Monday, January 30, 2012

Still winter

                               Ice fishing in Kenora

It's cold eh?

I'm glad to say that I am looking at some warmer weather this upcoming week. Now don't get me wrong, that -40 stuff is sure a novel experience but some weird things start happening at -40 and missionary work becomes less-productive (I have to warm up my toes longer!).  It got down to about -32C in Regina with a -44 wind chill this past week for a couple of days. Talk about crazy cold. I saw a sundog too. For those who don't know what a sundog is, its like a rainbow around the sun and it has to be cold to have one, and the colder it is the better the chance of seeing one. So I have seen a few this week. When it's really cold, the snow starts squeeking and crunching--not like that in Seattle. That's interesting to hear about Seattle and their bout of snow. There really isn't much up here, this has been a really mild winter (for Canada) but I'm not complaining.

This past week definitely did not go as planned. Right as Elder Dunn and I were walking out the door on our 4-day trip to Saskatoon, we got a call from the Assistants telling us that we were needed to help with some sudden rearranging of missionaries due to extenuating circumstances, and that we could not go to Saskatoon. So, we didn't go. We stayed in Regina and "did work". There was an entire day that below -40, and because we cannot go street-contacting or tracting below -40, we did some less-active work and had some moderate success, actually. We ended up having 3 less-actives come to church on Sunday, but no investigators. They will come. The Ward here has asked us to visit a lot of less-actives, and so we are doing our part there, and yesterday were given many more to go and visit--the Bishop said that he could tell that he could trust us and so he wants to keep us busy. We agreed. It's so important to have the trust of the Bishop! The bishopric here consists of missionary-oriented all-stars, so we are looking for big things to happen here. It's just a matter of balancing LA (less-active) work and investigator work. We should be busy, we have just been rebuilding the teaching pool ever since we got here and we have a number of promising people that we are working with, it's just difficult to meet with them more than once a week due to their busy schedules.

For this upcoming week we have a special meeting on Wednesday called Specialized Training that will be an all-day event, and we will be doing an hour-long portion that I'm pretty nervous about. The Zone is showing some signs of improvement, but we could still definitely use your prayers. I am finding this new assignment as a Zone Leader sure helpful to me yet challenging. Despite being constantly asked how much longer I have on my mission (people have now started asking "how much longer..." instead of "how long have you been out...") I find that I am the most focused on helping others, including other missionaries, in coming to Christ and helping others to coming to Christ. Elder Dunn and I are always discussing things as to how we can do better. Sometimes it's challenging trying to help others get motivated due to that concept of agency. Other times people catch the vision. That is the essence of Elder Dunn's and my portion on Wednesday, trying to help the missionaries get more excited and more motivated about certain aspects of the work. This new assignment sure puts a different spin on missionary work. Despite everything new, it is still the basics that must be applied in testimony. One thing I have learned out here is that it does not matter what you have done in the past, what calling you have or had, or how many scriptures you have memorized, but that the basic principles of the gospel are done and applied every day. I try to ask myself at least once a day, "Am I a successful missionary?" and judging my success based upon me extending appropriate invitations with those I meet. That way I can see if I need to improve, but also seeing myself as successful. Seeing myself as a successful missionary goes a long ways and the effects of a successful missionary extend far beyond numbers. Those are a few of the things that I am trying to help others see, but just a minor point of our portion. I hope that made sense because I am typing fast, and I hope my fingers are keeping up with my brain.

This past week we got a call from President telling us of a group of 3 university students that wanted to talk to us about asking us a few questions. Reader's Digest version: we met with this group and they wanted to do a documentary on Mormon Missionaries and what they do each day and what makes them want to do what they do. So we brought the Stake President of the Regina Stake and we met at the YSA chapel (did you look up where that is? 1101-A Kramer. Look at its LOCATION) and they asked us a few questions and told us this was for a class at the university and wanted to follow us around for a few hours each week and see what we did every day and experience some of the emotions of Mormon Missionaries. One of these 3 students had been approached last winter by a missionary in the bitter cold and wondered what made him still smile despite the cold. It left such a lasting impression that he wanted to interview Mormon missionaries a year later and find out why and follow them around. The completed documentary was to be shown at film festivals across Canada. So we talked to them. We had a great meeting and left with high hopes! Elder Dunn and I could potentially be indirectly bringing the gospel to 1000s! We called President just to get the go-ahead and he said "no cameras" faster than a camera flash. However, he did not shoot down the idea of them doing interviews with us. We will find out more tomorrow if some inkling of the original will still happen. I'll keep you posted!

I remember back a few months, Mike said that there was a missionary coming to the CWM from his ward in Raymond. I keep forgetting to tell you that that elder, Elder Lyons, is in Weyburn, SK and that I see him each week. He mentioned that Mike was his Elders Quorum President and had high praise for him. Small world eh? Love you Mike. This Elder Lyons is doing well with his companion down there and they just had a baptism. He is hilarious and seems driven as a missionary. I am impressed by him and he is doing superb work. Maybe Mike can relay that to his family if he sees them soon, just so they can hear that from another source.

About going back to BYU...whoa...I am all for it. But honestly, I did not expect all of this so soon. I want to talk to Mike about finances sometime, so that will probably have to wait until after the mission. I am not going to lie, it is stressful with the finances weighing on the back of my mind and I wonder if I should head back to BYU immediately or work full-time first. No doubt I want to go to BYU, but I just feel a little lost that way, mostly because I have not thought about it at all--I haven't had time! So maybe I am just tossing ideas around right now. Please email or mail me suggestions as soon as possible--because I am closer than I used to be (geographically), you probably could get back to me by the end of this week if you mail me something to "mull-over". I need suggestions and some direction that way. As for classes, I know that I need to take Biology and Chemistry as general classes, but again, I have not thought about this at all. Gym classes are difficult to get into, but I would love one so badly--anything, volleyball, badminton, soccer, weight training, if they have dodgeball I am all over that. As for engineering...I just don't know. Maybe it was because of the basics, but it seemed so boring. I wonder what careers there are in the automotive field. If I am to choose something I am passionate about for a career, I am passionate about cars. I have thought about it, and there are a few reasons why I love cars so much, but to a degree I can't say why I like them so much--I just do. Elder Dunn keeps telling me I need to sell cars, ha. Any suggestions would be good. As for housing, ya, that housing sounds good enough. Lance is amazing and his brother is just like him and hilarious. To be honest, without Nate there to room with also, I can't think of anyone else that I would totally get along with AND still work well with. I have so many friends, but it's a matter of gauging whether I can get along with and still work well around them. A Steven Carroll, from my ward would be a good fit, I will chat with him. I hope that answers some questions you have about BYU. That housing sounds good. If you have to sign me up for things this week, just sign me up for some generals and use your discretion for any other classes. You an always add/remove. Another thing worth noting is that I am thinking I probably will need to be working part-time while doing school, so please get back to me on that and don't overload me with classes due to that (no 18 credits DAD!) If you have time, maybe you could look for some simple scholarships and I can write up anything if necessary on P-days. Well, time is beginning to run too fast and I am now at the point where I really enjoy doing what I am doing and for all I care the spring can last forever here, because once summer comes, so does change for me. Good thing that is so far away!

Love you all, keep those prayers coming,

Elder Galbraith

    Saskatchewan sunrise (9:48 am)

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