It has been sooo busy. Transfer week is a killer. Whenever missionaries come from out of Winnipeg to the "big city" they stay at our place because we have extra beds, and we had people Sunday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night and...is that all? Oh, sure seems like more than that. Exhausting, but of course, rewarding. We had our weekly reports come in last night and a number of things from the Zone Leaders were wrong and we were scratching our heads late into the evening. As one of my favo(u)rite elders says, "it'll all buff out" and it did.
13 new missionaries. 11 new elders and 2 new sisters. 6 new elders went to Saskatoon and the remaining stayed on this side of the mission. Thursday was a nonstop day. It started with all the new missionaries meeting at President and Sister Paulson's home (Mission Home) for breakfast for 31 people. Yup. Thank goodness all I had to do was arrange rides and places to sleep. From breakfast everyone went to a nearby chapel. It was heartwarming to see 10 or more cars packed with missionaries going to the Academy Rd. chapel. Too bad no-one knew how to get there so mid-way through the trip--at a stop sign---I got out and went from car to car telling everyone the directions how to get there. Thank goodness they were easy directions. The meeting went until noon and went ok with only a few minor hiccups. Seeing these new missionaries "all green" reminds me how far I have come. Lunch, then the busiest part of the whole week---Transfer Meeting. Normally at the church we had to coordinate between 2 places because all the Saskatoon elders had to leave for Saskatoon by 1:30 to make it back by 9 their time and everyone else met at the Dalhousie chapel. Wow. What an ordeal. It was like trying to herd cats. I can sympathize about wanting to talk with everyone, but a number of people were just waiting around. I would ask, "Are your bags packed? Are they in your assigned car? Did you get your supplies? Do you have your mail?" The typical answers were yes to all, and then I would say, "ok, then go to your area". That all lasted until about 3:30, then departing missionaries had some exit interviews and then supper at the Paulsons, then the Farewell Fireside. Then home, at about 10, with things still to do, but I enjoy being busy. I sure was!
You asked about Elder Skinner being gone and how things are now? To be honest, it's a little hectic trying to get Elder Deeble completely up to speed in half the time that I had, and a lot of anticipation for things to come. I miss Elder Skinner. I learned a lot from that man. At the Farewell Fireside something very unexpected happened, he offered me a hug and I started to cry. Oh boy. I never expected that. I am striving to be the best example to Elder Deeble and the rest of the missionaries that I can be. President Thomas will arrive Thursday afternoon and President Paulson will leave Friday morning. I sure will miss them, but will welcome President Thomas openly.
Jessica and her family continue to struggle to come to church. I worry about them. Elder Deeble and I found a lady named Kelly that we will meet on Thursday that has a lot of potential. We are looking at renewing our teaching pool among all the things going on. Ha, Elder Deeble and I looked at the upcoming transfer and there are 7 days all transfer (excluding Sundays) that he and I will not be involved in traveling or exchanging. Phew.
Mom you did a great job with your mormon.org profile! I stopped reading and immediately looked at it when I read that. Dad, you're next...
My prayers are still with Auntie Sharon.
I especially liked the last sentence of Mom's quote. We do all we can after keeping God's commandments and we know it is in His hands. This is especially true of missionary work.
I loved the way Dad opened his portion of the email! (I told him a few things about Vulcan). I read it to Elder Deeble and he just laughed. I laughed again when you mentioned that Mom just cried when she saw the nametag. Haha. I was smiling the rest of the email after that. I really liked what you said about seeking the natural missionary opportunities instead of the "insane bravery". Let me tell you, there still can be a lot of that in normal situations. Remember a few weeks ago when I emailed and mentioned how I asked inactive members how the Book of Mormon has enriched their lives? I knew something was coming, and I invited them to read it and promised them that it would change their lives if they seriously asked God and acted on His answer. Sounds like you 2 are trucking along. Keep on keeping on. I am glad to hear that you are spending so much time with family. That is what is important, eh?
After talking to many, many people throughout my mission and even before it, it seems that the world in general does not understand what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes. I want to do my part in declaring what we believe. As a representative, I testify that the Book of Mormon is true and that it is of God. I testify that the Bible is of God as long as it is translated correctly. The Bible and the Book of Mormon work together in testifying of Jesus Christ, and only together do the 2 books fulfill the Law of Witness from the Bible that by the mouths of 2 or 3 witnesses shall all things be established. The Book of Mormon is no "add-on" to the bible and does not contradict what the book of Revelations says at the end of its final chapter because the book of Revelations is strictly discussing the book of Revelations. Revelations was written after many books of the New Testament, possibly even after the gospel of John himself, and if so we would have to discredit John's own gospel writings. I have seriously researched these things for myself and am thankful for the scriptures we have that make these things known. I testify that Jesus Christ lives and is the cornerstone of His Church today. I testify that we are lead by prophets today as in the days of old. How do I know these things? From God's simple assurances. The fruits of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5. The Bible teaches to ask God to know if things are true. Missionaries invite all to do the same.
The past week I have listened to John Bytheway's talk about how we can gain spiritual truths and strength from the war chapters of the Book of Mormon. It is a must. Will you all read or listen to it?
To close I wanted to include the lyrics of the song we sang prior to the sacrament yesterday at church. Entitled Reverently and Meekly Now, I think this is one of my favorite hymns.
Rev'rently and meekly now, Let thy head most humbly bow.
Think of me, thou ransomed one; Think what I for thee have done.
With my blood that dripped like rain, Sweat in agony of pain,
With my body on the tree I have ransomed even thee.
In this bread now blest for thee, Emblem of my body see;
In this water or this wine, Emblem of my blood divine.
Oh, remember what was done That the sinner might be won.
On the cross of Calvary I have suffered death for thee.
Bid thine heart all strife to cease; With thy brethren be at peace.
Oh, forgive as thou wouldst be E'en forgiven now by me.
In the solemn faith of prayer Cast upon me all thy care,
And my Spirit's grace shall be Like a fountain unto thee.
At the throne I intercede; For thee ever do I please.
I have loved thee as thy friend, With a love that cannot end.
Be obedient, I implore, Prayerful, watchful evermore,
And be constant unto me, That thy Savior I may be.
I love the lyrics to this song and the last 2 lines are my favorite because I can feel just an infinitismal amount of pain as He says, "be obedient I implore..." We must show Christ we are willing to give up our vices to follow Him and that our weaknesses be made strong through Him.
That is all for now. More prep work for this upcoming week. Love you all,