Monday, January 21, 2013

We had an opportunity to do a little service project for the stake this week.  Anna Davison, our friend from Mahone Bay, came by for lunch and she is a public relations person for the stake.  We put together some envelopes for handing out to members for a special fast in February that the stake is sponsoring for feeding the poor.  The envelopes are for inserting money saved from the fast to give to the Food Bank.  A monotonous task, but a worthy one.

Joni's brother Milford,
one of the three uncles!
The picture we took of Milford at Peggy's Cove we had framed and took to him.  We don't think he was as amused as we were.  But he took it in stride and thanked us for thinking of him.  Ruby, his wife, thought it was pretty funny, but didn't say much.  He is such a good and humble soul.

The classes at Dalhousie are small, but we didn't expect a large group.  We hope what we are doing there for them is worthwhile.  It is a real challenge to try to put together a lesson that will get them into the scriptures and into their hearts.  We pray for direction in preparation and presentation that will build testimonies and strengthen their conversion.  As we are preparing our Book of Mormon lessons our testimonies are strengthened more and more that Joseph Smith could not have made this stuff up.  All of the precise and exact things that are in the Book of Mormon are things he could not have known or had access to, especially with his limited background and education.  Joseph Smith was a prophet of God!

Pres. Leavitt asked us if we would consider changing our assignment from CES and move to a small branch somewhere in the mission.  We appreciate his confidence in us that perhaps we could be of some assistance out there in one of the struggling areas, but we feel that our call to work with the YSA and the CES program was an inspired calling from the prophet.  We are now accepted and feel comfortable with the youth, as well as with our teaching assignment, and to disrupt that confidence and love we feel from the YSA and the seminary and institute instructors we work with would be detrimental.  We are very happy where we are and love our work.

 We had an opportunity to go through a session at the temple on a Saturday with a number of Bridgewater members.  To see these people in the temple that we once served with and lived with when there was no temple within thousands of miles of us is very heartwarming.  We felt like Alma in the Book of Mormon, when he met his friends, the sons of Mosiah, at the end of their missions to the Lamanites after 14 years.  To see them still friends in the gospel, still with a love of the Savior and His work, is so joyful and satisfying.

Winter in Nova Scotia this year is very different from winters we've witnessed here before, and from almost any winter we've lived through elsewhere.  There was no snow until after Christmas, with temperatures generally mild and with a lot of sun.  Since the end of December we've had a lot of snow, a lot of rain, a lot of sun, frigid winds, temperatures from sub-freezing to low 50s F.  Sometimes all of this in one day!  Because of the continuous changes in weather and temperatures, a lot of flu and sickness has been felt.  Elder Tiffany picked up a cough a week ago that came from the bottom of his toes, and rocked the apartment.  That is starting to calm down now, but it has delayed some plans we had to visit early morning classes and do missionary apartment inspections.  Hopefully next week we'll be back to normal, whatever that is.

The Halifax District
We did have an opportunity to attend a district missionary training meeting with the young missionaries last week.  We really enjoy getting together with them, to feel their enthusiasm for the work, and to listen to their testimonies.  In our district we have four Elders and four sister missionaries, Elder and Sis. Wiebe, and us.  Technically we're not part of the district because we aren't proselyting missionaries, but we live in the area so we join in when we can.  We do love to go on visits with them when asked.

After that meeting we drove to Truro (about 40-50 miles north) to inspect the sister missionaries apartment.  While there we visited some non-member friends we stayed with there last summer.  Donna and Ronnie Singer are friends of Sister T's that go way back to her single days as a telephone operator in Truro.  They are very nice people that treat us like family.

From their home we drove to the chapel to attend an institute class.  The teacher, Sis. Brogan, is a young mother with lots of things to do, but she loves teaching the class of two or three, and she does an excellent job at it.  She is very well prepared and has a good spirit with her and about her.  Her lesson was taken from Elder Boyd K. Packer's General Conference talk of last October, "The Atonement."  Very briefly, he said: "It was understood from the beginning that in mortality we would fall short of being perfect.  It was not expected that we would live without transgressing one law or a way was provided for all who sin to repent and become worthy of the presence of our Father in Heaven once more...That is the promise of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Atonement...that at the end of their life, they can go through the veil having repented of their sins and having been washed clean through the blood of Christ."  That is the message we share with the world.  It is not new doctrine, it is not our doctrine, it is not false doctrine, it is His doctrine, and we testify of His divinity and His love for us - no matter what!

John Caulfield - 6'8" -
physically & spiritually

Linda Caulfield -
a really great woman (and cook)
We drove down to Bridgewater on Wednesday to inspect the Elder's apartment.  They rent a nice little cabin from one of the members, that's very nicely kept and tucked away in a grove of trees.  We took Elders Steed and Woodward (from Centerville, Utah) to lunch, where we visited with a waitress whose brother is a member of the church in Halifax.  We gave her a pass-along card for more information on her brother's church.  We visited with the Davison's then went to dinner at John and Linda Caulfield's.  They're members who recently moved here from British Columbia and lived in Pres. Leavitt's stake when he was Stake President there.  It was a wonderful evening and we were going to stay for the institute class at the church, but it was cancelled because of a very heavy snowfall.  Because of that snowfall we headed for Halifax.  All-season tires and unplowed roads make for slow travel, taking us two hours to get home, but we were safe.

Thursday was class day at Dalhousie.  Because of the snow, a lot of students didn't get to class, so because of Elder T's cough, we left early.   We did meet with Gordon and Judith MacMichael and Wayne and Pat Jewers for a late lunch at Wharf Wraps in Eastern Passage.  That was a very pleasant time.  Gordon was the doctor who delivered our daughter Kirsten just 39 years ago - oh, sorry Kirsten.  They're from Nova Scotia but are now living in Ontario - very good people whom we love dearly.  The Jewers' live in Lunenburg.  We were supposed to go to the temple that evening, but because of E T's cough, we came home instead, not wanting to share that with temple workers and patrons.

Elders Woolsey, Johnson, Fisher, & Moss
(back to front)
The only time we went out on Friday was to inspect the local Elders' (4 of them) apartment.  The wind was freezing!  They had spent the previous day cleaning, so it looked pretty good when we got there.  We bought them a couple of pizza's and came back home.  Elder T has been inside since then, and Sister T has been babying him along through his cough.

1 comment:

  1. We love reading about what you are doing and what is going on in the mission. As much as we love being home we miss you guys and the work and our all wonderful friends there. Give our love to all. Janice and Larry Foley