Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 8, 2010

Hey everybody!

Wow, fall is coming to an end which means the temperature is as well. It has actually been a warm fall according to the Canadians so I guess I'm just being a pansy but oh well.

So this was quite the week for missionary work in Canmore and Banff. We do a lot of service for the Victory church thrift store up here in Canmore. They appreciate our hard work and positive attitudes around the workplace. It's been awesome to be able to talk to the workers about their beliefs and about the logisitics of being on a mission and what not. We talked to one of the workers outside and he asked what makes Mormons different from Christians. Thank you Elder Owens because I basically used his presentation to talk about the Book of Mormon and how it is a testament that Jesus Christ lives. He also noticed how we also know the Bible is true as well because there were a lot of references in the Bible I used as well. Unfortunately, he was looking more for logic and reasoning for how the Book of Mormon was true as opposed to the way Moroni invites us to find out how it is true; through faith in Jesus Chirst and real intent. Nonetheless, I gave him the opportunity which is all I can do.

MIRACLE 1: This weekend, we spent quite a bit of time in Banff trying to meet the less actives in the area. We knocked on this man's door and the person who had answered the door told us the man we were looking for had moved. As we talked to him and looked in the apartment, we noticed he was Australian. All of the suddden, I was Mr. Motor Mouth talking to him about his background, why he was in Canada, what his hobbies were, everything you could imagine. I mostly kept talking to him because Australians have cool voices and I loved listening to him. Then I asked if he haf ever seen missionaries in Australia and he said he had come in contact with them. His name is Shawn and he's Catholic but I'm pretty sure he's not very devout because he said he's living with his girlfriend. He said he had to go but that he'd love to chat with us. Shawn also told us his family was coming to Banff for Christmas. Elder Mercado told me afterwards, "Wouldn't that be a sweet Christmas gift... 'Guess what family, we're going to live together forever!'"

MIRACLE 2: Sunday was one of the most challenging days of the mission because our chapel is in Banff and our apartmnet is in Canmore (30 minutes away). We also had a dinner appointment scheduled in Banff after church at 5pm. Church gets out at 12:30 pm and the members we were going to have dinner with told us we were actually going to eat at 6:30pm... on fast Sunday. So Elder Mercado and I spent from 1 to 6 tracting and contacting throughout downtown Banff. From 1 to about 5, we were pretty unsuccesssful but we kept doing our best to find those whom the Lord has prepared. So we kept pushing onward and tracted into this lady in these apartments where we had met Shawn (Can you say gold mine?). She grew up in the United Church of Canada (Baptist, Presbyterian, and some other religion all combined) and always felt something was missing in that church. She thenstarted practicing a religion called Wiccam. I guess we're teaching a witch on Wednesday. Hopefully we don't get turned into frogs after we invite her to get baptized. She was really nice and it was a really good conversation we had about the Plan of Salvation and how our decisions affect us after this life.

MIRACLE 3: So it was getting dark and there were elk running around, deer chilling on people's lawns like they own the place, and we were getting hungry so our last excursion was through the Filipino community with my bilingual companion. We ran into one family and Elder Mercado talked to them for about 15 minutes in Tagolog. All I could do was sit there and pray that what he was saying was being led by the Spirit. After he was done I said how I completely agreed with what my companion had just said and I asked the dad what his family meant to him and what it would mean if they could live as a family forever. He talked about how his family meant everything to him and how he was working for them here in Banff while they were in the Phillipines so that they could have a better life. He said we could teach more about the gospel to him during the week.

Well, those of course aren't the only miracles but they are experiences and testimonies to me that everything is according to God's time. Everything will work according to his will as we are patient. President Uchtodrf said that Patience does not mean that we sit and wait for God's hand to play into our lives but it means that we actively work towards a lifelong goal recognizing that everything happens according to God's will and that blessings are not on our timetable. As we understand this concept, our lives will be happier and we will be more appreciative of how the Savior can help us in our trials.


Elder Madsen

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