First of all, leaving Lacombe about broke my heart! That place is just too fantastic! Although the last 6 months have been the hardest of my life, I love those people so dang much! It's hard to imagine my life without the people of Lacombe, and I'm so glad that they will always be apart of my life from now on. However, it started to feel like I was a member of the ward, rather than a missionary. So I knew that it was time for me to move on.
Cherry Grove is the cutest place! The actual hamlet of Cherry Grove is nothing but the church, a community center, and a bunch of farms! Our area covers Cold Lake, Bonnyville, Beaver Dam, and Pierceland & Loon Lake in Saskatchewan! It's huge! Haha and we go to Edmonton for Zone Meetings, which is 3 hours away. So needless to say, we have a lot of time in the car. The ward is huge! And everyone is related to everyone! I feel like I'm in Soda Springs, just a heck of a lot colder! The only issue with that is a lot of people have gone less active because they feel excluded. So I hope I can offer perspective on that.
We have normal investigators here!!!!! We actually have a baptism next Saturday for a woman who has been investigating for 8 years! I feel so blessed to get to witness that! All of those missionaries have worked so hard to prepare her for this moment, and I'm so glad I get to be a part of that. Our other investigator is a 6'5" military scientist, who is as bold as they come! He is hysterical!! He tells you how it is, and he holds nothing back! It made for a unique lesson last night, but I just adore him! He's still in the early investigating stages (no intention of joining), but the more he hears, the more he likes it!
This area is service, service, and more service! Because the church
has launched their new Just Serve website, our weekly service hours
have increased from 2-4 to 8-10! So we are serving like crazy! We
volunteer at a non-profit thrift store, a food bank, a humane society,
a family resources center, and we're working on volunteering at a
women's crisis center. It has been so great. People are now recognizing us at other places, and it's really building a great reputation! And it's a blast! I absolutely love serving others, and there are going to be a ton of adventures that come from it.
General Conference was FANTASTIC! I don't think I've ever enjoyed General Conference as much as I did this time! Each of the talks were perfect and exactly what I needed to hear. I have a ton of favorite quotes! But for now, my favorite is from Gerrit W Gong's talk, "To be worthy does not mean to be perfect." I don't think I've ever felt more inadequate in my life! A mission truly does help you realize just how much we rely on the Lord, and I get frustrated with myself for not measuring up to be the "ideal" missionary I want to be, but I do know that if I'm obedient and I try my hardest, I will always be worthy of His guidance. The same applies to all of us! After all we can do, Christ still makes all the difference.
I love the gospel, I love this work, I love Cherry Grove, and I love you! I hope that each of you have a fantastic week, and I hope you will apply the things that the Spirit has prompted you to do.
Sister Bethany Christensen