This week started out super disappointing, but then ROCKED towards the end. Elder Andrasko has been out for 9 months. I have no idea what Edmonton is like because I got banished to Olds the day after I got here to Canada. The Mission President is from Ogden and seems super sweet. I had a great talk with him last night in which he provided me with a lot of comfort. There has been a super creepy lady from outside our mission that has been calling our phone and knows my name and she leaves these freakin creepy voicemails...so I called to ask President what to do. He just said ignore it and realize that there are a lot of people in the world who might be lonely, deranged, or attempting to stop the missionary work from going forth. He really just said a lot of things that really helped not only in that situation, but encouraged me to work harder to not only do my Father in Heaven proud, and my family proud, but my Mission President proud.
Anyway, the beginning of the week, my companion left to go to a leadership conference in Edmonton and Iwas left here in Olds with the other Elder from Rocky Mountain House (which is the area just west of Red Deer). His name is Elder Lisonbee and he is from Scipio, Utah and is a cattle rancher. Needless to say, people laugh really hard at his thick Utah country accent. People here think I sound like a hick too, or so I've been told. While my companion was gone, we didn't have much success at all. We tracted upwards of 4 hours a day because all of our appointments for 3 days canceled on us to go to this massive Rodeo in Calgary called the Calgary Stampede. It was a rough couple days and I got kind of discouraged. We got to talk to some pretty anti-Mormon people and it was pretty hard not to just laugh at what they were saying, and I ended up having to just walk away. When Elder Andrasko returned on Thursday, we ran to one of our Eternal Investigators' house and had the most spiritual lesson I have had on my mission until that point. He is a real family man, and we asked him, "If you knew a way to live with your family after this life, what would you do to make that possible?" He didn't give us an answer but was VERY touched by the spirit. I really would challenge anyone who reads this to ask themselves this question, and I know I have asked myself this question several times since then.
The best part of this week happened with a lady that we came in contact with last week. I had a strong feeling of where we should go tracting, and Elder Andrasko told me we wouldn't have much success because it was a very wealthy part of town. Just like he said, when we were tracting, we had zero success knocking doors. As we turned around from a door slammed on us there was a lady who was hurrying down the street. We very rarely chase people down, but Elder A. had the strong impression to catch up and talk to her. We talked to her (Kelly) for a while and she invited us back and we were really excited! So we went to her house this week and she wasn't home but her roommate was. Me, not really thinking, was telling her what we would be telling her roommate about when we came back to teach her. Her roommate, Desiree, asked us if instead of teaching her roommate if we could come teach her instead! I was super excited and we invited her to come to church in our first lesson. She came and brought two of Kelly's kids and they all loved it and plan on returning next week. We are going to extend a baptismal committment tomorrow and hope it goes well.
Another sweet part of the week was our appointment with Joseph Schluter. He is another eternal investigator and we have a standing appointment every Sunday at 7 with him. We went in planning about why we need a savior and ended up teaching about baptism and ended up extending a committment to be baptized. He didn't give us a real answer but we challenged him to pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, the Priesthood, and that our Father wants him to be baptized. He said the closing prayer and it was silent for a few whole minutes. He began to cry and I really believe he recieved his answer at that point. We're hoping that he will contact us to be baptized soon!
All these experiences were a strong testimony to me why I was put with Elder Andrasko and why I was sent here to Olds. The awesome stuff stopped when Elder A. left and started right up again as he came back. He is like a mix between Tyson Hintze and Nate Smith so sometimes he drives me absolutely nuts, but he is a great Elder.
I am so anxious for anyone who wants to come, to come up here after the mission. I already have a list of a few people that i can't wait for you to meet. Lots of wonderful families have taken good care of me, and iIknow that you will want to meet them.
I love you all and can't wait for the day until I can return home knowing I did all I could do as a missionary. I can't wait to be with you again and feel the love and joy that I always do with such a wonderful family and good friends. I know that Family is truly a gift from our Heavenly Father and it should always be valued above all else. I know that one of our responsibilities as a family is to build each other up and always express our love and concern for one another. As you go throughout this week, please ask yourselves the question i asked earlier. "What will you do to be with this family after this life, and forever?" I know that as you do so, you will feel a great comfort in the fact that we, as a family, are so close. I hope you aren't forgetting me while I am gone, and really hope i still fit in when i get home! Give everyone my love, and know that you are all in my prayers every day. I hope all is well and that everyone is happy and healthy. I love you all so much and love writing you each week.
Have a wonderful and awesome week. Be good, and remember what i stand for.
(new Mission President and his wife, Pres. and Sister Campbell from Ogden, Utah)