Monday, March 5, 2012

March 5, 2012

Dearest Eternal Family and Friends,
This week was an interesting one. The weather is super bipolar. Right now it's snowing. Can you say white Christmas? Too bad it's March! Gotta love Canada. Things in Innisfail are going. Sister White and I just keep on Trucking. Thanks for your continued prayers on your behalf.

This week we had exchanges with the Lacombe sisters (Sister Heo and Sister Milburn). Sister Heo came to Innisfail with me and we had such a great time. I spent a ton of time with Sister Heo when I served in Beaumont and she was in Millwoods so it was wonderful to see her again and get to work with her. She is an amazing missionary. I look up to her so much. She has so much fire in her little Korean body it's wonderful! :)

We taught a member lesson to an older couple (The Campbells) in our ward that lives on an acreage. Brother Campbell is very proud of his pig that they have so Sister Heo and I made the trek through the snow to go see him. So cute! I had to get a picture with it.
The most eventful thing this week however was a funeral that we attended. There is a family in the ward, the Hetchler's, who lost a grandson/ nephew a couple mondays ago in a car accident. He was 15 years old and all 4 teenagers in the car died. It was very sad. We were invited by our Bishop to support their family and attend the funeral. The funeral took place in Red Deer at the Cross Roads Church. (Most of the Hetchler's extended family is less active or not members.) Well, Sister White and I expected this funeral to be different. (To be honest I think this was first funeral I've ever been that wasn't in an LDS chapel) However, the funeral turned out a lot different than we expected. The Cross Roads church is huge. They have this huge auditorium (kind of like a high school auditorium). On the big stage was a glass pulpit and a huge cross. There were tons of people there. Mostly teenagers. All the teenagers in the room were pretty rough looking and a lot of them were outside smoking before they came inside. The Pastor was pretty good, but didn't talk about anything really religious at all. He only spoke for about 5 minutes and then the rest of the service was a video of the life of the boy with pictures of him growing up and music in the background. At first the music was fine but once it got to his pre-teen/ teenage years the music in the background was this heavy rap/ punk. Sister White and I looked at each other questioning what we should do. The music was super loud and swearing A LOT. Here we were, the Bishop and 6 other members from our ward on our right and some teenage girls sobbing on our left. We didn't feel like it would be appropriate to leave given the circumstances so we just leaned forward, stared at the floor and plugged our ears. I could not believe the type of music that was playing, let alone that it was being played at a funeral and that we were in a church. I'm surprised the Pastor allowed that. Not only was the music offensive but some of the pictures shown were of him drinking and partying with his friends. I was definitely not in Utah or a mostly LDS environment anymore. As I stared down at the floor, my ears plugged, singing hymns in my head, two things caught my attention sticking out of our bags. A Plan of Salvation pamphlet with a picture of Christ on the front and the Book of Mormon. The knowledge I have gained from those two things alone have truly given me strength to get through the loss of my mother and other loved ones. There was no comfort or hope given at this funeral. I ached for those around me that had no understanding of life after death and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The feeling was very hallow. After, Sister Hetchler thanked us for coming and apologized for the music/ slideshow. She had no say in what was done and the other side of the family made all the decisions. She told us it wasn't how she would have done his funeral. About an hour after our Bishop called us to see how we were doing. He felt really bad about it. I'm just glad that I have the gospel and that there is hope. There also was a pretty funny poster in the Washroom about baptism that I had to take a picture of, so I attached it for you to see.

Well, this week I've been thinking a lot about what it takes to be a consecrated missionary. A quote that I saw at a member's house has really given me encouragement and I think applies to any aspect of our lives.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing is changed, but that our power to do is increased."
-President Heber J. Grant
I really liked that idea. If you want to be better at something or just become better then you must be persistent. As you do so you will have more power to accomplish that which you are striving to accomplish. Well, I love you all. I hope life is going well for you. Continue to be persistent in the gospel. Continue to Endure to the End. Continue to put your faith in the Lord. Until next time, God be with you 'til we meet again.
I love you all!
Sister Leanna Thompson
P.S. Pictures attached are me with a pig, me and Sister Heo, Sister Milburn, Sister Heo, Sister White and I, and the Baptism poster from the Cross Roads Church. Enjoy!

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