I hope you've all had a fantastic week filled with carols and gingerbread and everything else Christmasy! ;) Really, though, this is such a great time of year, and I'm so grateful to be a missionary right now. It's wonderful to think about the Savior and all that He has done and will do for us, all because He and our Father in Heaven love us so much, all in spite of us!
The weather seems to have been a little more typical for this time of year in Southern Alberta. After our somewhat cold weather (haha) last week, we got a bit of a pleasant surprise in the form of a Chinook in the last couple of days. The temperature changed from about -30 last week to about 7 degrees yesterday, and snow and ice are retreating rapidly everywhere. Ya gotta love 'em.
The work here in Southern Alberta is going well! Ben and Beth are still doing just great, despite a tragic event in their family this week. They were just married on Friday in a really beautiful service, and there's really no reason they shouldn't be baptized on January 1st. (Hooray!) We also started teaching Ben's niece, Allison, this week. She just moved in with Ben and Beth, and I think the change that she has seen in Ben's life has really interested her in the gospel. We had a couple of really great lessons with them, one with our ward mission leader, and we know that she's been reading out from the Book of Mormon! They're all out of town until Friday this week, but we hope to be able to meet with them soon after that, and really see the progress they are all making. Man, we're lucky to be able to teach them.
We also finally got to meet with another one of our investigators this week, Randy. He's a trucker, so he has a pretty crazy work schedule, and he wasn't exactly eager to meet with us in the first place, but we convinced him to let us come over, and we had a really great time with him. He can't really "see himself converting", but he knows it's all good, and I'm pretty sure he has a testimony. It's just going to take us helping him gain a desire and a realization that this is what he needs in his life.
This week, we also had the pretty incredible opportunity to hear from Elder Bednar! He was in Calgary for a stake conference, and also took some time out of his crazy schedule to address us. It's crazy to think that we were learning at the feet of and Apostle of the Lord! (When I say "at the feet", I mean over a broadcast for those of us in the south, but you know what I mean!) He spoke to us a lot about agency, as well as faith and what that really means, especially in our prayers.
As he spoke about prayer, and as we studied some of his other remarks before this, it really made me think about my own prayers. Something Elder Bednar particularly emphasized was the action associated with our prayers. Think about it: don't we all, at some time or another, ask our Father in Heaven for something good, and then completely forget about it or leave it all up to him? Are we really being "agents" at that point? God has given us the ability to do good, and He expects us to! We absolutely need to pray and ask for good things and blessings for others, but those things need to be prayed for with an expectation to act as well! Faith and action are inseparable, and I know that that is something I need to better realize in my own life, and especially in this great work.
Well, I hope you're all having a fantastic week! Remember what this Christmas season is all about, and remember what that means to you. I love you all! Be good! Have fun!
I love you all, and Merry Christmas!