Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 38 - White December in Thunder Bay

So much for my supposed immunity to cold that I suggested might be the case in my last email. December is here, the temperature dropped below comfortable and snow came right on time this year. On the first day of December, Thunder Bay was WHITE.

I decided last week to revise the time and approach spent on my knees and once again it turns out, that it is what I should have been doing all along. It's a valid request to seek God's help in how serve Him best and sure enough, time spent on my knees is once again promptly rewarded as if to send me a message: We had forgotten our phone at a members home and went by Robin's Donuts to pick it up when we met this guy that we began telling about the church, he mentioned about a friend that might be interested as well. We set up an appointment to teach them both at a nearby rehab center where they were staying. His friend has battled serious addictions for thirty-five years and has now been clean for the last two years. As he has learned about God and let that influence his choices and priorities he has been rewarded with the strength needed to fight the obstacles facing him. Thanks to God and one person's faith in Him, a great change has happened and this man has gradually been able to find a purpose and take charge of his life again. The lesson turned out to be an awesome experience, the Spirit there confirmed everything said and he is committed to be baptized in January.

It is amazingly obvious sometimes to see how the Lord works. It is almost embarrassing that we don't consult Him in ALL THINGS and then follow His directions in every last detail, every day and every second. But, somehow we get confused and think that we are doing the work and not God. We carry on with our daily routines thinking that our effort is what brings about the results when in reality our effort would have no worthwhile results without the inclusion of God in every step of the way. He prepares His children to hear the gospel and accept it in their lives and leads us to them. We begin our day by praying for direction and yet get so surprised when stumbling across His intervention... If we had failed in being our usual short-sighted, forgetful and easily distracted selves and hadn't forgotten our phone, or if we hadn't tried to pick it up at that time and taken the chance to contact seemingly random people coming our way, we would have never met this man. How grateful I am for the Grand Architect (even He sometimes counts on our imperfections).

A couple weeks ago we went by a former investigator and left a sticky-note on her door offering our help in her move. We just happened to be in the area and thought nothing of it other than being the thing to do at the time. Well, I guess there is not much inspiration involved in accepting extra hands for helping in a move so she calls us up and accepts the offer. We helped her move and amazed by our sacrifice she loves us! She will be taking the lessons as soon as possible. She is a really awesome and fun Italian lady with a son and she makes great food. Hopefully we'll be getting her to commit to baptized in January as well.

Another person that is showing promise beyond our expectations, is the boyfriend of our recent "1-800-Dial-A-Baptism!" He is a very timid guy that doesn't say much, but the Lord has blessed him tremendously in the time the Gospel has been in his life and the changes are amazing! We taught him about tithing last week and he paid his tithing this week. He visits and makes friends with ward members on his own accord and is helping out with service projects in the ward! I did NOT see that coming, but then who am I to know what the Lord has in store for us? But, WOW!

A great big happy birthday, Grandma! I heard you're thirty again! Please share the trick with me, I think I am going to need it after my mission. Just remember, that even though I am miles and miles (kilometers sorry, this is metric Canada) away, I love you, Grandma! You're awesome! You raised my mother and that's something! Keep it going!

Love y'all
Elder Jepsen

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