I hope you've had a fantastic week! It's definitely been a different one here the Great Canada Calgary Mission. On Tuesday I celebrated my 20th birthday and last birthday in the mission field. I know the 'last' part isn't saying much, but man, it's weird being this old. ;) I'm so grateful for these past 20 years my Heavenly Father has blessed me with, and especially the last year I've had to be in His service, inviting my brothers and sisters to come unto Christ. It's been a really hard year at times, but also an incredibly happy one. I've definitely come to know that God does know and love each and every one of His children, and we're all blessed to be in that number. That's pretty cool to think about. :)
With summer most definitely upon us here, the past couple weeks have been a little slower as far as being able to see people, but the Lord is still aware of those who we have been blessed to teach, and there's definitely a lot of progress happening.
We finally had a lesson with Cindy this week on Friday morning, since her Wednesday night appointment wasn't going to work out again. We talked about following the prophet, and learned a bit more about President Monson together. We also set a firm date with Cindy for her baptism: August 30th! It's pretty likely I won't be here for that, but it's so good to see her have that solid goal to work towards, especially since she's so determined to follow through on it.
Bruce actually came to church this week, which was pretty miraculous! Sadly, he's in a really bad place right now as far as his mental and emotional state goes, and so he only lasted through most of the sacrament before he broke down and had to go home. As a missionary, it's been a bit blessing to come across people who are so in need of the gospel, and I just hope we'll be able to help Bruce see his need for it a little more.
We also had a couple of great breakthroughs with some less-active members we've been working with. One, her name is Sister S., was baptized when she was in her teens and then pretty much stopped coming in her twenties. She's in her sixties now, and yesterday she actually stayed for Sunday School! She's been coming to sacrament meeting pretty regularly, but she actually stayed for another hour yesterday. Boo yah! Another is a man who has been less-active for many years. He blamed it on his very very busy work schedule for a long time, but because of some events in his life, he's come to realize the importance of living according to the testimony he's never lost. He was recently called as a Gospel Principles teacher, and is going to do a great job!
Also, Larry Gelwix was in one of our sacrament meetings yesterday. (As in "Forever Strong." Former Highland Rugby coach.) I know that's random, and it was at the time, but it was really cool. He was a really nice guy who seemed so down to earth despite his many accomplishments in the sports world and in the church; he's also served as a mission president. I just thought you might want to hear about that.
I mentioned it a bit before, but I had an experience this week that really strengthened my testimony of our Heavenly Father's knowledge for us. It actually wasn't my experience, but one I heard from someone who was baptized yesterday. I don't want to go into too many details, but this person grew up never really believing in God. They believed this for a long time. One day, quite recently, they had come across some information about the church online. It really piqued their interest, so they prayed and asked to have someone sent to them who could teach them more. The next day, they ran into the missionaries. He's always there. No matter who we are or what we've done, the hand of our Heavenly Father is in our life, trying to bring us back to Him. He wants us to be happy. He wants us back with Him. I know that's true.
Thank you all so much for your examples and your support! I've been given such great friends and family for this first 20 years of my life, and I know I'll be given more as time goes on. Have a wonderful week! Remember who you truly are. Be good! Have fun!