Sunday, January 24, 2016

Great week at home!

This week we were home all week!  After the last two weeks traveling it felt good.  We were busy, but it was good to be home, (and to catch up on laundry, etc.)  This is the week before transfers so Steve spent quite a bit of time working on that.  We also have a long meeting with our office senior couples to go over what will happen on transfer week--getting everything squared away for new missionaries coming in and those departing.  This transfer will be done differently than those in the past.  Over the Christmas holidays Steve and I received some video training (as well as all the mission presidents worldwide) and they want us to do away with any formal 'transfer meetings'.  We were so happy with this directive.  So, now, our missionaries will know beforehand who their new companion will be, where they are going, and they will basically just meet at either the church in Calgary, or in Lethbridge to pick up their new companion and head to their area. It will be much more simple, and we are so happy about that!  We were also directed in our video training to do away with 'departure firesides'.  We were also happy about that.  No longer will we go to the church after our dinner with the departing missionaries and hold a fireside (that many people came to)and testimony meeting.  Instead, we will still go to the temple with our departing group, have a nice dinner at the mission home, and then hold our own intimate testimony meeting at the mission home.  We are really happy about this.  We are excited about these new changes.
On Wednesday we had a special world wide Missionary Broadcast that we watched live from Salt Lake City.  They told us they hadn't done this in a decade--so it was really a great experience.  We were taught by Elder Neil A. Andersen, Elder David A. Bednar, Elder Brent Nielson, Bishop W.Christopher Waddell, Elder L. Whitney Clayton, and Sister Bonnie Oscarson.  We learned a lot about teaching by the spirit, and also teaching repentance and baptizing converts. We were also reminded that inviting people to act and keep commitments, like reading the Book of Mormon, or praying, or coming to sacrament meeting helps them to exercise their faith and grow in their testimony. We were also instructed on the importance of working with the members, and they showed us a statistic that showed how much higher our baptism percentages are when we find people to teach through our members.  We were told that if we are ever unsure what to say, to testify of the Savior.  I have found that to be true.  There is always such a wonderful spirit when we speak of Christ.  It was a great broadcast and we all learned so much.  We are so grateful to be led by apostles of of the Lord.
After this broadcast Steve and I were able to teach a lesson to a little gal named Cach, that I had met in Nordstrom when I was buying Steve some ties--clear back before Christmas.  She saw my nametag, and asked me about what it meant.  She told me she was looking for a church.  She and I talked for quite awhile, and she told me how she suffers from some anxiety, and how every morning she goes into a dressing room and prays.  And after she prays she feels better.  So, I asked her if she knew why that happened, and told her that it is because God, who she prays to, is her loving Heavenly Father, and wants to help her and bless her...that he really hears her prayers and answers them.  I was even able to share with her what Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the He knows how she feels, that is why He can help her.  Anyway, she was quite interested, and I gave her a pass along card with my name and phone number on it, and told her to call me if she would like.  She texted me awhile later asking if we could get together and talk.  I was so excited!  So, we set a time, but then she cancelled.  So, we have been texting back and forth, and I have been praying that we could get together.  So, that night before the broadcast I got a text from her wondering if we could get together the next day.  So, it was a great experience for Steve and I to teach her.  We invited her to come to church--but don't know if she will do it.  We also gave her a Book of Mormon and asked her to read the introduction in it.  I have been praying that she would pick it up and read it, and that the spirit would touch her.  Now I know exactly how my missionaries feel with their investigators!!
This past week we were able to take Sisters Kolkova and Merritt to the temple prior to Sister Kolkova going home next week.  Her visa expires earlier than our other missionaries, so she will miss the temple day on Thursday with them, so we wanted her to be able to go with us.  So we took them to the Calgary Temple and did an endowment session with them, which was really special, and then took them for a bite of lunch.
On Friday we had our training meeting for our missionaries that will be new trainers for the new missionaries coming from the MTC.  We held this meeting at the mission home, since the numbers were a bit smaller.  It was really nice to do it in our training room downstairs.  Some of our missionaries we are finding, have never been in the mission home.  One sister when she came in remarked that 'there is such a strong spirit here'.  And I have to say, there is a beautiful spirit in the mission home.  We are trying to hold more of our training meetings here, if our numbers aren't too large.  We had a great meeting with this new group--the spirit was really strong, and we feel they are all excited and ready to train.  After the meeting we had a hotdog lunch, which they loved!  We kind of decided late Thursday night that we should just feed them lunch after the meeting, and at first I wanted to order a sandwich tray--but it was too late to do that; so hotdogs came to mind!  I think it's because Steve has been craving a hotdog from Weinerschnitzel!  So, I bought 40 hotdogs and buns and threw them in a roaster pan to cook while we had our meeting.  It was a fun lunch together and we were glad we did it.  We just love these missionaries.  We love seeing them grow in the gospel and in their faith.  We feel badly when they struggle with their own self worth, and confidence and when they wonder if they are doing any good.  We always pray for guidance in how to help them.  Steve is so good with them.  He is so patient and kind.  And I can see how he is guided by the spirit as to what to say and what scriptures to read with them.  I have really seen the 'mantle of a mission president'
fall upon him.  He is the best.  We love serving together.  Our love for each other has grown deeper and deeper.  It's hard to describe what it is like to really only have each other to depend upon.  We have truly become each other's companion, and have become united as never before.  If anyone that is older is reading this that is married--if you want your love for each other to grow,  just go on a mission together!!  It is the best.
We were able to attend the baptism of Sarah Milne on Friday night.  We met her with the sisters that were teaching her back in December, and they were hopeful she would accept baptism.  It was such a special night to see her enter the waters of baptism.  You really can't describe how special a convert baptism is.  To see someone come to feel the spirit for the first time ever, and see them make changes in their lives and come closer to Christ.  It is such an amazing thing.  It's what this is all about.
On Saturday early evening we finally had a date night and went to one of our favorite places, The Keg--only because it has my favorite cheesy garlic bread.  Then we came home and tried to watch 'Planet Earth' but we both kept falling asleep!  I guess we have been a bit worn out.  So, we called it a night and went to bed!  (But only after a big bowl of buttery popcorn which has become a favorite treat we have on the weekends when we can!)
We are looking forward to next week and transfers!
At the temple with Sister Kolkova

Hotdog lunch at the mission home

Sister Creech, Sarah, Sister McDonald


  1. Hi I am Diana Taylor from Brantford Ontario and our son Elder Miles Taylor will be joining you temporarily on Tuesday while he waits for his visa. We don't have any travel info so don't know when he arrives. Love this blog. Thank you.

  2. Hot dogs and homemade popcorn! When can I come visit? 😊