Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 23, 2009

Hey Everyone!!

Well, not a lot went on this week so this one might be a little short. The biggest news that I can think of is that the weather here was amazing!! We had a Chinook wind all week and I LOVED it! It got back up into the positive digits! It was so nice! Oh, Man. It was like -8 and I thought it was heaven outside. I was walking around in my suit almost sweating! OK, not really... but that is what it was like when I first got here and I thought I was going to die of frost bite even with my layers on... Its amazing how fast you adapt to the weather. Although, I think I'm whiter than I've been in a long time. It is pretty ridiculous and I really miss the warmth of the sun on my skin. I don't even think I remember what it feels like! haha

Anyway. It is almost Christmas! It feels so weird to me. It doesn't feel like Christmas at all. But it has been pretty fun so far. It's going to be my first white Christmas in a long time! haha. Christmas on a mission though is a lot different. There really isn't anything I need or really want. So I've had a lot more time to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. I've been thinking about the Savior and all that he has done for me and for everyone. It's so amazing to me that one person took on all that pain on himself. How one man could do that I don't really know but I know that He did and that He did it for me. And that knowledge has made my love for Him grow so much. And I know that He is always there for me. Lately I've been praying to ask for the Lords help in my life and I feel the happiness and the peace that comes from that.

Since it is Christmas time it has got me thinking a lot about my family and friends back home and about all the great times we have had together and all the memories we have of Christmas and the fun that is always associated with it. Its been weird thinking that I won't really have that this year. This is the first year that I haven't been home for Chistmas and I've had a lot of times where I find myself being really homesick thinking about home and everything that is going on there. These are the times that I have had a lot of opportunities to pray for help. I've been praying to always have the true meaning of Christmas in my mind and it has really helped. I always feel better after I pray. And it has really strengthened my testimony of prayer. It is so nice to know that there is always someone there to help me in those times. And my companion and the Elders from Cranston, Elders M and R, have been really nice and helpful too.

I think one of the problems tough is that we don't really have enough stuff to be doing to keep ourselves busy. We have a tiny area and not much to do in our tiny area. We don't have stores or really any public place we can go to and just talk to a bunch of people. And tracting is completely ineffective. People don't even answer their doors because it is so cold outside. They just wave us off from the from window... so we can't really do that. We do most of our work through the members. We actually just had a training on involving our members from the APs. It was pretty sweet. We have two ways of trying to get referralsfrom members. We try to get in and teach them lessons and if we feel like the family is willing or able we will leave them with one of two committments. The first one that usually comes first because it is supposed to be easier and easethe members into missionary work is one that we call the BoM Challenge. We have this whole thing that we teach the members how to do that they can do for a friend or neighbor. They can do it in just a normal conversation and try to bring up why we are called Mormons and then they basically tell the whole story of the plates and records and coming to the Americas and such and then leave them with a Book of Mormon if they can. Then the next one that they do is the seven day challenge. For those we pray about members we think could do it during our weekly planning and then we try to get in with them and teach a lesson. And then at the end we ask them if they would be willing to get a non member in their house in seven days for us to teach a lesson to. And we have a whole step chart for each day to help them and we drop by everyday to see how they are doing or call. I haven't actually done a 7 day yet and we just did our first BoM challenge so we will see how that goes. It has made me excited to find people to do it though and hopefully that will keep me and my mind busy enough to keep my mind off of the things at home and keep me away from the home sickness I've been having lately. And I think after Christmas that should help it go away too. So we'll see.

Well anyway. That is pretty much it for me. There really wasn't all that much going on in Canada this week. But I have gotten some Christmas packages and letters so I am excited to open those on Christmas. And I am getting really excited to call home. It hasn't been all that long since I was home but it feels like ages. So that will be nice.

I miss you guys all so much and I hope and pray that you guys are keeping the true meaning of Christmas in your minds and thinking about our Savior and all that he did and still does for us. I miss you guys and love you so much! I can't wait to hear from you all! And I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas as well!

Elder Townsend

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