Sunday, October 21, 2012

Flecks of Gold

Now that we are approaching the end of our mission we have been reflecting back on our experiences. There are many comments encouraging senior couples to go on missions, such as: "You are really needed", "You will make such an impact on the mission"; "You will change many lives for the better". This sets a very high expectation that is not always met through the day-to-day attempt in doing the Lord's work. As we were preparing for our last Pearl of Great Price class we reviewed videos from Mormon Messages (examples of modern pearls of great price). One video stood out - Flecks of Gold by Elder Ballard. It tells about a man who sold everything he had and headed for the California gold rush in search of the large nuggets of gold he had heard about. After many days of hard labor and a large pile of rocks he was ready to quit, saying "There's no gold here!"Another prospector came by and showed him how he had gained his wealth by collecting large quantities of small flecks of gold like those found in the pile of rocks the man had dumped. We are making a list of experiences here in the Canada Toronto Mission and have realized that we have collected many small flecks of gold (and a few small nuggets) along the way. It has not been what we expected, but has been rewarding.

New senior couples are coming to the mission, but not to Trent Hills. Elder Caldwell (from the mission office) and Elders Green and Porter (APs) came with a truck on Tuesday to load up everything we could do without until the end of our mission. They also stopped by the church to pick up furniture left by the elders when they moved out. Sister Wheeler had a nice chicken dinner for them when they came. Once we move out they will return and pick up everything else. It almost brings a panicky feeling because time is so short.
Dinner time for the movers
Packing boxes
We made several visits on Wednesday. We were invited for dinner by Doris, Linda, and Eileen in Marmora. Sister Wheeler had crocheted a doily to give to each of them in gratitude for all the good food we have eaten there. Tammy, Doris' daughter from Toronto was visiting as well. On the way home we tried to find a media referral, but it was a bad address so we need to continue to try. We stopped by to see Madeleine since her daughter and husband went out west (Alberta and BC) and left her alone in the woods. Elder Wheeler also got a call from Gary Rowan for a late-night home teaching appointment to see Gail.
Ladies with doilies 
Thursday was our last Pearl of Great Price class. This has been a fun 15 weeks. We have had 10-12 participants each week. They have read the lesson material and were always prepared. We told them this was their final exam. Each of them were able to express their thoughts or feelings about what they had learned from the Pearl of Great Price and what it has meant in their lives. We ended with treats. Sister Wheeler made some Pearl of Great Price cookies, gluten free of course.
Pearl of Great Price cookies
Other treats in the kitchen
More from the class
 We had skills and interviews in Kingston on Friday. Elders Ashton and Nash always do a good job with the training. Elder Wheeler was able to have a role play in Portuguese with Elder Seabra. We had our final interview with President Scott. We will see him again at transfer time, but this was our last interview. Sisters Sutten and Jungert made some brownies for the elders to enjoy (and spill crumbs on the floor).
Sister Sutten (Cinderella)

We had time Saturday morning for a long walk through Ferris Park. We have been there every season and it is always enjoyable. With fall leaves all around the moss on the rocks was striking.
Green moss
Mossy rock
 We had district conference (the church unit kind, not the missionary kind) this Saturday and Sunday. It started with a 3 pm priesthood leadership meeting (we had a good turnout from Trent Hills) for which Elder Wheeler gave the closing prayer. Pres. Scott wanted the senior missionaries to participate in the conference so Elder Hutchinson and Elder Bosch had talks while Elder Wheeler gave a prayer. In his talk, President Scott referred to the parable of the talents emphasizing that the person doubling two talents got the same reward as the person doubling five talents. That means the same reward comes from giving a prayer as giving a talk (but it is a lot less work).

We enjoyed a nice dinner (gluten free) between sessions. We then had the adult session. As Pres. Scott was talking about the parable of the Good Samaritan we realized the Good Samaritan is really Jesus Christ who heals us then pays all our bills when he returns. Pres. Piasetski (in the district presidency) talked about family - going back and going forward. We had a chance to meet part of his family since we were able to spent the night with his daughter Diane Elliott, her husband Jay, and their daughter Isabella. We learned the strength of the church comes from multiple generations of church members who have actually been raised and live in eastern Canada. Jay and Diane have both been on missions and are raising a gospel-centered family. The church here is in good hands.
The Elliott home
Jay, Isabella, and Diane Elliott
 When we arrived at the their house Saturday night, Cassondra Cudd was there to help with their daughter. We commented on the name Cassondra since it is used in the song "Metaphor" in the musical "Fantasticks". Sis. Elliot found the song on line and played it for Cassondra. We decided to take a picture of Cassondra with Elder Wheeler playing the parts from Fantasticks. There was a wall (chair) between them, just as in the play.
Cassondra and Elder Wheeler doing a "Fantastick" job
The final session of district conference was on Sunday. Due to the hospitality of the Elliotts we didn't need to drive back to Campbellford late Saturday night just to return to Kingston on Sunday morning. We had another spiritual conference session followed by a scenic ride home. It has been a great weekend.

1 comment:

Mom said...

It has been fun to follow your blog and see what you have been able to do. I am sure you have made a difference! We are anxious to see you again!