Wednesday, October 15, 2014

T H A N K S G I V I N G // Canadian-style

Happy Thanksgiving from Canada! Weird, eh? Totally not used to Thanksgiving being before Halloween, but we're okay with it because we got fed WELL.

We shared a spiritual thought Sunday night with the Deeks family about how during this earth life, our purpose is to use the right tools that our Heavenly Father has given us to help us return to live with Him-- one of those being our families. I am so grateful for families. I know that they are central to His plan for us. I love that it is in our families that we learn to respect, love, trust, forgive, etc. Not every family situation is ideal, and yes we all mess up A LOT, but I know that Satan wants the family to be ripped apart. Heavenly Father wants us to work together to better each other, lift one another up, and get to the Temple so that we can be together forever. I love His plan!

We also had dinner again with the Contreras family last night. I love this family! They are like a second family to me. The spirit is always in their home and I know I definitely want that when I have my own family and home!

Robert ALSO fed us this week (we really are taken care of when it comes to food...). We talked with him about his future family and some goals he has when he has one. It is so cool to see how he is realigning his priorities as he comes closer to his Heavenly Father. It's the best to see the process of conversion happen right before your eyes. He also bore his testimony on Sunday and texted us about how grateful he was that God existed. <<< such a tender moment for a missionary.

And it has been a blessing for me because I've been in this area for so long, that I get to see how it is growing and changing-- the Lord is truly apart of this work.

This week we met with Calvin! And we committed him to quit smoking! He is such a funny man, I love him. He really has a desire to do what is right and he has such a good heart.

We also met with Yesol-- we happened to randomly run into her on the sidewalk by Seneca so we chatted for a bit. We talked about how she wasn't sure if she would be able to come to church on Sunday because she hasn't been feeling anything special at church, and so she wanted to try another ward. Then on Sunday... she came! And guess what? She felt something. We met with her after Church and asked her how it was and she really liked it. She said when Jason (someone from the branch who leaves on his mission tomorrow!) bore his testimony, that she felt something and almost cried!


Guess who also showed up at church? Our investigator Tao, our investigator Taishi, and a less-active named Shaunna. Tao is from China and comes to ESL, but has also started coming to institute and church. He says he feels really good there :) and Taishi is from Japan and he, too, is from ESL. He doesn't really understand anything, but he feels really good, so that's a start!! And Shaunna... oh my goodness, I love her! We have been visiting her lately and she has been slowly taking some baby steps in being more comfortable with coming back to church, and on Sunday, she just showed up. I WAS SHOCKED. After sacrament, so many people came up and hugged her. I ALMOST CRIED. It was so beautiful so see her and her friends reunite! 

On Friday we had Skills and Interviews/Zone Council! We got to have personal interviews with President and Sister Clayton-- I love them. So grateful for them. 

Yesterday we thought it would be a great idea to go and contact people and talk to people on the streets about what they were grateful for, being Thanksgiving and all! 

Nope. People were NOT in the mood, haha... But! We did talk to some people! And we met THE COOLEST guy ever, named Slava! He is from Russia and he believes in God and when we told him a little bit about what we believe in, he was like, "Oh...I never knew this thing before." So it was perfect to invite him to learn more and we are meeting with him tomorrow! We are excited!

Something I was reminded of this morning was from a scripture in Luke 9:62:

"And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." 

Not only do we have to be willing to leave good things behind for better things ahead, but we have to be willing to leave behind those things that burden us down and hold us back-- bitter feelings, heartaches, past struggles and mistakes, bad memories, etc. Our Father in Heaven wants us to be happy! So let's be happy and just try a little harder to  be a little better :) This life is all about progression, not perfection! 

This week was great. The work is hastening. I love answered prayers. I love being happy. I love feeling the spirit. I love taking the sacrament. I love meeting new people and getting to know their stories. I love my companion. I love this work. I love being a missionary. 

I love y'all and I am grateful for all of you!