Thursday, October 17, 2013

Great stories of great success from a great mission

It has been almost two weeks since General Conference and Katelyn has written us a couple of times since then.  In her first email home after conference, she told us just how much she loved it.  She had the most amazing week that week.  She told us about some of the lessons that they taught, interviews that they had with the mission president and his wife and of course GENERAL CONFERENCE. 

A few days before general conference weekend, Katelyn's mission president and his wife traveled down to Red Deer to hold interviews with the missionaries in that area.  Katelyn said that he was running about two hours late on interviews but that was OK with her.  The reason why was because it gave Katelyn and her companion more time to spend with the mission president's wife.  They all passed the time just baking cookies and talking.  Katelyn also said that she really likes her mission president.  She said that he is just hilarious and such a teddy bear.  Her mission president reminds her of her grandpa John.  Then on that Saturday and Sunday, which of course was conference weekend, they spent their time with the other missionaries just taking in everything that the general authorities and Prophet had to say.  There was one point during conference when the Tabernacle Choir sang "Called to Serve".  At that moment I told Katelyn's Mom to just imagine Katelyn standing in the chapel with a bunch of other missionaries singing along just as loud as they could.  I told Katelyn what I had said when I wrote to her the next day.  She responded and told me that it was exactly how I described it.  I told her that knowing exactly what she was doing at that moment made us feel like we were right there with her.

So here is a bit of a funny story that you will get when you see the pictures below.  A few weeks ago Katelyn's Mom put together a package and sent it to Katelyn.  Well, she finally received it right around the same time as conference weekend.  The package included a letter from a friend of her's and also some souvenirs which he had brought back from a recent trip to Bolivia.  One of the souvenirs was an indian head band which Katelyn is so beautifully sporting in the following picture.  In the next picture of the headband, there is a scripture which I think comes from the lost manuscript pages of the Book of Mormon, or maybe not.  You decide:

Click on the picture to enlarge it if you are unable to read the scripture

Actually, it was Katelyn's clever companion that wrote the scripture.  I had  you going there didn't I.  You really thought that she had found the missing manuscript pages.  ;-)

So it turns out that Canada, being a different country and all, celebrates Thanksgiving just like we do in the United States.  The only difference is that the Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October.  So this last Monday was Thanksgiving and Katelyn said that some members of the church in her area invited her and her companion to their house for Thanksgiving dinner.  In fact this family loved having the missionaries over for dinner so much that they invited them for two nights in a row.  Katelyn told us that it felt a little strange celebrating Thanksgiving in October rather than November like we do in the U.S.  But nevertheless, the food is always good and you can never get enough pumpkin pie.

Katelyn told us that because of the Thanksgiving holiday in Canada, they had a very hard time filling their appointment book.  Actually, they weren't very successful at teaching any lessons at all that week.  So with time on their hands, they took a page out of Katelyn's older brother's missionary book and raked leaves for the neighbors.  They had a really good time raking leaves.  Katelyn said that the people were so grateful but they really couldn't believe that these two young missionaries were raking leaves for free.  At one house, the owner actually came out to help them rake leaves.  The whole time that they were working, the owner kept saying, "You guys really don't mind doing this?  You really aren't charging anything?".  They told him that they were just out doing service and there was no charge.  The owner still couldn't quite wrap is head around that idea.

This past week Katelyn and her companion were working on some new ways to find people to teach.  So one of the ideas that they decided to do was to set up a booth at the college in Red Deer with the LDSSA (Latter-day Saints School Association).  Then they had some of the college students that attend the Branch sit with them in the booth as they handed out balloons, cards with candy taped to them and played mormon messages in the background.  Katelyn said that they really had a lot of fun and really had a lot of success as well.  They gave away a lot of Books of Mormon and had some really great gospel conversations with some of the college students that came by.  In fact, they were so successful that they decided that they would set up this booth every week.

This past week in Church both Katelyn and her companion were asked to teach the Sunday School lesson as well as the Relief Society lesson.  On the way to church that day, knowing that they would be teaching during two hours of the three hour block, they joked with each other that maybe the Sacrament Meeting speaker wouldn't show up and they would be asked to speak in that meeting as well.  Fortunately for them, the speaker did show up but someone forgot to bring the sacrament bread.  So Katelyn and her companion went to the freezer in the kitchen and all they could find were some frozen blueberry waffles.  So guess what the congregation had for the sacrament that week?  You got it, they had probably one of the tastiest sacrament services ever.  I guess the moral of this story is that when you are in a bind, blueberry waffles will do.  :)

OK, Katelyn's email home this week was just filled with little gems like the following story.  But rather than retell it to you, I will just let you read it yourself.

"So on Wednesday night at 1 in the morning I hear this chirp chirp.. chirp chirp chirp chirp.. and I am thinking, what in the world is that noise?? So I walk out to our front hall area and it is coming from these boots that my companion had bought recently at Value Village (which is a thrift store). So I'm thinking, oh my.. there are birds living in the shoes she bought! I am freaking out! So I kick the boots and it stops! Then I go back and lay down in bed and not even a couple minutes later I hear it again... I go back and start moving the shoes and the noise continues so it's not in the boots and I am freaking out.  I go in and wake up my companion to come out and help me find this creature that is in our apartment and she comes out and we start tearing apart the front hall area where there is a bunch of random things.  There was an old pair of boots that someone had left in the apartment so my companion grabs the boot by the very top fur part and carefully takes it to the back deck and shuts the door... But nope the chirping remains. So we are going through everything and then all of a sudden a little cricket starts hopping around!! It was a cricket! So my companion grabs the broom and starts jabbing the cricket and it keeps hopping around and I am freaking out.  Then BAM..., she killed it. It was ridiculous."
There you have it.  The perfect missionary story.  What a great couple of weeks!

Here are a few more great pictures from Canada.  Enjoy!

Instead of a snow angel, Katelyn made a leaf angel.

Taking a break after a hard day of service.

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