I'm glad that you were able to go represent at Uncle Brad's funeral. I'm going to miss that man. I'm glad that he got a cowboy send-off! That is awesome. I will most definitely visit Aunt Gale. She's awesome. Love that lady.
Anyway! I had a really really good week this week, and I can't wait to recap it for you! I'll start with the happenings of the week and then tell you about the spiritual bomb that got dropped on Sunday!
First off, I went on exchanges this week with Elder Fisher in Trail. Trail is about 3 hours west of Cranbrook and is the furthest area in the mission. It takes 7 hours to get to Calgary from Trail! The Trail Elders cover a city called Nelson that is to the North East. It is a beautiful place (Mikaila will know what I mean ;D). What's awesome is that we had to take a ferry to get there! It was so awesome. It is the largest free ferry in Canada. It took us across Kootenay lake and it was gorgeous. I'll have to send you some pictures of it. They are on their way. It was a really cool experience to be able to ride on the ferry. Really only missionaries that are serving in Trail usually take the ferry, so not many missionaries get that opportunity.
After that happened, the week blew by. Things just seem to be getting faster and faster around here.
Lately I've been pondering a lot on the principle of Self-Discipline. It's been interesting to see how a study of it has effected me. I have really started trying to apply myself with the little things in life to try and conquer my greater vices. Little things like making my bed, putting things back where they go, washing my dish after I eat. All of those things I did before, but it was always "I'll do that after I.....". It has been cool to watch how much more disciplined I have become just by doing things NOW. These little steps gave me a lot of motivation to try something big, so I started it with exercise. There was only one day last week that I didn't run a couple miles in the morning. I was actually really surprised at what a boost it gave me to accomplish that goal. I feel so much better and not just in a physical sense. It makes me feel good that I accomplished a goal that I set. But I've learned a deep spiritual lesson from all this, as we all often do from achieving physical goals. I have learned a lot about putting off the feeling of pain or exhaustion, or whatever, and just hanging in there. I've learned a lot about putting off the immediate gratification for a more lasting - or even sometimes eternal - reward. It's been really awesome to see the change in myself fundamentally as a person. And it didn't just happen over last week. I've been working on this and pondering on it for quite a while.
Alright, now for the really amazing story.
As I told Mom, I have been working in the primary during the 3rd hour of church as the primary pianist. This is literally the calling that I want for the rest of my life. It is amazing. Singing time has always been my favorite time, haha. Anyway, Sister Shortridge is our primary chorister, and she is awesome. She's our ward mission leader's wife. When she found out that I played the piano - that was about 3 or 4 weeks ago - she asked if I could come in during the third hour because she has no piano player. I sheepishly agreed because we all know that my piano skills are not quite incredible, but I couldn't turn down helping Sister Shortridge. We love her and her family too much. So the last few weeks, my piano skills have been getting more honed by the primary songbook. It is amazing to watch the kids. I always thought that people just said that to hide how hard their job was. It always felt to me that people just said those things to help them cope with how hard and crazy it is to keep primary under control and keep going. But truly, I have learned better.
We had an experience in Primary yesterday that I will absolutely never forget. Sister Shortridge picked out a new song for the primary to sing at their next presentation. It had 3 flats in it, so you can guarantee that I was panicking about whether or not I was going to be able to play it. Sister Shortridge said that she could play and I could conduct, so I chickened out and agreed to it. So singing time started and Sister Shortridge pulled a fast one on me!!! She told the primary that I was going to play for it. I decided I'd just hunker down and try it out. So we began the song, and I was basically sight reading. We ran through the song piece by piece to help the kids get their notes down just like theater. That only required the top hand, so things were going fine. But then she told the primary that we were going to run through the whole song! Yeesh. I didn't want to let them down, so I prayed hard that I'd be able to play well enough to get through. We started and I was doing my best. I wasn't hitting a lot of sour notes, but I was leaving a bunch out because my fingers couldn't get to them fast enough, haha. I did my very best to try and get through and then a miracle happened. At the end of the song, I looked up over the piano, and little Evan Jensen was crying in his little chair. Sister Shortridge ran over and knelt down next to him and put her arm around his little shoulders. Evan was feeling the Spirit testify to him.
The song is called Gethsemane and is all about how the Savior suffered for each one of us, and loves us.
Evan received a witness about how the Lord loves him. I was getting choked up behind the piano watching this little boy receive one of his first witnesses from the Spirit.
To everyone that is reading this, I want you to know that I watched a small boy receive a witness from Deity. Jesus Christ reached out to a small boy in a primary class. I saw Him do it.
I testify that He will do the same thing for you. He has done it for me.
I love you all!