Wow, what a week, seriously.
Elder Bodily and I have started doing some tracting along Rainy Lake and wow, it is SO pretty. You should go on Google Earth--or Microsoft Live Earth, I almost forgot that Google is the enemy in Microsoft territory...phew, that was close. So you should go on Microsoft Earth or whatever it’s called and find International Falls, Minnesota and then find Ranier to the east (about 2 miles east) and then look at the road that goes east out of Ranier (which I usually spell Rainier because of Mt. Rainier) along Rainy Lake and you can see some of the beautiful scenery that I see while finding. Wow, sometimes it’s stunning. I am so spoiled to be surrounded by so much green and water. Oh, I love it so much, I just miss the mountains. Anyway, give it a look sometime. This week I will finish "tracting-out" I-Falls. Yikes. That is what 7 months can do to someone, but I love it here and hope to stay. President told me in my interview "Elder Galbraith, you have been down there a long time. You could very well stay 1 more transfer, or not." President keeps missionaries in outlying areas for 6 to 9 months, so who knows? I will find out later next week.
I learned that the Canada Winnipeg Mission (CWM) is getting a missionary from Raymond this upcoming transfer. Who knows, maybe I could serve with this Elder, who may know my brother who lives in Raymond. Sheesh. [Michael - any missionaries from your ward going to Winnipeg?] There are missionaries in the CWM from Coaldale, Alberta, from Magrath, Alberta, and there used to be another from Magrath, but that Elder went home, and then, go figure, went to see a doctor who happened to be none other than my own brother. Lots of connections to Southern Alberta in this mission.
This past week I went up to Winnipeg for Zone Conference and even got permission from President Paulson to see Auntie Susan and Uncle Brent. It’s so nice having family there, and I am really thankful that I have the chance to grow closer to that side of the family. Auntie Susan had an appointment and was not able to be there (I called the night before) but I got to see Uncle Brent and Daniel, Jeremy and Benjamin. Thanks Uncle Brent for the great wraps! I will see if I can get permission more often...
Speaking of being up in Winnipeg, Zone Conference was really good. President focused on maintaining testimonies after our missions, and later focused on involving members in missionary work. Members are essential in missionary work in fellowshipping and retaining people, and without the support of members, it makes the work excrutiatingly difficult. Unfortunately I was sick with a faucet for a nose during Zone Conference, so I admit I could have gotten more out of it. I am just about over the cold though. Nothing too bad, so no worries. Some big news for Elder Bodily and myself is that all missionaries in the CWM now get DVD players to review some missionary DVDs, called The District. Oh, I love the District! I love it, I love it, I love it. I had to watch it before the MTC, got to watch it in the MTC and enjoyed watching it shortly out in the mission field when I was in northern Winnipeg. Now it is widely available and I love that DVD because it shows real missionaries in real situations and we can evaluate how they did in certain situations. Oh, they are good, and I learn a lot from those missionaries.
There was a tug-a-war across the river 2 days ago between Fort Frances and I-Falls. The huge rope spanned the river and 50 people from each side pulled their hearts out. Now, I was on the Canadian side because we had an appointment just beforehand, so we watched from the Canadian side, and go figure, the Canucks won. Now I imagine a few select people would give me grief about that back home, but you know what, either way I could say I won because I am a dual-citizen. Hehe. I have pictures of the whole ordeal. The video’s colors are a little bluish grey because I was trying something with the camera. Rumor has it that the American side even had 6 Minnesota Vikings players pulling for them.
There is a CD that I wonder if you could search out for me. I could wire you money, it would just be in Canadian is all. Elder Morris had this CD and initially I didn't like it. The singer's name is Kalai, and he just has a VERY unique way he plays hymns. He uses a guitar or ukulele and mixes up syncopations and rhythmns and I really enjoy it now. Again, it annoyed me so much when I first heard him, but his renditions of "Onward Christian Soldiers" and "Nearer My God to Thee" are some of my favorites. Could you get it for me? Unfortunately, I do not know the album name. The easiest way to find the album may be going on my Zune software and typing Kalai, and all his albums would come up. Thanks a million!
Oh, I conducted Sacrament Meeting in I-Falls yesterday. Way weird! I only jumped ahead of myself once, so I am pretty happy with the way it went. It was kind of neat. Hmmm. In Fort Frances I decided that I needed to share a simple testimony of the gospel for myself more than anyone else. Too often I focus on different doctrines when I really need to focus on the basic, core doctrines of Christ and how I received my answers. I KNOW that there is good and evil, and I KNOW that evil is full of fear and is genuinely scary. I KNOW that God is the good force, and I have chosen to follow the good force. These 2 forces (good and evil) are very real, and are spiritual forces. This I KNOW. I KNOW that I only feel good, peace, joy, happiness, calmness, all of these things when I read from the Book of Mormon and the Bible. Because of this, I know that Jesus is the Savior and Redeemer of the world and that he is calling prophets again on the earth to testify of Christ and to lead his people. I feel a peaceful, warm assurance as I share these things.
I am so grateful for the upbringing I have had! Spending time among people who are not as fortunate as myself has really opened my eyes that way. Yes. I am grateful to have grown up in the U.S., but you do not have to leave the U.S. to find people in poverty, people that are spiritually dead, especially find people too proud to believe in any God. Ugh, truly count your blessings.
Thanks Mom and Dad, and to all that are reading this. I love you.
Come on Mariners! What are you doing? Gah, stupid 3-ball walk. I really do appreciate the M's updates. Elder Bodily just told me that there is an NBA lockout too? Is the NFL lockout still in effect? Maybe this would pave the way for a rebirth in interest in the MLB, NHL (oh ya) and MLS. Who knows?
That is a great talk [Elder Bednar’s talk from April Conference, “The Spirit of Revelation”], you indirectly prompted me to give that to an investigator, Phil B. See, your comments on talks help people out in the field! Feel free to let me or any other missionaries know of any promptings that you have. They may help the work...
I really do appreciate the family updates! Thank you.