I hope A great Easter was Had by Everyone Yesterday! I sure had a great time.
We got to sing in Both Ward choirs. Because our schedule during the week was so crazy we were only able to make it to one Rehersal, that being the warm up just prior to singing in church! Ahh Crazy! But we pulled it off and I think it sounded awesome. I really miss singing in a group. Back when Mrs. Wood Pulled me into choir I never thought I'd say that but I hope I'll get to sing with people for years to come.
I also had to give a lesson in Gospel Principles class. I figured the only one that was really suiting for the occasion was the Atonement. A tough topic which I don't know If I'll Ever be fully prepared to share with anyone but The Lord guided me and It actually went quite well! Then We were invited over for supper at the Christley's. It was crazy cause there were like 40+ people there, all of whom were either direct family or first cousins. I ate wayyy to much food but it was so good! All home Cooked southern awesomeness. Then We helped the older kids hid eggs for the younger ones. The Wards have been awesome in including us to things so it feels like we have a family out here. We've also been able to visit a lot of people who invited us into their homes and we've been able to have great Easter messages with everyone!
This week We also went to a viewing of a member who passed away. Brother Ferguson was always really good to us. He'd give us rides and meals anytime we needed them and was always so happy to have us over. He was so Good and faithful and served as a strong example for his family.
Later in the week we also visited the hospital to see Jason and Kims New baby Boy!! Brandon was born weighing 8 pounds and 1 ounce. A pretty cute little guy. They are so excited to have him as part of their family now as most of their family lives far aways.
Well I'm out of time for this week but I'll try to fill you all in more later!
Its been another week of Missionary work. We had some good lessons this week. For some reason I Volunteered us to teach Seminary for the back creek ward, But instead of just doing a lesson on Missionary work, The teacher gave us her lesson plan as she wanted to stay on track. Which was fine, but required a little more effort on my part. Seeing as I was the one who got us into in, I prepared the lesson and gave it. It took nearly 2 hours to prepare for a 45 min lesson! I have a much greater respect now for all the of hard work my seminary teachers had put into their lessons. I tried to make sure I'd have enough material to make in exciting and involving for the whole class. Someone go find Scott Stonehocker and give him a pat on the back for me. Does anyone know how he's doing? Its funny being out here sometimes and being so involved in the little bubble of Roanoke that you forget whats going on in the world back home. Its nice to be reminded sometimes but it sure takes a different perspective these days.
STILL MORE SNOW IN CALGARY? Now I Knew that we'd get snow well into May some years and that it never did feel particularly warm outside in April but I can't believe I'm missing all of that! Instead of brushing off snow from my car I'm constantly frustrated by the fine dusting of pollen from the flowers. They have these Dogwood trees, the State tree apparently, and they are all in full bloom in whites, pinks and almost reds. Sorry if I'm making anyone jealous but I still feel like I got cheated out of winter this year.
We did get a pretty spectacular rainstorm come through Saturday. Apparently there's been a whole bunch of Tornadoes and severe weather going on in other places of the state and Mid west. We caught just a small whiff of it but it did its damage to some. We got in our car to go visit a family and it was spiting. 5 mins later when we arrived the rain was blowing in full gail sideways and we were soaked on one side in the 15 feet it took to get to the house. It was nutz! streets turned into mini rivers and the local High school flooded enough to where students were kayaking in the parking lot. The funny part to me was it was raining at full force, then 15 mins later it was a beautiful day with sun shining and birds singing. Kinda like Calgary, but without the hail.
Yesterday Bishop McGraw had us over for dinner. His daughter who had just returned from a mission and some of her YSA friends were there. It was pretty funny. We had a good meal and then we went looking for easter Egg Baskets that the Bishop had hidden around their property. Luckily I found my relatively quickly and didn't have to suffer as I did when Dad Would hid Easter baskets back home. But it was fun and comforting that we were still able to participate in some family traditions, and made things feel a little less foreign for a while.
I think thats about all that really happened. Still working with 4 investigators, most of whom are progressing, even if very slowly. Could always use more prayers from home for them!
Hope everything is going well and Can't wait for Mothers Day!
I have some sad news. Last week when I was trying to send some pictures I discovered that they'd all been accidentally deleted when I tried to reformat my camera card...So I've lost all my photos since the MTC...a bit of a demoralizer... I had some way sweet pics! And some awesome memories that are now in oblivion. But I'm trying to salvage what I can by asking other elders around to help replace some of the pictures I lost (such as Jason and Kim's Baptism) Elder Pendleton Also made copies of most of my pictures before he left so Hopefully I'll be able to get some back that way. Needless to say I was pretty bummed out most of last Monday. Elder McKee tried to comfort me by telling me there no use crying over spilt milk. I had to agree. There was nothing that I could do but move on. Still I was in a state of Grievance.
Luckily Heavenly Father knew just what I needed to get me back to normal. That night a member had invited us and some of their Friends over for dinner with the intention that after we'd eaten we would teach the Family a bit. This is a Missionaries dream. We were able to teach a great lesson to a new family without it being awkward or difficult. The members bore their testimony and I think at least the Mother and the Daughter were really feeling the spirit. Teaching a good lesson instantly makes me feel great. No matter whats gone wrong in the day if we teach a lesson and the spirit is there nothing else matters after that and I can walk away with a smile knowing that I'm fulfilling my purpose and doing what I need to do in life.
In other Exciting news I went to Court for the first time ever!!! OK ok I wasn't actually called upon. Elder Conger was subpoenaed (<---editing help?) to be a witness in our accident case. And because it was a kid who hit us we even went to a Juvenile court! I was having a sweet time. Coming out of the court room I exclaimed "That was fun, Lets do this more often!" I got some looks from some gloomy looking kids and their not so impressed parents waiting their turn to appear before the judge. It was Awesome.
And besides all that it was a pretty normal week. We are making good progress with Both Crawford and Emery. I'm hoping to get at least 1 more baptism out of this area before I leave. Tonight is yet again Empty Nesters. I'm starting to be able to sing along to the songs. Which is funny to me but I'm glad.
People are dumbfounded when i tell them there's 10 inches of snow back home this time of year. I would love some snow. Its like 70+F(+20C) degrees here. Ridiculous right? Well I guess I should just enjoy it instead of complain about how nice it is haha.
Alright, So i forgot to mention last week that this coming week was Transfers and therefore I would not be able to email till Tuesday. But here I am and last night I received some good news.
I'm Staying Another Transfer!!
It came as much relief as I was not quite ready to leave this area. I feel like now I've built enough trust with the members and our current investigators that we'll be able to make leaps and bounds in working with them. Now I just have to work on my scheduling dilemmas So that I can effectively and efficeintly see all the people I need to in a week and still go out tracting occasionally.
I'm so jealous that there is so much snow back home! Out here we are well into spring. The apple and peach trees are all in bloom. The Grass is growing and all manner of flower and plants are popping up. Things are finally starting to turn beautifully green. I never used to think that we had endless winters back home. It was at least 20 here part of yesterday. Its cooled down now as a storm has brought along some moisture but that should blow by soon enough.
So remember Jason and Kim? The couple I told you all about back in December... We'll they got baptized Saturday morning! Wanna know something even cooler? I was the one who got to baptize them!! They asked me last monday evening if I would do it for them. I was so honoured that they wanted me to be the one. They are such an awesome couple and Jason and I have become quite close. Kim should be having a baby soon as well! The Lord has truly helped them along there journey. Though they've struggled in many ways since I've known them, its so clear how every time they had challenges, the Lord poured out blessings and they've done better than they ever expected. It was really cool to me also because it helps build my testimony that the Gospel of Jesus Christ really does bring happiness and peace. It really works! My purpose as a missionary helps people find those things better than anything else In the world I could be doing. What greater work is there than this? Hopefully I can fix some camera issues so you can see the pictures.
This past weekend was Also General Conference. I can't believe I never got this excited about it back home. I was always anxious to listen but this time I feasted over every word. I loved the Prophets talk on Temples. I made sure every time I heard him give advice I wrote it down. While most of it seemed to be the same message, (Pray always, Study the scriptures, attend the temple often, etc) Only now do I realize how vital these things are. There is so much in just those simple and small commandments that can lead to great blessings. These last few days I was listening to a talk in the Car about Evidences of the Book of Mormon. It was about the historical and archeological findings that support what the book of Mormon Says, and they are not few. But what was even more impressive to me was how in depth the explanation of certain passages were. I've read those passages hundreds of times but many of those things had not occurred to me. There is an endless amount of study that can be done. There is no way possible to ever learn it all. At a surface level you can learn all that you need in order to Come unto Christ. But the details and hidden treasures within the pages are always there waiting to be found. So exciting!
Well This week I can't wait to get some good hard work done. We've got plans to see a family tonight that a Member has invited us over to visit with. They exercised faith in trying to find someone to teach and its well paid off. So pray for us not to mess this one up! haha and with that I'll wish you all well till next week