Sunday, June 18, 2017

May 29, 2017 - Summer Salutations and "New Everything"

From Dad:

Hey Josh,

Hope you are enjoying your warm weather! Are you in your new area yet?

First thing to do when you get this is take a picture of your passport with your camera and send it to us with your email today!

We are finally getting some real summer weather here and we are loving it. We even got some southern Alberta style wind on Wednesday that blew down a few trees and tore off all the Tyvek from the garage side of the house. 

Carlsons gave the girls some bunnies so we had a FHE to make bunny hutches that we hope to finish tonight because they are a little messy to keep in the house. That's why we moved to an acreage though, right :)



We are making slow and steady progress on the house and were able to get some basics in place for building the garage. I'm ever thankful to Sam for his help doing this work. Ben isn't quite as enthusiastic about it but I'll have to recruit him more when Sam goes on his mission. 

Sam is getting more and more ready to go. He gave an excellent talk last Saturday about the Aaronic Priesthood preparing him for the Melchesidek Priesthood and a mission. We also finally were able to throw an 18th birthday party for him on Friday. A couple of nice girls from Laurel Priest conference came over too and that was a treat and a validation for him. We had a belated birthday breakfast in bed on Sunday and gave him a new white shirt and a guitar stand for his birthday.


Auntie Wendy is staying in our yard in her trailer and it looks like we'll be able to hire her to do the parging for our house. Hoping it all turns out well for her and for us. She's looking for work and may get a job at the mines in Sparwood.

Mom and I have been having lots of discussion about how to be concerned about and helpful to family and friends who are struggling but not become co-dependent on their situation for us to be happy and productive in our own lives. It's a challenging balance and part of our growth and experience in this life. 

Mom and I are going to try and stay off refined sugar this next two weeks in preparation for a 5K run mom is organizing for some of the women in our ward.

All in all, life is challenging and exciting. We are thankful for your example and diligence in the work of the Lord.

Love,

Dad


A few pics attached. 




From Josh:

I have a new companion, a new area, a new zone and I am having to become someone new in order to be able to serve here. 

I am currently serving in what is called Seco Canyon, it is up near Saugus where I served exactly a year ago and they border each other so often we will go into that area on accident and i will get flash backs of my time there. 

My companion, His name is Elder Long, he is from Texas and is quite a character, he loves deep doctrine so we have had a few discussions about the church and the conclusion that we keep getting to is that the church is true. Another fun fact is that he has served here in Seco Canyon for a year so he is pretty confident in this area and is also the district leader so I am looking to him for a lot of information in these first few days. 

It is kind of crazy being in a ward who has many people again, we got into church and there hardly was any spots for us to sit in, it really reminded my of home, a few of the members came up to me and said they were either from Canada, or had served a mission there, but all in all I felt really welcome, i am looking for my purpose here, I am trying to find what I need to learn and what I need to do, every area I have served in God has given me those things, I can pretty much guaranty when I am leaving an area when I learn something new and when I impact something or someone. 
God has a purpose for us all, we are all here on earth to learn for ourselves how to become as God would have us become and also to be an instrument in his hands to bring others to the blessings of the gospel, to impact others lived, I know that as we put our trust in him he will make more of us than we ever could. 

This week I have had many experiences.

I am in basher country up here in Santa Clarita, we have a very big Grace Baptist Church in this area, I have nothing against them and I love everyone who we talk to from there, but they all seem to be the most against the mormon belief, I have nearly experienced all the tactics of bashing, the slow lead in where they are super friendly asking very neutral questions and slowly and steadily will lead into a full on scripture war, then there are those who ask trap questions who try to twist your words and get you to say things that will condemn you. When I was last here it got so crazy that I literally started making a book called "how to bash 101" Luckily Elder Long has located all the Bashers since he has been here so long. 
So there have been many experiences with tense conversations, "Intellectual discussions" and passive arguments, but I almost enjoy those conversations because when I rely on the spirit and testify about the things I know to be true there is so much power that comes into my voice and its really the best kind of high that we can ever feel is the feeling of the spirit. 

Just know I love you all and that you are all amazing. 

Love Josh. 

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