So, crazy week, but it seems that is always the case...
First of all, temperatures have been in the low 30's (that's upper 80's for all us Fahrenheit folks) all week, and you can feel the city slowing down as everyone tries to cope with the heat wave. Such temperatures (with humidity) are unusual for Calgary, despite it being the sunniest city in Canada. And I quickly discovered that practically NO ONE has A/C!!! So, we have been doing all we can to not roast... I know that's nothing compared to weather back home, but it's different when you're accustomed to milder weather and then BAM heat wave! Hopefully it cools off by the end of the week...
I had to say goodbye to my north area after only 5 weeks, which is super sad.. I've really grown to love the ward and my companion :( But I am also super excited for her to train a new missionary! As for myself, I've been transferred to Calgary East, Prairie Winds Ward! So far I'm loving it here. I am super excited to be in the east, because it is the most unique part of the mission! It's the poorer part of the city, and the area is heavily populated with east Indians and Philippinos. I feel like I stand out like a sore thumb. Our chapel is right next to a Sikh Temple. Instead of English and French, everything is in English and Punjabi or Philippino. Even the breeze smells of curry spices, no joke!!
But the best part of this area is the work - there is more to do here than in my previous two areas combined. My first day in I discovered we have 14 active investigators we are working with, in addition to lots of less actives and part member families. Whether it be lessons on a doorstep or helping someone move, we always have something interesting to do!
Also, within the next couple of days we will be getting our new mission president!! There is definitely an undercurrent of anticipation amongst the missionaries, so it will be interesting what changes occur. I know President Nicholas will be missed, and am so grateful for the sacrifices he has made over the last 3 years to serve. They have given so much to be out here, and there are so many that love them for it. I would like to share his final email to us:
This will be our last message as Mission President and Companion. We are saddened by the prospect of not being able to be part of the work in this mission on one hand, yet anxious to return to family and see the growth that has occurred in grandchildren and even in our children’s lives as well. We will always have fond memories of the time we spent in the Great Canada Calgary Mission.
President Spencer W. Kimball says that the most important word in the scriptures is “Remember” In Helaman Chapter 5, we are to “…remember…the words which King Benjamin spoke…that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ…” and “…remember the…words which Amulek spoke…that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people…And he has power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance…” Finally, we are to “…remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that you must build your foundation…”
We are to “…always remember Him…” as we covenant each week to “…keep His commandments…” so that we might “…always have His spirit…” to be with us.
Paul says in 1 Cor. 9: 24-25, that “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain…Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”
We all are running a race called full-time missionary service
As you run this race we call a mission you run against no one but yourself. This mission is not a competition with other missionaries and you only have to prove yourself worthy of the incorruptible crown to one person; the Savior Jesus Christ.
Activities, temptations, distractions may pull you away from your goal of finishing this race. Though you may have to struggle against these things, never let them distract you from the importance of serving faithfully and finishing honorably.
There is one who doesn’t want you to finish. He will do all that he can to keep you from finishing. He still believes that he can thwart the great plan of happiness that our Father in Heaven has laid out for each of you. He would lead you to believe that you can’t grow in the gospel and that you are hopeless and hapless, unworthy, unfruitful creatures that are forsaken and left to your own devices to fend for ourselves as you serve. Nothing is further from the truth.
Listen and heed the counsel of those who love you. President and Sister Miles will be your greatest coaches and cheerleaders as you move through this race of a mission. Heed their counsel just as athletes heed the words of their coaches and trainers. Listen in order that as a runner you may finish this race.
Always remember as you run, that you can rely on one who has finished a great work and led the way to the finish line. “I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord; yea, even I am he, the beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world. I, having accomplished and finished the will of him whose I am, even the Father, concerning me—having done this that I might subdue all things unto myself— Retaining all power, even to the destroying of Satan and his works…” (D&C 19: 1-3)
The Savior and Redeemer of the world stands as our great example, our defender, and finally as our advocate when we have all finished our mortal race.
May you so run is our final prayer for each of you.
I would like reiterate his message, that the same applies to each of you; though you may not be currently serving as a fulltime missionary, you do have a full time mission as disciples of the Savior Jesus Christ, to follow and serve Him to the best of your abilities. I know He will help us in our individual races, so that we all may finish well.President and Sister Nicholas
I love you all!
P.S. Have a happy 4th of July!