Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

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,

Elder Galbraith

This computer does not have an SD card pictures this week...

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