Bonjour à tous!
Time is flying! Already my first assignment in the mission field is scheduled for review for a possible transfer and new assignment! We get our transfer call this upcoming Saturday but I'm thinking the Lord is going to leave us out here in this remote region of the His vineyard for a little while longer.
On Tuesday of this past week we traveled to Montréal for a training meeting with President Patrick. I was joined by the 13 missionaries who came with me from the MTC. It was so nice to see them again. That district in the MTC became my family. When you spend all day everyday with others for 6 weeks how can they not feel like family?
President Patrick instructed us on being consecrated missionaries 24/7 and having our full focus be on others. He spoke on this topic to make sure that we know that everything we do should be entirely for others including our gospel studies.
As I thought about it I realized that for me my personal studies are usually focused on me and are for my own personal spiritual edification. I understand now that I should be thinking about all of the people I might see that day, whether planned or unplanned, and seek to know their needs so that my studies might be focused on their needs and not mine. In this way, I would be able to know how to better teach them and help them and through this process be spiritually edified myself.
Before returning to Quebec for district meeting on Wednesday morning, Elder Shaw and I went with some other missionaries to get some poutine. The poutine prepared in Montreal was a little different than the poutine I had in Rimouski. Both were good in different ways, but this poutine was incredible!!
This time I got poutine with hamburger meat, jalapenos, other things I can't recall, and onion rings. Wow was it good!!!! And worth every bite, even though it probably took 5 years off my life.
On the bus ride back to Quebec, a man stopped us, told us he was traveling from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts for surgery, that things had happened to him, and that he needed $26.00 or so for medicine. He told us that if he didn't get his medicine within a few hours he would go into shock. He then lifted up his jacket and it looked like he had a football sticking out of him. Elder Shaw thinks that it was probably a hernia.
In any event, we were late for our bus and I didn't have a lot of money but I said to him "I don't have a lot but I'll give you all I have" then I gave him the $5.60 or so that I had and we took off for our bus so we wouldn't miss it. During the bus ride back, I felt a tremendous amount of guilt because I wanted to help this man and if I had time to stop at an ATM I could've gotten him the money he needed. I struggled with that for a while and later during my studies I read in Mosiah 4 where King Benjamin is talking about giving to the poor. In verse 24 it says, "I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give." I know in my heart that if we had not been running late for the bus that day I would have given him the money. Sadly, a recent convert came to visit us and told us that he's seen that man before with the same story. Oh well, I feel badly that people can be so dishonest and manipulative, but I know I'm not to judge them, but rather to give to them what I have and am able to.
On an exciting note, we got a baptismal date set up with Kathleen!!! She will start reading and praying and will prepare to be baptized on the 9th of January!!
Also, this past week we had a recent convert visit us and does that man know how to make a meal!! He invited us over several times, but the main meal he prepared for us was dinner last night. He served steak wrapped in bacon, boiled vegetables and the best baked potato I've ever had. We had cheesecake for dessert! It was amazing!!
As a final thought, in Alma 26:35-37, it is clear that Heavenly Father is mindful of each and every one of us and "he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name". May we all boast of God and His goodness to help others come unto Him. I love you all! Stay safe and stay faithful!