|Elder "Superman" and his new companion, Elder Keith|
I'm glad you got Abe's texts! He's a way nice guy and a really chill member. PLEASE send me the film of the show! That would be fantastic to watch! My new glasses aren't very thick at all actually! But Brother Leishman is an ophthalmologist and he told me that my prescription got a bit worse, but that it should start to chill out. The glasses are great, and EVERYONE calls me either "Superman" or "Clark" around here. I'm glad that you're getting all set up for Christmas! It's been pretty good up here getting into homes to see how everyone celebrates. To be completely honest, Christmas up here is exactly identical to Christmas in the states. Magrath is home away from home. I'm going to be really busted up when I have to leave... The people here are like family now. I've made some friendships that I will definitely have the rest of my life, and into the next life.
It's actually weird that you mention Kristian and Tara. I had a dream about Kristian last night. We were both off of our missions and we were back at the theater again. We were so happy and we were talking about all of our adventures on our missions. I don't think it's a coincidence that I had that dream. It might do Tara some good to know that I had a dream like that. I've learned on my mission that nothing is accidental. There is a reason for everything.
Alright, now to fill you in on everything that is happening in Magrath.
So recently I've been trying to get in contact with a boy in the ward who is struggling. He is Emalee's older Brother. Emalee is the girl that I wrote about in last week's email. He has been really struggling, but I saw him a few days ago. I have been trying to befriend him as much as possible and we are getting closer. I've also met his girlfriend and her brother a time or two. They are the natives that I have been talking about. Ina and Wyatt Old Shoes. (Yes, their last name is Old Shoes.) Ina actually told me her full native name and I have memorized it to show her that I care THAT MUCH, haha;D Her name is Agh-go-mien-nist-egho-ski-aski. Pretty cool, huh? I love the Natives. Their culture is incredible.
Another thing! I'd like to give a special thanks to Greg and Joni this week! Elder Gibbs and I were at a dinner appointment (this happened before Elder Gibbs was transferred) and I spotted a papyri sitting on a shelf in this couple's home. I looked at it, and it was the weighing of the heart. Because Greg and Joni taught me all the amazing material in the Ancient World class, I was able to give a dinner message to them about the final judgement using the scene of the Weighing of the Heart! It was probably the coolest dinner message I've ever given on my mission! So special thanks to them! The people who owned it didn't even know what it meant! Now I'm sure they'll never forget it because of the crazy missionary who taught the gospel from an Egyptian Papyri.
I've had a lot of opportunities lately to work with the youth of the wards that I cover. This is my favorite thing to do. I love helping the youth out. They have so many questions and curiosities about the scriptures and the gospel, but they won't ask them because they are so used to getting shut down (apparently). We are giving them a great opportunity to ask questions about the gospel and we are having a ball helping them out. They are so smart and I love it when I get a question that I have to study! It's been a huge growing experience, and I love every second of it!
As I've already told you, transfers were on Thursday. I have decided that I loathe transfers with my entire being. I hate them. They are the most stressing, anxiety-filled event of the whole mission. Figuring out who my new companion was ate at me. I love Elder Gibbs like a Brother, and to see him go made me die a little inside... It was that bad. They called Elder Keith's name at transfers and I hadn't the foggiest who he was. We drove back to Magrath from Lethbridge, and I am going to be honest and say that things were rocky. We didn't quite click immediately like I did with Elder Gibbs. He didn't talk much, and that was weird for me... Maybe it's because I talk so much... lol. He started off real quiet and solitary. The first day was weird. I was getting really nervous that this was going to be the way the whole transfer would go. I was starting to get anxiety about it and I couldn't believe how stressed I was. I remember that we were sitting in the living room on Thursday evening, right after transfers, and I felt like crap. I just got up and walked into our room and fell on my knees and prayed. I prayed that I would be able to do what it took to get along with Elder Keith. I prayed that we would both be able to find things in common and that we could have more of a light atmosphere. The next morning we were doing studies. You could cut the tension with a knife. It was horrible. Then I started talking to him about something I read in the scriptures. We got talking about it, and then we got into a ton of deeper doctrine (which you know I love) and things started to get lighter. Our relationship was getting substantially better. I was so grateful!
But nothing brought us together more than the prank we pulled on the sisters this week>:) Ever since that single event, we have been as thick as thieves.
We were about to meet up with the sisters to go to a party that was at a nonmember's house for the holidays. We printed off a fake legal document. It stated that they were being sued by "Joanne and Bill Hanks" (totally made those two up) and we stuck it in an envelope that we addressed to them from the "Queen's Bench" (the Canadian Criminal court) in Lethbridge. They FREAKED OUT. The lawsuit was based on a "parking violation." They then started to review every parking job they had done in the past week. Sister Hernandez was so flustered! She kept on saying "I'm not going to court!" and Elder Keith and I were laughing so hard! We finally told them it was us, and they took it really well;) After that, Elder Keith and I have been great friends;D
One last thing that I have realized this week is just how much I love the people here. Now that Elder Gibbs has been transferred, I feel such a responsibility to the people here. They are my family. I love them so much and I want them to have all of the happiness that they possibly can have. I just sat thinking about all the people that I have come to know and love in this town, and I can't help but feel the most profound love for them. Jesus Christ is helping me to experience a love deeper than I can comprehend. He is allowing me to feel a tiny fraction of HIS love on behalf of the people of Magrath. I'm extremely proud of my service in this town and I always will be. Not because of anything I have done, but because of what Jesus Christ has done and continues to do for all of my family here in Magrath. If God had left it just to me, this town would be in ashes.
That about covers this week - and a little bit of last week! Thank you for all of the support that you give me and thank you for the kind words, the photos of home, and the stories about the family! It means so much to me! Keep on being amazing and continue to do the things that Jesus Christ would want you to do! Be the friend to another that you would want for yourself! This life is not about us! It is about Jesus Christ!