Monday, May 8, 2017

Temple with the Missionaries

Last week was a great week!  Monday night we held a meeting with all of our Spanish speaking missionaries to discuss the work and see how they are doing.  We love these Hermanas and Elders!
They are so enthusiastic about the work and are really working hard to find people to bring into the gospel.
Then on Tuesday and Wednesday we were able to attend the temple with all of our missionaries!  On Tuesday we had two different sessions to accommodate all the ones in Calgary.  We had one session at 9:30, then we all had lunch together provided by the Calgary West Stake Relief Society, and then we had another session in the afternoon.  There is nothing like seeing the chapel in the temple filled with missionaries.  It is quite a sight, and they bring quite a spirit.
Then on Wednesday we drove to Cardston early and met all of the southern missionaries for a session at the Cardston Temple at 10:00 a.m.  We had about 80 missionaries on this session.  It too, was a wonderful day with our missionaries.  They really love being able to go to the temple.  They can go every quarter if they are fairly close--which basically means everyone except those serving in BC or Medicine Hat can go.  Those two areas are too far away, so they have to wait until they are serving in an area that is closer.  Following the session we had another yummy lunch provided by the Cardston West Stake Relief Society.  These sisters are so nice to feed us!
While there we had a call that one of our missionaries needed to go to the ER room in Calgary, and so we left Cardston to get up there to be with him at the hospital.  One great blessing we have in this mission is wonderful LDS doctors that take good care of our missionaries.  This missionary was actually at the doctor's office and his symptoms worsened so the doctor sent him to the ER.  They do things a little differently here in Canada--and then the doctor called me and told me what was going on.  So, we got there and they had run some tests, that came back negative, so they released him.  We never like it when the missionaries need to go to the ER, because it can be a long, long wait.  This same missionary ended up in the ER again on Friday night and waited through the whole night- 7 hours!-before being seen!  I was up all night texting back and forth with he and his companion to see what was going on.  We were down in Lethbridge attending a Stake Conference when he had to go in the second time, so we were trying to keep in contact with the doctor and the missionaries from there.  But after a second round of more detailed tests, they determined they could release him.  We think he is starting to improve.  And our doctor is monitoring him.  We are so grateful for these great doctors!
Wednesday night after being at the hospital, we had a meeting with all of our Mandarin speaking missionaries to discuss their work and how it is going.  Great things are happening in our Mandarin branch.  They are regularly getting about 70-75 people attending, and if they can maintain these numbers they get to move from having sacrament meeting in the Relief Society room to the chapel.  This is their big goal, and they are almost there!  We are so excited for them!
Thursday we had a day to begin preparing for transfers, and then Friday we held our 'New Trainers' meeting.  Since we only have 3 new missionaries coming in this week we only need 3 trainers!  This is the smallest group we have ever had!  But these new trainers were excited about this new assignment and we had a great meeting with them.   We had a quick lunch with them and then Steve and I had to drive to the airport to pick up Elder Matthew L. Carpenter of the Seventy who was coming to the Lethbridge West Stake Conference.  We had a wonderful visit with him as we all drove to Lethbridge and had the best dinner ever at President and Sister Steed's home.  They served a beef tenderloin that he had smoked in his smoker, and it was to die for!  We had just a great night with that stake presidency and Elder Carpenter, and then we went to our hotel.
Saturday evening we spoke in the session of stake conference and we also stayed to be in attendance for the Sunday session.  It was a great conference, and it was very missionary minded!  Elder Carpenter really emphasized the responsibility we have as members to be sharing the gospel whenever we can.  Following the conference we drove Elder Carpenter up to the airport in Calgary to catch his flight home.  It was really fun to visit with him, and we discovered he also attended Olympus High School, graduating one year behind me, so we made some good connections.  He grew up just a few blocks from where Steve grew up...small world!  We really admire these Area Seventies.  They are gone 3 out of 4 weekends each month on assignment--so Elder Carpenter is gone from his wife and daughter at home almost every weekend!  That would be so hard.  They truly are dedicated servants.  Each one we have had the opportunity to be with is just so nice and genuine.  We have really enjoyed meeting them all.
This week is transfer week, and we will send 3 missionaries home, and welcome 3 new ones.  It is always a fun week that we look forward to.  And then we start all over again with interviews!
All of our Spanish Speaking missionaries with a great view of downtown Calgary!

Lunch in Calgary after the temple

The wonderful people who made our lunch!

Elder Higashi cleaning up!

Lunch in Cardston following the temple.

Meeting with all of our Mandarin speaking missionaries.

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