Monday, January 31, 2011
Our labors from prior weeks paid off this week. We taught 16 lessons, 6 on Saturday. I called the District Leader and said "I-Falls is....back!" The work is picking back up, and is all good. And even better, Elder Morris and I are staying together! This will be my first experience where something (companion/area) did not change. Elder Morris is going to be a good one to have that "first" with. The other missionaries in Warroad Minnesota are getting moved out, so that means that Elder Morris and I are the only missionaries in the States in the Canada Winnipeg Mission! Ha, It’s great...I cross the border quite a bit...being out in an outlying area (I-Falls is 5 hours away from the nearest missionaries now) is so fun, it feels like we have free reign to go anywhere. I mean, we went to this small town in Ontario called Emo (yes, really), which is 30k's from Fort Francis and we drove out there in a blizzard. Backing up---on Tuesday we met an inactive man in the sticks past Fort Francis and his doctrine...is interesting. Really interesting. I mean, this guy built a sweat-lodge in his backyard for himself. He told us how he can talk to bears, and more. Another lady we visited with last night told us some gross things she claimed to know about Joseph Smith, but I am NOT going to write those. What I am getting at is, there are some interesting visits that keep me on my toes. Don't worry about the other lessons we teach, they are "on-track" if you catch my drift.
Oh, my belt looks so good. It took almost 4 hours to make! I struggled to decide what to put on it, because I wanted it to be good, of course, but also unique and not boring. So, I put CWM GALBRAITH BYU, with a unicorn stamp and a wolf-howling-at-the-moon stamp to provide some flavor. It looks good, let me tell you, and the belt buckles--oh yea.
Missionary companionships get copies of the Ensign, but when Conference issues roll around, we only get one, so I would please ask that you send me a personal copy that I can go through and mark up. That little Book of Mormon would make for a great b-day present, by the way.
No blender here, so I have not yet made a recipe that Auntie Sharon gave me for soup, but Elder Morris and I will pick one up in Winnipeg when we head in for District Meeting sometime next transfer.
Ok, ok, now for the IMPORTANT stuff. Yesterday at church, there were 3 car guys who drove prototypes and fleet vehicles and ran tests for Hyundai. Ya, needless to say, I asked them a few questions. They took Mechanical Engineering classes, so I may switch my major...But oh, oh, what a great week for cars! I saw the new Dodge Durango--gross. Looks like a normal SUV that has had a few too many Pillsbury Dough Boy treats. I also saw a concept/prototype from Ford. Looked like it could be or should be the new Ranger. The car had its labels and emblems all taken off, but you can't fool these eyes: that was the next Ford Ranger. But it was a 4 door. I didn't think they made 4 door Rangers now. This Ranger looked like an egg up front, weird stuff for sure. So, these car guys at church told me they were driving around a fleet of about 8 cars, one of which was an unreleased Genesis coupe with an 8 speed. An 8 speed in a sports car? What the...?
So my scriptures for the week: 2 Nephi 25:23, Matt 7:21, which both proclaim that we have to DO SOMETHING (works) to get to heaven, but that it is ultimately through God's grace that we are saved. James states it best, "faith without works is dead". Nephi eloquently says in that verse that it is through grace that we are saved after all we can do. See, passages where the Book of Mormon and the Bible work together. Also, 2 Nephi 25:26 is a great verse too, I will let you look that up.
On my 6-month mark (past Friday) I got letters from Mike and Kim, and a package from Brendin! What great bump-day presents! I took a video of me opening Brendin's package, but it is too big to send through email. Sorry Bern. I still love you bro, and really appreciate all the goodies and stuff. All are going to be put to good use. I can be the "candy-man" of Canada that Bro. Litchfield was back in K1, with all those Tootsie-Rolls! Thanks you Tasha for the great letters, and ya, please send pictures! Pictures are golden Christmas presents, so...all that read that, you now know that pictures are the best!
Elder Morris and I taught the brightest 8 year-old I have ever met. His name is Boden Oster, and his family has been less-active for 11 years, and they came to church yesterday! They live in Fort Francis but came to I-Falls, but still! I saw a love in their family that I do not think I have seen since I have been out. Family love is so rare! It really made me appreciate my own family and my own friends. I love all my friends, but I love my family SO much! It’s hard to express it through emails, but I really do love my family and the tremendous examples they are to me. They know the things that I look up to them for, and I again express my love and appreciation for them. I love you guys. I do enjoy hearing the highs and lows from my family, because family endures it together, and it helps me to feel a like I am still involved in my family somewhat. Family sticks it out with family. I love my family...I haven't cried very much on my mission, but I am crying now...You may not see me reading your letters or emails, but they are greatly appreciated.
While talking about family, Mike, I did meet that Elder Fisher once. Ha, ya, he was from Magrath. So I kind of hastily sent those pictures off to you, but those were taken when that reflexologist in Saskatoon was working on me. I guess what I wanted you to notice was that my feet seem to connect up with my legs at an awkward angle, that my lower legs bow just below the knee and just above the ankle. That bowing apparently affects my upper back. My back is just uncomfortable after sitting for a little while and cracks easily. Ugh. The reflexologist said that the bowing in my legs has a direct link to my back and claims that the real "fix" is in my legs.
As far as investigators go, we woke up Zack and got him a ride to church. He talks a lot, and I am not sure on his commitment level, but him coming to church helps the cause. His friend Tiffany whom we visit with, seems more interested. We will see. For now, we teach those 2 and another friend they have, Michelle, all together. That is a bit difficult to do because they all have different needs, but they would like to meet together. Other good investigators are Jeff and Desiree, an unmarried couple we are working with, and a single guy named Chris. They are both promising but I am now running low on time. I am meeting with them both within the next 2 days. Love you all, Godspeed.