Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Miracles and challenges

Winnipeg is thawing out.  Actually according to Brendan, it is El Nino that is causing Winnipeg to thaw out a little early this year.  But then I am sure that Brendan doesn't really mind that.  Except he said that when Winnipeg starts to thaw out, everything turns to mush and then it refreezes overnight which turns the city into an ice rink.  In fact Brendan's description of it is that when the city freezes over again, you could literally go curling on any sidewalk and that mothers literally pull their kids home from school in sleds.  BTW, if you don't know what curling is, look it up.  It is that sport that Canadians love, well... next to hockey, and the sport that nobody watches on TV during the Olympics and still wonder why it is an Olympic sport. 

So Brendan has started a new thing to end each of his emails.  It is the weekly challenge.  So every now and again, I will throw in some of Brendan's weekly challenges.  Here is the first one:
"I love the sacrament lately. I just can't wait for it every Sunday. I want to issue some challenges right now in regards to those things.

First and foremost. I want each of you to take the time to prepare to take the sacrament. If you are just simply showing up on Sunday (or not showing up at all) expecting to take the sacrament and have a spiritual experience you are short changing your covenant growth and your opportunity to reconnect, renew, reassess and restart. Please take some time to ponder and pray TODAY about how you can better let the Sabbath and most importantly the Sacrament influence your week rather than have the rest of your week define your Sabbath and especially your sacrament."
 A few weeks ago we got a "Miracle" email from Brendan.  No, it wasn't that the email itself was any kind of miracle, it was that Brendan decided to list out all of the miracles that happened to them that week.  I will try to run through a few of them.  But to start out with, as they say... "it is always darkest before the dawn", Brendan tells us about how they were really going crazy with all of the investigators that they had lined up and teaching.  Then within about 24-48 hours, all but 3 of the investigators dropped off.  But then starts the miracles.  Follow along because some of these miracles seem a little off topic but then I guess you could call anything good that happens... "a miracle of the Lord".  Also, I am going to try to summarize these miracles at the expense of losing some of their meaning and yes, some of their humor.  So fill in the blanks along the way and enjoy:
  1. Taught a wonderful and solid lesson to one of the remaining 3 investigators.
  2. Got a call from one of the YSA Ward members telling the missionaries that he has a friend from work that he wants to bring to church on Sunday.
  3. With 30 minutes to go before having to head home and at 20 degrees below zero outside, they decide to do a drop-by on a former investigator and not only did the visit work out well, the former investigator is now a current investigator.
  4. During another drop-by visit at an apartment building in which you have to get buzzed in to enter and with freezing temperatures outside, Brendan and his companion were able to get into the building immediately rather than having to wait out in the freezing cold for someone to buzz them in.
  5. Brendan and his companion were able to meet with another investigator that they had challenged for baptism but then lost all contact.  They were able to reconnect and all is moving forward.
  6. The YSA Ward member from miracle #2 shows up on Sunday with the investigator that he said he was going to bring to church.  Needless to say, all went very well at church that day.
  7. Brendan is asked to play the prelude, postlude, hymns and accompany for the musical number all at the same fireside.  He had to quickly come up with an arrangement to "How Great Thou Art" in a record amount of time.  (to see the video, go to Elder Brendan Nicholes' facebook page)
  8. Brendan and his companion went to Costco and had Chicken Strips and Fries for lunch
  9. On their P-Day, they actually finished a game of Monopoly.
  10. On P-Day, hung out with the senior missionaries at the mission office.  But the real miracle was that while they were at the mission office, Brendan's companion gets a call from someone who had met with the missionaries in Utah and now that they live in Winnipeg, would like to continue with the lessons.
I told you that some of the miracles seemed a little off topic but hey, when you are a missionary, you will take any miracle in any way that it comes.  But for the rest of the miracle list, you don't get better than chicken strips at Costco for lunch.  ;)  Just kidding.

Here is another weekly challenge:
"I guess the challenge for this week is to be kind. I think that might be my favorite word of all time. Kind. It just looks so nice and means something even nicer. So find an opportunity to go out of your way to be nice for some one. Henry Eyring once said something along the lines of "you hold in your hands the happiness of more people then you can imagine" NOW DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!"
And now, one of Brendan's usual random thoughts:
"SLOW COOKERS MAN!! Why did I not ever know about these things when I was at university? I mean I saw mom whip out her crock pot and magically 7 hours later we had a crazy good dinner. But it never got into my head until this week when I broke out our slow cooker. Dropped some onion at the bottom and threw a fat bit of ginger ale in there, 2 pounds of chicken legs and lathered that stuff in BBQ sauce that tasted like the closest thing I could get to taste like Gates. And 9 hours later we had the most bomb chicken you have ever tasted!!! it was insane. We are making some curry chicken today. Makes the apartment smell like the life. Plus we have some Asian members coming over to do apartment checks tomorrow and so we are going to try to bribe them to give us a good mark with some curry chicken."