Monday, September 26, 2016

Baptism & Visit from Family

Me with my cute Mom

Jay, Jill, Melinda, Jed, Mom and Me

Jay, Jill, Jed, Mom and Us!  Saying good-bye!
This, as always, has been a great week in the Canada Calgary Mission.  We were able to attend two different Zone Training Meetings, one in our Calgary West Zone, and one in our Confederation Park Zone.  The main focus of the training (which was determined at MLC) was on the Book of Mormon--how to use it more in our teaching.  It is amazing to listen to these Zone Leaders and Sister Trainer Leaders stand and lead their zones in discussions, and help teach and train them.  And it is also wonderful to hear other missionaries give White Handbook Trainings and other things.  These missionaries have such great desires and good hearts.  They really are trying their best, and want so much to find people to teach and baptize.  We love to be in these meetings and really just sit back and watch them in action.  It is such a blessing and privilege to be working with them.  It was so powerful to hear them share how they came to have a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  When they stand with conviction and say, "I've read it, and I've had the spirit confirm to my heart it is true." is so incredibly touching.  There's nothing better!  We are so proud of them.
We've also been meeting with companionships throughout the mission just to discuss their areas and see how we can help them in the work.  Thursday we were gone all day just meeting with different elder and was a great day with them.  Steve was also able to go out teaching with some elders on Thursday night prior to a meeting he had with a stake president.
Friday we had our Retrainers Meeting where we met with all the brand new missionaries and their trainers.  We love that meeting.  The new missionaries have now been out about 4 weeks and they are more settled in, and it is so fun to see what they have learned.  Steve always has a session in that meeting where he asks, "What have you learned in the last 4 weeks?"  We hear a lot of answers such as-"we've learned that Preach My Gospel really works, we've learned to be patient, we've learned to love people, we've learned to rely on the Lord more, we've learned to communicate more, we've learned to be a better listener, we've learned that it is great to have a companion because they can fill in for you in a lesson when you don't know what to say, or they can back up your testimony, we've learned that everyone has strengths."
It really is amazing what they learn in such a short time.  What they learn on a mission is invaluable for life!
Friday evening we were able to attend the baptism of Rene Canales in the Spanish branch.  He is about mid fifties, and he was so excited.  The elders that taught him said he had called them, telling them he was basically tired of the life he was living and wanted to change.  So they began teaching him and he threw out all of his alcohol and began to accept every commitment they extended.  It was such a sweet baptism.  Even though it was all in Spanish, you could feel the spirit there, and I wish everyone could have seen the smile on his face.  The greatest miracle of all is the miracle of a changed heart--and you could definitely see it in Rene.  We are so blessed to be able to witness these miracles here.  To see someone completely change and accept the gospel, and feel the Savior's atonement in their lives and see the joy it brings truly is nothing short of a miracle.
Saturday afternoon was fun for us.  Two of my siblings and their spouses, Jill and Jay, and Jed and Melinda, and my mom came to visit.  It was so great to see them and hug them!  We were able to go to dinner with them on Saturday, and then my mom stayed with us in the mission home (in the one bedroom we have available due to the construction) while the others stayed at a local hotel.  Mom came to church with us on Sunday and then we all had lunch at the mission home before they took off for more sightseeing into Banff and Jasper.  We had our two assistants, Elders Lee and Moffitt, come on Saturday night and meet them and have donuts with us.  And then these two great elders shared a wonderful message from the book of Enos in the Book of Mormon with us.  It was a powerful message, and you could feel the spirit they had with them.  As I just sat there and watched these two missionaries speak I felt like I was really witnessing two true disciples of Christ.  I was so proud of them, and so grateful for the spirit they brought with them.
Tonight we were also able to meet a new senior couple that has come to our mission, Elder and Sister Anderson from Farmington, Utah.  We are excited to have them here in our mission.  They will be serving in the Siksika Branch, and in the Strathmore ward in the Confederation Park Stake.  They also have the responsibility to be in charge of the website--which is part of their official calling.  They will be a great addition here.
Elder Proctor, Rene Canales (new convert) Elders Tate & Ibanez

Our yard is completely back to normal--new sod down even!
The downstairs is still under construction though!

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