Sunday, July 10, 2016

Interviews complete!

This past week we were able to complete all of our interviews.  We headed to BC on Monday afternoon, and met with President Anderson and his wife--they were nice enough to invite us to their home in Jaffrey for dinner before we got to Cranbrook.  Jaffrey is so beautiful, and they live on an incredible piece of land nestled in the pines.  We had fun with them, and then he and Steve were able to talk mission/stake president talk, and then we were on our way to Cranbrook.  On Tuesday we interviewed all of our missionaries in the BC zone, and stayed for a little bit of their district meeting before heading off to Pincher Creek to interview 4 missionaries there, and then on to Cardston.  After we finished in Pincher Creek it was about 6:15, so we decided to detour a couple of miles and go into Waterton Park for a bite of dinner.  Watertown is the Canadian side of Glacier National Park, and it is incredibly beautiful.  We haven't been able to really spend any time in there--some day we will take a day and go exploring.  But we did stop long enough to take a few pictures and eat some pizza before going to Cardston.
On Wednesday we did a full day of interviews, beginning with 4 elders in Cardston, then we drove to Raymond and interviewed all of our Raymond and Magrath missionaries, and then we drove to Lethbridge for 3 more interviews, and then we drove to Claresholm to interview 2 more!  We finished up those about 6:00 and had a bite to eat and drove back to Calgary to meet with two more missionaries that were just having some struggles that needed us.  So, we got home about 10:15 or so.
Then on Thursday we interviewed our Confederation Park Zone, and on Friday we held our Retrainers Meeting for all of our new missionaries and their trainers.  It was such a great meeting and good spirit.  I just love these new missionaries and their excitement, humility and faith.  They are amazing.  We talk about what they have learned--and it is so fun to hear their answers.  They tell us they have learned the power of prayer, the power of bearing testimony, and they have learned the value of a companionship, and many other things. We also talk about how they are doing in the 12 week program--every new missionary is trained in a special program for 12 weeks that helps them learn the ins and outs of missionary work.  It is such an inspired program.  And it is crucial to help them become the best missionary they can be.  So, that is why the role of a trainer is so important in a mission--they really teach these new missionaries HOW to be a missionary.
After our retrainers meeting we interviewed the Fish Creek Zone, and then on Saturday we finished up with the Calgary Central Zone.  While we were interviewing them it began thundering and raining, and we watched an incredible rainstorm!  We were also in the 17th Avenue chapel which is such a unique building with all of these huge picture it was fun to just watch the rain come pouring down.
The Calgary Stampede is going on in full force now--so our missionaries serving downtown have to be in earlier than usual because of all that goes on with it.  We want them in by 8:00 p.m. just to be safe.
We have loved traveling this past week--the scenery is so beautiful.  The canola fields are in full bloom and everything else is so green.  I don't know if last year we appreciated the scenery because we were so overwhelmed!
This afternoon we spoke in a 'Mid Singles' sacrament meeting.  I was really struggling trying to prepare something.  I studied and read yesterday and just didn't feel anything come to mind.  And then this morning I was also at a loss.  I stepped into Steve's office a little teary, telling him that I didn't know what I was speaking on yet--and this was at 10:30, and we were speaking at 1:00.  He told me not to worry, that I had read and studied and prayed, and to trust the Lord and I would be given what to say.  He said he had a few thoughts, but didn't know what he would speak on yet.  He is more used to doing that than I am.  I've been able to do that when the speaking assignment is only 5-7 minutes.  But 15-20 requires more!  Or maybe I just don't have enough faith to trust that I will know what to say for that long.  So, I went back into the kitchen where all my scriptures were and offered another prayer, and then some thoughts and scriptures came to mind.  So, I jotted down notes and scribbles and took the paper with me.    I believe I said what I was supposed to.  Steve did a wonderful job--I truly felt his words were inspired.  At least it's over!
This week we will be preparing for transfers coming up next week--determining who will be new trainers for 17 missionaries coming in!  And Steve will interview all of the departing missionaries.
We meet with our senior couples in the office on Mondays and tomorrow we really go into detail about anything for transfers--any new apartments needed, vehicles, etc.  We are so thankful for our senior couples serving in the office.  They are unsung heroes.  They do so much that no one ever knows about.  We wish we could have all of them stay until our time is over.  They are great examples of consecrated saints.  We love them!
Saying good-by to Elder Battenfield

The beautiful canola fields

Waterton Park in the background 

Waterton Park

Saying good-by to Sister Larsen

In the summer we find rabbits like this all over Calgary--this one was at the church where we were doing interviews.