I hope you're all having a Merry Christmas and are getting ready for the big day! Only 9 days left! I'm pretty darn excited to see my wonderful family, and I hope that will be a great present for all of you missionaries and missionary families out there. It's crazy how much time flies, and really how weird time is. It seems like I've been in Medicine Hat for forever and no time at the same time. I'll be gone before I know it, but I'm so grateful to be here while I am.
We had the opportunity to have a Christmas celebration as a mission family yesterday, with President and Sister Nicholas coming down from Calgary to visit us. We had interviews with President first, which are always great, and then the Nicholases let us join them in the family Christmas activity they do every year. It was a really warm and spiritual experience. It's nice to have a family here, even though my real one is a little far away. We even got a surprise gift in getting to see "Meet the Mormons"! We were told a while ago that we wouldn't be able to see it when it was released in Calgary, which was a little disappointing. But, when the Missionary Department told President that, they also sent him a screening copy to show us. It was a fantastic film, and I would highly recommend it to anyone!
Things are going great here in Medicine Hat. It's been nice to have another week to get to know our area a little better and get to know the wonderful people in it! There are some fantastic members of the church here in Medicine Hat, and I'm really grateful for the privilege to serve them.
We had a couple of really great lessons this week. I didn't tell you about her last week, but one of our investigators, Jady, is from Korea and is actually going back home this week. Anyway, we were able to meet with her twice this week, and it was awesome. She is such a sincere person, and asks some great questions. She's so willing to listen and to act, and I'm pretty confident that she'll track down some missionaries back in Korea. Jady also had a couple of friends here who left on Sunday, but we had some really good interactions with them also, and we're hopeful they'll make some new Mormon friends back in Korea, too.
Jacki came to church again, as did Jady, and came to a baptism as well! We're still not sure how interested she is in finding out for herself if this is all true, but I think she at least has some real intent. One of her friends, Kate, is a returning member in the YSA branch, and has been a great support to her. Kate is making really good progress, and it's been fun to work with her. (P.S. family, she actually did some rodeos with Jade back in the day. Small world, eh?)
We also had a really cool privilege on Saturday afternoon. There's a man named Joseph, who Elder Macmichael has been working with for the past little while. Joseph was excommunicated from the church for some reason I don't and don't need to know. He introduced himself to me my first Sunday here at church, and he impressed me as a very good and kind man. Anyway, on Saturday, he had the opportunity to be baptized again. It was a really beautiful service, and Joseph was walking around afterward just hugging everyone there. There was a lot of love there. It reminded me of one of my favorite scriptures. It's in Moroni chapter 6, when the manner of baptism among the Nephites is being described. (It's the same as how we do it, surprise surprise.) Also like us, so people didn't always stay in the strait and narrow way, and if they did not repent, "their names were blotted out, and they were not numbered among the people of Christ." (v.7) It says something that I really love in the next verse, though. "But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven." Just because we make a mistake, it doesn't mean that's the end. I hope we can all seek for forgiveness with the same kind of love and humility that Joseph has.
Thank you so much for your emails this week! I'm definitely blessed with a lot of great people in my life. Thank you for your love and support, and I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! Be good! Have fun!