Acura is running a TV commercial about their cold-weather testing done at a facility near Baudette, MN (about 50 miles west of I-Falls). They end by saying, “If your winter is tougher than this, you don’t need a new car – you need a new place to live.”
I-Falls was the coldest spot in the nation yesterday? (+6 degrees) Not very cold! I am starting to realize I probably will be one of those "it-isn't-cold-out" guys who claims that anything above -40 is t-shirt weather.....ok, maybe not to that degree, but the cold has sure given me a different perspective on weather and thankfulness that I live nowadays where I have heaters. The snow is melting and everything is filthy muddy! Wow it’s muddy. Yesterday there was a light mist for most of the day and it just felt like I was back in the Northwest. Tender mercies...
I like that quote you wrote - "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power." Elder Morris and I have that on our table. I feel that we have been blessed with success by the little things that we do to try to be obedient. I have sent you light-hearted pictures and videos the past few weeks of us having fun on P-days...we cannot take pictures while we are out working, so from pictures you really only get to see the lighter side of missionary work (on p-days). I learned a lesson this past week that I'd like to share regarding those pictures: last week Dad reminded me to stay focused, and I initially got frustrated by that because I felt like you only saw one side of missionary work and were judging me strictly by that. But as I pondered that parental counsel, I really saw the wisdom in that. As I thought back on that, I felt that you were just lovingly encouraging me to do my best and to give what I have to give. So I made a special effort this past week to do what I could to further the Lord's work. Thanks Dad. This past week we met a very promising young lady to teach, we set a baptismal date, we had Sacrament Meeting's highest attendance since I have been here, and even more. I feel that these things were not coincidental: when I put more into the Lord's work, the Lord gives back. D&C 82:10: the Lord is bound when we do what he says. Now, that success will not always be evidenced by baptismal dates, but it will be there. PMG (Preach My Gospel) is very specific in saying that a successful missionary is not determined by the number of baptisms he/she has, but by their devotion to the work.
To wrap up my spiritual thought, I thought of Kim as I read 2 Ne. 5:1 this morning. I cannot remember off-hand what exactly it said, but that by substituting Kim's name in there that it had a very applicable meaning. Kim, you are in my prayers daily. Remember D&C 82:10's promise. I look up to you for using the gift of the temple that is near you. I envy you for having (and using!) that supernal gift. Not having a temple nearby is perhaps one the greatest difficulties of missionary work.
I gave a talk in the Fort on agency. It’s one of those topics that you could probably write a 1000-page book on and still have more to write about. What a gift it is. Agency: the gift to choose, use, misuse and/or abuse. Record attendance in the Fort due to visitors: 11. Although I poke fun at that branch occasionally, I really do enjoy the lessons there and the teaching that does take place.
Yesterday we had a lesson with a family in the branch that is very...busy. So Elder Morris and I tried a new tactic to teaching: enacting Book of Mormon stories. We talked about Enos and prayer last time; we decided to switch things up this week and throw in a biblical classic in David and Goliath. Elder Morris kicked it up a notch and cut up an old white shirt and bought 150 feet of string for a buck and made legit slings and we slung marshmallows with the kids. They loved it! I don't know how much they will retain, but I do know that they will remember that lesson for a long time. Our aim is to get them excited about the scriptures.
Ok, which reminds me of an inactive guy we are teaching. He grudgingly let us in his home when we met him a month or so ago, and we gave him a BofM and he started reading and got REALLY into it and was excited to see what would happen next with Nephi and his brothers. He was making ties to gospel principles and invited himself to church! Unheard of! I wanted to get a tape recorder and say "can you say that into the mike again please?" kind-of-thing. He ended up being sick, but I am confident he will attend church soon. All because he read the Book of Mormon. When we read and earnestly study God's scriptures, we cannot help but be captivated! The Book of Mormon has the power to change lives and I have seen it in Marge's life, Edilyn's life, Bro. Oster's life, and now in Brett Eidman's life.
Speaking of Bro. Oster, he is probably laughing at the mention of his name. He google'd Boden Oster and my blog was the first thing that came up and he found my blog! Little trickster! Now he knows that my first name isn't Elder anymore...something like ter-hay or something like that. Which reminds me of a time when I was in high school (still weird saying that) and a substitute teacher was calling role and horrifically butchered my name and then some: "Is ter-ee-uh here...is she here?" Oh, she did not have high marks on my books. It says “Male” right next to the name. Sheesh. I love my first name, just not the way she killed it.
Bro. Oster is a wonderful man. Someday on P-day I will play Monopoly or Risk with him and crush him. You will all definitely hear about that when (not if) it happens. Bring it Bro. Oster!
Anyway, I accidentally left my notes about what I was going to write about back in the apartment, so I am fresh out of what to say. Godspeed. Just remember the best part of the gospel: It’s all true. I love my family!