First of all, the sisters of this mission are incredible. They blow me away with their dedication to the work and to the Lord. I feel honored to be able to spend time with so many of them. They have taught me so much. Our adventures this week took us to Wainwright, Lloydminster, CHERRY GROVE, and Sherwood Park.Of course with the limited time I have, I can't give you updates on every place we went, so I'll mostly focus on Cherry Grove, I'm only slightly biased. ;)
Because one of the sisters in Lloyd got sick, we got to head to Cherry Grove a day early, which meant that we got to go to church!!! Heavenly Father is so good to me! As soon as I walked in, my heart just started exploding with love for these people I care for so dearly. I was basically sprinting through the doors, and I immediately started seeing the members! It was the greatest feeling in the world to see their faces light up as much as mine. It almost felt like coming home. I love that place more than I could have ever realized.You can't put a price tag on the experiences of a mission. Sitting in that chapel, surrounded by people who have changed my life, I couldn't help but think, "this has got to be what heaven is like." My life has truly been changed by the people of Cherry Grove. I don't know why I have been so blessed to have been able to come back 3 times on exchanges. I keep trying to figure that out, and it may take a long time before I find out, but I am so grateful to have been able to watch the people I taught transform. Being able to see some of my investigators at church, to go teach lessons with the sisters, I can see the transformation in these people! It almost brought me to tears because I can see the Atonement of Jesus Christ working in their lives. I can never thank Heavenly Father enough for the people of the Cherry Grove area.
Another highlight of the past few days was our two Mission Leadership Council (MLC)! Man, I have missed that glorious council! We had the opportunity of meeting with 2 members of the Missionary Department of the Church! One of them was Brother Donaldson, now if you've served a mission within the last 6 or so years, you'll know that Brother Donaldson was the mission president over the mission where they filmed The District 2! Needless to say, he's a missionary legend! Sister E and I got to spend some time with him and the Assistants on Wednesday, and then we were trained by him yesterday. What an incredible man. He reminded us that as missionaries, we make things way too complicated. The gospel is simple! Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. That's it! Everything we do leads back to those basic principles. It really brought me back to the basics, which I always need. Some exciting things are coming for the mission, and I can't wait to see the miracles that do come,
Goodness people, I just love this work. Every day is such a sweet gift from Heavenly Father. I'm so glad I have a few more to help more and more people come unto Christ. As I shared my departing testimony at MLC today, I was overwhelmed by feelings of gratitude to my Father in Heaven for this experience. I'll never be able to pay Him back for this. I can't wait to see what He has in store for me this week.
I love you all! Have a great week!!
Sister Bethany Christensen