everywhere! I'm in heaven.
What an amazing day and week it's been!
Last night, we watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional with
P! She tried her very hardest to pay attention, but it's hard when
you're 9! Haha she's progressing along so well. It's amazing to watch
her live the gospel every day. We got to teach Sharing Time in Primary
yesterday, and she was such a great example to her brother and other
classmates. We haven't set a solid Baptism date, but we do know it
will be sometime after Christmas. She loves serving people, and she
will grow up to be such a strong member of the church.
Friday night we had an incredible lesson with our investigator,
G. I don't remember if I've told you about him, but I'll give
you a bit of a run down of his story. He's from India originally, and
he's had quite the journey to get to Canada. While in India, he met a
woman who was Christian, and after studying, he himself converted to
Christianity. Sadly, his family was completely outraged, to the point
of disowning him, beating him, and beating his girlfriend and her
family. The persecution was so strong that he had to leave India!
After travelling through various countries, he found himself in a
prison in the US because he had no documentation. After a year in
detainment, he left the US and made his way to Canada. He has no
contact with his girlfriend, and he only speaks Punjabi. Which is a
language I had never even heard of until I met him! Haha he's been
through so much! And yet, he still has a strong belief in Christ. His
friend, M, who comes to translate for him, is Muslim, but he's
fully supportive of G being able to practice what he believes.
He really wants to know more about Christ, and he's willing to do what
it takes to make that happen. Sadly, the church doesn't have anything
in Punjabi except for the testimony of Joseph Smith. So it will take
sometime, but I know he's been led to Canada to find the gospel! I'm
astounded by his commitment to keep believing in the face of serious
persecution, and it inspires me to be more committed to what I know to
Tuesday night, we had a unique opportunity to help with a dinner for
the homeless. The Church works really closely with an organization
called the Mustard Seed. The Mustard Seed focuses on building the
community by providing services for the homeless, and we volunteer at
their donation center every week. They asked us if we could help cover
the dinner, and it was such an incredible experience! Almost all of
the volunteers had never met missionaries, and they asked us so many
questions! And being able to help these homeless people in such a
small way was such a blessing. It was humbling to see how little they
had. I'm so blessed! Sister A offered the blessing on the food,
and the spirit just swept the room. These people are in desperate need
of hope, and I think we were able to give them a glimpse of how the
gospel brings that.
We spent a lot of time finding this week, including going to an Art &
Craft Show and having a street booth at the chapel on Whyte Avenue.
This Christmas initiative is genius! It's such an easy conversation
starter! We went to this craft fair hoping to find some married
students that would fit under the demographic of our married student
Ward. What a hipster scene! People were selling concrete coasters,
handmade 1 string guitars, maintainable ecosystems that live in
jewelry. Hahah it was crazy! But we had some great conversations with
some of the booth owners. Sadly we didn't find any married students,
but it was still a success! The Whyte Ave booth was great too! I was
able to go on splits with a girl named M! She joined the church
9 months ago while living in Yellowknife, and she has started working
on her mission papers! We had such a blast together, and she is such a
natural! She talked to every person she saw! We had some great
conversations with people, and I learned so much from her about being
a missionary regardless if you have a name tag.
And to finish off the week, today was JASPER! Goodness I love this
place with my whole heart! The mountains, the trees, the atmosphere,
the people, ah! Life doesn't get much better! We were able to go
hiking along Maligne Canyon and drove up towards Maligne Lake. My
favorite moment of the day was sitting in a lodge, overlooking a lake,
drinking hot chocolate, and talking with our waiter about the gospel.
He's also from India! But sadly doesn't speak Punjabi. Haha he told us
about his experiences of how he came to work in Jasper. He gladly
accepted a Mormon.org card with the link to the Christmas video. We
met someone incredible today, and it has been such a blessing to be here
today, and enjoy the incredible beauty God has created.
It has hit me really hard this week just how quickly these last few
months will go. Everyday moves faster and faster, and it makes me want
to relish in every moment possible. I can't believe all the miracles
I've witnessed so far, and I know there are many more to come.
God is so good!
Have a great week! Check out the advent calendar on Mormon.org! Love you all!
Sister Bethany Christensen