9:43 PM Samantha Warstler 0 Comments

Happy 2016!

I love the new year. New beginnings and all that fun stuff. Sister Priestley and I had a great start to our new year with John and Judy's baptisms on Saturday! Ahh it was so great. But I'll lead up to that. Let's start with the beginning of the week, shall we? I have so much to update you all on...


So one of my favourite parts of the week was getting to sit in on part of Judy's baptismal interview. She was interviewed by President Hatch, who is one of our mission president's assistants, and he did a really good job at relieving Judy of some anxiety she was having about the baptism. He talked to her about conversion and asked her to step back and think about what she is converted to at this point in her life. I think this is a question that we can all ask ourselves. What are you converted to? Is it the missionaries? Is it the testimonies of those around you? Or are you truly converted to the Lord? Or another question- Why do you do the things you do? I would love to be able to get to the point in my life where I can honestly and say "I am who I am, because I love the Lord more than anything else." 

Another highlight from this week was New Years Eve!! We walked over to the church for a New Years party, because President Manion didn't want us driving after 6. John and Lisa were there, and it was really awesome for them to be able to get to know some of the members in the branch better. Our night consisted of Uno, chips and dip, and DANCING! Oh my gosh, it was fun.. and funny. We were basically hanging out with a bunch of old people. We did the Virginia Reel, which is like square dancing, and had a lot of laughs. Everyone was telling Sister Priestley and I that we had "too much energy." Pff... No such thing ;) We did end up going home at 9pm, because of our curfew and I slept right through midnight.

{Baptism day with Judy and John!}

So on Friday, we taught John his last lesson before baptism. It was all about service and different ways we can serve the Lord within the church and in our families. It was a really great lesson. His son, Joe [15 years old] has been sitting in on the lessons as well, and we've noticed that he's slowly but surely showed more and more interest with every visit. So these past few lessons, we've been making sure that we're doing our best to include Joe as much as we can. Last Friday, we learned that he has been reading the Book of Mormon nightly with his parents, and that is a big deal!! [Something you need to understand about Joe is that he was a punk when we first met him! He claimed to be an athiest, he ditched class all the time to get high with his friends, and he was super rebellious toward his parents.] And now he's been volunteering to say the opening prayers in out lessons, and reading the Book of Mormon! It's amazing. I know. So the spirit was like "Well what are you waiting for? Ask him to be baptized!" I LOVE asking people if they want to be baptized.. Maybe that's because the last few people I've asked have accepted the invitation. That could definitely be a part of it.. Anyways. I said "Joe, do you want to be baptized?" and he simply replied, "Yeah, I do." So I asked him how he came to that decision, and he said "Well I've been listening in on your lessons, and it all seems to make sense to me, so I think it would be really cool to get baptized." Or something along those lines. Whatever he said, it was awesome! And the spirit was like KABOOM. 

{John and his wife, Lisa!}

Oh and then John's dad, Eric, came to the baptism on Saturday and he always says "I have a lot of questions!" So we were like "Eric, when can we come and answer your questions?" To which he replied, "You girls are just trying to convert me!" He was joking, but we all just laughed, and I said, "You said it!" Twas funny. Long story short, he said we could come over any time, so hopefully we are going to be able to get this whole family baptized! Wouldn't that be amazing?? And then on that same day, Mitchell, John's other son said he wants to take the lesson so that he can get baptized with Joe! This is crazy, right?? It's amazing though!! I am so thankful that the Lord is blessing us with these amazing people. The field REALLY is "white already to harvest!"

Miracle after miracle, am I right? Okay well here's another: Judy has a daughter, who was actually investigating the church long before Judy was. Her name is Jen, and Jen is what we like to call an "eternigator," or eternal investigator. She is so flaky with commitments!! It's frustrating, but she came to the baptism on Saturday, and her heart was really softened. She NEVER thought her mom would get baptized before her, and I think it really made her go "Well what am I waiting for?" So we taught her the night of the baptism, and then last night as well anddddd... She is going to pray about getting baptized on February 6th! Can you believe this?? Another baptism! 

{I wish I could take credit for this picture, but this is from the elders serving in Yellowknife wayyyy up north!}

Oh man. God is good, right? And I only covered a hand full of all of the amazing things that happened this week. But I've been thinking and asking myself "Why is Heavenly Father blessing us with so many miracles?" We aren't doing anything extraordinary. I don't feel like I deserve all of these blessings! In fact, I know I don't deserve all this... But I have definitely learned that He doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies who He calls. I am so thankful for this gospel and for the light that it brings into people's lives! Heavenly Father really does prepare people to receive this gospel. I hope that we can all try to build our faith in the Lord this week as we share our testimonies with all those around us. The church is true. I know it's true :) 

And I love you guys. Have a good week, and a happy happy new year!


Sister Robinson

P.S. I really hope this email made sense. I am so scramble brained today.

Also, Ashlyn Murie and Emily Baros need to email me.. I miss you guys.

{Selfie with Sister Priestley}

Random Canadian fun facts:

1. There are these obnoxious photo radar cameras on the roads that will take a picture of your license plate if you are speeding, and send you a ticket in the mail! So most Canadians drive like 5 under the speed limit.

2. Everything here is like 2X the cost as things in the states. There is no such thing as a dollar menu in Canada!!

3. People walk around here in sweatshirts, jeans, and runners (tennis shoes) in -15 degrees.

4. I can't think of any other fun things......... K bye.


Helloooo people of America!

This week was so good! I learned a lot :) 

{I held a chameleon!}

First off, I came to the realization that happiness is a choice! Now, I thought I knew this before, but I really didn't put it into practice. So often I would let the circumstances around me determine my mood. If we had a super successful day full of appointments and visits, I would return home smiling, knowing that we had a good and fulfilling day. However, when we would have those days where everything didn't go exactly right, I would return home dissatisfied with the events of the day. And you know what? It was frustrating! I decided I did not like being so easily swayed by the circumstances I am in and situations that I can't control. So here's how I made the switch:

We had exchanges this week. I was nervous, because it was my first time staying here in Drayton Valley without Sister Priestley. It was a lot of fun, but (as usual) I was being really hard on myself, because I wasn't doing everything exactly right. As a missionary, I've become very self critical, and it's something that I've been working on overcoming recently. So at the end of exchanges, we always have an interview. Sister Torsak and I talked about following the spirit and as she was talking away, she paused and turned to me and said "I really feel the need to tell you that you ARE a good missionary, and that you DO follow the spirit." That was exactly what I needed to hear. I (of course) started to cry, and I felt the love of God encompass me as I sat there on an old lady couch with this girl who I'd only known for under 24 hours. How did Sister Torsak know exactly what I needed to hear? It really strengthened my testimony of the love that our Father in heaven has for each and every one of His children. She told me to read this Ensign article from this month called "We Believe in Being Positive." 

We often find counsel in the scriptures to “rejoice” and “be of good cheer.” The Lord tells us in 2 Nephi 2:25, “Men are, that they might have joy.” The purpose of this life is to lead us to the joy the Lord ultimately promises.
Being of good cheer does not mean being ignorant or naive to life’s challenges. Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described cheerfulness as “a deep trust in God’s unfolding purposes—not only for all of mankind, but for each of us as individuals.”1 Challenges will certainly come, for they are a natural part of mortality, but we don’t have to be weighed down by discouragement and sadness. We can put our trust in the Lord and be positive.
Jesus Christ promised us we would experience tribulation, but He also urged, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) taught that because we have the gospel, “we as Latter-day Saints should be the most optimistic and the least pessimistic.”2
We all feel sorrow and discouragement from time to time, but we can still be of good cheer. Elder Richard G. Scott (1928–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “I witness that with faith in the Savior and obedience to His teachings, happiness never ends, but sadness does.”3 We can live with joy knowing that our “afflictions shall be but a small moment” (D&C 121:7).
As we put our trust in God’s plan for us and choose to live with a positive attitude, our ability to deal with life’s challenges will be strengthened. Our worries and fears will affect us less, and we will experience the joy He wants for us.

That article really touched me. It reminded me of a conversation we were having with one of our investigators named Anita. We showed her the "Come Unto Christ" video that the church put out and asked her how it made her feel. She said she felt peace and warmth and basically described the influence of the spirit. Then she said something that was interesting. She said "I get scared when I feel like this, because I know that something is going to go wrong soon. Happiness never lasts." I wanted to cry for her! Believing that happiness never lasts goes against the infinite plan of salvation, which God set out for us so that we could all have happiness, peace, and joy into the eternities! I wonder what it would be like to not understand that there is a way for all of us to be happy forever. That way is through Jesus Christ, who was sent to this earth by a loving Father in heaven so that all of His children, not just some of us, will be able to return to Him someday. 

From that day on, I have been consciously striving to look for the good in every situation to show my appreciation to Heavenly Father for all that He has given me. It is making a HUGE difference in how I feel, the words that I say, and the things that I do. And it is giving me so much more motivation to do the Lord's work, because I want other people to feel the happiness that I know this gospel can bring into our lives.

So to sum up the realizations I had this week were:

1. Heavenly Father is mindful of each one of us
2. The plan of salvation was set out for us to be truly happy in this life AND into the eternities
3. We CAN be happy and stay happy, too!
4. Happiness is a choice
5. I love you all :))

I hope you all have an outstanding week, and that you are able to see the good in each and every day!

"Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day." -Anonymous

Love you all!!!

{Canadians barbecue no matter what time of year!}


Sister Robinson