Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Came Early

Christmas came early this year in the form of the best week ever!! SO many great things happened... I will number them off so I don't forget to tell everything! :)
1. Wednesday we got a text saying that on Saturday Elder Hallstrom of The Presidency of the Seventy would be visiting the mission and we would be lucky enough to attend the meeting!! I was pumped! And then of course I got a bit more pumped when I realized that I would be able to see Sister Tebbs, Elder Palmer, Elder Healey, and Elder Ikeda. haha

Sister Tebbs and Karly
Saturday came and we rode to Etobicoke with two of the other Sisters who serve near us. We got there quite early because they told us multiple times that if we were going to be late, then we just shouldn't come.  And there was no way I was missing this opportunity. :) I got to see everyone before the meeting started, and then Elder Hallstrom and President and Sister Scott came. They started the meeting with us going up and shaking their hands, and then, just before it was my turn, President stopped us and he went to the back of the chapel and brought a man up with him who had just walked in. This man turned out to be Elder Homer who was called to be a member of the Seventy a few months ago. (He used to be the Stake President of the Hamilton Stake.) So then I was able to shake the hands of both a member of the Seventy and a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.... I don't know about you, but I think this is pretty awesome. :) Elder Hallstrom is with the Prophet and the Twelve Apostles daily, so shaking his hand was almost like shaking the Prophets hand. :)

             Elder Homer                     Elder Hallstrom                                            
Both Elder Homer and Elder Hallstrom spoke with us and I was mostly blown away. They both talked a lot about how special the time on our missions is, and that we shouldn't waste a minute of it. Elder Hallstrom also talked a lot about how he sees us not as missionaries, but as future husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, Bishops, and Relief Society Presidents, and that our time on our missions is the best time to build a foundation in our lives that we can build on, so that we can be successful in our futures. And if we are not doing all we can now to be obedient and fulfill our purpose, we need to repent now and do better. It was pretty awesome and I think the Spirit was teaching all of us the things that we need to work on, and his message was definitely an answer to my prayers.

It was also pretty amazing to be in the same room as a man such as that, as he bore to us his Solemn Witness of Jesus Christ and of the message of the Restoration, and the reality of a living Prophet and Apostles today... I am telling you, I could have sat in that room for forever just because of how strong the Spirit was. That really will be an experience I will always remember. It was very special!

2. I found out this week that the woman that Sister Tebbs and I taught 8 months ago, Shelmith, decided to be baptized and was baptized yesterday!!! I was SO excited to hear this. Shelmith was prepared the day we met her, it just needed to be the right timing. I really do now see the importance of "planting the seeds" that can be "harvested" by other missionaries later.

 Shelmith with Brother McMullen who is SO awesome. He is the ward mission leader in the Heart Lake ward, and the sister missionaries serving there also.
3. Speaking of the Harvest... we got our Christmas present from the Mission at Zone Conference on Tuesday and this was also something that I was very excited about. Elder Dewey's dad... (ya know.. the Artist Simon Dewey. :) haha) had made this picture of the Savior and the Toronto skyline and they put it on temple recommend holders for all of us.

4. Now... I can talk about Janet. :) She was found by missionaries in another area and the story of how they found her is pretty amazing. Janet had heard of Mormons years and years ago, but had never really had the opportunity to look into it. She had researched many churches and a couple of months ago had even been baptized into a church, but she said that there was still something missing and that she was looking for more. One day she was praying that she would be led to the Mormon Church and... that very day she was sitting at a bus stop that she normally wouldn't go to at a time that she normally wouldn't be there and guess who walks up?..... Sister Mitchell and Sister Griffin. She immediately tells them,"You are not going to believe this... I have been praying that I would find you." So.... they taught her! And then she moved into our area, and it took us about a month to meet with her and when we did she said that she was loving everything that she had learned so far, and that she knows Joseph Smith is a Prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true.  She was just waiting for an "a-ha" moment to know that she should be baptized.

Which brings us to this weekend! Saturday night Janet came to the Christmas party and loved it, and then she also came to church on Sunday and the Spirit was really working on her. After the blessing of the Sacrament she said, "Wow... there is some power behind that prayer.. I can just FEEL it." (Sidenote: it is my favorite thing when investigators are describing the Spirit and how He works with them.) So the rest of the day went great, and after church Janet was SO excited. She told us that at the Christmas party she thought she "felt" something and she went home happy, but then told herself that she might have just been making that feeling up. Then she said that when she woke up that feeling was gone and that she wanted it back. She said the second  she walked into church on Sunday, she got the feeling again and she knew that this is what she had been missing at all the other churches. Before church that day she didn't know about being baptized, but Janet got her "a-ha" moment during the meeting and she couldn't have been more excited. :) We will be working with her toward baptism which will hopefully happen soon.  So incredible to be a part of her experience in coming to find the WHOLE truth. :)

Well now that you are all probably extremely bored with reading, I guess I can wrap things up! This coming week some pretty exciting things will be happening, as in Wednesday it will have been one year since I received my mission call. Can't believe it has been one whole year! It feels like just yesterday. And also Friday will be my 10 month mark since going into the MTC!

Transfer calls are also this weekend, so I will update all of you with that news on Monday.  I really have no feeling this time as to what will happen. I would like to stay, but in the end God knows where I need to be so I will go wherever! He hasn't let me down so far! :)

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