Exchanges on Wednesday were a blast! I was with the other Sister C and Sister M. Crazy story, Sister Ms' mom is also a C! So there were literally three Sister C's together! This was my first experience being in a tripan- or a set of three missionaries together. What a blast! There is rarely a quiet moment, but what a blast it was! We were able to spend a few hours downtown street contacting, and we had so much fun! We went around asking people what they were hoping to have happen in 2017. Besides the numerous responses regarding Donald Trump, the majority of people were excited to tell us about their plans! One interaction that particularly stood out to me was with a man named G. He looked like he was in his 30's, and he's homeless. You could see the weight of his sorrow in his eyes. We were able to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon and pray with him. As we closed the prayer, his eyes were wet with tears of gratitude. He really wants to change his life. Sadly he didn't show up to our appointment, but we'll keep trying to meet up with him.
Ok, I thought I had told y'all about D, but I can't find it in any of my previous emails. He's one of our progressing investigators! We met him a few months ago outside the church building and invited him to come to church. He came that Sunday, but then we didn't hear from him for a while. We kept calling him to try and set up appointments, but nothing happened until the week before Christmas. He showed up to a lesson that Tuesday, and he's been going strong ever since! We meet with him every Tuesday and Thursday, and he has a baptismal date of January 21! He is incredible. He has such a desire to follow Christ. In our second lesson, he mentioned how the day that he met us, he was out with some friends, and he was really sick of living that lifestyle. He wanted to find a group of people who desired to follow God, and as he was walking home, he met us! Chills!!! When we asked him what he was most looking forward to in 2017, we could barely finish the sentence before he said, "my baptism!" He's truly incredible. It's been such a blessing teaching him.
Yesterday was a day of finding for us. Our entire afternoon was open, and we had been challenged by our Zone Leaders to set very specific plans that we can be held accountable to with finding. So we laid out our plan, finding in downtown Edmonton with various methods of street contacting, bus contacting, tracting, and LRT contacting. We then told the Lord that we would do our best to find those He had been preparing. Within the first 5 minutes of street contacting, we were frozen! Like it was getting hard to move my face to talk it was so cold! So we decided to go underground on the pedways to warm up before coming back up to street contact. Before we knew it, we ran into a guy named D! He's actually a pretty good friend of mine! This is the 4th time I've run into him in the past few months! He's an activist for freedom of speech through his artwork! We've had many conversations together, but this was the first time he asked us to teach him a bit about our church. Although he isn't super interested in taking the lessons, we have established a solid relationship of respect with each other. I know for sure that he was one of the reasons I needed to be in this area.
After street contacting, we took the bus to head to an area we planned to tract. Of course, our faces were freezing off, so we stood in the lobby of an apartment building to warm up for a moment. This Indian man and his wife come through the front door and ask us if we were waiting for someone. When we told them that we were just warming up, they immediately invited us in to give us some coffee or tea! We settled with water and some coke. Haha but what a kind hearted man! We chatted for over 20 minutes on being a good person in the world. Family is really important to him, and we were able to give him a pamphlet on Families and Temples. He works with a member of the church, and he couldn't say enough good things about her! Through many attempts of convincing him, he wouldn't give us his phone number, but he did agree to take ours. I have no doubt that Heavenly Father had specifically prepared this man for us! We could just feel it as we talked with him. I truly have a testimony of effective planning and prayer!
I seriously can't believe that it is 2017! What an incredible year 2016 was. I loved that all 365 days were spent wearing this name tag. I've met some of the most incredible people over the last year! I'm grateful for every single day, and I'm so grateful that I still have more! My goal for 2017 is to continue to be a dedicated servant of the Lord, with or without the name tag. This experience is meant to change my life, both externally and internally. I will do my best to continue to do the Lord's will, while meeting some pretty incredible along the way.
I hope each of you know how grateful I am for you! You helped make 2016 the best year yet for me! Have a great week!
Sister Bethany Christensen