Monday, October 20, 2014

10/13/14 - 6th LETTER FROM DUNCAN

I can't believe I didn't get this letter up last week!  Life is busy.  Enjoy another great letter from Elder Stock.
Dear Fans and Everyone Else,
Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!! Yep, Canada, man. They celebrate Thanksgiving now because it's too cold to celebrate the harvest meaningfully in November up here, so they do it in mid-October! And there's not really a special Canadian twist on it, either, it's just a carbon-copy of American Thanksgiving, but without any mention of Mayflowers or Native Americans, pilgrims, etc. I kind of liked it better that way, though, because as we sat down with a family in our ward called the Lusts (don't worry, we didn't seek after them ;), we basically just had a huge turkey dinner and said what we're thankful for, and there was more focus on that simply, underlying exercise than the whole laborious story of the purpose of Thanksgiving. It was interesting and above all, super tasty. As a missionary living at the mercy of Great Value macaroni and cheese and whatever the microwave doesn't consume first, we were especially thankful for this feast. And plus, the family we were with was awesome. They had three boys, too, and so watching them fight each other and do crazy stuff together reminded me a lot of home, but not in a depressing way. Instead I truly thought of how thankful I was to have such an astounding family to raise me up in this gospel, to deal with me through my life and to help me become something better. That's what I was mainly thankful for this Thanksgiving: my family, and the importance of families in our Heavenly Father's plan for our individual salvation. 
So, I guess I'll just recount how my week went! First off, the second after I e-mailed you all last Monday, Elder Orr and I tore off down the road in our Chevy Cruze (#MormonLyfe) and headed into Wal-mart to buy our groceries for the week! And you can imagine how that goes when two 18-20 year old missionaries buy food. Don't worry, mom: I got the essentials! Toaster waffles, the coveted perogy, Great value mac and cheese, etc. And, of course, the mandatory Kinder Egg! After grocery shopping, we went to Boston Pizza and celebrated Elder Orr's birthday in style: with Spicy Perogy Burgers!!!! That was delicious! We took care of some stuff for the week, like washing our car, etc. It was a great P-Day that ended with some tracting and a new member lesson with Judith! 
Then, on Tuesday, I went on an exchange with Elder Burns from Nanaimo (it's a small little harbor city on the coast of Vancouver Island). We headed off to some teaching appointments there and had a lot of fun with some crazy people. For lunch, Elder Burns took some East Indian food he was given by their neighbor and cooked it on the stove. It looked nasty!
But, we ate it. Yikes. Bad mistake. That stuff was weird lol. So, there's my first weird food experience of the mission! Our night in Nanaimo culminated in the weirdest experience of the mission thus far. Some crazy drunk guy by the 7 Eleven yelled at us to come and pray with him. We weren't gonna turn down a potential investigator! So, we did. He grabbed our hands, and started chanting some crazy stuff about the Lord and then knelt before us and put Elder Burns' hands on his head, and said, "Do it! Do the special prayer!" Woah. I wasn't about to do a priesthood blessing right then and there, especially to this man... But we listened to the Spirit, and sure enough, the Spirit said, "No." We just said a regular prayer with Elder Burns' hand on his head, and as he did, this drunk guy started rising from his knees and chanting stuff. We got out of there fast! But, maybe when he's sober one day, he'll remember us and give us a call? The Lord works in mysterious ways, and alcohol doesn't help people come closer to Christ... 
Wednesday was our zone meeting with President Burt. He's awesome and super inspired. Truly called of God! Anyways, he gave us some awesome instruction on what we need to be doing in our areas to hasten His work. And it was awesome. The love he has for each of us as missionaries is truly astounding. 
Thursday was great! I went on exchange with Elder Huni from Nanaimo as well. He's my zone leader and we worked in Duncan for the day. We did a ton of street contacting in downtown Duncan, and that was awesome! Talking to people in a natural setting is super cool and way less awkward than tracting. But they're both vital for this work to move forward! We placed a Book of Mormon with our neighbor, Colleen. I love that book!!! You never really, truly realize the sheer awesomeness of the Book of Mormon until you're out here, doing the Lord's work. It is truly God's word. It is evidence that Joseph Smith was and is the restorative prophet of this dispensation, and the testament of Jesus Christ that, combined with the Bible, give us the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ! It is evidence of continued revelation from a loving Heavenly Father, and I love it's healing effects in the lives of our investigators. It speaks to your soul in a way that no other book can, and as I continue to study it throughout my mission, I am gaining a stronger and stronger testimony of just how true it is and just how powerful it is. Without the Book of Mormon, then The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not exist. And without this Church, we cannot enter the kingdom of God and live with Him after this life, we cannot gain exaltation. Man, this gospel is TOO cool! 
Friday was pretty cool. We taught an investigator with the Book of Mormon and she really got a lot out of it. She's planning on working towards baptism, but isn't sure about a specific date just yet. But hey, she's realizing the importance of the doctrine of Christ and of taking that step towards Him! 
on Saturday, we had a powerful lesson with a First Nations couple, R and K. We taught them about the Restoration, and helped them recognize that the good feeling they had while we taught was the Spirit of God testifying to them that what we were sharing is true. We invited them to read and ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon, and then I asked them how they were feeling right at that very moment. They responded, "Good. I feel intrigued." Boom. That was my chance! As soon as your investigators feel the Spirit, so within the first lesson, you invite them to be baptized! That's how Christ taught, and that's who we represent, and so I invited them to, when they knew this gospel was true, to be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God. And they said they would. No hesitation. THAT'S the Spirit! Not me or Elder Orr! It was super awesome! So they're planning on being baptized around November 8th. It's a goal they'll work towards. I love it. 
Sunday was Thanksgiving, and so we were in members' homes, teaching them principles and getting referrals, etc.
I love the mish!!! The Church is true, the Book of Mormon is the keystone of it, and as Joseph Smith said, we will "get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." I know this to be true. This is the Lord's work. Not ours. So pray all the time, read your scriptures, and read Preach My Gospel! I love you all!!!!
This was Asher's birthday gift from Colton. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for making us laugh so hard and feel the spirit all in one letter!