Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4, 2012

Dearest people reading this email,
This week was pretty great. The weather has been quite nice (some rainy days here and there) the sun has been up from about 6am- 10pm, and work is good. I have come to realize something this week. It's wonderful to find new people to bring into the Gospel, but helping rescue those who have left is just as rewarding. I love being a missionary. I love seeing lives change, and I love watching my own testimony grow and myself progress.
This weeek was Sister Atkinson's Birthday. We went out to dinner with some people from the Red Deer YSA Branch (her last area) on Tuesday and it was a nice surprise. They came to Boston Pizza here in Innisfail. There were so many people who came to celebrate. It was fun, but I felt socially awkward. I tell ya, I don't know how to interact with people my age anymore, but put me in a room full of old people in wheel chairs and I'll be right at home. ;) This week was also Brother Votary's birthday. They are less active and we visit them every week. We celebrated by making cake and playing cribage. Super fun!
While at service at Rosefield (Old Folks Home) this week, Brian (one of the residents who isn't confined to a wheel chair and is probably no older than his late 60's) started flirting with us. He has been doing that ever since I've been here and is a little on the creepy side. He says some inappropriate things and always puts his hand on our shoulders. This week he started flirting with us again (usually I just ignore the things he says and interact with the other folks there). Well, finally I said, "Brian, you're not allowed to flirt with us." "Why not?" He asked. "Because we're missionaries." "So?..." "It's like flirting with a nun." Well, that worked. He backed away a hasn't done it anymore. I'm glad I finally told him to stop. Usually I'd just ask him not to say some of the things he does around us or to not swear. It's interesting how much the world has changed and how we really need to stand up for the things we believe in. If something is inappropriate we shouldn't just ignore it, but take a stand so others know what we stand for.
This last week Sister Atkinson and I got the opportunity to go to the Innisfail Farmer's Market. It was pretty fun. I found some really cute scarfs there. :) As I was talking to a lady at one booth, I overheard Sister Atkinson talking to the couple at the booth behind us, "Do you know for sure you're going to heaven?" The gentleman asked Sister Atkinson. I joined them as she replied by saying, "Yes, according to the works I do here." The man was absolutely upset that she'd even say such a thing. They began to explain to us that we all go to heaven because of Grace and that we are all saved and it doesn't matter our works." I then brought up the scripture in the Bible "Faith without works is dead." They didn't really have a response to that. They asked who started our church and I explained, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same church that our Savior established when he was on the earth, but has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith." They expressed that there is no such thing as modern day prophets and that Christ was the last one. I then explained about how God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. I explained about the Book of Mormon and the Bible and how we teach from both. "Well, we only believe in the King James Version of the Bible." "That's great. We use the King James Version of the Bible as well." I pulled out my personal scriptures to show and the lady pointed out the bottom where it says, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." I explained that we have the King James Version, but it is the LDS edition that includes footnotes that connect it with scriptures from the Book of Mormon. I then gave the woman a copy of the Book of Mormon to have. "Here, you can have this copy of the Book of Mormon to read and find out the truth of it for yourself." She then replied, "I'll read it, but only to disprove it." My first thought as she said that was 'well then, I want it back.' But then I felt the Spirit testify to me and say, "It's true isn't it? Then how could she disprove it? Invite her to take Moroni's Challenge." So I said, "I know that the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ and we are promised that if we read it with real intent and pray about it, honestly seeking to know if it is true, we will find out for ourselves that it is true." I then pointed out the Introduction to her and invited her to read. She didn't say anything after I testified. We also gave them both their own copy of the Restoration pamphlet and The Plan of Salvation pamphlet. They gave us a little pamphlet about Jesus Christ (which is super interesting I might add) and we went our separate ways. As we got into the car it doned on me, I had been so caught up in testify and saying things to this couple that in my over zealousness I had totally monopolized the conversation and didn't allow Sister Atkinson to testify. I felt horrible after and asked her to forgive me. (My over zealousness can be a vice).
This week we also got the opportunity to go to the Discovery Wildlife park with the Teskey's (part member family). It was so much fun. We had a great time. They have tigers, jaguars, monkeys, moose, reindeer, bears, ostriches, etc. The bears there are Hollywood Bears and have actually been in a lot of movies, shows, and commercials. They did a show for us, which was so great (sadly we weren't allowed to take pictures during it.) It was really fun. Who would have thought that Innisfail, Alberta would have something so fun.

Sister Thompson with a Bear at the Discovery Widlife Park (they wouldn't let us take a picture, without paying$20 with the Hollywood Bears so this is the closest I could get.)
Sister Atkinson and Sister Thompson with matching T-shirts :) It has a picture of a Beaver and Bear playing hockey and the Bear said, "Quit eating the hockey sticks eh?!" Ha ha so Canadian!
On Sunday we got to teach Sharing Time for both Junior and Senior Primaries. We taught about prayer and used cups and string (one side representing us and the other side representing our Heavenly Father.) It was fun to have them talk through it. It turned out really well. Also, yesterday was Fast and Testimony meeting. It was so great. I have made a goal to bear my testimony every Testimony meeting because you only get the opportunity to do that 18 times as a sister missionary. It was also really neat because Lindsay bore her testimony. I couldn't stop smiling the entire time she was bearing her testimony. I kind of felt like a proud momma. I have absolutely loved watching her gain her own testimony and grow in the Gospel. She is amazing and I'm so grateful she has become a dear friend of mine. Like I mentioned before, helping people come back to the church is just as rewarding as bringing new people into the church.
Well, I wanted to end with this quote:
"Missionary Work is the lifeblood of the church and the lifesaving blessing to all who accept it's message."
-Elder Ronald A. Rasband
I love you all!!! God be with you 'til we meet again!!!
Love, Sister Thompson

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