What a week...it had all the emotions of a mission compounded into one little week. In the beginning of the week we had back-to-back-to-back exchanges with the Zone Leaders, District Leader and the Assistants and they all went really well and we all found very prepared people. I think they all wanted to come and see Kenora because it's the best place in the mission, so who can blame them? Then after Thursday things took a nosedive and no lessons went through and Elder Pacis got so homesick he was close to going home. Ugh. He called President and things are a lot better today...no lunched appointments (no appointments yet), but no fish either (did go fishing). We did have some things go our way yesterday, as a family came to church that we had a misunderstanding with, and all is well. Phew. They invited us over tomorrow night. On a brighter note, we have a couple of meetings with very prepared people this week which I am confident will go well. On Friday the branch is having a pig roast where they will be roasting an entire pig, face and all! The ward I was in in Winnipeg last September (uh, I can now refer to missionary things I did this time last year) had a similar activity, but it was a brutally cold, windy Winnipeg day, so this year's should be much better. Back to the prepared people: 2 or 3 of them said that they would like to come to church this upcoming week, and Elder Pacis and I were able to give some service to one by painting a sunroom and helping put together part of a treehouse. I got to do the drilling, and I really like doing construction, it’s just really fun. Maybe I really should do construction management and get in on the action that I would be "managing". Another good thing that happened this past weekend was that Elder Pacis and I had a good heart-to-heart talk and it reminded me how I have been slacking in my nightly prayers. Sure, I pray every night, but I was not COMMUNICATING--but was more of a one-way conversation, and not heartfelt. So my prayers have been much, much better and I feel better as a result. So that is very good news there. Everything gets better when prayers get better, right? Yup.
On to lighter things...I saw Christmas lights on for the first time this season. This house had them on for probably a good 5 minutes before realizing they were jumping the gun 3 months, but I was really glad they did! It is now dark by 7:30 and so we tract for about an hour in the dark, which is really weird after not having done it for 6 months. Also, there was a member who didn't go to church yesterday because they were GETTING PAID FOR CAMPING. If it were not on Sunday, how good would that be?! I don't think there could be anything better! He is a teacher and they had some kind of paid retreat that he was invited to. Sheesh. Sign me up. Another member mentioned something about Ford buying Cummins? Is that true? That would be REALLY weird, but good for Ford. Please include some pictures of the new LW when you get back! I can't just go on Google or Facebook as a missionary and look it up or else I would. Ichiro really is having a rough "Ichiro year", isn't he? Ugh. Eh, I still think his 10 consecutive 200+ hit seasons is still pretty good. BYU lost to Utah? I can't stand U of U...
It is pretty neat stepping into more of a leadership role by training Elder Pacis. It helps me look back at the basics again and really go through PMG one step at a time. Practicing more helps too. Without going into any specifics, I know that Elder Pacis and I being companions was not just happen-chance, but was divine. Things will turn around here in Kenora, it’s just the refiner's fire sort of thing right now. Because my prayers have been better the past 24 hours, I feel better.
This morning I spent my hourlong personal study just looking at certain aspects of the Atonement. Sheesh. It seems that I really have to be guided by the Spirit in learning, or I cannot focus. Good thing that this morning was guided by the Holy Ghost, because I was able to look at the Atonement from all sorts of different aspects. Jesus Christ's Atonement overcame physical and spiritual death, allows everyone to be resurrected (1 Cor. 15 and 2 Nephi 2), allows Christ to succor us because he has been through so much more than any of us have ever gone through (Alma 7) and so much, much more. I drew up this word-web of the Atonement and lots of the things it encompasses. Sure covers a lot, and as PMG states, "the more that you understand the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the more you will want to share the gospel" or something to that effect. Truly, we are saved by grace after all we can do. We need to show our faith and obedience, but there is nothing we can do by ourselves to warrant entrance into heaven because we have all sinned (Romans ?:3), but through Christ's cleansing sacrifice we can be clean by following his gospel. The parable that Elder Packer uses as found in the Atonement section in Gospel Principles is still my favorite way of illustrating the how Christ literally is the Mediator, and how He is able to help us. Good stuff.
That is great about Halle! Congrats Halle, sounds like she nailed the interview.
Attached are a few pictures of fishing. I saw a baby turtle! Last night I saw a skunk rummaging through our trash, so I am seeing all sorts of wildlife, just not the moose, bear and timberwolves I am looking for!
Guess what I got at transfers? Marj Harder from Saskatoon (the 86 year old I baptized) knitted me a wool sweater! They will go great with my wool socks she knit me...