It's been a beautiful week in Calgary - the sun is shining and things are looking up! Transfers are good, because they usually bring an boost of energy and enthusiasm to an area. We've been doing a LOT of finding lately, trying to build up our teaching pool. This area is not the most effective to tract in, but there's a time and a place.... It's always funny how nerve-wracking it can be, door after door, literally facing the unknown response. You run into all sorts of people and opinions that way, people telling you all the many ways you're "wrong." But I am grateful for the testimony that I have of the Restored Gospel, and the peace that it brings in facing such opposition. An area authority a while back was talking about how on average, it takes 7 positive interactions with the church for someone to accept the gospel. Since then my perspective of street contacting has changed; instead of fear, there comes a sense of excitement in thinking 'oh good, I get the chance to be this persons next contact!' Funny I know, but it helps....
This past week we had a WONDERFUL Zone Conference!! I always love attending those, because they bring the spirit in such a powerful way! We get to build relationships and strengthen each other's faith and enthusiasm for the work. President took it upon himself to consolidate and print a booklet of about 20 talks by apostles over the years, all about the Atonement! Beginning on Easter we will be reading and studying these talks as a mission - super stoked! We are all really trying to focus on finding families to teach. In Alma 6:6 the Lord said, 'Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God.' On Friday the 25th we will be holding a special mission fast, specifically praying for hearts to be softened in this area, that the Lord may prepare families and individuals to hear and accept the message of the restored gospel. I am super excited to see what miracles come ...
Anyway, on an entirely different note, we've had some adventure lately. For one, our apartment building had a flood from a burst pipe, so about a dozen apartments were affected. Some were ruined! Our's is in a spot where is should have suffered substantial damage, but miraculously we were spared! The clean up crew was floored by the lack of damage to our place - quote "Well, you must be doing something right!" We got a good laugh out of that one. :)
At the zone conference we also got the chance to have some fun bonding moments - like playing missionary pictionary, using themes from our specific mission - you'd think it was the superbowl or something with all the excitement over chalkboard drawings! Even President and Sister Miles got into it! Tis' the life though - finding joy in the simple and even silly things. :) My companion and I are having a pretty good time - we were talking about how excited we are for General Conference, so we made a paper chain countdown in our apartment. :) Again, silly things....
Sister Perrero has a family she baptized that she stays in touch with - and I got to meet them! Apparently they are looking to move to this area. But this family is going down to Utah for conference - and are staying with her family! She is super excited. :) And I recently heard from Lori (who was baptized last June) that she has been going to the temple for baptisms - and she is coming up on one year to go through for herself!!! :)
Anyway - with it being Easter this coming Sunday, I wanted to share one of my favorite scriptures about the Saviour, found in Alma 7:11-13
"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverence; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me."
I want you to know that 'this is the testimony which is in me.' Easter is not only a memorial of his death, it is a celebration of his bringing new life - both physical and spiritual. I know as we use the enabling and cleansing power of the Atonement in our daily lives that we will find new life, that in living the gospel we will find the strength to abandon our sins and overcome weakness. I know this, because I have felt it. May we prepare for this sacred celebration by looking for His hand in our daily lives, and by remembering to use his precious sacrifice to it's fullest every day, thereby expressing our gratitude for Him.
Lots of Love,