Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Crazily busy!

We have been so busy with zone conferences, interviews, and today an MLC, that I am just now sitting down to write about the last 10 days.  Last Monday we were able to go to BC to do their interviews that night, and the next day we held their zone conference.  It's kind of fun to go out and do their zone conference separate from all the others.  It's just a small group--but they are great, and we love being with them.  So, our zone conferences for this transfer are over, and we will complete all of the interviews by this Saturday afternoon--so they will all be done for the transfer.  We have come to know that this is how our life will be from here on out!
Wednesday we had the great blessing of watching a Worldwide Missionary Broadcast.  It was so cool!  To begin with they basically took us on a virtual tour of the Church Office Building and it ended up in a room with Elder Oaks, Elder Bednar, Elder Andersen, Bishop Waddell, Sister Oscarson, and Elder Brent Nielsen--all members of the missionary committee.  We then got to just 'sit in' on their council live!  It was an amazing experience.  They again reminded as (just as they did last year in their broadcast) that we are here to "Teach repentance and baptize converts".  And they discussed the importance of repentance in all of our lives. They told the missionaries that they can't teach repentance without practicing repentance in their own personal lives.  They also discussed the importance of living and teaching the Doctrine of Christ.  They also discussed topics such as: Helping investigators progress towards baptism, establishing the church, how to become a more persuasive teacher, and helping people keep commitments.  It was such a cool experience to just watch them have a council together.  Close to the end of the broadcast they announced a new change in the daily schedule of a missionary.  They are giving the missionaries more latitude to decide when they will have their companion study, language study, and do their 12 week program.  They can choose to do it in the afternoon, however their schedule works best.  Also, they moved planning from the nighttime to the morning--which that in and of itself is an inspired move!  To not be planning at night when they are so tired is awesome.  It is now done in the morning before 10:00 a.m. They can also come home and even be in bed by 9:30 if as a companionship they choose to, and get more sleep.  The brethren want the missionaries to become 'agents unto themselves' as stated in D & C 58, and to learn to make more decisions on their own, as they pray and ponder about it.  This will bless their lives as they go home as well.  I loved it.  And our missionaries loved it.  It inspired us!
Wednesday night while Steve went to his coordinating council meeting with Elder Spackman and all the stake presidents in Calgary, I had a young women's group come to the mission home for a little fireside.  I had two of our sisters, Sister Grange and Sister Williams, come teach them and answer questions.  It was a fun night with these young women.  They are so cute.
We had interviews on Thursday and Saturday, and on Friday we had a retrainers meeting with all of our newest missionaries (all 6) and their trainers.  We had a great meeting with them.
On Saturday afternoon Steve participated in the Confederation Park stake conference general priesthood meeting.  He was able to show pictures of families and others that have been baptized in our mission, and one family that has even been sealed in the temple.  He said it was great for them to see the successes that are happening in the Canada Calgary Mission, and to inspire them to just open their mouths and invite people to learn of Jesus Christ.
Sunday Steve spoke in the Woodbine ward, and right after that we drove up to Airdrie (which is about 35 minutes away) to participate in their 3rd hour meeting, and share some thoughts on missionary work.  That was really fun.
Monday we had our usual meeting with our couples serving in our office.  As we are losing Elder and Sister Peppinger on March 1 we are in a real bind because we don't have someone to replace them.  They have been fanstastic, and we will be so sad to see them go.  Elder and Sister Sefcik, who serve part time in the office, and live here in Calgary, are also supposed to be released, but they have agreed to stay on to help us out through this bind.  But, Monday afternoon Steve was able to meet with a brother that lives here in Calgary who wants to serve a church service mission, and he wants to come in and do what Elder Peppinger has been doing (our finances).  So, that is a HUGE blessing.  You just don't know how invaluable the office couples are.  They do so much work.
Calgary's weather is crazy!  On Sunday, as we had a Chinook here, it got up to 55!  Most of the snow melted, we weren't wearing coats, it was great!  Then yesterday it dropped right back down to -8, which is 17!  So, I put my warm winter coat back on today!
We had a great MLC today, with not only our zone leaders and sister trainer leaders, but we also invited our district leaders.  It was such a wonderful day--so filled with the spirit, and all of the trainings were wonderful.  We feel that everyone went away uplifted and edified and inspired to go do the work.  We had 62 missionaries there- about 1/3 of our mission.  Every leader in our mission attended--so as you can realize, they can have a lot of influence. ..for good or bad.  So, we tried to help them realize the vision of what they can do.  They are so awesome though--we just love all of our missionaries.
This is great work; but it is also very tiring.  Sometimes I wonder how I can make it through the day.  But as always, Heavenly Father renews my strength and energy.  He answers my prayers and gives me what I need, to do what needs to be done.  He is so kind and so generous in his blessings to me.
It's little things like this that help me know how much he loves me.
Sisters Barlow, Larsen and Elder Murdock in BC

More BC selfies!

The BC zone at zone conference.

The Somerset Young Women at the mission home- Sisters Williams & Grange in the middle.

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