long long email!
First of all, SNOW! We finally got a taste of Canadian snow! It just
dumped on us Wednesday night, and we ended up with about a foot and a
half, and that's considered a light snow! We've gotten a bit more
since, but it looks like a winter wonderland up here! Now I know where
the term "Great White North" comes from.
So Tuesday night was the Jingle Train! This is a lit up Christmas
train that drives all through Canada, and stops in little towns to put
on a Christmas concert. It was adorable! New bucket list item- Ride on
a train! We didn't really meet that many people, but I did get to help
an elderly lady walk to her car!
Wednesday was amazing. We called one of our former investigators
Tuesday night to ask if we could come share a Christmas message, and
they informed us that his daughter had passed away that weekend. My
heart just broke, and I hadn't ever met this guy! But they said they
would love to have us come and see them. So Wednesday we went and saw
them, and the Spirit was so strong! We discussed the Plan of
Salvation, and he definitely has a testimony! But still not showing an
interest in joining the church. So we hope that his heart will soften
as reality sets in about his daughter.
Stake Conference was this weekend, and we had Elder Randall Bennett of
the seventy there. What. A. Powerhouse! I'm still in awe! For the
adult and priesthood sessions, we had a few short talks, and then he
opened up the floor for discussion, questions, things we had learned.
It was amazing! The Spirit spoke to the hearts of many, and it was
incredible to watch. The Sunday session was an answer to our prayers!
One of our recent converts, L, is our investigator B's wife. And
she spoke at Stake Conference! She bore a powerful powerful testimony
about what the church means to her. After her, Elder Bennett got up
and spoke about preparing for our next ordinance. He said, "for those
of you who have not been baptized, it is time to take that step of
faith and move forward." Could we have asked for anything better?? We
had just had a lesson with B on Faith 2 days earlier! And the
coolest part was Elder Bennett went right up to B and L right
after the meeting ended, and he shook their hands. I don't know what
he said to him, but I was almost in tears watching them because I knew
that Bob had felt the Spirit! So I am praying this will change his
Saturday morning we had interviews with President. Humble Pie was the
result! There are so many things that I haven't been doing that I
should be doing! It's hard when both you and your comp are young in
the mission because you don't realize which steps you are missing! But
it was great to talk to president and realize what I can improve on.
Sister Manion started asking me about my family, and I just started
crying! Not because I'm homesick, but because I'm so happy that my
family is so happy! It has made my heart swell to know that I don't
have to worry about how you guys are doing! I feel so so grateful and
thankful especially this time of year.
Christmas conference was incredible! President talked to us about how
faith leads to action, but it can also lead to the powers of heaven. A
great quote he had was, "If faith without works is dead, then works
without faith is dead too!" Sometimes I get to caught up in the work,
that I forget that this work requires faith! And in order to be
empowered by the powers of heaven, I have to have that faith!
After 2 months and 1 week, I finished the Book of Mormon!!! Goodness I
love this book more than I can express! It has come to life for me,
and I know that I am reading about real people and real events! This
is a true book, and I testify that it is for our day! Please please
Saturday was an amazing day for other reasons too! I GOT MY PACKAGE!
Mother, you are the greatest!! It was and is perfect! Thank you thank
you thank you!
Today was beyond words. I had the chance to do the endowment session
for Elizabeth Godfrey! Before I even got into the session I was
already in tears! What a sacred experience! I can't believe how long
she has had to wait, and I just love that we've been able to do this
as a family! I couldn't think of a better Christmas gift than the
saving ordinances of the gospel. As I sat in the Celestial room, I
just prayed that she would accept this gift, and I just felt in my
heart that she already has! The Spirit of Elijah is powerful! And I am
eternally grateful for being a part of that. I can't wait to do more!
Whew! I'm out of breathe from all that typing! This is such an amazing
time of year, and I love being here! Since the beginning, I've said
that I would be as honest as I could with my emails. Well here's a
story that is humbling to share. We were at the mission home last
night (we got to spend the night to go to the temple) talking and
wondering what we could do tomorrow while we were in Edmonton! We
talked about the West Edmonton mall, the parliament building, etc.
Right before bed, we asked President for his permission, and he said,
"Nope, it's time to go back to work." Oh. My. Guilt. I felt awful! We
had just spent the entire in Edmonton, teaching and visiting no one,
and here we were focused on what we wanted to do. We didn't leave
everything behind for 18 months to go sightseeing! We came here to
work! I was so mad at myself for letting my thoughts go towards what I
wanted, not what I came here to do, especially during the season of
giving! I am humbled, and I am grateful that I have a mission
president that will chastise me when I need it. I am now more focused
than ever on what I came here to do. I hope that others can learn from
my mistake! Because this season isn't about us, it is about our
Savior. I love him! And I will serve him with all my heart, might,
mind, and strength.
I love you all so much! Enjoy this next week!
Sister Bethany Christensen