Tuesday, 29 April 2014

If This Were The Work of Man, It Would Fail

On Sunday there was a sentence that really stuck out to me in Relief Society. It's from the Joseph Fielding Smith manual and it is "If this were the work of man, it would fail, but it is the Lord's work, and He does not fail." That is so true! Firstly, it shows just how much we need to rely on the Lord as missionaries, for without Him we cannot have success! And secondly, this work is not failing! That means that it most definitely is true, as it is the Lord's work. So great!

Elder Schmidt also gave a really good talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday and said something that opened my eyes. He talked about Christlike attributes (and seeing as I have been praying for more charity and patience, I payed special attention) and said that when we pray for Christlike attributes, Heavenly Father will give us experiences that will help us develop those attributes. So if I pray for patience, He isn't just going to bless me with more patience. He will give me an experience that will make me need to have an increase of patience, which will help me develop that particular attribute. The same with charity. I was so grateful for his talk, because it was very inspiring and motivational.

We also found five new investigators this week! The Lord truly does bless us when we trust Him completely and work our hardest (even though I was really sick and was convinced that I had bronchitis). Five of the people we are working with also came to church and they loved it! The ward was fantastic and reached out to them by introducing themselves and talking to them. I can't imagine anything worse than going to church for the first time and being ignored.

Jodie came to Young Women's this Wednesday and she really enjoyed it. They built little temple replicas out of rice crispy treats and she did such a good job! She has been making so much progress and I am so proud of her. I am also so grateful that she gets support from the people that live in her home.  This week she said something so funny. She was watching a movie with her boyfriend and he touched her leg...so she smacked it away and said "Don't touch me like that, it's inappropriate and Jesus will be mad at you!" She is the best and I love her.
I learned to sew on a sewing machine on Thursday. Sister Haner taught me and it was so much fun!

The place we volunteer at on Thursdays is kind of like a thrift shop with a quilting store for people with mental disabilities and illnesses. There was this one guy who saw Sister Haner and I and yelled "I love you!" from across the room. So sweet. It's good to know that somebody loves me. There was also a new guy in the quilting room and when we walked in he said "you must be the prettiest girls in PA!" He then proceeded to be rather creepy (but sweet) for the entire time that he was there. It was funny.

I think the greatest thing that happened this week was that Corbin was baptised. Elder Schmidt and I got to skype in to Brandon to watch the baptism and it was wonderful. It was so fantastic to see him again and of course I cried like a baby. I got to see his sister, Bailey, again, I got to see Amber, Jocelyn, Michelle Palmer, bishop Palmer, Elsie Palmer, the Walker family, Sister Day, Elder Hindes, Elder Camarena, Elder Warren and my Mexican brother, Elder Barba. It was the best thing ever. I am so happy that Corbin was finally able to get baptised. He is such a great example to me and to everyone around him. It was such a blessing to have been able to spend three months teaching him and I am so grateful for all the times that he made me laugh and smile. He gets the Aaronic Priesthood soon and I am so excited for him! Agh, I love that kid.

Anyhow, that was my week. I hope that things are great over there and I love you! Have a good week!
Oh, and I totally won a bible bash on Saturday. Elder Ballard told Nevin (one of the YSA here) while he was still in the MTC that "We don't Bible bash, but when we do, we win!"

It was so funny. This guy asked if I believed that Christ will come to Earth as a spirit, because that is what he believed. I said no, He has a resurrected body. In the book of John we read that Christ appeared to His disciples after His resurrection and they thought He was a ghost, so to prove to them that He had a body of flesh and bone, He ate fish and honey in front of them. 

The guy didn't say anything after that. Sister Haner was very proud of me.

Alrighty, that is all! 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

"Don't find excuses, find the Saviour!"


Ah man...don't tell me about all the delicious food...I miss it! But...we get fed a lot here and the members take good care of us. We had two dinner appointments this weekend so we did not go hungry! Plus, this wonderful lady in the ward (her name is Sister McKay and she reminds me A LOT of you) went out and bought us groceries, so we don't even have to go shopping this week. So nice! I almost cried. I am glad that Thor has good friends and that he is doing well! He is so great and I talk about him ALL the time. Pretty much everyone here knows that I have an amazing brother named Thor and they all want to meet him! He's famous in the Canada Winnipeg Mission :D
Well...I don't know what to do for JJ anymore.. I know that Satan works particularly hard on the Youth of the church. By destroying the Youth he destroys the future of the church. I am so grateful to know that he will NEVER succeed at that. There are so many great youth and they keep getting more and more! I don't know what else you could do for him either...and I don't think that he would appreciate or take my advice. So sad. I have learned that foul moods need to be ignored, not acknowledged! They need to be greeted with cheerfulness and charity. Super hard, I know, but I learned that that's the only thing that works. Grumpiness is like yeast...it needs to be fed. So if you try to always be in a good mood around him and just ignore his bad mood (not him) I hope that things will get better for him! I guess he has identified with being the black sheep of the family and thinks that he isn't getting out of that role...well, no black sheep can live in the presence of God! I know that that isn't how the scripture goes...but I think it fits. Anyhow, enough about JJ. Please just let me know if there is anything I can do to help you and Papa. There was a guest speaker here this Sunday. She said something in her talk that I really liked. She said, after talking about how we all make mistakes "don't find excuses, find the Saviour!" 

This week was really great, we taught quite a bit and found three new investigators! I am so happy that the work her in PA is finally starting to pick up again. It was really rough for a while and that was quite discouraging, but after much prayer and consideration, Sister Haner and I worked out what we need to change/do to see more success. Sister Thomas helped a lot with that in Melfort last week when she told us that we need to focus more on developing Christlike attributes. I have really been concentrating on Charity, Humility and Patience, but mostly charity. It is something that I really struggle with and I hope that some day I will finally have developed more of it.
Oh...someone got shot last week in our part of town...the police didn't find the murderer until about two days later, so we did not go into any sketchy parts of the city and we didn't stay out after dark. I am glad that they found him and that he is in jail now! 
I was on a reservation this week for a dinner appointment. It was so great! This lady's home is FULL of Native art and dream catchers and a MASSIVE buffalo head on the wall. Buffaloes are huge! Eric took a picture of me with it and I asked him to send it to you, so I hope you got it! I love being in this mission. I love the Native culture and I feel so ignorant because I hardly know anything, but I hope to learn more!
Friday we drove down to Saskatoon to go meet with all the missionaries there and pick up the two Sisters that we had the privilege of driving down to Regina with. They were so great and it was fun to chat with them. They are in our Zone, but they are serving in Saskatoon. I was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited to finally arrive in Regina because we got to see everyone! The mission has never gathered together before, because it is so huge, and it truly was an historic moment. I got to see Sister Bennett and Sister Ashton-Korn again. I got to see Sister Day, Elder Allred and Elder Barba! It was so great! A lot of jumping up and down as well as hugging went on. Of course I only hugged the Sisters.
I got to see Elder Barba again!
Well, on to meeting the Apostle. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! we all gathered in the chapel and as soon as he entered the church building you could just feel a change. Then he walked into the room and we all stood...so powerful! It was fantastic. Elder Christofferson is so funny! He made so many jokes and we laughed so much. He spent the majority of the time answering our questions. Then at the end he said that he wanted us to write in our journals for our posterity to read that these words came out of his mouth: I know that Jesus Christ lives!" It was so powerful. We got to go up and shake his hand and introduce ourselves. So special. President Thomas said in his weekly email to us all that Elder Christofferson said that he had never before been in the presence of a more dignified group of missionaries. Again, I am so grateful to be a part of this mission! I am convinced that we have the best Mission President ever. I know that I have said that before, but I just have to say it over and over because I constantly get reminded just how blessed I am with him and Sister Thomas.
Elder Christofferson told us that the Prophet said he loves us. He then proceeded to bless us with so many things. He blessed us that we would have greater power in teaching, that we would find answers to our prayers, that we would learn more things from the scriptures, that our teaching would be as powerful as the missionaries of old, that we would have strong testimonies, that we would feel a deep sense of joy and peace in the work and that we would know that the Lord approves of us. With all that I cannot fail!
Please watch the "Because of Him" video on the front page of LDS.org. You can also look it up on the YouTube page of Mormonchannel. It is so good and it really puts everything into perspective! Also, the music is excellent! I love it! 
I hope that you have a great week and I love you!
P.S. On the way back to PA we saw a wolf! 

The Canada Winnipeg Mission
Bye bye Elder Jordan!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

"Oh, so you're my German!"

Well, for Easter we will be having a meeting with Elder Christopherson! So I am really excited for that.

It is still cold, back to the negatives and it snowed again...but, I have faith that we will soon see Spring!
We got our transfer calls! I will be staying in Prince Albert with Sister Haner! Yay!!! Elder Hindes is leaving (boooooooo) and he his going to Brandon! So I have a ton of letters for him to take down and give to all the people there. I still miss Brandon, and I wish I could go back, but I know that I need to be here in PA. Still not quite sure why, but until I figure that out I'll just keep on persevering. Elder Jordan is also getting transferred, he is going to North Battleford, so not too far away. Elder Schmidt, who I served with in Brandon for two transfers, is going to com up to PA, so we will probably serve together for two more transfers. He just isn't going to get rid of me!
The snow melted and we had some really nice warm days, but then on Friday it started to snow again! So we're back to Winter, haha. Canada!! I love it.
We finally got to reset Jodie's baptismal date for May 10th and we are so excited! She has been keeping all the commandments that we have taught to her and is making so much progress. I just love her! We showed up at her house and washed the dishes and swept the floor for her Kukum (her grandma) and ever since then her family has been so nice to us and they really like us! Her grandma wants to make us bannock, so I am excited for that!
We got to go to Melfort this weekend to help with a food drive there. We arrived on Friday in the afternoon and it was so great to see President and Sister Thomas again. I love them! Melfort is a tiny town of about 5000 people, and there were around fifty missionaries there. We got to hear from President and Sister Thomas, as well as Elder and Sister Menlove, who work in the mission office. Elder Menlove talked all about how the funds we receive from the church are sacred. The money that we personally contribute to our mission doesn't even cover our rent. I am so grateful for the support that the missionaries receive from the church. Those funds truly are sacred and I intend on being much more careful. I am so grateful for Sister Haner, because she loves being thrifty and has helped me so much. 
After the training portion of our meeting, we got to attend a fireside. It was so good! Everyone talked about "Finding" and Sister Thomas explained that if we develop Christlike Attributes, we will find more people. So, here is my master plan: President Uchtdorf talked about how gratitude is a catalyst for developing Christlike Attributes...So I am going to be much more grateful, so that I can develop more Christlike Attributes, so that we can find more people to teach! 
We had the opportunity of meeting some of the members in the Melfort branch. When I introduced myself to President Froc (branch President) he said "oh, so you're my German!" I got the same reaction when I introduced myself to one of the Sisters. She said "ooooh, you're the German!" So funny. 
I got to see Sister Smith again, who was in my MTC group and it was so great! She is going to Winnipeg now, so I will be the only Sister from my MTC district all the way up in PA. All the other Sisters are in Winnipeg and the surrounding areas. 
I got to meet Elder Vause, who is the most unique and incredible human I have ever met in my life. He made me laugh so much! He is just hilarious. Such a character. He knows everything about movies and when we had a practice as a group, he took his chair and placed it in the middle of the circle...I am so excited to see him again on Friday :D
I also got to meet Elder Gardner, who is actually in my zone. He is currently serving in Saskatoon. He is a convert and he joined the church when he was eight. We chatted for over an hour and it was great. The missionaries in this mission are fantastic!
I am so excited to see the apostle on Saturday and I can;t wait to tell you all about it on Monday next week!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Well, We Got to Watch Conference!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got to go mattress sailing!

So pretty much my entire email is going to be full of my insights from the talks that were given. But first I will update you on how my week went!

I met a lady from Namibia, who studied in South Africa and knows German! It was so fun to talk to her about South Africa and speak with her in German. She even told me where to find Biltong in PA! I am soooo excited.

We went to visit a member that lives out of town. On the way there we passed so many deer right by the highway. It was rather frightening. Anyhow, we finally found where she lived, and we weren't quite sure if it was her house or not. But we walked down the super long and windy driveway and her massive dog ran up to us and just started barking at us. Not in a friendly way. We didn't know what to do, so we just stood there and let the dog bark at us. Anyhow, after about three minutes of not moving I took the phone and called her. It was her house and she came out to get us. So funny.

Speaking of dogs...there is this one particular dog that used to like me...I don't know what I did, but now every time we go over there it bites me. It hasn't ever pierced my skin, so I'm not too worried, but I sincerely hope that the dog and I manage to sort things out!

We finally got to see J again! She has been really busy, but she was happy to see us again and she still really wants to be baptised. She has been keeping all the commandments we taught her about, and hopefully we will get to teach her about all the other ones soon. She has been making such good progress and I love teaching her. She is so great, and I am so blessed to have met her!

We went out to a member's home for lunch on Friday. After eating and chatting we asked if we could share a message with them. We watched the Lifting Burdens Mormon Message and read Matthew 11:28-30. Then we sang "I need Thee every Hour". The husband absolutely bawled when we were singing. It was so sweet, I hope he was feeling the spirit and not just crying at our singing voices!

Yesterday evening we got a phone call from Sister B. She called us to check up on us and ask how conference went. Then she asked if we had enough food and all that. She is so sweet! I love the members of this ward, they are so great and they take very good care of the missionaries!

We have a Zone Conference in Melfort this Friday. It will be a service project, and I don't really know too much about what will be happening, but I will let you know all about it next week.

Alright, on to my conference insights. First of all, I absolutely LOVED conference. It was so good! Every single talk was brilliant and I took a ton of notes. 

I love how Elder Holland talked about how we need to take a moral stand and defend our faith with courage, courtesy and pure Christlike love. Everyone will eventually have to defend their faith, and we seem to have to do it quite a bit. Sometimes it can be hard, but it is so worth it! We are so blessed to have the gospel in our lives!

Sister Linda K. Burton talked about how we need to make daily family prayer and scripture study a priority, as well as have Family Home Evening. Doing these things will help us be less stressed and more at peace. I think that everybody could use a lot less stress! So that means that everybody needs to make that more of a priority!

Elder Andersen said that the Book of Mormon is the most powerful written testimony of the Saviour. We are so blessed and lucky to have it.
I loved this quote by Elder Nelson: "Even if everyone is doing it- WRONG WAS NEVER RIGHT. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God's approval." So powerful! And so true. The world around us is constantly changing and getting worse. Staying faithful and standing up for ourselves gets harder and harder, but it is worth it!

President Uchtdorf's talk was much needed. "Gratitude is a catalyst for all Christlike Attributes." That sentence was like a spiritual high-five. In the face. I really have so much to be grateful for, I really need to start showing my gratitude! I need to stop always being in a bad mood, I need to stop getting frustrated so quickly, I need to rely on the Lord much more. So many things to improve on! But hey, that's what missions are for, right? I have no intention whatsoever to go home and be exactly the same way that I was. That would be terrible!

Alright, this email is getting longer than I wanted it to be, so I am going to stop now. Subscribe to the Ensign!!! Church magazines are great! Also, hang a picture of the Saviour up in your house. I think it was Sister Burton who said that as we make the Saviour the focus of our lives, we will be blessed with the guidance of the Holy Ghost and everything else will fall into place. That is a great promise! 

I hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

One Step at a Time

It's still really cold here, but it is slowly warming up. All the ice is melting leaving massive slush-puddles EVERYWHERE. Yesterday this massive truck got stuck in one of said puddles, and we tried to help pushing it out...we only made it worse. Oops. Anyways, the people called a tow-truck and all was well.

Sister Haner and I get along fantastically. She is great. I am very blessed to have her as my companion. I sincerely hope that I get to serve with her for another transfer!

We haven't been able to contact J, which is so sad, because she is our baptismal date. I guess not any more, because we haven't been able to meet with her in over a week. So sad. 

We went thrift shopping on Monday after emailing and it was glorious! So funny! Elder Hindes bought a suit for only 25 dollars and then wore it on Tuesday to District Meeting. It was so funny! 

On Tuesday Elder Sorenson nicked our phone when we weren't looking and deleted their number. Or so I thought...anyways, I texted them and after typing in their number I pressed send...and it said "sending to President Thomas". I almost had a heart-attack. It took a couple of seconds and then I realised that he hadn't deleted their number, he had changed their name to "President Thomas". So mean! That could have gone really bad...luckily it didn't!

At Sports Night we had a bunch of potential investigators and one of them is an eleven year old girl with the voice of an angel. Anyhow, she was talking to Sister Haner about how she loves singing and I asked her if she knew the cup song. She did. We then went to the kitchen to get cups and sang the cup song together. It was so fun! Anyhow, she is coming to Sports Night again tomorrow and I am so excited! 

We met an Austrian man yesterday and I had so much fun speaking German again! It was so strange though and I really had to think about words and sentence structure. I hope that I will still be able to speak it by the end of my mission!

Also, if you have time, check out the ward boundaries for Prince Albert on lds.org. They are HUGE! One lady came to church this past Sunday and it took her four hours just to drive here. Insanity!

I love being here in PA and I love this mission! I have some exciting news to share with you next week...it is going to be glorious!! Also, I just wanted to let you know that the ward members take very good care of me! We usually get fed every Sunday and one of the Sisters here bakes a ton of cookies for us! 

This week in my studies I have really been focusing on Humility. I never really considered myself as prideful, but after studying humility and getting chastised quite a bit I realised that it definitely is something that I need to work on. The more I study the Christlike attributes section in Preach My Gospel the more I realise how incredibly far away I am from being Christlike. I take it as an opportunity to change and grow, and am trying very hard to not get discouraged. One step at a time. And Sister Haner is really helping me a lot! 

This gospel is so true! And the more I read the Book of Mormon the more I love it! You should watch the Mormon Message entitled "Lifting Burdens". Mission- and life-changing. So good!

Oh, and I hope that you are excited for General Conference! I know I am!!!

Alrighty, I hope you have a great week and stay safe!

Elder Hindes wearing his suit and hat. So funny!

Elder Sorenson downloaded a picture of himself onto the computer...So I stuck his face all over the Family History Center