Whew! So many wonderful things have happened this week! First of all, we saw our first moose!!!!!!!! After 7 months in Canada, it finally happened! Next on our list is a bear! haha but that might not be as easy to find! Here are some of the amazing things that happened to us this week.
Wednesday we had the chance to go to Loon Lake! It's in Saskatchewan,
and it's the furthest point east in our mission that actually has
people living there. It's amazing to see the difference between
provinces. Usually in the States, the only way you can tell you're in
another state is by the "Welcome to such & such" sign, but you know
pretty quickly that you're in Saskatchewan. The road starts to get a
little bumpy, there are moose crossing signs everywhere, and all of
sudden, there's hardly anyone around! it was adventure to say the
least! The road to Loon Lake alternates between pavement and dirt,
which made staying awake pretty easy!
When we go out that direction, we have to meet up with the senior
couple from Lloydminster because it is a Native reserve. The R's
are from Arizona, and they are a hoot! Their whole mission is focused
on the Native people, and they work so well with them! The moment we
got there, our appointment we had set up fell through, but there was a
referral we could stop by. We drove up to the house, and it looked
like the house had been abandoned. Bro. R went to check it out,
and someone turned out to be there! This place was in rough shape! The
girl was crying, and she said we could come in as long as we knew how
to talk to her? We had no clue what that meant, but we went for it
anyway! Her name is T B, and her and her family had sent
in a request for a Bible in December. Since then, T has lost her
kids, her husband put a restraining order against her, and she's about
has rock bottom as you can get. It was pretty sad to hear her story,
and unfortunately, she's turned to addiction to deal with the
situation. But she knew that we could offer her something that would
help her. We're going to go back either sometime this week or next
week. It's tough because she lives so far away, and we have no members
out there. She doesn't have a car so she can't come to church. I
started to really worry about how we can help her, but I soon realized
that we aren't the ones helping her anyway, it's Heavenly Father,
Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. They can be there with her when we aren't, and they will help bring her out of this sickness of addiction. It was a very humbling experience to see all of that!
We met a less-active family that lives in Good Soil this week. The Mom used to be a correctional officer at a mental prison! Like the man who used to feed his victims to pigs.... ya she dealt with him! She has some pretty insane stories!! They're potentially moving, so we offered to go back on Saturday to help them start cleaning and packing up things. It was an adventure! haha they have 3 boys. Two of them live in the attic, and the third one joined them recently because his room was "un-livable".... we had stacks of dishes, 4 garbage bags completely full, and a mountain of laundry! Boys are so messy! hahah But it really softened their hearts, and they invited us back for dinner!
Sunday was Stake Conference. Because we are 3 hours from the Stake Center, we watched it over the Broadcasting system. Elder Allan Packer was there, and almost the entire meeting was testimonies! They would call up people, 5 names at a time, to bear their testimony. It was so cool! The Spirit completely directed that meeting, and although people weren't assigned topics because it was so impromptu, they all talked about how God knows each of us individually. Story after story just illustrated that unconditional and undeniable love! I have been so blessed to feel of that love on countless occasions, not only towards me, but towards those I teach! The gospel is love! That's what everything comes down to, the first principle we teach, God is our loving Heavenly Father. I testify that he truly does love every single living thing that has ever existed, and nothing that we do or say can change that!
We had some unique experiences on Sunday after church. We visited a couple who went less active about 6 months ago. They have found every piece of anti-mormon doctrine you can find, and unfortunately, it shook their testimonies. We were able to hear their concerns, but the coolest part was being able to testify to them that God knows them personally and loves them. No matter how lost someone may be or how far off track they get, the more they come to understand the love God has for them, they will come back! The Savior never forced people to follow him, he never criticized them for trying, he served, and loved, and cared for every single person he met. He even loved those who rejected him.
We also had the opportunity to teach a former Muslim guy, M. He was a referral from a ward member, and him & his wife were very welcoming to us! However the moment we sat down, he immediately said, "what makes your church different than everyone else?" We started talking about families, the restoration, the articles of faith. But it soon became very apparent that this guy is an Athiest. He has no belief in a God, although he used to! He was about as devout as you could get in the Muslim faith, and then one day, he denounced it all! He realized that his faith believes that if you don't believe in the Islamic faith, you will go to hell after this life. He knew amazing people that are of other faiths, and he couldn't imagine that they could be destined to go to hell. So unfortunately, that led him to not believe in God at all! The only way he'll believe is with proof. It was a unique situation, because I've never taught someone who didn't believe in God! As I explained in my video, we just don't realize how lucky we are to know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us! M allowed us to leave him with a Book of Mormon, and he said he would read it. However, I'm not sure how open his heart is, but I know one day, he will see that God has always been there, and he has never left him.
I'm so glad that Heavenly Father let me feel of His love so frequently this week. It's amazing to see others identify that love as well. I hope each of you will pray to feel that love! If we ask Him, He will always allow us to feel of that love, no matter who we are, what religion we belong to, or what we have done. It is unconditional and unending. I love my Father in Heaven so much! I feel honored to be His representative and his disciple.
I love you all so dang much! I can't wait to see you in just 12 short days! Have a wonderful week!
Sister Bethany Christensen