Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"There is absolutely nothing in this world that will provide more comfort and happiness than a testimony of the truth.  If you feel that you do not yet have the depth of testimony you would wish, I admonish you to work to achieve such a testimony.  If it is strong and deep, labor to keep it that way.  How blessed we are to have a knowledge of the truth." Pres. Thomas S. Monson, Oct. 2012

A few of the Lord's representatives

It is such a privilege to serve as representatives of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to share our testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel with the people we meet in the Canada Maritime provinces.  They are friendly and caring, and many are willing to take the time to listen to the message of the the restoration of His church to the earth in these latter days.  Many struggle with day to day challenges and temptations, looking for some kind of relief.  When the truths of the gospel are shared with those the Lord has prepared, a "wilderness" is left behind and peace, joy, and happiness shine brightly ahead.  Someone has said, "You have to go through your own wilderness to get to the Promised Land."  We testify that the Savior wants everyone to come to Him and enjoy that "promised land" with Him.

Our mission experiences are fitting into a routine now that doesn't change much from week to week.  But that is about to change.  With the Christmas Season closing in on us, school will take a break and so will our classes.  We have one more week with the students at Dalhousie University in Halifax, and two more weeks in Bridgewater.  In the new year, we will continue with Dalhousie classes, but we are being replaced in Bridgewater with a local member as the instructor.  The goal of the Church Education System is to have all institute and seminary classes taught by local members, with CES missionaries and coordinators training them in instructional methods.  So our new assignment will be to cover Nova Scotia (and occasionally other wards and branches) in training their instructors.  We're looking forward to the new challenges and experiences.

Sister Tiff with one of our favorites -
Sis. Bentley
Sister Tiff had a birthday not too long ago, and we celebrated by going to dinner at Bishop Wentzell's home, then to a "Trunk-or-treat" at the church.  We're real party animals.  There were a lot of phone calls from well-wishers, expressing their love for her and wishing her the best.

A small part of the Friday night
institute class
Our Friday night institute group is fairly large and Bro. Rick Cartier teaches a really dynamic lesson.  He really knows how to get us into the scriptures and see how important and easy it is to get answers to our challenges and problems through the scriptures.

Last Friday night after institute class, we had a stake talent night for YSA.  There is a lot of talent, from dancing, to theater arts, to singing, and all kinds of instrumental music.  They are a lot of fun and keep us on our toes trying to keep up with them.  Our talent is to be an appreciative audience.

Sis. Wiebe, the Foley's, Sis. Calvert
(Elder Wiebe is freezing behind the lighthouse)

Sister Tiff catching a few rays.
Elder and Sister Wiebe arrived in our mission a couple of weeks ago, replacing Elder and Sister Pierson.  They are living in the same apartment building next to us as the Piersons were, but we don't see them very often because they are training to take up some of the mission office activity when Elder and Sister Foley go home next month.  We went with the Wiebe's, the Foley's, and Sister Calvert to Peggy's Cove on a very sunny and beautiful day, but the wind was VERY COLD.  The North Atlantic is a very cold host.

Watching "Cars 2"

Dave, Nat, Norah, & Keegan
(Sister Tiff's Nephew & family)
This past weekend President Leavitt gave us permission to spend with Sister Tiffany's family in Liverpool.  It was a very nice visit with a lot of time to catch up on family notes and laughs.  They have been very supportive and ask a lot of questions about our missionary work.  One of the activities of the weekend was building a Gingerbread House at Karen's, our niece.  It's an annual family affair, but Sister Tiff hasn't ever been here to join in, so we were excited to be there.  We also took a drive out to the local beaches to give John and Lil a break from the house.  John has Parkinson's so neither are able to get out very much.

 At right is part of the "construction crew", preparing to build their Gingerbread House, with our niece Karen checking out the building supplies.
Below is the finished product.  As they say on Nova Scotia's south shore: "Some good, you!  Ain't it?!"

Joni at Beach Meadows
on a friendlier day than at Peggy's Cove

John, Joni, Lil
At White Point Beach Lodge
We are truly blessed to be here at this time. Though we aren't trudging through thick jungles (like Elder Tiffany's brother and sister-in-law in Guam) nor through deep snow (like Pres. and Sis. Pitt in West Virginia), we have the same challenge: to be representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ; to do what He would do, to say what He would say, to be a living modern witness in word and deed of the divinity of His great and marvelous latter-day work. A major focus of the gospel is to put families together. To quote Elder L. Tom Perry, a living Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ: "Through all the fast-paced changes occurring around us, we earnestly pray and work to ensure that the values of the gospel of Jesus Christ endure. Already some of them are in jeapordy of being lost. At the top of the list of these values and, therefore, prime targets of the adversary, are the sanctity of marriage and the central importance of families. They provide an anchor and the safe harbor of a home where each child of a loving Heavenly Father can be influenced for good and acquire eternal values."
(General Conference, Oct. 2012)

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