Several times during the week they either do volunteer work or meet with some of the groups or seniors in the area. Well, one week several months ago, Brendan and his companion met with a sewing or knitting club and they ended up getting their pictures in the news paper. A similar thing happened to Brendan's older brother when he was serving as a missionary as well. At the time Brendan's older brother was volunteering as a wrestling coach at a high school and a local newspaper thought it would be interesting to do a story on a Mormon Missionary wrestling coach. In Brendan's case, they just happened to be at the library meeting with the local knitting club. The full article along with pictures can be found online at The Westend Weekly newspaper site. Here is a link to the knitting article about Brendan so that you don't have to search the whole internet. Scroll down to the third page to see some great pictures such as the one below and read all about their knitting projects.
Of course during our Mother's Day chat with Brendan, he made a request that we send him a missionary package. He wanted some practical things like new dress pants and some good conference talk that he can listen too. But then there were the other requests like Sour Patch Watermelons and Airhead Extremes. So if anybody reading this would also like to send Brendan a package, it seems like candy is a missionary's best friend.
Well, while we were getting all of the rain in Utah during the month of May, it turned out that it was still snowing in Northern Minnesota along the Canadian border. I asked Brendan a few weeks ago if he was having a good day and he told me that it was snowing again. Just before that, they actually had a few days of good weather and Brendan thought that it was time to break out the short sleaved white shirts and summer ties. Only to be plunged back into winter again with more snow and ice. I'm sure that summer will come at sometime in the next few weeks. The bad news is that Brendan is currently in the southern most portion of the Winnipeg Mission. Just as spring and summer hit International Falls, he will probably get transferred North where it will be cold again. But hey, it's missionary work. The weather doesn't matter.
Speaking of bad news. Brendan told us a story about the car that they have been driving around. Apparently, the car had been in some kind of accident before Brendan got there so they have been driving the car around without a front grill. The only car repair place in town was kind of dragging their feet in getting the new part for the car. 5 months seems to be a ridiculous amount of time to have to go before getting something as simple as a front grill. Anyway, to make matters worse, they went to get in their car the other day and found a brand new dent in the side of the car and no note on the wind shield. Of course there wasn't much that they could do about it except for this,
"Apparently they must have hit us and just thought we wouldn't even notice because of the rest of our car. Well we noticed and God noticed and that's definitely getting brought up at the judgement bar. I will testify against him."Brendan and his companion have been doing a lot of teaching over the past few weeks. They have also been out tracting and had one of the most unique tracting stories every. Brendan said that not too long ago they were walking down the street when a truck pulled up beside them. In the truck was an older gentleman who looked a little frail. The man leaned out of his truck and asked the missionaries if they were the "holy rollers". Of course Brendan and his companion were a little confused and answered back that they were the Mormon missionaries. The gentleman then responded, "yeah... the holy rollers" and then asked if the missionaries would pray for him. At first Brendan and his companion thought that the man was trying to insult them or something. But after talking with him a little more, they found out that the gentleman had just been diagnosed with cancer and felt himself dying everyday. He just happened to see the missionaries walking by his house so he hobbled out to his truck and drove down the street just to ask the missionaries to pray for him. After they talked for a few moments, the man put his truck into reverse, pulled back up the street to his house and left. I guess that this just goes to show us that there are people in need all over the world. Sometimes the things that they need are material goods and other times they just need someone to pray for them.
Speaking of interesting missionary experiences. So a few weeks ago Brendan and his companion got a call from an older gentleman who had been referred to the missionaries from another person that the missionaries had helped out a while back. The man invited them to his cabin on one of the islands to help him with some work that he needed done. Needless to say that the volunteer service turned into a teaching experience and a new friendship. We even received a phone call from this gentleman thanking us for sending our boy out to be a missionary. Brendan told us that since then, they have been invited back for dinner and more teaching opportunities. These are the types of experiences that every missionary dreams of. The type of experience where a missionary can really teach and serve and help make a difference in somebody's life.
Here are a few pictures that Brendan has sent home recently. Transfers are coming up in the next week or so and Brendan has a feeling that he may be heading north to Canada finally. I guess we will see what happens.
Doing a little volunteer service work
International Falls is the home of a large paper mill so obviously they need a lot of wood.