Friday, August 26, 2016

August 22, 2016

Hey hey everyone!!

I hope you're all having a beautiful Monday morning! We've had a few sunny days, and hoping the continue. Maybe the heat will kill off all the mosquito's we've had from the wet summer. But it's also great for contacting people on the streets, because everyone is out and about trying to get their last fill of summer. 

This past week has been a little slower, but we've had some cool things happen. We've been helping our investigator Page prepare for her baptism in September, and she is so excited, it's contagious! We've also been able to visit some new people, individuals and families that the Lord is preparing. One woman named Fallon heard missionaries teach her mother years ago, and now during a difficult time in her life, has remembered how good she felt around the missionaries, and invited us into her home to share the message of the gospel.

Our members have been so so good to us! I love walking down the street and having a member drive by honking their horn :) They've also been generous inviting us into their homes for suppers, or service, or to teach short messages to their kids. It's harvest season in British Columbia, so all the members are stalking up on delicious fruit from out there. A couple times this week they've been super awesome in sharing peaches or cherries or apples from out there - and boy they are delicious!!

Me and my companion have had some adventures traveling into Calgary too for meetings and such. We just recently had a Zone Conference with President, which was super good. I love seeing mission friends, it's the one chance to get together. So I saw a couple of old companions, Sister Page and Sister Tolbert! So cool to see how much they've grown into great, powerful missionaries.The mission changes ya, that's for sure...

We also had a wonderful Stake Conference this weekend! Elder Scott of the 70 came to preside, and it was a fantastic event! One cool thing is the fact that stake boundaries have been rearranged in recent months, so my first area, Arbour Lake, is now in the stake I'm currently serving in, which meant I was able to see and catch up with members from the beginning of the mission!! Talk about coming full-circle! But I ended up learning a lot at the meeting; the Spirit was there teaching me what I can be doing to better follow the Savior. One of my favorite lessons learned though was that sometimes in life we have things going on that don't matter in the grand scheme of things, but they matter to you; If something I'm trying to accomplish really matters to me, I should remember that it matters to the Lord. He cares about and is in the details of our lives...

For example, we were walking to an appointment, and could see some clouds rolling in, but just walked fast and prayed hard to beat the rain, since we didn't have any jackets or umbrellas. We arrived without seeing any rain, but the minute we got indoors, it began to pour. It stayed steady, until we went to put on our shoes to go back out, and then the rain stopped suddenly, the sun came out, and didn't rain a drop the rest of the afternoon. In His mercy the Lord timed it perfectly in answer to our prayers to stay dry...

Anyway, enough of my ramblings! I guess it's time to finally address the fact that this is my last email from Canada; in 4 days I will be landing in sunny Las Vegas, and probably die of heat... I've totally acclimated to the cooler weather up here, because our high is your low for summer :)

Still doesn't feel real yet to know in a week I will no longer be a missionary, and the thought just breaks my heart. I wish it would never end, that I could stay a missionary forever and never have to take off the tag. This has been both the happiest, and hardest time of my life. This is where I feel like I can make a difference in the world, where I've felt useful and capable in the Lord's hands. These 18 months have been so good because each and every day I've known exactly what I should be doing to build the Lord's kingdom, to care about the big picture rather then get caught up in the distracting details of life. I've been happy because of the privilege to play a part in the Lord's great and marvelous work, by inviting other's to come unto Christ. I have seen miracles; lives changed, hearts softened, families strengthened. I feel to exclaim as Ammon did in scripture,
"And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work... Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord, yea we will rejoice, for our joy is full, yea we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel..."  (Alma 26:16)

I know that we have a loving Father in Heaven, who knows us and our circumstances, and wants to help us be happy. The Savior lives, and loves us; His Atonement is there as the ultimate source of happiness, by healing our hearts and helping us become better each day. I know that we are led my modern prophets today, that this is the Lord's church and gospel, meant to help us return home to live with God. I have learned for myself that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God, and will help us draw closer to Christ as we make it apart of our daily lives. I am so grateful for this chance to serve the Lord for 18 months, in sharing this message with others. Thank you all for your love, support and prayers, I have felt them sustain me. I love you guys with all my heart!!

Until we meet again, lots of love,
Sister Patterson

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