We had an opportunity to talk about the mission and what is happening with the Saints throughout. We listened to some conference talks on CDs as we rode (5 hour drive to Sydney and the ferry, 5 hours on the ferry, 2 more hours from the ferry to Cornerbrook).
The branch in Cornerbrook is small, but they do have a chapel. It is a building originally built by a Protestant denomination, then owned by the Catholic Church, then The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It's a rather plain but nice building that has everything they need, and the Saints there are very happy with it.
This is the senior couple there, the Steffens, who are really wonderful people. They have been there since November 2011, and are a real strong part of the branch. Elder Steffen teaches an institute class, meant for the young single adults, but quite a few other members attend also. Sister Steffen is a counselor in the Relief Society. They went through the MTC with my brother and his wife, who are now serving their mission in Guam.
The branch president, President Sheppard, is a very well-rounded and intelligent individual, who loves the gospel and Newfoundland. He has been Branch President for 4 years and his father was in that position before him for 8 years, so he has a good strong foundation in the church. We had a chance to talk briefly about the YSA and institute in his branch. Those that they have are strong and active.
Altogether, it was a good trip, and a great opportunity to feel the spirit of their little branch.
A few days after we returned, Pres. Leavitt called us in and gave us an insight to his desires for us as a senior couple in his mission. He asked us to serve at least one day a week in the temple as ordinance workers. The main reason, he said, is that he would like us to be a sort of liaison between the new converts, the YSA, and the temple. He wants the new converts and YSA to have as much contact with the temple as possible, to keep them strong and working towards their own endowments and sealings. We would introduce them to the New Family Search, so they can have names of their own ancestors to be baptized for, and to catch the vision of eternal families through temples. This is all very exciting for us.
Our CES coordinator and his family have finally arrived. We met them at their ward on Sunday, and he seems to be a very likable man, who is anxious to get going in organizing our time with the YSA and institute. We, too, are anxious to know what his expectations are and how we can best serve. We'll be meeting with him in the next day or two to put some of these things together.
We are so thankful to be here and for the spirit of the members here. The gospel is true and our Savior loves us and knows who we are - individually, by name, as well as a family of His brothers and sisters. Our Heavenly Father is so loving and patient with us, we pray we may do our part to share our testimony with others to bring them the same joy we feel. We're thankful for our Prophet President Monson and all the church, stake, ward, and mission leaders, and the direction they give us to return to our Father.