I have so much to tell you, I don't even know where to start! Haha I guess I'll go in order of my week!
Every Wednesday, we volunteer at the Food Bank, and there is a different religious group there every week. Lately, we've been running into a lot of the people we work with at the Food Bank. Everyone keeps commenting on how involved we are in the community. We haven't really paid much attention because we're always running a million miles an hour, but it really hit me this week how huge that is in our work! With the church's new Just Serve initiative, we're supposed to be well known members of the community! We're supposed to be out serving every chance we get, and we've been able to see it soften many hearts. I hope each of you will seek out an opportunity to serve your community.
Thursday was an amazing day. The Spirit took the reins! We had the thought to stop by a semi-less active member who had some struggles with her family. Her oldest son is an RM, and he was just excommunicated from the church.... her middle son has gone inactive, and her youngest has down syndrome and was lost in Edmonton for 4 1/2 hours last week. So to say she has had a rough go is an understatement! We've been trying to get in with her for a while, but she was pretty resistant. The Spirit knows best! She let us right in on Thursday, and we had an incredible conversation with her! She is so strong, and being strong can be very lonely. We were able to be someone she could turn to in her trials, and now we are going to be involved in the Special Olympics program here in Cold Lake! My heart just swelled with joy as we were able to break down her walls and build her faith. She came to church on Sunday with the biggest smile on her face! It's a smile that hasn't been there for a while, and I know it is because the Spirit testified to her that Heavenly Father is aware of her.
That same day, we had a random thought to stop by another member who has a tough situation. She is a single mom of 5 who has been trying to get divorced for the last 3 years. She works 12 hour nursing shifts in St. Paul which is 1 1/2 hours away. She answered the door with tears streaming down her face. She had finally reached her breaking point, and she really didn't want to let us in, but her puppy had other thoughts as she darted out the door. This poor woman has felt so torn down and broken. She says she goes to church every Sunday because she knows she's supposed to, but she isn't "feeling" the joy of the gospel. I had no idea what to say! She has every right to feel that way! The fact that she hasn't given up coming to church is an absolute miracle! So I was praying with all my might to say the right thing, and all that came out was a testimony of the Savior. I know that the Savior knows exactly what she's going through, and he's felt all of it. So he can help get her through it. Then the thought came to my mind to send her "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. This talk is so inspired! It will make anyone feel of the Savior's love, and I hope this talk will give her the answers she's looking for.
Friday was the beginning of a weekend of miracles! We were helping out at a member's bakery on the Military base. There is an Air Force training going on right now called Maple Flag, and there are military personnel from all over the world here to get trained. So we have been able to mingle with lots of people, including the US Military! :D We've been doing this for the last two weeks, and I was starting to wonder if it was worth our time. I took out someone's order to them, and I was about to leave when he stopped me, and said he had a question for me. The next part gave me goosebumps!! He asked if I could tell him more about the Latter-Day Saint church. He's been to every church in Cold Lake, and he hasn't found what he is looking for! GO TEAM SPIRIT! Holy Cow! What an amazing moment that was! I didn't have to say a word, and he was ready to learn more about the gospel! His name is C, and I will now and forever refer to him as my miracle man. We haven't taught him yet, but he is so prepared to hear the gospel! The only way we would have been able to meet him is by serving him his food. Haha he lives out in the middle of no where, and I am so grateful I got to be a part of him finding the gospel. I'll keep you posted on his journey!
Saturday and Sunday were a continuation of miracles! We had three elders from Edmonton here! They spoke Spanish, French, and Tagalog between the three of them, and they have been dying to come out to Cherry Grove to find people to teach. They were able to find 3 new investigators for us and 3 new investigators for them! It was incredible! They worked their tails off. I have never seen elders work that hard, and it paid off in so many ways. A big thing in our mission is collaborative missionary work. Because there are so many people who speak different languages, we have to work with our missionaries that speak that language, and I have a testimony of that work. Hearing the gospel is awesome, but hearing it in your native tongue just adds to the peace and comfort that comes from that message.
I would love to tell you more, but we are out of time! Bah! There's just so much to say! But I think the biggest thing I learned this week is that it is so important to live worthy of the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have no idea what I am doing half the time, and I have no idea who is ready to hear this message. But I do know that the Spirit does, and as long as I live worthy of his companionship, I will be guided by him. I hope each of you can feel of that same influence, it will truly change your life.
I love you all more than I can express! And I know I say it every week, but thank you so much for your support. It keeps me going! Have a fantastic week!
Sister Bethany Christensen