Well, I feel like a total fool. I was so excited to talk to you and hear your voice that I don't think I even thanked you for the gifts and I definitely did not tell you I love you enough. So, thank you so much and I love you so much! How's that? Thank you Auntie Sharon for the toque! It's not blisteringly cold yet, but I am sure that is still coming. No games the rest of the day, and to answer your question, that dinner last night was pretty awkward. Enough said.
Getting to attend 2 sacrament meetings in one day reminds me of good ol'
I-Falls/Fort Frances. Looking like I will be heading down there to do a
baptismal interview on Saturday, and I am in Dryden now getting ready to do the
same for tomorrow.
So Bro. Ladd did give you a call eh? He is a great member and actually, Elder
O'Driscoll and I stayed at their place for a few nights right as we arrived in
Kenora because our apartment was not ready. Bro. Ladd was touched by
testimonies given in sacrament meeting and wanted to give you a call. I really
am trying out here and am learning that the best way to have fun while being a
successful missionary is to be myself. It's so easy to slip into the rut of
trying to be perfect and almost "worshipping the Law". So things that
I am doing to be myself are like changing out of missionary clothes every night
after planning and call-ins and teasing more, just who I am. I feel that doing
such helps relieve some of the stresses of missionary work and I am able to do
just enough "unwinding". Now, I still am diligent and devoted with
all this, don't you think otherwise! But, I am grateful that Bro. Ladd gave you
a call. Sometimes it's good to hear from another source, eh?
Did I sound any different than before? What did you think? I think you are
getting the impression that I am fat because you asked about my physical health
and commented on me putting on weight. I laughed to myself. I am filling out is
all. No, I am not running laps every day with my companion, but trying to eat
fairly healthy. That said, sorry Dad, I will never sink to the rice and beans
diet. Kill me first. Ha. I noticed a few differences in you two. Well, maybe
not differences, but things that I picked up. I noticed that Mom said
"awesome" and I kind of did a double-take sort of thing. In the CWM
we don't use words like awesome, cool, sweet. Nope. So I noticed that and kind
of laughed to myself. It was really weird being called "TJ", because
that's not my name right now. Just a few funny things...
Well I should probably tell you about yesterday, which ended up being one of
the best Sundays on my mission, if not my life. First, I started it off on an
amazing note by talking to my parents. Loved it. 45 minutes didn't even feel
like a drop in the bucket. One baptismal date we have, Alex, came to church after
come coaxing and then had a tremendous experience while there. A less-active
couple we have been working with came to church too. All in all, the turnout to
church was pitiful--16 people, but it was a classic example of quality instead
of quantity. We all were invited to share things we are thankful for and Elder
Perkins and I each went up and shared different insights about family and the
gospel. Of course I teared up, and it felt great because I haven't done that
much lately. You touch on my family and I get teary-eyed. So I shared how
grateful I am for my family and for temples and for the impact of the gospel
upon my life, those sort of things. Then the husband in the less-active family
got up and said, "The branch president asked me to give the opening prayer
this morning and I turned him down because I am a shy fellow. Well, brothers
and sisters, I stand before you now and want to tell you that the Holy Spirit
has been working on me for the last 20 minutes and I want you all to know that
I would be honored to say the opening prayer the next time I am asked. In the
name of Jesus Christ amen..." I went up to him afterwards (and told him) that his
testimony was simple, yet powerful. Wow. Then we coaxed Alex to get up and play
and sing a song on the piano and with some hesitation he did and walked slowly
past the podium, stopped, and went back and introduced himself and then shared
how he met us missionaries. Oh, it was so good. Then, he went on to share how
he has performed in lots of other churches in Kenora but that this Church has
the "it" factor and that he has actually gotten so much from coming
to church. He said he feels great and knows he has received answers to prayers.
Wow. That good. I felt like if nothing else, I was a successful missionary in
Kenora. I know that is not how we measure success, but it has been a struggle
here at times and things are finally coming together. Kenora is the best it's
been in the 5 months I have been here. Seriously.
That is about it, I have plenty of other stories about great spiritual
experiences from the past week, but this keyboard is driving me insane because
I keep hitting 2 buttons at once. Ugh. So I ended up only sharing yesterday,
but please share your spiritual experiences too.
Love you all,
This computer does not have an SD card slot...no pictures this week...