That's so sweet to have a snow day from school. I'm jealous. We only get a snow day on the mission when we reach -40. Just be grateful they plow the roads at all.... I swear I've been walking on last years snow for a year and a half of my life. Good grief. That's good that you got the turntable all fixed up. The Griffin's truly do have a considerable work force at their disposal and it's incredible to watch that many people work together. Not to mention they are all pretty talented one way or another, so you've got a pretty large skill set at your fingertips.
Wow.... Justin is going active-duty. Man, I don't even know what to think. All I can say is that I'm really going to miss Mikaila and Justin, and especially that niece of mine. How am I supposed to spoil her rotten if she's all the way in Stinking Germany?! I guess I'll have to just save up and go visit ;) I don't know how the heck I'll do that, but we'll see. It'll be the start of a really great adventure for them, so I'm excited.
I hope spring comes quickly as well. I'm sick of all this winter crap. We got a huge chinook last week and the temperature got boosted from the negative degrees up to +16. I love chinooks :)
I'm glad you mentioned the McLachlan's! I'll start my update for the week:
Yesterday was seriously one of the most rewarding days of my entire mission. I've never felt more successful. It was our missionary focused sacrament meeting in Woodbine ward, so Rob and Hilary were asked to speak on missionary work and the importance of missionaries. While it was one of the best meetings of my life, it was also one of the most uncomfortable of my life. I wish that even a quarter of the things that they believed about us were true. But Hilary got up first and named many instances of when the spirit had touched her life during the time that they were taking the missionary discussions. At one of the lessons recently, we shared the mormon message called "Enduring Love" with them. The video depicts a man with Parkinson's disease and his wife who has suffered something like a stroke. He diligently takes care of her at great cost to himself who struggles with his own disease. It's an extremely touching little film. I then felt inspired to share some of my thoughts on the video. I shared how much I respected my Grandmother and Grandfather Jackson. I told them how I had never heard an off-color word about my Grandmother ever escape Gramps' lips. I told them what great love and care Grandma has for Grandpa and how much I look up to their example of marriage and love. I related how I have always felt like Grandpa has always treated Grandma like a Queen, and Grandma has always stuck with Grandpa through thick and thin. Of course Grandma and Grandpa have probably had their struggles through life, but their love has conquered them. Their dedication to each other, and even more importantly their individual and collective dedication to the Lord, have been their shelter from the storm and their strength during hard times. They have both pledged their lives to one another, and to Christ. Tears filled everyone's eyes in the room as I related this and the Spirit testified of the principles that we taught.
Hilary related this experience from the pulpit and shared how the observations that I have picked up from watching Grams and Gramps had touched their lives. The Spirit helped them grow closer together. Rob stood up after Hilary and issued a barrage of compliments to the missionaries that had been a part of their lives. He started with the two missionaries in temple square - one from Washington State, the other from Italy - and described how he had never met them before, but that they had touched his life forever. He spoke of Elder Roberts, Elder Christensen and me and gave us far too many compliments for comfort. But this was all a great boost for me. Sometimes as a missionary you wonder if your converts are being strengthened in the right ways and if you are doing everything you can to ensure that the gospel blessings can be in their homes forever. I worried about this for awhile and had to come to grips with the fact that I probably won't always know what is going on with them, but that I could trust the Lord. After I accepted that I just needed to trust Him, they spoke on Sunday and shattered all doubt.
May everyone know that The Lord is in His work. In fact, He is DOING the work and could very well do all of His work all by Himself. He has the power to do so. However, He has made it possible for imperfect and struggling mortals like you and me to assist Him in the greatest work in the world. I want to testify that "... the field is white, already to harvest. And lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul." (D&C 4) The field is WHITE. It isn't just blooming in a few choice places or only a few flowers are springing up here or there. THE FIELD IS WHITE. I can promise you that other McLachlan families are just waiting to be found, but that most of the time they are missed and overlooked because you and I continue to shut our mouths and be bashful about sharing the Atonement of Christ with them. I've seen the miracles of the Lord. I've seen what He can do. Chances are, you have seen these things as well. So please, for Heaven's sake, share it!
I love the Lord and I love my mission. I know I am in the right place. I know the The Lord is over everyone and everything and every place. God is the God of America, of Canada, of Germany or Texas (;D), and of every corner of the world. If we will make the commitment to follow His commandments and share His identity with all we meet; if we will do as D&C 4 directs and thrust in our sickle with our might, we will not perish but bring salvation to our souls. We will be blessed wherever we may be or wherever we may go.
Thank you for all the support I get and for all of the prayers you offer! Please pray that my companion and I will find another family that is 1. Prepared to hear our message and 2. Desires to hear it.
I love you!