Sounds like you have done your fair share of traveling too! First off, my hand is fine. I shouldn't have even mentioned it. I still have a small scab left but its healed up. I just used my other hand for knocking doors, no big deal. Amputation was a good guess though. No my camera is fine, I just don't take it out proselyting and forget it all the time for special occasions. To clear the air, President Paulson leaves June 28th and Elder Skinner will be here until about June 20th or so. Still have time.
I am glad that I am serving in Canada for lots of reasons. The CWM is the mission for me, let me tell you. It was about 30C (86F) here for a day or 2 and I was about done for. Elder Crandall recently wrote me and mentioned that it rarely dips below something like 25C. Ugh.
Interesting thing happened this week. I got a call from Auntie Susan letting me know that Auntie Judy was coming to Winnipeg. So guess where I was Saturday about 6? I got to see both my dad's siblings! Seeing my family without my parents there had a slightly different tone--to me, I was with my family because I want to spend time with them. I have always loved spending time with family but I felt a more direct bond because it was me, not my parents...does anyone know what I mean? It was a good time. Unfortunately it had to be somewhat brief because I had to be in another part of town at 7, but it was a good hour. I will attach a couple of pictures. Daniel, Jeremy and Benjamin must grow a couple of inches every time I see them. Look how tall they are!
This week was a blur. On one hand it seems like Specialized Training (which was on Wednesday) was an eternity ago, but on the other it seems like it just happened. I think part of the reason this week seemed so long was that a lot happened and that I finally feel like I am getting the grasp of what it takes to be an effective Assistant. There is so much! I feel like I have begun to master the bookwork and that I am seeing the vision of what it takes to better help missionaries be effective, be bold and fulfill their purpose. Like President Paulson frequently says, if we are obedient to the mission rules and live the gospel we missionaries cannot help but get a lot out of it. So, while doing all we can to boldly invite others to come unto Christ, we missionaries are also building ourselves--it's inevitable. Like I have mentioned in other emails, I am working on frequently bearing my testimony and and being bold (bold with love as the motive). Though not perfect (sorry Mom) I am doing better than before. I work on these things while finding and while teaching. There is a special power when I am on someone's doorstep and I look them right in the eyes and say something like "I testify that the Book of Mormon is true and of God". I always shake people's hands. My mission has helped me there. I have noticed that my mission has helped me with other little things that will help in a career someday: shaking someone's hand for instance, looking them in the eyes, people skills, shining my shoes, buttoning my suitcoat, dignified language, the list goes on. When was the last time you heard me or saw me write "awesome" or "cool"? It's taken some getting used to (A LOT), but now that I am better at using dignified language I FEEL more official. I feel a little smarter too, to be honest. Another testimony that when I follow my leaders I am blessed and things work out. Go figure. And that is only the temporal part of the whole 2 years! Spiritually, I have increased leaps and bounds. There is something refining by going and sharing your beliefs with someone else, and something even more refining about inviting someone else to learn about what you believe about God. No easy task. I wish Mom and Dad could experience tracting and street contacting. Maybe Dad and I can go on some missionary split or something with the elders in Idaho and go finding and teaching.
I had a few experiences this week which affirmed to me that I am a total missionary--which is a great thing. While knocking a door a couple young kids walked up from the driveway and asked the homeowners if they could get their frisbee which that accidentally threw over the fence. While the homeowner ushered the kids through the house I tried to make a sarcastic comment that I never had sports equipment go into someone else's yard (something that happened to me all the time) but it ended up coming out that "I never threw my scriptures over the fence". I didn't even catch what I said, the elder I was with started laughing at me and I had to think about what I really said. Ha. Well, like I said, it's only a good thing, eh? To contrast that, I remember an experience in my 2nd transfer where I had it blatantly pointed out to me that I still had some adjusting to do. I remember Elder Butterfield and I were arriving at a member's place for a meal appointment and as we were walking up the path to the door the member's children opened the door and started waving and shouting "missionaries! missionaries!" And you know what I did? I looked behind me. Sure did. I looked behind me and saw our car and then it hit me like a steamroller----I am a missionary. Oh. I will always remember that experience with Elder Butterfield. So, big contrast.
A recently returned missionary in Winnipeg gave a visual presentation of his mission on Sunday night. He returned from a mission which included Kenya and Tanzania. Talk about a different experience. He had pictures of giraffes, rhinos, impalas, monkeys and more, but he had to pay the price of cockroaches, scorpions, huge spiders, severe heat, weird food and 3rd-world living conditions. I am so glad I am in Canada!
I was reading in the Conference issue of the Ensign and I really like the talk by Elder Perry, "The power of Deliverance". The talk discusses experiences in the Book of Mormon and the Bible and how the scriptures will deliver us from evil, trial, etc., but only if we heed God's commandments. Only then do we have God's promise. I know for myself that the scriptures DO have power in them to deliver us from those things. I know that. I looked up the scriptures he cited and spent a lot of time in 1 Nephi in the Book of Mormon, analyzing different things. I will have to show you in person, but that 1st chapter of the Book of Mormon has the 1st references to SO many things, and is a beautiful introductory chapter to the divine book. It includes the first references to loving families, to God, to Christ, to the Apostles (much of this in a vision), to the Holy Ghost, to prayer, to visions and a lot more. The more time I spend in that book, the more I find. Truly the Book of Mormon is from God. Speaking of which, many people I visit with believe the Book of Mormon is true, they just do not act on their answers from God. One of many examples that we need to believe in Christ and to act on that faith! (for even those possessed with devils in Israel during Christ's mortal ministry knew that Jesus was the Christ) Faith without works is dead (James 2:17).
The only traveling I did this week was a quick early-morning trip to Brandon, MB and then spent Saturday morning and afternoon in Portage La Prairie, MB. A missionary had left their driver's license in Winnipeg and so we delivered it to them in Brandon in person.
Odds and ends...Way to go Devon Munk! Scripture chase master. Good to hear that K1 is still the best....I had someone do a special design for me. A senior missionary wanted me to make a design that they could remember me by. What did I choose? Remember back to I-Falls and my squirrel ladder? Well, I just threw in a little gospel flavor. I will let the picture do the talking. Oh, I will send the picture in another email because their file sizes are too big for just one.
Love you all,