Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another busy but Incredible Week

This has been another very busy, but incredible week.  After completing our interviews with all of the Calgary area missionaries we left on Monday afternoon to drive to Medicine Hat to begin interviews there on Tuesday.  This was a city we were excited to see for the first time.  It looked like a great place to be a missionary and everyone that serves there really loves it. Medicine Hat is the furthest city east in southern Alberta that we have missionaries in. We were able to go out teaching with Elder Farnsworth and Marenco to a Sudanese family--a single mom whose husband had passed away 5 years ago, and her two sons ages 12 and 10.  It was such a sweet experience--this woman moved from the big city to this smaller city because she wanted to be in a better place to raise her boys.  She said she wanted her sons to know more about God and to be good boys, and to not get caught up in the things of the world.  She was such a spiritual person.  She loves what the missionaries teach and so do her boys.  It was so fun to see them want to open the Book of Mormon and read in it.  She told us she even calls her boys from work and asks them if they have read their scriptures.  It was really a special night for us.  Our missionaries did a great job of teaching them, and when Elder Marenco, in his humble way, bore his testimony it truly brought the spirit.
On that Tuesday morning during interviews I received a call from Jordan's brother Tanner Stobbe, who is here in Canada on vacation, saying he had a package to deliver from our family.  He didn't know that we were actually in Medicine Hat, where he was also staying.  He was just hoping to connect with us at some point...when I told him we were in Medicine Hat at the Stake Center, he said he would drive over in 15 minutes and bring us our package!  I was so excited!

Our missionaries were also excited to see us get a package!
Our 'little box of sunshine' our girls sent

We loved completing our interviews in Medicine Hat and then we drove to Lethbridge, which is a bigger city in Southern Alberta, to interview our missionaries there.

We love interviewing our missionaries because of the one on one time we get with them.
We also love going out teaching with them.  In Lethbridge I was able to go out with the sisters and Steve went with the elders.  It was my first experience with a big ol' dog!  As I was walking to the home with Sisters Condie and Jones they said, "oh, you aren't allergic to dogs, are you?  Because they have a big dog."  Oh boy, did that put the fear in me.  Anyone that knows me well, knows I'm a bit fearful of dogs--especially big ones.  So, we went into the home and this HUGE out of control dog was jumping and growling and basically scaring me to death.  We were there to teach Sam (a less active sister), but her boyfriend was also there...and I decided his role was to tame the dog.  The sisters did a great job teaching..following the spirit and changing up what they were originally planning to teach.  I just tried to add to their lesson.  And I survived the dog--even though he would keep creeping closer to me until the owner would jerk him back!
From Lethbridge we drove to Raymond to have interviews there.  This was also a new town for us to see.  It is predominantly LDS, and the members help out a lot with missionary work.
Many towns in southern Alberta have pioneer heritage, and so many generations of LDS families live in them.  They are great towns.

After completing our interviews in Raymond, we drove to Cardston to Elder Evanson's home.  He is  the Area Seventy for southern Alberta.  He and his wife Jody hosted a BBQ for us and all the Stake Presidents in that area..there are 11 in all.  They were such great people, and it was really fun to meet them all.  It's nice to know them a little before Stake Conferences start next month.  Once Stake Conferences begin in August, we are at a Stake Conference almost every weekend!
On Wednesday we interviewed our missionaries in the Cardston area and then that night we were able to go on a very special teaching appointment with our Zone Leaders, Elders Hill and Perfili.  We went to teach a less active sister named JoAnn.  She is half native (in our terms that means half Indian, but in Canada they are called natives, and they are called the First Nation.)  She is a convert, and was a returned missionary that had actually served in the Salt Lake City mission back in 1980.  She has struggled over the years, and 5 years ago was in a terrible car accident that gave her head trauma and a broken neck.  She has healed remarkably well, but has lost some of her short term memory.  The elders had planned and prepared to teach her about agency and the atonement.  There was such a sweet spirit there...and JoAnn came to see the atonement in a different way.  It is so touching to see someone begin to understand what the atonement really is.  She had tears many times during the lesson.  She committed to go to church today, and we hope she did.  It was a special night for us.  And she couldn't believe that the Mission President and his wife would come to her home.  It was very powerful for her, and made us know we were in the right place that night.
Driving back to Cardston at dusk, you can see the temple lit up in the distance against the mountains.

After our interviews in Cardston the zone leaders asked us to go see a young man who is serving a church service mission.  He has muscular dystrophy.  His name is Elder Shipley.  He alone has indexed 2,100 names. Through his efforts and those of his extended family and the youth of his ward over 11,000 names have been indexed.        

On Friday afternoon about 3:30 we had completed all of our interviews and were going to head to British Columbia because we were speaking at a small branch there on Sunday.  But we received a call from Elders Ellison and Corning saying they needed Steve to come interview a baptismal candidate.  So, we changed our plans and drove back up to southern Calgary, about 1 hour 45 minutes away for Steve to do this interview.  The woman's name was Sina, and she was an incredible woman.  We were so glad we were able to meet her and her little son Josiah.  She will be such a great member of the church, and is so excited to get baptized.  Again, we felt like we were in the right place at the right time.

After our interview with Sina and a bite of dinner we headed to BC-finally!  We stayed the night in Fernie, and the next day drove through the beautiful Columbia Valley to Fairmont--another town we had never been in. The branch president there found out we were coming and asked us to speak in the branch on Sunday.  We have sister missionaries serving in Invermere, which is about 30 minutes from Fairmont, but the branch is in Fairmont.  These sisters live in a town with not a single member!  The branch has about 14 members--which includes the branch president and his wife.  These little sister missionaries are the lifeblood of that branch.  They are Sister Perrero and Sister Holzer, and they are dynamite missionaries.  When we got to Fairmont we thought we would have our regular 'date night', take off our suit and skirt, put on our casual duds and go have dinner somewhere. But then the thought came to us, 'we should go take these sister missionaries to dinner'.  So we bagged our date night and called them to see if we could take them.  They were so excited, and we were too..we had never seen Invermere, and we wanted to check out this town they serve in.  They also serve in other small towns surrounding it.
At dinner the sisters told us they had had a discouraging day out working, so this was a real treat for us to be with them.  And then Sister Perrero shared with us that the night before she had dreamed that 'President and Sister Miles had called to invite them to dinner'.  She told us that the way Steve had asked her on the phone was exactly the same as in her dream!  What a sweet tender mercy for these hard-working missionaries.  We laughed and told them that 'dreams really do come true'.  But, what it really tells us is that Heavenly Father is looking after his missionaries in even the smallest ways.

You see huge farms with hay rolled like this as you drive through southern Alberta.  They are beautiful!

This is Windermere Lake in the town of Invermere.  We just happened to catch the train going through!

Lake Windemere...

This is a view of the mountains in Fairmont outside our hotel room.  It is gorgeous country!!!

Us with our cute sisters, Sister Holzer and Perrero at the Fairmont Chapel.
We love these missionaries, this missionary work and this mission!!!

1 comment:

  1. What a neat experience with those sisters and that dream!