It's been a pretty good week here in Barrie, Ontario and I hope that everyone else has been enjoying the weather.. It's a balmy -1 here today and I'm stoked about it.
|The Barrie Zone|
So this past week we had a few fun events. We had zone training and we received "Because He lives" pass along cards. I don't know if you remember the He is the Gift campaign that we had at Christmas, but that changed my life and got me so pumped to spread the gospel and now we have another initiative and I'm so excited to learn more about it and to get out there and share it with everyone!!
Anyway, so we got a huge stack of the new pass along cards and when we went home I opened up a package that I had received from Albania (full of contacts that of course arrived there shortly after I departed..) and in the package were 3 "Për shkak të Tij" cards.. (Because of Him in Albanian..). I got really emotional when I saw those cards. Since I've arrived here in the Canada Toronto Mission I have missed everything about Albania. It's been hard, but I've been praying fervently to the Lord and sought His help. When I saw the Albanian pass along cards, this feeling of comfort overcame me and I felt the love of the Lord so strongly. I felt as though He was affirming to me that He hears my prayers and He knows my heart and the things that trouble me and I was so comforted by the fact that truly because He lives, all of our pains and our sorrows can be washed away and because He lives we can rely on Him to carry us through anything that lies before us. I now have the "Because He lives" and "Për shkak të Tij" cards taped next to each other in my journal. This is His work, and it happens the same way here as it does there.
We also were able to go to the temple this week which was SO exciting and such a crazy experience to have a temple in the mission. I appreciate it SO much. Seriously, I cannot even express how incredible it was. It was a temple trip for all of the recently baptized members and they were going for their first time. We were able to go because 2 of Sister Rasmussen's recent converts were attending. It was so special to see her love for them and to see her experience their first time in the temple. I won't lie, it was hard because I yearned for the opportunity to see my own recent converts and people that I love be able to enter the temple for the first time. I miss them so much, and I'm so grateful for the wonderful people that have become huge parts of my life throughout my mission.
I wanted to share a quick story from a family in our ward. They had been less active for quite a while and are just coming back to the church. Money has been tight because the father had been out of work and they were seeking help financially. Our bishop encouraged the family to exercise their faith and pay their tithing even though it seemed literally impossible to do so. One night about a week or so ago, the sister texted us and asked us if we could bring a tithing slip to her house. So, we did.. This week on Wednesday, she texted us telling us that her husband had been hired full-time working 7 days a week, making more than he did in the previous job that he had lost. I bear my witness that this is exactly what the Lord means when he says, "..and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (3 Nephi 24:10/ Malachi 3:10) His promises are real, of this I testify.
Another experience I wanted to share was that this week we had goals to find 2 new investigators. Finding new investigators can be stressful, you just have that pressure.. but you cannot control the agency of others. So towards the end of the week Sister Rasmussen and I were kinda stressed because we hadn't found any new investigators yet. I had prayed to the Lord and asked for His direction.. Within an hour we received a text from Church headquarters telling us that someone in our area had requested a Bible for us to take to her house. And then not 15 minutes later, our investigator Krista told us that her friend John would be coming to sports night and asked if we could "Tell him more about God." Truly, miracles happen! I am so grateful for the hand of the Lord. This is His work.
Today is Sister Rasmussen's birthday! We haven't done anything to exciting.. But she's awesome. This week is kinda exciting (for me at least.. haha) because on Friday night one of the assistants to the President called us and told us that President requested that we give an instruction in zone conference on Wednesday. Zone conference is when several zone meet up together and Sister Rasmussen said that there is usually like 75-80 missionaries. She also said that the only missionaries she's seen give instructions in these meetings are the AP's. We're not even Sister Training Leaders or anything! But, I'm super excited about it.. I think Sister Rasmussen is a little less enthusiastic about it, but I'm super humbled that out of all the missionaries that will be there we were chosen for this assignment.
Well, sorry if this one was a little long.. I had a lot to share. I just want to end with bearing my testimony that this church is true. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ and because of Him all things can become better. As we develop our faith in Christ, everything changes. Everything gets better. He knows us all individually, and He can heal us and support us in all of our endeavors. I have felt this so strongly in this past month as I have struggled and as I have felt burdens weigh on me. I know that He lives, and I pray that we all can share that great message with all of those that we know and love. "Oh sweet the joy this sentence gives: 'I know that my Redeemer lives.'"
With love from Barrie,