Monday, July 14, 2014

a beautiful Canadian summer.

Hello family and friends!

How is everything going?? How is life?? Fill me in :)

This week was wonderful. I feel extremely blessed to be serving a mission and I feel like every single day I feel more and more love from my Heavenly Father.

Last Monday we went up to Waterton and hiked Bertha Falls, such a beautiful hike. I can't describe how big of a blessing it is to escape into the mountains and see so many beautiful things. It gets me so excited for the upcoming week. Our whole district went and it was so fun. Waterton always ends with a big scoop of ice cream and skipping rocks on the lake. Then we headed back into Cardston and a lady invited our whole district to dinner. So fun! We then went to FHE and spent some time with YSA. Then we were invited to go to a campfire and sing songs with a family that just moved here from England.  They have come to church a few times and they're just a super cute family! They've never made smores before so we made some yummy smores and got to know them a little bit better. Hopefully we can start teaching them soon! They have some super awesome experiences at church and the members here are doing so well at friendshipping them. Members can make a world of a difference for people investigating the church and luckily Cardston has some pretty awesome members.

On Tuesday we went out to Glenwood and had Zone Training Mtg where me and Sister Estrada did some training on working with members and the importance of church attendance. Our mission has been doing super good lately but we're falling behind in having investigators come to church. Church is so so important! Its how we can tell that our investigators are truly progressing. Afterwords we came back into Cardston and tried to contact some people and then after dinner we went on splits so Sister Estrada and Sister O'Dell could go to ESL and then I could go to institute because we had a non-member going who doesn't want to "investigate" and take the lessons but wants to know more, anyways it was super good because we went over Elder Scotts talk from conference and he really enjoyed the talk.

Wednesday was also super good. We spent the morning in the temple visitor center and had some awesome experiences!! It was so busy that morning and we had lots of people to talk to. One family came in from Idaho and was waiting for the grandparents to come out of the temple. I could tell that the family was probably less-active and that the kids didn't know much about the temple. I took them outside and talked to them for a little bit. They were asking some really great questions and the spirit was so strong. The father turned to me and with tears in his eyes he said "I feel so close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ right now." It was a very special moment where his kids were able to witness the spirit touching their fathers heart. I proceeded to talk to him about how the temple truly is the Lords house and that he wants nothing more than for us to enter the temple. Hopefully they remember that special experience at the temple. Then we got invited to go eat lunch with a non-member family from Hungary! Lets just think....why in the world do people from Croatia...England...and Hungary just come to tiny little Cardston??! Obviously they need the gospel in their lives! Anyways we just got to meet the family and enjoy lunch with them. The little kids played a game with me and tried to teach me some Hungarian hahahaha so funny. There's a reason I got called to an English speaking mission. Then we had a really good lesson with one of our less-active YSA girls. I feel like I'm just teaching my best friend and its awesome. We also taught an investigator in the west stake that night and got her on date to be baptized on August 2. She's only 12 but such a sweet girl. Her mom has recently been coming back to church, the mom is so supportive but I think its going to be hard with her dad. Hopefully things go well though.

On Thursday we had a super awesome lesson with our investigator Jody. I've seen SO many changes in her and its all coming from the Spirit. She's such a great lady and I feel so blessed to teach her and know her. We're almost done teaching her everything and I hope that she'll continue to have a desire to be baptized on the 26th. She truly understands how important covenants are and the commitment of baptism. Sometimes I worry that investigators don't understand that but I'm not worried about her at all. We later drove to Raymond to go on exchanges with the sisters there. Sister Connor came to Cardston with me and Sister O'Dell and Sister Estrada stayed in Raymond with Sister Barton. We left to get home on time and right when we got to Cardston Sister Estrada called us and told us they got in a super bad hail storm. Their whole back windshield was shattered and turned into a gaping whole. I felt so bad for them because they wouldn't be able to truly enjoy exchanges the next day.

On the other hand we had a super good exchange on Friday. We got a lot done and it was really good. We had some lessons in the morning and then we were invited to the Chinook Lodge for lunch. That's where we go and sing to the old people sometimes. They wanted us over for lunch to show their appreciation towards us and then they gave us roses! How cute is that?!? I ended up just giving my rose to one of the old ladies and she was thrilled, its funny how something so simple can just make someones day. Then we had a lesson later with that same YSA girl and she asked some super awesome questions. She's super smart and her questions make me think a lot. We talked a lot about agency and overall it was a really good lesson. 

On Saturday we went and helped Manny and Lisa clean out an old barn. Like a really really old used to be an old dairy. Lots of hard work but it was good, it reminded me of playing in Grandma and Grandpa Martin's old barns. brought back some good memories :) Then we all rushed home and got cleaned up and then went to the church to set up for the baptism. Manny's baptism went SO well. I was so proud of him. He honestly has been so prepared and I know that he's going to do great things in this life.

On Sunday Manny received the Holy Ghost and then was invited to bear his testimony in church. I think that made it all worth it to hear him up in front of everyone saying that he's found the true church and that he feels complete. It was just a super good day. Then we went to YSA where the air conditioning of the building was broke so we only had sacrament mtg. even though personally I didn't think it was too hot but Canadians don't know how to handle any heat. So after church I was talking to the non-member boy who came to institute and we just has a super good gospel discussion. He would ask me questions and then immediately the spirit would tell me where to go in the Book of Mormon and the Bible. I felt like all my studying in the mission finally payed off. I've recently have found a new love for the bible where before I didn't really know much but everything I've been studying helped me answer his questions and I think it made him think a lot. Jody came to the Kainai branch and I've been so happy with how the branch is just loving and supporting her. Then we went to some more church because that's what we do here in Cardston and then went to dinner. After dinner we had to opportunity to go to Waterton to go to some more church! They have a sacrament every sunday at 8pm and mostly YSA go who live in Waterton. It was a really good mtg and then on our way home we saw a bear :) that's the second bear I've seen on my mission. I love Canada.

Pretty much things are going extremely well. I hope you all have a great week and just remember how much Heavenly Father has blessed you!

Also forgot to mention some awkward and funny moments
That awkward moment when some guy asks your investigator if he could pass the sacrament and your investigator gladly accepts the invitation.
That awkward moment when the whole town of Cardston is under attack by killer mosquitos. Seriously its a problem. I might get west nile.......
That awkward moment members want to take you to lunch but the only place to eat in Cardston is Dairy Queen so you eat there like a thousand times. #missionaryproblems
That awkward moment when one of the elders decides to sing America the Beautiful at the old folks home and all the old people sing Oh Canada. #godblessamericaandcanada

anyways I love you all!!

Sister M.

Hiking Bertha Falls 

"I heart Canada" 

 Sister Martin and Sister Estrada hiking!

"Me and Margaet :) she's the cute little girl from Hungary."

Manny's baptism! 

a bear in Waterton.

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