I'm thankful we have an extra day this week-end to send you an email since it is Presidents day down your way and Family Day here.
We enjoyed the traditional ward breakfast today and probably had over 200 people show up! We were happy to have Grandma and Grandpa Smith up for a visit this week end to attend with us. They are just coming off their vacation in Invermere on their Time share for a week and came up Saturday to stay a couple of nights with us. Grandpa is retiring in just over a month and is looking forward to that. Grandpa also helped me frame in Sam's closet downstairs.
Mom and I are excited to be flying out to Italy this week-end. I'm attending some leadership training for a week and then we'll take another week to sight see. Mom of course wouldn't let me go to Florence Italy without her and I'm totally OK with that.
Friday night Mom and I went to the movies and saw a fantasy move about the great wall legend about the wall being built to keep out dragon creatures. Weird but fun to watch. Saturday, Mom and I came into Leduc to do some shopping (food and 2x4's for building the closets in the basement), and had a chance to visit with Sis. Kruyer who's been in the hospital for 4 months. This last Wednesday, Sam and the priest organized a valentines joint activity where everyone made a heart card for Sis. Kruyer and I dumped them all on her table and told her she'd just been given a "Heart Attack". She loved it.
I also got to talk in Sacrament Meeting about the Youth Theme this year - James 1:5,6 - "Ask". I really like all the effort the church puts into creating resources for the youth to celebrate and remember the theme. It was fun to have G & G Smith here to speak to.
Hope you have a great week. Send us some more details again of who your teaching, how they are progressing and always love the stories of your experiences (good and bad)
BTW, Ava Driessen gave her farewell talk last week and is in the MTC now. having a great time.
Quick Mission Memory:
When I served in Laval, my companion and I were invited over to a Sister's place for dinner and while there, she pulled out a picture book and showed me pictures of my Dad on his mission. It was Sis. Lucile Landry and I reminisced with my Dad yesterday about the experience of calling him on his birthday and reconnecting him with one of the only people he baptized on his mission. We never quite know who's life we touch and how when we engage with faith in the work of the Lord. I have a testimony of this gospel and how happy it makes me to live it.
From severe flooding to light rain this week has been spent under water, we have been doing better on dinners, our ward has these amazing members who stormed into relief society waving the calendar and getting everyone to feel guilty about us starving and now we have a dinner every night.
Being a missionary, there are so many ups and downs, it is a struggle even to go on some days but you do, it is the greatest experience in the world, it changes you as you go through the refiners fire, when you are in the MTC you are spiritually charged and when you are shot as if out of a cannon into the field and you can either go into a crash landing or hit the ground running as fast as you can, my advice to all who my want to serve a mission to love every moment, if you look for the positive in every experience then you will turn out all right. Remember that thinking positively is not ignoring reality, when Nephi and his family were struggling because he broke his bow, he said that it was difficult and they suffered much for want of food, but he realized that complaining wouldn't do anything so he looked for what he could do to improve the situation, when you look at every situation as a learning curve, when you acknowledge the fire that is refining you, feel the pain the heat and the ache of growing but always remember and never forget the fact that you are growing, all growing comes with some pain, the greatest teaching tool God has for us is to let us experience some pain to learn for ourselves, in all things when God teaches he is all about realizing for ourselves essential truths. so when you are going through stress or a hard time, like Nephi make sure to acknowledge the hardship and then do what you can to learn from it, and that could mean learning to ask for help, learning to let others take the lead, learning to relax and focus on something else for the moment, learning to put your full trust in the Lord. As long as we learn to look for the good in every situation we will be able to learn much faster.
I had to learn that the hard way, when I was in Halifax I loved it, every moment was new and fun but when I came to California I lost a lot of that fire because I didn't feel accepted and I felt alone. It can be dreary and boring at times and at others great and exhilarating, so look for the tender mercies of the Lord.
When we don't have dinners with the members we are usually eating cereal and pizza, that seems to be the staple missionary meal this transfer. At this time we have been struggling to get in contact with our two investigators and have no one else to teach so back to finding, we have pretty much gone by each potential in our planners so many times that they are starting to avoid us, and the less actives we have been asked to go by are apostate, so right now we are struggling to fill our days with names and are mostly resorting to knocking doors and stopping by former investigators. Praying for the work to pick up right now, the Lord must have something for me to learn here.
We sure love you and all your experiences. Your mission is the best kick start for the rest of your life and we think you're handling it wonderfully.
Listen. This is really important. I need you to fill out one more form. In the email sent to you from the insurance adjuster, there is a Medical Release Form. You need to sign it like the other and send it. I'm so sorry to add more stress, but it needs to be done, today, if possible.
dang it... sorry mom, missed that one in the stress of last week... alright, I will send that asap... I will have to do that later today is that okay?
here are some more pictures from this last week.