Well I cannot even begin to describe the whirlwind that I am caught in. I am so busy! The trip to SK went well. I finally finished my Ontario district logo and started on my Kenora K. I didn't sleep in the car. My body wouldn't take it. I got about 5 hours of sleep last night and woke up at 6:30 this morning and just laid there. I stared upward and didn't have a hint of fatigue. The only explanation is God...I am working harder than ever and sleeping less and my body just is chugging along.
This past week...I can't even remember a lot of it. What happened before Friday's trip to SK? I had to look at my planner to remind me. Elder Deeble and I prepared for ZLC and our portion for much of Monday night and Tuesday during the day. Then we were able to spend time finding in our area...thank goodness. Wednesday had more preparations too and some finding (I think...) and then ZLC that night. The zone leaders in the CWM may intrigue you: Elder Perkins (sound familiar?) and Elder McDanel (a favorite of mine from Ontario and Regina) as the Saskatchewan Zone Leaders and Elder Dunn (familiar?) and an Elder Oberg (from Coaldale, AB) as the Manitoba Zone Leaders. I have had close relations with all these elders throughout my mission at some point. It's a lot of fun serving with them all because they are proactive and very focused on helping those they serve as best they can. SK Zone is having incredible success--40 new investigators this past week. Amazing, and nothing short from a miracle. Anyway....Thursday morning more ZLC until 1 or so, then I went on exchange with Elder Dunn for the afternoon and we had a good lesson with Jessica and her family (who came to church and loved it!). This may be the breakthrough we have been waiting for! Friday through Sunday night we were traveling or in SK. Productive trip, for sure. It was Elder Deeble and the Thomas' first times to SK so I was the official tour guide. It was fun. While finding with one of the new missionaries (being trained by Elder Bodily...familiar?) I asked for a Qu'ran at a doorstep and got the new elder a Qu'ran. The muslim man was very kind and wanted to know more about what we share, and offered to give us his holy book. Why not? It's not like I am ever going to delve into it, but simply having it allows me tremendous opportunities. I have many people try "ripping me apart" because I am so close-minded. Then I tell him that I have been to other churches while on my mission and that I even have a Qu'ran and they ALWAYS stop. Then I bear testimony that I have received answers from God that the Bible and Book of Mormon are true. Where was I? Oh, then on Sunday I attended the Wascana ward in Regina and listened to a couple of good talks, one especially was extremely well-done: Pres. Walton, a member of the mission presidency, spoke on the parable of the great supper in Luke 14 and was very bold. He went about the topic in a very careful way and was very careful as he spoke, and told the those there that he was shocked to be asked to speak on this parable. He explained how careful he was and that he thought to take the topic one way, but that the Spirit communicated with him to go a certain way with the talk and so he did. He emphasized putting God first and gave a few examples of how to put God first. Some times when we delay putting God first, or delay fulfilling our callings as best we can, etc., the opportunity may not come back. He powerfully bore testimony of the importance of missionary work and of living the gospel. I realize looking back that Dad could take a lot of those comments to apply to his new calling, which easily do relate, but shouldn't we all put God first? Shouldn't we all share our testimonies? Why did Jesus Christ put such an emphasis on missionary work when speaking to the apostles? I realize many people already do these things, and I congratulate them on their living of Christlike lives. Just a friendly reminder. I'll get off my soapbox and just say: Great talk. I really respect Pres. Walton, he is a great example too. Made it home that night. I'm here today. Busy week ahead.
Tomorrow is full of interviews for the Manitoba Zone and I will be right in the thick of it all day from about 8 to 5 or so. After that its time to prepare for Elder Deeble and I's Zone Conference portion this Thursday. We think we have a topic: practicing boldness and direct "will you..." questions. The mission needs some training on being bold. I always can benefit there, but I am pleased that I have become much more bold while out here. Anyway, Wednesday will also be full of interviews and then a short exchange with the elders up from I-Falls, and I will be quite bold with one. Then Thursday and Zone Conference. Friday Elder Deeble and I will get to finally work in our area and then exchange with some elders for the afternoon and then a drive to Kenora for an exchange all of Saturday. Phew...talk about busy, but I am giving it everything I have and nothing less.
I love the Thomas'. Wow they are inspired to come here. They have so many fresh ideas for the mission. I look up to them for being major pioneers in Alaska's growth of the gospel. They saw the Ketchikan, AK ward begin from a small branch with no Priesthood to being a ward ready for a ward split. The Thomas' lived in the Ketchikan area for 40 years and he served extremely valiantly in his callings. I have such a total respect for people that are proactive in fulfilling their callings. It says a lot about them and their love for the Lord AND it inspires others. Thanks Mom and Dad for being valiant in your callings. I know this new calling for Dad will help him to stretch in different ways. His new calling as ward missionary reminds me that the Lord always wants us to learn and grow throughout our lives. "Improvement and progression have one eternal round", as the song says. The growth that comes from serving in the Church is no different.
The Thomas' website for their fishing lodges is silverkinglodge.com. Wow. I am going to Alaska. I could work up there no problem.
While on my way over to SK we stopped at a McD's for lunch and parked there was none other than a 2012 Shelby GT500. I groaned. I saw the owner standing next to it and when we parked I got out and started talking to him about his car. He showed us his Recaro racing seats, custom sound system, and the paint job, and...of course I asked to hear it. Though "only" with 550hp vs. the 2013's 650, those 550 sound beautiful! He slowly made the turn onto the freeway and then just gunned it. WOW. Exactly what cars are supposed to sound like, literally music to my ears. Talking about cars is any easy conversation starter. I also talked to people about a 1971 Mustang Mach 1 and a late 90s Trans Am with some work done to it. Maybe the Lord has called me here to reach out to those people by talking about their cars? Maybe. Pres. Thomas has emphasized talking WITH all people, even if the gospel does not come up.
Loving it here. I will have to send pictures next week. Love you all,