Monday, August 22, 2011

Email Dated: 22 Aug 2011

Current Mailing Address:

159 Rainbow Road
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 5E2

I think our zone is the Juneau Zone, our district is called the Whitepass District with my companion Elder Johnson as the District Leader. There are two other Elders with us in Whitehorse, and normally you only have one set of missionaries per branch so this is very unusual. Obviously the Lord has great things in store for Whitehorse. The Elders are Elder Bowes from Roxboro, North Carolina and Elder Hartman from Sandy, Utah. Elder Johnson is from Chandler, Arizona and is 24 and very smart. He is almost done with his schooling in investment banking. He is planning on going to wall street. He is very organized and is regarded as one of, if not the, best missionary in the area. Whitehorse is our area.

It's fun, but kind of lonely here. The area is kind of dead, and we have a little branch, so it's basically me and Elder Johnson and sometimes we visit the other elders. We are not only white washing the area, but we are also opening up the area in a way because previous missionaries were kind of sent here as a kind of punishment when they were bad. President Beesley doesn't like that though and only sends missionaries he trusts out into the boonies. He sees great potential for the area. I was feeling kind of down on Saturday, but Sunday really picked me up. I love the sacrament, and it always brings me to tears with the comfort the promised spirit brings.

I met a lot of the members and even taught a practice lesson with the McCrakens (he is in the branch presidency). I taught the atonement and used Alma 7 to tie it into baptism and invited them to be baptized. We call those active member lessons and do them mainly to gain the members trust, but also for a little practice. It went over very well, and they were very impressed. I love the area. It's very pretty. I'll be sending some pictures soon. I read the words to the hymn that goes "I know that my redeemer lives, triumphant savior, son of god." The last verse hit me pretty hard. It goes, "Oh, give me thy sweet spirit still, the strength that comes alone from thee, the choice to walk the lonely road that leads to thine eternity." It was written by Gordon B. Hinkley. In his book, Standing for Something, he says that the price of leadership is loneliness. I believe it, and I've felt it lately. I still feel the loneliness, but it just comes with the smallness of the branch and not as many friends and family around. The Lord has comforted me, and even though I will feel lonely at times, I know the Lord is with me, and I will work diligently through it all. I love you and can't wait to hug you again. I think that's the biggest thing I miss is hugs. Thank you for praying for me. I'll need it for these first couple weeks till I can really lose myself in the work.

On a lighter note, I'm back to my normal diet. ☺ I basically am living off bread, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and raisin bran. I'll be sure to eat vegetables soon though. They have the best peanut butter here I have ever tasted ☺. It's sooooo good! We are basically tracting out the area too. We are going to start working with the members more, but for the most part we are tracting out the area.

I used a family history approach for Almond and Walnut streets in the Porter Creek area of Whitehorse. We had an easier time talking to people about that. I think it was definitely inspired because at one door we talked to a guy named Harvey Kearns who was doing some family history like 10 minutes before we showed up. He was very open, and we gave him a restoration DVD. He even gave us the info for an ancestor he was stuck on. We are going to help him out. I found out that Brother Hirsch in the ward is also big into family history. I guess him and I are basically the area experts on family history. I love it here.

Love, Elder Record

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