through the Pearl of Great Price and will probably slowly chug through it as I focus my efforts on the New Testament and Jesus the Christ. Studying goes slowly when I spend about half my time studying the subjects that others need to hear. But its all good.
Thank you so much for the music and belt buckles! It was a 2nd Christmas for sure! Oh, ya! I love seeing those belt buckles again, and am excited to play Jurassic Park and ragtime again. Thank you!
Well, this week we should here about transfer calls. I don't expect much to change on my part (you never know!), and I hope Elder Morris and I stay together. He is stressing that he will leave. Other than that, I have nothing else to say. I'm off to make belts at a member's place. I love my family so much and thank them for their excellent support of me out here.