Our MLC was one of our best yet. We were able to have so many great discussions and Steve did a great training on being leaders in a mission. We discussed what good leadership qualities were, and how we could better improve to be more Christlike leaders. The zone leaders and sister trainer leaders that attend this MLC meeting really do have a huge impact on how the mission goes...and so we depend upon them a lot to set the example, and to know and care for their zones, and to reach out to any who are struggling. We ordered 16 pizzas for lunch for this group! We had about 1 1/2 leftover, which some of the missionaries gladly took with them after it was over. We love our MLC meetings--there is always a good spirit there. Tomorrow, all of the zones will hold Zone Training, which is where they take what we taught in MLC and teach it to their zones. This month our focus is on "Developing Christlike Attributes". We decided that the greatest gift we could give the Savior is to try and become more like Him, by developing the attributes He has. Each district leader can decide which attribute he wants to focus on for his district and teach about that one. But we decided the district meeting on Dec. 22 should be focused completely on the birth of the Savior--we thought that would be special for the week of Christmas.
After MLC was complete, we drove back to Calgary, and I quickly made a pie, before we headed out to the airport to pick up Mike and Jillian who came up for Thanksgiving. It was so fun to have them here with us! I get so excited to see them come through the 'customs' doors at the airport! We stayed up with them talking till a little after midnight, and then all went to bed. Thursday we had so much fun just cooking a Thanksgiving dinner all together. Mike's mission companion, Rob Falconer, joined us for dinner. He lives here in Calgary--so it was fun for he and Mike to see each other again.
On Friday, we were able to take Mike and Jillian to Banff and to Lake Louise. Frozen Lake Louise!
It was a winter wonderland there, and so beautiful. We had such a fun time.
Then on Saturday, we took them with us to the Raymond Stake Conference. Mike and Dad went to the priesthood meeting at 4:00, and Jillian and I went out teaching with Sisters Lowe and Shields.
It was so great to have Jillian there, and have her share her testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know it brought her back to when she served her mission. I was so proud to be with her, and I was proud of our Sister missionaries. They did a great job teaching these 3 young women.
After that, we had dinner with the Stake Presidency and Elder Rulon Stacey of the Seventy, prior to the Saturday evening session of Stake Conference where Steve and I both spoke. It was a great meeting, and we really enjoyed learning from Elder Stacey. He had a fun personality, and taught us a lot. The Sunday morning session was equally as good, and they also had a Young Men's choir of all priest age boys sing. They were so great! In this session, a couple named the Nortons, shared their experience of coming back into the church after about 35 years of inactivity. It was so touching. It just really made you realize you can't give up on anyone! You never know when the time will be right for them, and when their heart will be in the right place and they will want to return to the gospel and the joy that can be found there. It was really a special meeting.
After it was over, we chatted with our missionaries serving in that Stake for a few minutes and then left to get back to Calgary so we could feed Mike and Jillian and let them pack before taking them to the airport to fly home. We had so much fun having them with us, and having them meet some of our missionaries. It was also so fun to be speaking at the pulpit and look down and see Mike and Jillian sitting in the congregation! We had a great week with our missionaries and our kids!!!
We are so grateful for the many blessings we have been given--first and foremost, the gospel in our lives. We are so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who sent His son to be our Redeemer. We are so grateful for the atoning sacrifice of our Savior. Our testimony of Him influences all that we do in our lives. We are so grateful for an incredible family. How we are so blessed to have each one of them we will never know. We love them more than words can express. We are grateful for our parents and our extended families. And we are so grateful for this amazing experience of serving on this mission and to be able to serve with these wonderful missionaries. We love them so much. We have been richly blessed!
We are looking forward to the upcoming Christmas season. Our first one in the mission field!
|Elders Hardwick, Condie & Christensen shoveling snow before district meetings.|
|Thanksgiving cupcakes from Elder Hopoi|
|Calgary East zone district meetings|
|Getting ready for MLC in Lethbridge|
|Thanksgiving dinner with Jillian and Mike!|
|Standing ON Lake Louise!|
|Walking around the hotel grounds at Lake Louise|
|Elders Sondrup and Stringam with their matching, homage ties!|
At our Raymond Stake Conference
|Sisters McDonald and Hatch, with the cute "Elder Snow" snowman they made for us!|