The longer I'm out here the more that line sticks out to me. All I can say is; it's the truth.
Well, it's been a very interesting week this week. We've had exchanges, we've had our first district meeting of the transfer, we've had passover lessons and we've been here there and everywhere. Physically, spiritually and mentally. What a week.
News from Edson: Tenley didn't end up getting baptised this week, she reset her date for:) It's a very long story, but it is the right decision :) I'm so happy for her. I can't wait to tell you all about her. Something cool happened with her this week. Several things actually. One of which I will share:
After my companion and the Sister training leader left after an appointment with her, she was praying to know that she had made the right decision. After leaving her home she was walking down the street and literally the first person she met was the Branch Presidents wife, Sister Johnston, who is also her fellow shipper. On that particular morning Sister Johnston had been unable to come to our lesson as she had a commitment at her children's school. She finished 30 minutes early however and that's when she ran into Tenley. We got a call later that day from Sister Johnston who told us that Tenley had looked so overwhelmed and had just put her arms around her. She told her she was an answer to her prayers. I am so grateful for experiences like that. I know that they happen everywhere, all the time. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. I know it. I'm just so thankful that He was able to send such a quick answer to Tenley that day. I really do love her so much.
As for Pamela, she had a successful meeting with the Elders in the city and she's still excited to progress and learn. She's now up to 3rd Nephi! I can't even tell you how good that feels :) She's loving it.
Dave- He's getting baptised! We got a call from the Red Deer elders and it looks like, all going well, we might be able to attend it! Just in a very different way than I've ever experienced before... we'll see. Watch this space :) Andra, we're setting up a passover lesson with the Elders this week. She's still working towards her baptism in the early spring.
Well, I guess the only other major thing to report on is the feeling that came over me yesterday as we sat and watched the 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional. The idea of gifts has been flying around a lot lately. Naturally, it is Christmas time and all, and of course then there's the He is the Gift video that has been circulating of late. But yesterday a couple of realizations came over me.
I've been thinking a little back to the start of the transfer, when I felt so gutted that my time in Edson, as I saw it then, was being cut short. And in the time since then, all of the craziness that has ensued. Before I found out the news of closure, I had been anticipating that my final 3 months would be full of new and exciting opportunities for me. I had observed many patterns in other missionaries missions. It makes me cringe to admit, but I suppose I thought my hard work over the course of these past 15 months had earned a gift of something different in my last 3. I guess I felt a little entitled. But yesterday, the realization was; that in all of this time. The time when I had been thinking I was giving something to Him. This mission. This time. This energy. My heart. He was the one that had been giving something to me.
It has all been a gift, and I have been given so much. It is much more than any amount of words or update e-mails that I can provide.
It is so much. It is everything.
How blessed I have been to have been called to Serve as a missionary for Christ in the Canada Edmonton Mission.
The funny thing is, that's the way it always seems to end up. We are always indebted to him. Not because of a one time event that took place in a garden many years ago. Something that is deeply and significantly so intrinsic to everything that we have and are. It is because He is the gift that keeps on giving. Always. All of the time.
I have been thinking about what gift I will give to the Savior this Christmas. Now that I know that the last 15 months have been for me. I will make the last 3 months count for Him.
I love Him. I love all of you.
I know that as you turn your hearts and lives over to Christ you will have the greatest Christmas, and the greatest eternal life possible.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Lots of love & many pictures to follow.
|Exchanges with the Londonderry sisters|
|Deer! It's not super clear because it was taken through the windshield of our car, but hey!|
|Climbing the hay bail's|
|Sister Budge and I on top of the bail.|
|The ungraceful decent had me pulling out hay for days!|
|A river Valley|
|The snow glitters here|
|With Lou- a member in Hinton. I love this lady!|
|The view from the car. I Love this one.|
|Driving down the highway. This is a logging truck. Fingers crossed nobody slips up on making them secure!|
|Odd antlers. These things are hea-vy|
|We did some snow shovelling this week for some members of our branch. Couldn't resist.|
|Sunrise. That is actually the moon. Pretty cool- we were driving to church in Hinton|
|Can you see the mountains?|
OK, i'll spare you all the rest. I can see that it may get a little dull if you're not the one that's here.
I just love Canada! Hopefully some of you can enjoy these as much as me :)
Have a great week!