I have had a great start to the New Year though things didn’t go as I initially planned.
I decided on the spur of the moment to go to Calgary to celebrate the festivities since my hometown is a bit small and most of the people I knew where gone. I was blessed to have wonderful cousins who were in town and took me with them as we planned out what to do for the next week. The feeling is similar to living in a bachelorette house since my Uncle and Aunt are gone but we three girls are manning the house.
Calgary still has a familiar feel to it and I’ve enjoyed my time here. I was set on going to a dance and getting that part over and done with since I’ve been told it’s the hardest to switch back in to. Maybe it was beginners luck but I had a great time at the dance. I liked the music, I liked the people and it felt really comfortable. I re-connected with those I haven’t seen in ages and I like the independence of it, dancing when you want to and sitting down to rest when your feet get sore.
I found out that night there was a baptism the next day of a Chinese girl and was invited to go and see. Being in the south of Calgary I had to carefully calculate how to get up north for 10:30am.This is when the beginning of the miracles started. As I was planning on how to do this I decided to leave with an hour time and walk to the nearest c-train station (like a sky-train) since I don’t have a car to drive.
As I left the house in minus something weather I headed in the general direction hoping my phone battery wouldn’t die and cutting me off from all access to my handy GPS. After only walking 3 minutes or so a friendly bus driver pulled over, not even at a stop, and told me I could get on. We started talking and turns out she is Indian, Shia (Muslim), and had been in Canada for a number of years. I told her I was a returned missionary from Vancouver and heading to a baptism. She asked what that was, and I described simply that it was a covenant we make with God and represents a new start to life in the same way we celebrate a New Year with new beginnings and a change of our habits and nature. She then went on to say she respected that and a way she keeps her mind on a higher power is by praying throughout the day. She said that she loves her job because she can say prayers in her head and it makes her feel calm and peaceful. I noted it also influenced the people she picked up and dropped off since her attitude was open and kind. It was a short but good discussion and then she dropped me off and I took the c-train to my next stop. On the way there I saw a girl sit down in front of me that I was 99.9% sure that she was Chinese. As I was going to a place where there would be Chinese speakers, I thought I might give it a try to see if she had plans for the day. I then subtly - in my mind, anyways - pulled out my Chinese Book of Mormon and started talking with her. Turns out she was on her way to work and never heard about scriptures before. I showed her some pictures in the beginning of the Book and described how it is like a family story and how they followed the inspiration of heaven. She was really excited and said she had never read the Bible before and never heard of this book. I then testified that it was God’s word and that something I like about it is that it answers the questions we have in daily life, like faith to find a job, my current challenge, and courage to move to a new country, like Lehi and his family. I then shared with her Ether 12:6 and she explained the meaning to me! It reads as follows: And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
She told me how so many things you can’t see with your eyes but by first trying, you then learn through experience that it is true. I felt the spirit strongly and really liked her explanation. I told her I could give her a copy so she could read it on her own but she chose instead to download the app. The next stop she had to get off before me so we exchanged numbers and said goodbye. I thought it was an amazing since talking on the train can be difficult at times but with her it felt quite natural.
I then found my way to the baptism and made it just in time. I had a few moments so I introduced myself to some people and then took my spot. It was a beautiful feeling to hear talks and prayers in Chinese. I felt right at home and though I couldn’t sing very well since I’m recovering from a cold, I felt like I participated though I didn’t even know the girl. Afterwards while we had refreshments I met a man from Ethiopia that was having lessons with the Elders. He had a Canadian wife and child and invited me to come over with the missionaries to talk more about the gospel. Then there was a women I said Hi to from Iran that seemed especially happy to meet someone wearing a headscarf too! Then there was a man from Uganda that had a lot of questions that couldn’t be answered to his satisfaction and he was a bit disappointed. My friend who introduced me to this man started out by saying, “ Hey, she can answer your question!” and then promptly left. I wouldn’t say it was throwing someone under the bus but it was a narrow escape. It ended up well since my friend came back to join the discussion and after a time we left so I could catch a ride home.
Overall it was a fun and good day. I felt like so many great things happened because I was willing to leave my comfort zone and it showed me that revelation can come just as easily outside of a mission as on it. I am excited for 2017 and the new experiences it will bring. I also should mention the birth of my newest niece, Clara Grace Northcott, born January 2nd at 4:47pm! I am so thrilled and can’t wait to hold her. I know that with every new day is a chance to draw closer to the Saviour and the peace he brings.