Sorry this is a bit late but this week was a crazy one.
We were able to talk to Nate on Christmas Day for a long time and it was so joyous. Nate is the same old Nate. He filled us in on so many things and he expressed his love for all of you and your support means so much to him. He loves the work he is doing as well as the people he works with. He did mention that many of the Canadian stereotypes are true. He is getting pretty good at imitating them. Everything is "sic" meaning awesome, "Gongshow" meaning crazy, or he was calling us dude. We did a lot of laughing during our FaceTime! This letter was sent before our Christmas conversation.
|Christmas Eve at the Abe Wolvers family home.|
|Loads of fun!|
|Wolvers Christmas tradition of fondue.|
The newest and most exciting news is that Elder Keith and I might have the opportunity of working in Montana. As of now, we cover the "Del Bonita" branch which is part of the Magrath Stake. Elder Keith was using his LDS account to inspect our proselyting boundaries, and he discovered that our boundary actually stretches quite a ways into Montana. We asked President Nicholas if it would be possible to get our passports and go into Montana. He said that he would look into it, and if it was a possibility, we would be allowed to go into Montana once a month. I really want to go to Montana. Not only because it would be refreshing to be back on American Soil, but because Uncle Dave served there. I would love to go and explore the places that may have once been his areas. But that's just some awesome news.
The only other thing is a lesson that I had that was one of the most amazing experiences that I have had on my mission so far. I literally cannot describe to you how much this lesson meant to me. So here's the story. We have been teaching a group of youth from one of our wards. They are sort of rough around the edges in the sense that they haven't been making the best decisions, but we have been teaching them in an effort to help them find Christ. I love these kids. I seriously cannot articulate how much I love them. I love them as if they were my own children. Three of them are members of 6th ward in Magrath and the other two are a couple of Native kids from 3rd ward (we're poaching them from the Sisters, but they're okay with it). Tyson, Emalee, and Connor are from the 6th ward and Ina and Wyatt are from 3rd. We've known them for a while and I've been having so many experiences with them that have changed the way I look at the gospel. But in this particular lesson, miracles happened. We were talking with them about receiving their patriarchal blessings. We described the blessings that come from receiving that kind of a blessing and about how it can give them direction in life. They were all super psyched to get their blessings! But then Elder Keith and I started talking about the worthiness requirements to get it. That's when things started to get a bit more interesting. Ina in particular started to get extremely fidgety and looked more and more nervous. Elder Keith and I looked at one another and both knew. We both discerned her need. But she didn't say it. So we flushed it out. We both began going over the several requirements for the blessing. We explained that the temple recommend questions, when answered correctly and honestly, would permit receiving a patriarchal blessing. As we were describing this, Ina burst into tears. I went over next to her chair and knelt next to her. She looked at me, and I told her that everything was going to be alright. I talked to her about the concerns she had. She was afraid to go to her bishop - a place that I think we all have been before. Elder Keith and I were able to calm her down. We taught her about Bishops. We taught her about the love and the peace that they can invoke in our lives. The whole time I talked about this with her, my mind was drawn to Bishop Graves and Bishop Hall. I can't tell those men how appreciative I am of their patience and love on my behalf. And because of their loving examples, I was able to describe to Ina what kind of peace she could expect from talking with a servant of the Lord. And then one of the most touching events of my entire mission occurred. Ina, with tears in her eyes, looked at me and said "I can do it. I know it's the right thing to do. I'm going to talk with him and get all of this out of the way." I felt the love of Jesus Christ for Ina Old Shoes. She is such a valiant soul. She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met, and she's only 17 years old. She is brave. She trusts Jesus Christ. That night, it was reconfirmed to me why I am here. I am here because of people like Ina. I am here to help them, and the best part is that it has nothing to do with me, or Elder Keith. We are only the conduits for the power of the Lord to pass through. The spirit touched Ina that night, and it was the privilege of my life to participate in helping Christ help her. I love those kids as if they were my own, and I'm so proud of them.
I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas, and that everyone remembers Jesus Christ. He is the Lord and Savior over our souls. He is the literal Messiah of our world. He is the Son of God, and He is the greatest gift that God has ever given us.
I Love You all, and Merry Christmas!