Sure is almost spring isn't it? It's been an eventful week, for sure. I will see what I can do to try to help you see just how busy it was.
We had 2 Zone Meetings that we conducted this week. One in Regina on Tuesday and one in Saskatoon the next day. They were so different! Elder Dunn and I do not want to set goals for the missionaries, instead we want to help them set effective goals. Again, the 2 meetings were very different. The faith of the elders in 1 was dismal and the faith of the elders in the other was very good. The elders in the more faith-filled meeting were optimistic, yet realistic, and because they were, in general they posted more success in terms of their goal. I was very excited about the other meeting though. The zone requires Elder Dunn's and my utmost attention--so I apologize to anyone that may feel I have not written them lately, there are probably a few. Sunrise to sunset I am busy. I really enjoy this new responsibility but it sure stretches me. I have never had to do anything like this before. Perhaps what I enjoy most is seeing people do better and be better. There is one missionary in particular up in Saskatoon that I am very impressed with. He was a downer but changed areas and appears to have turned the corner. He and his companion posted huge success this week despite being sick! I also enjoy providing encouragement, especially in practicing. I remember early on in my mission that encouragement really helped me feel as though I was going to be a good missionary.
Something that Mike hinted at in his last email to me in response to one I sent him, he mentioned how missionary work is not always easy. The thought has crossed my mind: with such a divine work, shouldn't people be flooding to me? I recently heard a talk from Elder Holland where he said "Why is missionary work not easy? Because salvation is not cheap, because Christ's suffering was not easy." He went on to discuss that we cannot feel an infinitesimally small amount (does that make sense?) of Christ's suffering, even with our trials, but with the trials we have, we can only begin to feel as He felt. It sure is hard sometimes. I can get to wit's end with rude people. But it all helps me grow, and I recognize that. I see that I am learning things as I experience it all. I know that I am better prepared to stand up for what I believe than before. To be honest, I don't really remember if I knew some things or not before my mission, but I am grateful for the experiences I have had and the added knowledge and faith I have.
Thinking back to the goals set in zone meetings, something that Elder Dunn frequently quotes Pres. Paulson goes like this, "high failure is better than low success". Let me explain. If I set a goal to read my scriptures for 1 hour every day of the week but only do that for 6 days, technically is a failure. But if I set a goal to read my scriptures for 1 hour one day this week and do exactly that, that is a success. Which is better? I think this is profound coming from someone as experienced and accomplished as he in the workplace.
I want everyone to know that I am no longer a picky eater. We went to a Nigerian's house for a meal and we ate some great chicken and beef and rice, and...the member taught me to eat the bones of the chicken. So...what did I do? Ya, I ate the meat of the chicken, and the bones. Oh ya. I felt accomplished, and never would have done that one before coming to Canada. I know that Nate and Brendin have probably eaten crazier things, but you know what, that's ok with me. While on the subject of food, I saw a can of butternut squash soup and instantly had a craving for it. I know that the canned stuff cannot compete with Auntie Sharon's homemade soup, Oh...
We tracted into a less-active family yesterday. We are hoping that the YSA-age daughter will come to FHE tonight. (That's Young Single Adult, and Family Home Evening.)
Well that's about it, except for one thing. I did not mention my travels nor a big thing that happened. I went to Saskatoon, to Prince Albert, back to Saskatoon and then to Regina. Phew. While in Saskatoon I was street-contacting on a bridge with a new missionary (on exchanges) and I approached a guy whose response caught me off guard. "Mormon? Ya...I'm already a member". Really? Well, I struck up a conversation and was just as spunky as could be and we talked for probably 20 minutes and he said he has gone away from the Church and usually would never talk to anyone, but felt like he should to me. He would not give me his address, but did give me his phone #, and I have yet to call him. He felt really connected to me, and said he would not like other missionaries to visit unless I was there. Ugh! I wish I were in Saskatoon for a few more days! Get this--I mentioned my Dad was from Vulcan and his eyes got big and he stepped back and said "NO!" in terror. I was actually pretty scared, and then he said, “ I'm from Vulcan, no-one knows of Vulcan!” His name is Roger Brown, and his father was Carl Brown. Ever heard of them Dad? Let me know if you have, there could be a reactivation in the process here.
Love ya lots, and as always, I am eager to hear from you again,
My new mission President's name is President Thomas, from Juneau Alaska. He will come June 28th, and will finish me up. Scary thought.