Elder Halstrom with Elder Galbraith
Seems like things are hectic and busy back home. I will include my family in my prayers, especially Auntie Sharon.
Life has been non-stop and I don't think it will ever slow down from here. I haven't been to bed before midnight for a long time. Oh...you probably want to know who I am serving with now. Well, Elder Deeble is from Campbell River, BC, on Vancouver Island. Elder Deeble and I put in a total of something like 23 or 24 hours on specific travel arrangements for missionaries coming to Winnipeg and leaving. 13 new missionaries are coming in and 5 are leaving, Elder Skinner is one of them. By the way, Elder Skinner is with a zone leader from Coaldale, AB for the last week of his mission as I am now with Elder Deeble full-time. Elder Skinner was difficult to "figure-out" but I really learned a lot from him. I think I learned the most from Elders Butterfield and Skinner of my companions so far. Elder Skinner's family is coming Thursday and will stay with him in the Winnipeg area until Sunday. Anyway, back to this week. Busy busy busy. President Paulson gave a going-away fireside last night to members of the stake in Winnipeg. It was spirit-filled and inspiring as he shared many miracles that occurred while he served as Mission President for the CWM--the best mission in the world. In his words, "our mission should be so good that anyone who was not called to the Canada Winnipeg Mission would be disappointed that they were going to nothing more than the 2nd best mission in the world." He is right. This is the best mission in the world. Speaking of President Paulson, I do appreciate the advice that you gave me with the incoming Mission President and allowing him to lead the mission. I fully intend to let the Lord's called representative do what he has been called to do. But like I said, I appreciate the good reminder. PMG chapter 4 mentions a similar principle at the end of the chapter.
Another exciting thing happened that I know you will like. President Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Quorums of the Seventy came and visited Pres. Paulson a few days ago and toured the Mission Office and---my apartment. He was very impressed, and Pres. later commented that our apartment was immaculate. Oh ya. I shook Pres. Hallstrom's hand, took a picture of him and chatted for a bit. Haha...oh...Dad...you are going to love this...Pres. Hallstrom mentioned that he had been in the Calgary Mission that morning and had just landed in Winnipeg. Sister Paulson (also there) mentioned my parents were born in southern Alberta and he asked where. "Mom born in Raymond, raised in Cardston..." He knows a lot of people from both places, many people in the church do...then I mentioned go-ol' Vulcan Alberta. Vulcan seems to come up a lot lately. He chuckled and said that he had been talking about Vulcan, Alberta about 3 hours prior because all the missionaries in the Calgary Mission seem to love getting a picture in front of the Star Trek spaceship in Vulcan and that Vulcan is something of a special place to be. Again, from a General Authority. Ha. Go Dad.
To give you a brief outlook to my next few weeks: this week is transfers and complete chaos. Next week is when the new mission president comes and President Paulson leaves, the following week is ZLC, the following is Manitoba Zone Conference and interviews, the following is Saskatchewan Zone Conference and interviews...I am really looking forward to giving it my all and doing my best to have no regrets. I so greatly appreciate your support, but please don't mention things like finishing or ending my mission. That is in the back of my mind.
Jessica and family had a rough week but a few of our Chinese investigators had good weeks where they progressed well. They are starting from square one. Literally.
I had a few interesting insights while reading from the "war chapters" of the Book of Mormon. I really wanted to gain additional understanding about what lessons these chapters contain in them. For any who read this and are unaware, the Book of Mormon has about 20 chapters describing a civil war. The Bible similarly has many war chapters, and I am completely confident that all of these war chapters in sacred scripture are included for many reasons, not just to describe war. In the war chapters of the Book of Mormon I thought they can be likened to the church under attack from the Adversary. Some weaker forts (people, groups, congregations, etc.) may give way--even some strong ones too. New cities were erected in old times in defense of the enemy, and new people accept Christ's restored gospel. God will win this spiritual war, but we are being proven now and how devoted we are to God and where he is on our list of priorities.
I know God loves all of His children and that Jesus Christ as a resurrected being taught the people in the ancient Americas. I know that I have felt the feeling of the Holy Spirit, whose peace and joy are undeniable. I stand as a witness that God lives and people mock me for it. Too bad. Standing for truth never was easy in the scriptures, why would it be now?
Love you all,
Hard at work planning transfers