The next day we attended a district meeting in Medicine Hat, which was planned and conducted by Elder Henry, and he did a great job. The zone leaders had come up with some friendly competition within the zone for different aspects of missionary work--and they had made a 'Standards of Excellence' flag and whoever won the competition got to hang on to the flag until the next week. This particular week, the sisters in the zone won the competition--they were pretty excited about it. So, now all the elders were really pumped to win it back--this week their competition was to see how many referrals they could get. It will be fun to see who wins. After that meeting was over we headed to Lethbridge, but on the way stopped by two different missionary apartments in Taber to say Hi and see how their apartments looked--to see if their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors were working. It is always good to see our missionaries along the way.
On Wednesday and Thursday nights we had training meetings with the Stake Presidents, Stake Councils, bishops, and ward mission leaders in the Lethbridge Stake, and the Cardston Stake. On Wednesday before the meeting, President and Sister MacLennan invited us for dinner. And wow, she is a gourmet cook! She fed us this absolutely delicious 5 course meal--it was so yummy! We enjoyed every bite. They are such a nice couple, and we feel like we could be lifelong friends. We have really loved the relationships we have made here with Stake Presidents and their wives and with our Area Seventies and their wives. We look forward to the times we are able to spend with them.
Both of our Stake Training meetings went really well--we had great discussions on Member Missionary Work, and how our missionaries and the wards can work more unitedly together to bring souls unto Christ. We know as we partner together we can find success.
After our meeting in Cardston we drove back to Calgary--in a big snow storm. The roads were icy and it got quite foggy--so it was rough going some of the way, but we made it back by midnight safe and sound.
Friday morning we had a retrainers meeting with our new missionaries and their trainers--but we had called all of the ones that were supposed to come up from the south and told them not to drive up on the bad roads. So, we had about half of the missionaries there, but it was a great meeting--to just see how they are doing, and how their 12 week course is coming along. Then on Saturday we had conference calls with all the ones who couldn't drive up--and it was actually really fun. We patched in 2-3 companionships on each call and did an hour 'retraining' with them. We decided that this could be a great way to be in touch with certain groups of our missionaries more often. We just love these missionaries--it is so fun to see the new ones 'grow' in the work, and to see what they have learned in 4 short weeks.
On Saturday over in the Columbia River Valley in the Fairmont Branch was a wonderful baptism of Amanda and Sean Ryan. This was a couple we had met clear back in July, who were being taught by the sisters, and they wanted to get baptized but were waiting for her divorce to become final so they could get married and then get baptized. Well, miraculously her divorce was finalized in December and they immediately had the branch president marry them. Then they set their baptismal date for Jan. Sean was baptized on Saturday, and then he was able to baptize Amanda on Sunday. We weren't able to attend because we had to be at a Stake Conference, but we were sent some pictures. We were so excited for them. They have been waiting a long time for this day. It is so special to see someone come into the gospel, and to see how their lives have changed, and what they have given up to follow the Savior--and yet they are so happy to do it, and feel so blessed. That's what this work is all about.
|Sean, Cody, Amanda, Sister Holzer, Cody's twin sister before the baptism|
|The BC missionaries at Sean & Amanda's baptism|
|The Medicine Hat District-the Sisters 'won' the flag!|