Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 1, 2013 - Last Letter home - He will be home on July 3rd!

Hi Everyone!!!

Glad to hear from all of you. I hope that the floods have receded a bit and things are returning to normal(although it did take a year for Noah). Too bad about camp for the girls.

We had a good week in the mission. 26 baptisms this week (I think that's the most ever) and 78 baptisms total in June (definitely the most ever in a month). It was incredible to see, the whole mission absolutely killed it. On a smaller scale, Brother Baker was confirmed Sunday, which was a great experience. He may receive the priesthood next week and then give the priesthood to his son, who just turned 12. He's doing great, thanks for keeping him in your prayers.

We had a few interesting moments this week. As usual a few crazy people (there is one part of our area that is pretty sketchy), but also some spiritual highlights. Sandra accepted a quit date for coffee and smoking today, and her and Tabitha have accepted to be baptized on July 21st, now they just need to get an answer as to whether the Book of Mormon is true!

We went by one investigator and after the lesson asked her if she had any friends or neighbours we could go by. She said "the only person I know is the nice lady next door, but she wouldn't be interested". We decided to knock a few doors around her house anyway, and the neighbour she had mentioned answered the door. Turns out she is a single mom of three boys (21,17 and 15), and she has been searching for answers from God and in the Bible about her purpose in life: SUPER interested. We helped her move out of that house and into another one this last week; a few members even came to pitch in. During the move she would ask us questions and she seems genuinely interested. She also has a longtime friend who is a member. Just goes to show you: usually we do NOT know whom the Lord is preparing around us. He expects that we open our mouths and invite and He promises that He will provide as we exercise our faith. I am very glad we decided to try despite what we had been told; we are all children of God and deserve the chance to listen to this message.

Another quick experience. We went by a part-member family who ended up not being home. So we knocked a few doors to the left. I felt like we should also knock the door on the corner across the street. We did, and then felt that we should continue. I said a quick prayer  "God, I want to follow impressions I get, but I also don't want to wander around wasting time when we should be stopping by other people we had planned. If you really want us to talk to someone here, please let it be the next person to answer the door." Next door, no answer. The door immediately following turned out to be a member family, the mother is less active, we had no idea they were living there. We talked to her at the door for a little bit, left our testimony with her, and got in the car. Nothing immediate happened because of the experience, but I wonder if the Lord wanted her to hear something at that moment.

I know that this is the Lord's work, and he is pushing it on! I hope that you have a wonderful week, love you lots!

Elder Gedlaman

June 24, 2014

Hello Everyone!

This is going to be a short one, bear with me! I heard a little bit about the weather from some members in our ward (one of the members is a descendant of the man the town of Cochrane was named after), but I didn't have a good idea about the extent of the damage. That picture from above the Saddledome seemed fine to me, until I realized the brown stuff wasn't dirt, it was water! Glad to hear you're all safe, I assumed so since you're up so high. Tyler Henry sent me a great quote from the mayor about some people who thought it'd be a good idea to canoe down the river, haha.

“I can’t believe I actually have to say this, but I’m going to say it.  The river is closed.  You cannot boat on the river.  I have a large number of nouns that I can use to describe the people I saw in a canoe on the Bow river today.  I am not allowed to use any of them.  I can tell you, however, that I have been told that despite the state of local emergency, I’m not allowed to invoke the Darwin law.” Mayor Nenshi

Well, thanks to all of you for your prayers, we had a great week. Brother Baker was baptized yesterday! It was a great moment, a very tender time for his whole family. His wife and 2 sons have been active/semi-active for over 10 years, and a number of home-teachers and priesthood leaders have tried for a very long time to help their family. He was finally ready to make that commitment and now the whole family is together in the Gospel. We have a number of other investigators/potentials we are working with this week, should be a lot of fun, Sandra made it to the baptism after church and had a great time.

We continue to truck along in our area and zone. The mission has 52 baptisms for the month, so we only need 8 this week to hit our goal! It's going to be great to hit it this year, especially after we didn't make it last June. I have a huge appreciation for President Scott, his inspiration and the good man that he is, it has been a great blessing to serve with him.

Hope you have a great week, stay dry! Lots of love,

Elder Gedlaman

Friday, June 21, 2013

June 17, 2013

Hi everybody!!!

I trust you are all doing well! We had a good week as well. Congrats to all the young men with mission calls, that is amazing! Shane - good luck with Tagolag!

Quick update on everybody, Tabitha and Sandra are doing well, reading and praying, we are going to get into the commandments this week. Sandra took a huge step by praying in front of us in our last lesson. Br. “B” is doing really well. He has some serious health challenges, as well as some memory problems, but he is focused on baptism and definitely has the right motivation: his family and his testimony. It is really cool to see how the Lord has softened his heart; his wife has been a member for 14 years and from what we've been told he was not always so happy about it. The 1st counselor told us yesterday that he has a different look in his face now. We are going to baptize him on Sunday: please pray for him! If I could also enlist your faith and prayers in asking the Lord to help the mission baptize 60 people this month, we could use it!!

We had a crazy week, zone conference in Kitchener (I had to give my departing testimony :( ), then we had an exchange with the Spanish Elders, then down to Windsor for another exchange with Elder D(he's doing great) and his companion. As usual lots of strange experiences and funny stories, but one stuck out this week.

Elder J and I were walking down the street contacting people and this very, very Caucasian looking lady approaches. When we get about 8 metres from her we wave and say hi, and she says "No, sorry! I am from China!". First off, obviously not from China. So we say "oh cool, we have good friends who speak mandarin, what language do you speak?" and she says, "I don't speak any languages! I am from China, but I don't speak any languages". To which I responded with a "uh-huh" and my companion started to laugh (he tried to hide it). So we met a white girl from china who speaks no languages but can somehow understand all the English we speak with her. Haha, there are people out there who REALLY don't want to talk to us!

I'll just leave you with my testimony, this work is true, and through the atonement we can overcome the "natural man" in all of us! Hope you have a marvelous week!

Elder Gedlaman 

June 10, 2013

Hello everybody!

The work continues to roll on her in London. Hope that grad and birthdays and work and school and sports are all going good.

We had a great week as a zone. Over 30 investigators at church and we should have 8+ baptisms in the next 3 weeks. Our area saw some great miracles as well, Tabitha and Sandra came to church (yes!), this ward is great and they seemed to be welcomed pretty well. We also started teaching the “B” family, a part member family. The dad has accepted to be baptized on June 23rd! He has a few things to overcome, but we are hoping and praying for his baptism to happen!

We have definitely been seeing more opposition in the area, the zone and the mission as we try to step up our game. It always seems to work that way. When you try to get out of a rut, or make a covenant, or be better, Satan always tries to pull us back down into the muck. E.g. the “B”s son ran away from home last night, and after finding him the father wasn't feeling well so he didn't make it to church today. Unbelievable, as one of our high councilors here says: "Satan can't afford to pull any punches anymore". I know that we do face trials but when we push through them relying on the Atonement we can overcome.

Not a whole lot more to report. Life is good as a missionary (Psalms 34:22). Hope that everyone is doing well, love you bunches,

Elder Gedlaman 

June 3, 2013

Hello everyone!!

Glad to hear from you!! I trust that all is well up in the wild west. It was good to know that the funeral for Aunt DaVeeda went well, whenever I think of someone passing on I'm reminded of what Grandpa Gedlaman told me about when an old friend came to see Grandma Ged's dying mother, and he was upfront and pleasant and very nonchalant about the whole thing. I think we need to see death for what it really is: a transition and a reality. Actually, weird moment, the relief society president of our ward, Sister Kathy Samhuri, is related to us. Her great-aunt was Lucy Gedlaman. So that makes her Grandpa's cousin once-removed or something. Haha, EVERYONE knows people in Calgary here, it's really strange. I've also asked the sister who knew dad on her mission to get me some stories... so be careful dad, I'm going to have some ammunition!

Good luck with graduation Paige, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIA!!!! I know its 3 days early, but bear with me. Love you both tons, super proud of you and hope that this week is awesome!

Life in London goes along swimmingly. Elder J is a great guy; no-nonsense, hard-working, service-minded, humble, smart and has a good sense of humor. There have been a lot of amazing things happening in our area. We met Tabitha's mom, and now we are going to start teaching both of them and also her brother! Amazing what the Lord can do to soften people's hearts. As a mission we have a goal to baptize 60 people in June so we are hitting it full force in our zone trying to find, teach and baptize. We are praying hard for the mission and the zone and Elder J and I want really badly to be a part of the goal, so we are praying like crazy to have a baptism here too. Your prayers would be more than welcome as well:)

We had mission leadership council this week, what an amazing experience every time. The Spirit in those meetings is one of the highlights of the month, no doubt. We always learn a ton from President Scott and this month was no exception. We had a great discussion on the work of salvation in the church, and how we can move the Lord's work on as missionaries and members. I hope that as a bishopric you read the handbook, that thing is loaded with good stuff!

I am continually reminded of the importance of keeping our minds focused on the Lord's work. It is not enough to simply not be focused on the bad things we need to stop doing (although that's a good start), we need to make consistent effort to think on the things the Lord would have us do, like serve others. THAT's when we can receive inspiration and revelation to help them, touch lives and change hearts. Hope you all see wonderful things this week as you strive to do your best!

Love you all, hope you know how much I mean that! Look forward to hearing from you next week!!

Elder Gedlaman