Sunday, August 9, 2015

Broken bones and baptisms

This week has been a good, busy week.   Tuesday afternoon we were driving home from a meeting with some sister missionaries and got caught in a huge hailstorm.  It was so loud in the car we couldn't even hear each other talk!  We found out later that the hail storm had caused $20,000 of damage to the roofs of one of the church buildings.  We had our assistants over to dinner that evening and our power went out about 3/4 of the way through dinner!  After dinner we sent the assistants on their way and we tried to clean up dinner in the dark..but after a few minutes the power came back on.   We then drove down to Lethbridge, which is 2 hours south of Calgary, for interviews with the departing missionaries on Wednesday.  While Steve interviews each missionary who will be leaving us next week, the others attend a church employment seminar to help them with resumes and job seeking once they get home.  They all have mixed feelings about leaving...they are excited, but it is also a tender time as they prepare to leave their mission.  This week he will interview the missionaries from the Calgary area prior to their leaving on Friday.  Although we haven't known these elders and sisters for very long, we have grown to love them.  We also lost one sister who went home early this week.  We were very sad to see her go; but at the same time we felt it was best for her.  We love her and wish her all the best as she returns home.
 On Thursday I received a frantic call from our new young elder, Elder Murdock, saying his companion, Elder Harris, had fallen off his bike and they thought his wrist was broken.  They are serving in the Lethbridge area, and thankfully in that area we have a Stake President and a bishop who are both doctors.  So, the stake president saw Elder Harris and sent him in for x-rays, and it ended up being quite a bad break...after 2 days of sitting in a hospital bed he is finally going in to surgery to have a plate and pins put in.  This is our second broken wrist with pins since we arrived!

Elder Murdock taking care of his companion Elder Harris!

On Saturday we were invited by Elders Cervantes and Owens to come to a baptism in the small town of Rosemary, which is about 2 hours east and south of Calgary.  This is a town that many of the missionaries want to serve in, even though it is small.  Richard Watson, the man being baptized, is a man of very little means,  not much to look upon, and you can tell he has had a rugged life. The missionaries found him about 4-5 weeks ago out on the street, when they were out inviting people to come to another man's baptism-Erik Davidson.  Richard said he would come and watch the baptism, and he was so touched by it that he let the missionaries teach him, and here he is one month later, being baptized himself.  It was a very sacred and solemn occasion for him.  You could see that he knew his life was changing.  After his baptism, he wanted to just say a few words to everyone that came and he said, 'I have never felt this much peace in my life-ever.'  It was very touching and a sweet experience for us to watch this humble man enter the waters of baptism.  These are the joys of being on a mission!  You really can't describe what it is like to see someone feel the joy of the gospel for the first time.  Richard said he felt like he was 'home'.

                            Elder Cervantes, Richard-the one being baptized, Erik-who baptized him, Elder Owens, and us.
Elder Marenco, Elder Cervantes, Richard, Elder Farnsworth, Erik, Elder Owens

This next week we start our first round of transfers--so wish us luck!!!  We have 27 new missionaries arriving on Tuesday!  

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