with Sis. Harder at the temple
(written late Sunday evening)
Heading off to Saskatoon tomorrow for a busy week ahead. We will be going on the Trans-Canada to Saskatoon, dropping off mail to missionaries in Portage La Prairie and in Brandon, MB. Elder Skinner and I will be on exchanges in Saskatoon on Monday night and Tuesday, then down to Regina to be present for interviews with President Paulson on Wednesday and Thursday, with time spent in Moose Jaw, SK after interviews. We are present at those interviews to assist in a few basic duties to help everything run smoothly, and to do car inspections (!). Zone Conference is on Friday, and then we head to Brandon, MB for an exchange with them on Saturday and will return here late Saturday night. Church on Sunday. Busy week, eh? I guess I should tell you all what I do on these exchanges. I will split off with one of the elders in the area I am in and will be his companion for a few hours and will provide encouragement and insights on the work. I like to ask them questions geared towards their perspective of how the work is going, their area and their investigators and help where I can. I found them helpful as a younger missionary and it provides a way to see the way someone else goes about various situations. They are a tremendous benefit.
Mom I hope you are doing better!
Brief pause---I am working on doing the CWM indicators and they are being faxed in from the 2 zones (which are in different times zones) and take a little while to come in and then to put in the computers and get ready to go. If my thoughts are sporadic, you know why. Again, I am trying to get most of this typed up tonight so I can get out of Winnipeg about 8am tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed. I will see Elder Bodily tomorrow, as he was just moved up to Saskatoon and is helping to train a new missionary, and we will be following up with how that is going with him. I love that man.
This past week was a busy one for me. I did lots of office work for the first part of the week and then had lots of finding time towards the end of the week with lots of office things to do in preparation for this trip to Saskatchewan. A highlight of the week was having supper at Uncle Brent and Auntie Susan's with the boys. Elder Skinner and I went over on Thursday and we chatted at the table, shared a brief message on Easter, and then played a couple minutes of ping pong downstairs. It was very nice and it is convenient to have family so close, let alone within the same ward boundaries that I am currently serving in. Go figure. For mom: Pres. Oler (your cousin, who is in the stake presidency here) is also in the Waverly ward and he got my phone number so it looks like we will be catching up soon. Family in Winnipeg---all in my area...go figure. It's a little taste of home.
I had some personal revelation during church today as the sacrament was being passed to the congregation. Though the sacrament is passed each week, it had a special meaning today for me. Yes, it was Easter and the talks were about that glorious event which has eternal importance, but I think that a large portion of my insight had to do with the fact that I consciously prepared to take the sacrament during the week. I wrote myself a note on my "To Do" list for Saturday that I needed to prepare myself mentally and spiritually to take the sacrament. I know we are always supposed to do that, but with trying to help investigators attend church, planning what would help them best progress, teaching, etc., I seem to have largely left that preparation for Sunday morning. I wanted to change that. So I did, and it made a difference. From the moment it was blessed, I felt a definite increase of the Holy Ghost, even moreso than I typically do. I had an insight as to why we use both the emblems that are used in the sacrament. It came very quickly and crystal clear, and was a thought that just came to me. I have thought about some things involving the sacrament for a while now, and my answers came very clearly. Frankly, I was a little surprised the way my answers came, but I had the reassurance of the Holy Spirit that this piece of revelation came from God. So, my preparing for the sacrament made a huge impact on my experience today. Looks like I will be doing that again!
Oh, a little more about my trip this week: Elder Skinner and I will be doing instructive portions in Zone Conference. We plan on using an object lesson to help missionaries use the missionary manual Preach My Gospel as the instruction manual it truly is--but don't tell anyone because none of the missionaries know we will be doing that, and you will have to see what the object lesson is. That's about it for Sunday night. I will see what you have for me tomorrow morning. Love ya!
(E-mail and pictures arrived about midnight his time.)
9 April, 2012
Well you won't get a double-hitter of emails like this again--lucky you! I'm always up that late now. I've gone to bed once before 12:30 since being in the office, but am nearly always up until then with phone calls in Saskatchewan (an hour behind and we call until 10:30 their time) and odds and ends to do, and always wake up at 6:30. Ya, its tiring. I will come home exhausted, but that is best right?
So glad that Mom is doing better. You are a stud to "stick it out" at work...
To answer a few of your questions, we will be traveling to Regina then to Saskatoon, not on the 16 (the Yellowhead, it’s called). The CWM has 48 missionaries right now--compare that with the 92 there were when I came out. Wow. We should be at 56 but due to interesting circumstances we are now at 48. In 5 weeks we will be at 46, then in June 13 missionaries are coming in, and 9 in August! I call each of the new missionaries weekly to follow up, so that will be hectic to say the least! With missionaries coming in and those going out, at the time I leave in August there will be 56 missionaries in the CWM.
I wanted to add just a little to what I said last night, then I have got to get ready to go. The Canada Winnipeg Mission motto is "Faith is the Power, Obedience is the Price, Love is the Motive, Christ is the Reason, the Spirit is the Key". I have been thinking about that quite a bit the past few days. It is so true. I bounce back and forth about which one is my favorite of the 5. I am working at loving people more as I immediately meet them. I have to recognize that much of the time when people don't listen its because they really don't know our message. It can be like Christ said "bless them that curse you". That can be hard! It is easy to want to say a little something as I walk off the doorstep, like "well that was rude", but I find its better not to, but to just move on, or try to see the situation from their point of view. Again, its difficult, but I find that as I do I obviously find myself being more charitable towards all people. Now that is a good feeling. Surely, love is the motive. I am trying to live the higher law as taught by Jesus Christ. It's not easy all the time, and I am sure not perfect, but it's coming. We are all works in progress. Another thing I am working at is having a prayer in my heart all the time. I am especially trying to be appealing to God as I am talking to people. Doing that seems to help me with my charity too. I know that these things seem very basic, because they are, but as I do these things I feel better and feel I am growing closer to God. It has taken me a while to get to the point to sincerely want to have a "prayer in my heart" all the time. I used to think things like that were so cliche and so "preachy", and so "fake", but that was me just coming along. I feel like I am doing these things out of complete sincerity, which is the most important part.
But that is all I have for you now. I love you all,
off to Saskatchewan!
Tom (recent convert), Elder Galbraith, Damon