It has been a very good and challenging week. We trained the full week in the office and helped the current missionaries with transfers. It was not as difficult this time. We did not have the mail and packages that accompanied Christmas. Only 4 new missionaries came in and 4 went home. The highlight of our week was meeting Tiffany Huntinghawk. It that the coolest name or what?
We had been out searching last week and her address was the last on our daily list. No phone number and we didn't hold out much hope. So I went in alone to just try the buzzer and shock, a man answered. He said she was at work but did live there. Shock #2, he gave me her phone number! I called her and she was excited to hear from someone representing the Church. That was shock #3. She invited us to come and meet her Monday evening. She is a beautiful young Native, single mother, but engaged to the father of her children. She is the daughter of an aboriginal and Mate' (half French and half aboriginal). She was raised in the system and didn't know her father until she had her first child. She now works in a home for abused girls and is looking to improve her education. We asked how she became a member. She said she was in a rough period of her life and was praying for help. The next thing she knew, 2 missionaries knocked on her door. She immediately received the good news. Her job prevents her attendance at Church at present but she hopes to change that. They are moving to a better location in 2 weeks. I hope we get to see her again. It was so cute, when we were leaving and after prayer, she comments rather loudly, "well are you coming back to see me?" Thus far no one has been this excited to have us come visit. Both of us had an immediate attachment to this kid. We did remind her that she has the pure blood of Israel in her veins and asked if she had recently read about her ancestors in the Book of Mormon. I think she will start reading. At least, we hope so.
Okay, icky, our first encounter with a bed bug. During transfers, someone must have unknowingly transported him on their clothing. The next morning Elder Skinner says, I have some bad news. He stuck his arm out and he had a series of bites. Elder Paulson drug Elder Basting and myself upstairs to gain first hand experience at defeating this pest. I don't know how he did it but he found the sole bed bug. He captured him and took him home, ooh, gross. We had to either wash, dry in hot heat or freeze everything associated. Then we came home and had to do the same thing with our clothes. I still itch. Hope he remains singular!
We took several hours Saturday afternoon and went to Provencher Park and took in the ice sculptures and Festival du Voyageur. You will note Fort Gibraltrar. The festival is in its 40th year. It portrays Canada in the early frontier years. It was very enjoyable and we learned a lot. You could talk to the people in costume and they would respond as if they were that person. So note the Englishman in the dry goods store. The brass around his neck denotes his rank as Lefttenant (don't know if I spelled that correctly or not). So when I met the native man, he had the same thing around his neck with two others. I asked him what the brass neck ornament meant to him. He said, I just like trinkets that are shiny. The English always made theirs out of gold or brass; the French made theirs out of silver (and it was beautifully engraved) and the tin one was made by a native. I asked if he had to kill the soldier to get it. No was the answer, it was traded for furs and other Canadian goods. That is how the Hudson Bay Company started. He also had a cross of Lorraine that came from Joan of Arc's time but they did not convert until many years later. The ice sculptures weren't too impressive this year, because they had to truck in the snow. I think that might have been a first. Many countries participate, so we included Finland's for Mirja.
Elder Basting and I are on our 3rd reading of the Book of Mormon this year. This time we are studying it with the Institute Manual and this is very enjoyable. For our individual study we have both chosen to study the life of our Savior in the New Testament. I think scriptures are the only books that are fun to read and reread. We can testify that the Book of Mormon is the greatest gathering tool for the last days and the most powerful witness of the Bible, Jesus Christ and His Infinite Atonement. I hope you all love studying it and we promise your entire family will be blessed for your efforts.
All our love, xoxoxoxo
mom & dad
The gross bed bug
Inside Fort Gibraltar
Glass beads the English would trade for furs