Thanks to my amazing trainer, Sister Bowie, I am becoming more and more comfortable with the challenging parts of missionary work. My life is filled with joy and I am learning something new everyday!
There has been a huge Heritage Festival going on in Edmonton. We are able to work for the food bank. Our job, as missionaries, is to collect food donations in a tent that is in the very center of the festival. We get to talk to people from all over the world. They all have extremely varied backgrounds. There is so much diversified culture in Edmonton and I love it! I have been learning words and phrases in other languages and it is fun to try to talk with everyone. I was able to speak to several Filipinos about the Gospel because of a few new simple phrases that Sister Bowie taught me.
Last week we drew a large drawling of The Plan of Happiness on a wide sidewalk in the middle of a busy park. Many people became curious and asked to learn more. We have started to meet with and teach many of these people. One man, in particular, told us that in his life, he has never given Mormons the time of day. We gave him a Book of Mormon! We testified of our Savior Jesus Christ. We helped him understand that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ. He has been reading it and loves it! After a couple of lessons this week, we invited him to church and he accepted the invite!
While we sitting in church, he leaned over and asked if he could get up and share his testimony. Though we were surprised we said, “Of course you can”.
Now, I have to admit that as he was walking up to the pulpit I felt apprehensive about what he was going to say to the congregation. He sure proved me wrong! He shared a simple and sweet message with all of us. He told us that he has had many things in his life go seriously wrong lately. He had been feeling despair, fear and hopelessness. On a particularly bad day he decided to go for a walk in the park and came across our sidewalk chalk drawling. He said that he recognized it as a sign from God that everything is going to be alright.....eventually. Listening to him, I felt amazed and strengthened!
Although I have only been a missionary for a short time, I’ve already seen how much the Gospel blesses the lives of those who accept it.
I know we have a loving Father in Heaven who watches over us. He knows exactly who we are and what we need. I am so thankful that we can pray and strengthen our relationship with him!
Please take care of yourselves and everyone around you!
Sister Arwen Ballas