I hope you've all had a wonderful week!!
Sorry for the rushed email last week - it was crazy busy between the holidays and working..
Our ward has been growing with new members moving in - so that's been fun! This past Saturday was a big annual tri-ward Pancake Breakfast (in honor of Stampede)! They wanted it to be well promoted within the community, so our ward mission leader provided 800 invitations to be passed out! So, between us and the other missionaries in Airdrie, we passed out all of them in 2 weeks!! We've done LOTS of street contacting! But a huge chunk happened at the Airdrie Canada Day Parade - we all volunteered on sidelines as barricade monitors, and got to hand out invites there. It was fun to see the national pride, red and white everywhere! Happy Canada Day, eh?!
But the pancake breakfast ended up being a huge success, over half in attendance were non-members! It was so good to meet more people from the community and let them know what we're about. Lots of food, games for kids, everyone decked out in western attire. Even the local Batman showed up! :) We had some investigators come, and they loved it! One young woman we've been working with has been trying to decide about baptism, and after attending Girls Camp felt her testimony strengthened, so now she is on date for baptism in September!
We've seen so many miracles lately, big and small. One day we were walking to an appointment when I suddenly had the feeling to stop and check for our phone. Well, imagine the surprise when it was missing! As we stood there trying to figure out what to do, a man came up the path behind us, and turns out he had found it and was trying to find the owner! What a miraculous way to meet with someone and talk about the gospel, but what a tender mercy for us to be reminded of the fact that the Lord's hand is in the details of our lives. Another miracle came as our zone fasted and prayed together for a day - and as we were out in the neighborhoods we saw a couple of women in a front yard talking. As we walked up one said "oh girls we were just talking about you!!" :0 Apparently she has had contact in the past where Sister's did service for her, and she was just telling her friend about how mormon missionaries do service for people just for the sake of helping! So cool to have a door opened because of service. Seriously though, service softens hearts in amazing ways :) Anyway - it's been good! Mission life keeps you busy, that's for sure. With summer especially, as we've been out walking and contacting a ton, unless of course the weather's bad. Just as a side note, Airdrie officially has the weirdest weather ever - one hour it'll be pouring cats and dogs, or having one of it's infamous hailstorms, and then the next it'll be burning hot and sunny... Literally have to be prepared to dress for all seasons :)
Just wanted to end with a thought I had from my studies. In Deuteronomy 8:2 it reads (talking about the Israelites):
And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
As I read that it occurred to me that through life, we all at times find ourselves in our own "wilderness" of trial, which can feel like it lasts for "40 years," or like it never ends. But it's important to remember that the Lord leads us and provides for us during such times especially, just as he did those people, providing direction, nourishment, protection, etc from day to day. But he often allows such times of trial as an opportunity to humble us, to prove our characters and what is in our hearts as we choose to keep his commandments, even when it's difficult. Such times require patient, focused effort and perseverance, knowing He is in control, and as long as we are staying loyal to Him and His commands, we will be blessed, and someday, delivered to our own promised land. (Mosiah 2:41)
Lots of love,
Sister Sarah Patterson