On Monday, July 21st, we had our regular p-day which was good, and then we went to the mission home to practice for the performance on Wednesday. We had a lesson with a former investigator...but he wasn't really ready to hear the Gospel, so we got out of there and met with our investigator, Donna, at the church. She had attended the FHE group and absolutely loved it. Then we gave her a short tour, and she said she'd be to church on Sunday. After that I had a lot of planning to do for the musical concert on Wednesday, district meeting, and an exchange on Tuesday! I wish there was a way to explain how busy AND tired I am (in a long-term mission sense.) But I also realize that the rest of my life will probably be like this so I better get used to it!! Ha!
On Tuesday (22nd) we travelled to Bridgewater for District Meeting. I stayed to do visit working with the sisters and an exchange with Elder Cox. It was so cool being back in Bridgewater, since Mom served part of her mission here.
On Wednesday Elder Cox and I worked all over the Bridgewater area, and we went out to Lunenberg for a lunch appointment with the Jewer Family. While we were there I found out they had been around the area for quite a while. They had me sign a "Guest Book," and as I looked through some of their old guest books, I found something amazing! As I looked, I saw the name "Sister Patrice Barton - Newbury Park, California, May 21, 1978" I couldn't believe it!! Mom had signed that very book when she was serving as a missionary, sitting on a couch in the very room where I was standing! I took a picture of me sitting in the exact spot that she did as well. Who knew that 36 years later, her son would be in the same exact location, also serving the Lord. It was such an amazing experience that bonds us even closer than we were. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but this opportunity was a very blatant blessing and tender mercy from Heavenly Father! (I totally agree with Elder Hunt!!! This was absolutely amazing and cool, and everything else!!!)
This evening I went back to Sackville to perform in the concert we organized for the Seniors' Conference. It allwent so well and the Spirit was very strong! It was a great, incredible day!
|The lady sitting next to me on my left is the two year old "Sister Barton" was holding on her lap in the picture above!!|
|Brother and Sister Jewers and some of their grandkids!!|
On Thursday we did some service work for Phil Jack, which I loved!! We built a rock wall for him and it turned out great!! Later we had a lesson with Donna, who shared a really cool experience with us that had to do with a dream she had. She has been so prepared to receive the gospel!!
Sunday was a perfect day at church!! Donna was there for the first time and we had three less-actives (individuals) there as well! It was especially nice since we were part of the program. Elder Blum gave a great talk and I performed "Be Still My Soul" on the violin with Savanna Maclennan on the violin, and accompanied by Sydney Maclennan on the piano. It turned out so well, and there were many people who had tears pouring down their faces. It was nice to be able to set the tone for the meeting and invite the Spirit there.
Donna really enjoyed all three hours and was excited to come back. In the evening we went to the waterfront where lots of people congregate. I took my violin and played while Elder Blum spoke to people. It went very well, and there were even people who wanted to pay me money!! Ha!
This past week has been amazing, too!!!
After P-Day stuff, The zone leaders from Kentville arrived (Elders West and Willoughby), and Elder West and I went to the FHE at the church. Donna was there and loved it.
Then, on Tuesday, we had our District meeting, and it was great having the zone leaders there for their input. After that, we went out for Suishi since it was Elder Willoughby's birthday. Believe it or not, I didn't throw up!! Funny what a mission can do to a person.
After lunch I got to do a Skype interview with a girl who is ready to be baptized, and it went really well, so that was nice. After that, Elder West and I went to a lesson with Donna. We taught her about baptism and she committed to be baptized on August 13th! that's my last full day in the mission field, but I made sure to tell her not to do it just because I'm leaving. We extended the invitation and it was so cool as she paused for a moment, then said, "Yep, I can do it." I am so happy for her!!
On Wednesday we did some service and we also had another lesson with Donna. We taught her the 2nd half of the Plan of Salvation and she loved it. Elder Blum asked her, "Why did you decide to prepare for baptism?" She replied, "I've been searching and now I've found what I was looking for!" The spirit filled the room and it was such an amazing feeling.
Afterwards we had dinner with some non-members, Jon and Sharon. It was a delicious roast, and fun fellowshipping with the Haas family there. Then we drove up to Truro where I did an exchange with Elder Davidson, my first trainee!
Elder Davidson and I worked hard together to help him get a foundation for working with the members. He is the District Leader there, so we also took care of some "sister drama" stuff. :)
When I got back to Sackville and Elder Blum, we held our Family History workshop, which went really well, and we're having more people come out!
And suddenly it was August 1st...the month when I go home. How crazy is that?!?!
Since it was Thursday, we got our weekly planning done. I enjoy serving with Elder Blum and he is good at serving the Lord. I'm betting he'll be an assistant one day.
Later I got to to a Facebook chat lesson with Storme' Peters, so it was great to talk to her. Then we had a lesson with Donna. She is one of the most prepared people I've ever taught. Today we taught the word of wisdom and she was totally clean of everything except coffee...which she has already been decreasing because she read about it on her own, on the church's website. Talk about a solid investigator!
In the evening I took a call from a less-active member who was distraught and wanting to end her life. We talked for quite a while and I shared my experience with Denzel. It brought back a lot of emotions, which are always tough to deal with. I'm looking forward to going through the temple with the family to do his temple work when I get home.
On Saturyday (August 2nd) I got special permission to go on an exchange in Cole Harbour, so I went with Elder Clark over there. We loved being back together again!! We had dinner with the Voisey's, who had been completely inactive when I served there, and I had even knocked on their door a few times, but they'd never let us in. But there we were!
After that we went to see the Bruce family. Amelia was there, and leaves for BYU on the 26th, so it will be cool to see here there.
Sunday was amazing at the Cole Harbour ward where I began my missionary service. It was really kind of surreal. With it being Fast Sunday, I bore my testimony...only fitting that it was the first place I bore my testimony as a missionary, and the last ward as well. After church we had supper with Bruce and Sue Hampson. I love them both so much and it was so good to see them again before I leave. It was kind of like having Mom here in the mission field, knowing that Mom and Sue are good friends, and the missionary influence Mom had on Sue and her family when she was here serving a mission. I also got to visit with Bill and Linda Thompson who are doing fairly well. We met with Stephanie Kenny at the church. Had a great lesson with her and it's so nice to see these converts I taught still strong! We also visited the Pinsent family, who I just love. I was so glad I got to say good-bye to them.
And then I headed back to Sackville. . . where I was sufficiently trunky!
I hope you had fun in Alaska, Dad and Mom!!