Monday, December 15, 2014

Giving your all

There is a lot of working going on in the YSA Ward where Katelyn is currently serving.  Over the past few weeks Katelyn has been telling us story after story about how they have met new people and started teaching them about the Gospel.  I mentioned in an earlier post on this blog that the theme of Katelyn's mission seems to be miracles and that theme hasn't slowed down a bit.  Each week Katelyn is sharing with us little miracles about being in the right place at the right time to share the right message.  In the past few weeks they have met people who were down and ready to make a change in their life and others who were just looking for something different.  Some have really embraced the lessons that the missionaries have taught them and others have just been interested in learning something new.  But each one of them have a story as to why they decided to let the missionaries in to teach them.  Here is how Katelyn has described some of her experiences as she and her companion have been out tracting:

"I absolutely love the new Christmas initiative that the church is doing!!! I love watching the "He Is The Gift" video and the message it produces! Giving the gift of Christ is eternal! It changes lives! It is so much greater then any amount of worldly gifts we could buy or give to someone! The gift of Christ brings everlasting happiness and joy!! I love sharing that message with all those that we meet!"
"Last night we were tracting and we knocked on a door. A younger man came to the door and we began talking to him and he was telling us how he used to have a belief in Christ but he doesn't anymore. You could just see the sadness in his face and eyes. I wanted so badly to just push through the door and tell him EVERYTHING! Tell him the hope and the happiness this Gospel brings. There are so many of our brothers and sisters who are so burdened down and lost through the trials and experiences we each have in this life. I could tell this man had been through a lot and if he only new his true divinity and potential he would begin to realize how wonderful this life is and how much clarity and joy we can experience even amidst our heartaches! I really want to see someone come closer to the Savior these last couple of months that I am here in Canada! I hope I can do that and leave here knowing that I have given and done all that Heavenly Father wants me to do."

There has been other great news in Katelyn's family that not only involves missionary work but Canada as well.  Katelyn's little brother recently turned in his mission papers and received a call to serve as a full time missionary.  As it turns out, he will be following in his sister's footstep and will be heading to Canada as well.  However, the place that he will be serving is just a little bit south east of Edmonton.  Katelyn's little brother will be serving in the Winnipeg, Canada mission.  This has been some very exciting news for our whole.  The only downside, if there is really a downside to a mission call, is that Katelyn's little brother will be leaving to enter the Mission Training Center 8 days before Katelyn is due to return from her mission in Edmonton.  So she and her little brother will have to wait another two years before they see each other again.  But it's all worth it and neither one of them would change a thing.  Canada is the place to be.

Winter is back in Canada.  Over the past couple of months Katelyn has told us that the days are growing colder and the snow is starting to move in.  But in a recent email home, she said that they woke up to 2 to 3 feet of new snow and I'm sure that there will be plenty more to come.  Katelyn told us about how they went to visit someone that they have been teaching and couldn't find anywhere to park because of all of the piled up snow.  They ended up having to park several blocks away at a gas station and then walk back to their investigator's apartment.  Katelyn said that it was so cold outside that day that by the time they walked back to the apartment building, her eyelashes had accumulated a layer of frost.  Then to top that off, the person who they were going to visit, wasn't home so they had no choice but to stay out in the cold.  This is where knocking on doors takes on a little different meaning.  Rather than just knocking on a door hoping that they would find someone new to teach, now they were also knocking on doors hoping that someone would let them in so that they could get warm. 

Katelyn is now on her last transfer period.  In other words, she is only 6 weeks away from completing her mission and returning home.  She has been reflecting on the last 17 months of her mission and during this last week some of her early mission experiences came full circle.  Katelyn and her first companion from the MTC were able to spend a few days together on exchanges.  Katelyn told us that it was very interesting to think that just 17 months ago she and her first MTC companion were just starting out as missionaries together.  She was surprised at just how fast time has gone by.  It seemed like just yesterday that they were both starting out together in the MTC.  Now they are spending some time together as seasoned missionaries doing what they have learned to loved and that is teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of the Edmonton Canada mission.  Katelyn also included the following thoughts in her latest email as she reflected upon some of the experiences during her mission:

"Over the past couple of weeks I have really been thinking about consecration and my own personal consecration. One morning during personal study I had decided to write down 10 things that I either wanted to improve or stop doing to become consecrated and to feel the spirit more abundantly. Some of those things included increasing my faith, talking with EVERYONE and coming home each night, accounting to the Lord and feeling as though I had given every ounce of energy and my all into the day. I was reminded of this scripture Helaman 10;4-5
"Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will."
With the "He Is The Gift" video and thinking of the gift I would give to Christ this year, I decided it would be my will and my all. To become a more diligent and consecrated missionary... As I have done this we have seen MIRACLES.. Everyday! My goal before coming home is to find a new investigator each day and to bring one person closer to Christ."

I'm sure that Katelyn will come home from her mission feeling exactly as she described it.  She has told us many stories about the people that she has met and the lessons about Jesus Christ and his Church that she has taught.  If there is one thing that Katelyn has always done throughout her life, it is giving her all.  This has been true during her mission as well.

This is Katelyn with her first MTC companion, now 17 months later

Christmas time in the mission