Thursday, January 30, 2014

A little snow and a little service brings opportunities

Katelyn is doing well in Canada but she is growing a little tired of the short days and long nights.  Luckily the Winter Solstice has passed and the days are slowly getting longer instead of shorter.  But the weather has still been very cold and snowy.  Katelyn sent us a few pictures recently of all of the snow.  Some of the snow banks are taller than the trucks that are parked next to them.

In fact, the Edmonton area gets so much snow that snow plows alone don't really cut it.  The snow banks pile up so high that they literally have to truck the snow away.  Check this out.

If you can't quite tell what is going on in this picture, there is a very large snow blower mounted to the front of a tractor which is blowing the snow into the back of a semi-trailer.  Somewhere outside of town there must be a very large pile of snow where it gets dumped.

With this much snow you would think that just shoveling your driveway would be a large task.  Well it is. But for the missionaries it is also a big opportunity.  Katelyn told us a story about going out to help some of their neighbors shovel their walks as a service project.  On one occasion as Katelyn and her companion were going to borrow a snow shovel from a church member, they came across a lady and her kids out shoveling their driveway.  So Katelyn and her companion took that as an opportunity to stop and help out.  While they were all clearing the snow off of the driveway, they took the chance to talk a little bit about the church and found out that this lady and her family were very interested in knowing more.  So from a little hard work and a bit of service, a little more missionary work was done.

Katelyn and her companion have also been doing a lot of visiting with some of the less active members in the area.  Some of their experiences have been good and some not so good.  I won't go into detail about the visits here but I can say that in some of there visits, aliens and outhouses seemed to be prime topics of conversation.  But never the less, Katelyn was still able to share a few scriptures and thoughts and sometimes that is all that can be done.  At least for now.

It is transfer time again so as soon as Katelyn had a chance to email home to tell us about it, she did. But when we got her email, she started it out with "We got transfer calls this morning... and...", and that was all that the email said.  Oh great, she is going to leave us hanging.  Then she followed up with another email that said that she would be staying in Panoka but her companion was being transferred back to Edmonton.  I asked Katelyn what was going on with her and companions.  This is the third companion she has had since moving to Panoka.  Is she just working them so hard that they are getting worn out or what.  No, actually her companion was being transferred to Edmonton because she had been called as a Sister Training Leader.  This meant that Katelyn needed to stay in Panoka to train another companion on the area.  So Katelyn told us a little about her new companion and that they are getting along really well.  Katelyn has really been blessed with great companions and she has been able to do some great missionary work with them all.

Katelyn told us a story about how they were having dinner at one of the member's houses and the member asked if the sisters had gotten their flu shots yet.  Apparently the availability of flu shots is a bit scares in their area so they would have to travel to a clinic in Red Deer to find the shots.  This member was going to go the early the next morning so that they could get a good place in line at the clinic.  Katelyn and her companion cleared the flu shot trip with their mission president and the next morning they were on their way.  When they got to the clinic, Katelyn told us that it was like Black Friday before Christmas.  People were lined up around the block waiting their turn to get a flu shot.  Being early in the morning, the sky was still dark and the temperatures were still extremely cold.  Like -25 degrees cold.  So they got in line and waited outside in the cold for about 35 minutes.  Katelyn said that by the time they got in to the clinic, they were all frozen.  Katelyn doesn't really do well with needles and getting a flu shot was no exception.  So after all of the little kids had already gotten their shots and were doing great, it was Katelyn's turn.  The little kids rallied around Katelyn and told her to think about unicorns and puppies and that everything would be fine.  Well she got through the trauma of a flu shot and they even gave her a juice box to make her feel better.  Here they are standing outside of the clinic waiting to get their shots.

  Katelyn included a little poem that she likes so I will include it here.
"Faith to be faith must be centered around something that is not known.  Faith to be faith must go beyond that which there is confirming evidence.  Faith to be faith must go into the unknown.  Faith to be faith must walk to the edge of the light and then a few steps into the darkness.  Strive to gain greater faith this week by taking a few steps into the darkness.  The Lord is with us, he loves us and will not let us fail."

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