Sunday, August 7, 2016

August 3, 2016

Hey ya'll!

Well, not sure where to even begin! This last week has been crazy busy - like all you have time for is to catch your breath and keep going. But I always love being busy, whether that's with lessons, service, finding, etc.

We've really been trying to teach more lessons to our members, because a) good opportunity to practice, and b) good to be reminded of the joy the gospel brings our lives and how we can share it with others. And it's been great seeing the Spirit work on people in inspiring them on what they can be doing for their friends.

For one family we visited, we shared a brief version of the message of the Restoration, and asked "Who do you know who would be interested in and benefit from hearing this message?" And someone particular came to mind. The woman is a young mom with 3 little kids, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. We decided to go over & offer service cleaning around the house. She was super friendly to us, and as we cleaned, she talked to us about this trial, and how her faith has been an anchor of strength. As I listened, I was astounded at the amount of faith this woman had, at her love for the Savior and submission to "thy will be done." Not only did that experience open the door for us to come back and continue with future visits, but it helped me appreciate how much good is out there, how the Lord is mindful of all of His children.

SO on a different note,  Alberta is known for it's crazy weather, but I gotta say, Airdrie takes the cake. I think we've had maybe 5 days the whole month of July that it didn't rain. This last week had a couple of those days, with scorching heat, so it was a golden time to do some service :) At one house we were helping to paint a fence, which unfortunately, was covered with spider webs - blech! As we're clearing them away, we find a giant web, with a spider to match! Canada doesn't really get big bugs, so no idea where this one came from, but the body was about the size of a loonie. The dad came over, and instead of freaking out with us, got it on a stick and started playing with it... *shiver* I of course kept my distance from probably 4 meters away :) Anyway, icky experience, and a laugh for you to picture me freaking out - I DON'T do spiders, and I'm thoroughly convinced that's why I wasn't sent to serve somewhere exotic. Yay for Canada :)

Of course, the nice weather didn't last too long. This week we've also had some crazy storms, and Airdrie is infamous for it's summer hailstorms. No joke - hail the size of golf balls, and lots of it!

Anyway - this transfer our Zone is working on building faith to find people to teach, and we know there is power in unity, in fasting and prayer. So each day a different companionship in the zone takes a turn fasting, while everyone prays of course, as we all go out and work. It's been amazing to see miracles come because of it!

But personally, my companion and I have experienced something additional: We've been working on appreciating every day to it's fullest - we come in each night to do our planning, and after saying prayer, the first thing we do is recall as many miracles as we can from the day. At first it was super hard, because all we could see were the negatives, the slammed doors, sneers, rejection, cancellations, sore feet, etc. But as the days pass, it's become so much easier to recognize miracles and tender mercies, not because daily situations have changed, but because we're making more of an effort to recognize the Lord's hand, and that joy tends to outweigh any sorrow we may have experienced. I am so so so grateful to be here as a missionary, to be serving the Lord and be His hands. I wouldn't give up this experience for anything in the world :)

I love you all, and appreciate your love and support! Have a wonderful week! And remember, you are loved!!

Lots of love,
Sister Patterson

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