Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Farewell, Canada 1/20/14

Good News!
So after a ton of asking and asking, President finally granted my request for an extension! See you in March!!

Elder C. Lyons

OK, so I thought I could fool you, but apparently not :) As I have clearly expressed, it's just very sad for me to see my mission coming to a close so quickly. It's not that this has been the best 2 years ever. I've had my fair share of challenges and difficulties. It certainly has not been a relaxing vacation. But, Dad is right, this has been the best 2 years for my life. I wish I had another way to describe it, but that's just truly how a mission is. I've had many powerful and poignant experiences this week that have just confirmed my overall feelings that I have for the service I have been privileged to give. So today, rather than share the many positive experiences I have had this week teaching, finding, serving, learning, and growing, I would like to share some of the most important lessons I have learned from the 2 years of experiences I have been blessed to have.
So here it goes: I have met and grown to love SO many people in the last 2 years. It has been so incredible getting to know these friends. Each one has touched my life and impacted me very powerfully. However of all the relationships I've gained, the most important relationship I have developed is the relationship I now have with our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ. I don't have the words to describe the love that I have felt from our Father and our loving Savior. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers. I have a powerful testimony of personal revelation, and God's timing in that guidance. I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. I am coming to know that its effects are far more vast and powerful than I could have ever thought possible. Christ truly has felt every single hardship, heartbreak, sorrow, and pain that I have ever experienced. And I am learning that with his help, I can overcome all of these complications and have peace restored to my heart. I am so thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us. I know that as part of that plan, God knew that we would experience challenges that would be more than we could bear. I know that that is why He, in His infinite love, provided us with a Savior. I know that He does not want us to suffer. We can all choose to overcome by choosing to use the Atonement in our lives. I am so thankful for the Restoration that has allowed me to gain this knowledge of our Heavenly Father's plan. I know that the church is true. I know God and His son, Jesus Christ live. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder C. Lyons
PS. I love you! See you Friday

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Working hard, definitely not hardly working!!

We had some really good experiences this week. It's been great. A lot of what we've done has been serving members. You see, we've done this thing where we love and serve and it generally results in us teaching. Let me explain, back about a month ago we called a member in the ward for some help. (I can't remember what. Sometimes I feel like we're kind of needy). She was very helpful, so we asked what we could do to help her family. She just laughed and said, "you can come and shovel my walk anytime." So we did. She didn't expect that we would, and anyhow, long story, short, we got invited for supper and the rest is history. We just saw that it was a very effective way to get to know members and to have opportunity to be in their homes. Elder Beacham and I love to show that we will do what we say we will do. So we've been just shoveling walks and clearing driveways of members who need the help. haha, and this week we got caught almost every time! So we got invited to supper unexpectedly, and we were given opportunities to share messages. So good! I love it! This ward is amazing, and we've really gotten to know some great people!
This week we were able to teach Dami again. I think I told you about him. He's studied a ton of religions, so he has a very high level of thinking. It's been great teaching him. He had a junk load of questions about the Book of Mormon. We were able to help him get answers to all of them, and he is just in love with the Book of Mormon. It's great.
We had quite a few positive teaching experiences this week, but I just want to talk about one in particular. Tuesday evening, we were teaching a less-active member we've been working with named Cory. We were helping him to read in the Book of Mormon, and we started to talk about the Atonement. He didn't seem to understand or believe much about the Atonement. At one point, he made the comment, "maybe I've gone too far from the path." I testified that there was no where too far away for the Savior to reach him. He looked at me and said, "that's powerful." When he said that, the words to the hymn 'Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd' came to my mind. "Will you not seek for my lost ones?" With those words came the assurance from the Spirit that I was doing just that. That I was seeking those that were lost and bringing them back to the fold. This was such a powerful and timely experience for me. I know that the Atonement is real, and that Christ is calling us to come to Him. And then he is calling us to help others to do the same.
The rest of the week went well. We had a ZT
More Sun dogs!

Sun dog
M to plan and execute which is always a pain. But I've had some experiences that have definitely changed my life. I love it here!
I love you all! Thanks for your letters and prayers. Have an great week!
Elder C. Lyons

Thursday, January 9, 2014

1/6/14 Survival of the most.... Insulated??

So it sounds like all of you have heard that it's been pretty crazy cold this last weekend. The temperature ended up dropping to about -51 with wind-chill yesterday. Because of the extreme weather, church was actually cancelled. So that was kind of weird. It was for sure a smart thing to do, but still I've never heard of church being cancelled because it was too cold. Anyhow, I've included some pictures of some of the cold weather phenomenon. Enjoy :)
This week was pretty good. Earlier on this week, it was only about -20 or -25 C, so we were out shovelling a bit. We completely demolished this one driveway that had about 6-8 in of packed snow and ice! It was a lot of work, but it's resulted in us teaching the less-active family we did it for. Totally worth it.
We also shovelled for a couple we've been referred to. Same story, lots of packed snow. But Mike and Doris invited us in for pizza because...well they caught us shovelling. It was super good homemade pizza, so I was somewhat glad that we got caught :)
We had the usual crazy meetings and exchanges to work with this week. But something super good that happened this week is that we took a priest named Garrett out with us for most of the day on Saturday. We taught Charlie while he was with us. It was a pretty good lesson. Charlie is super funny! We set a baptismal date with him! Whoo!! He's loving life, and is really progressing. So we're excited for him.
I'm afraid that's all that I've really got that was out of the ordinary. Like usual, I'm sure tons has happened, but unfortunately, I'm sick...and quite out of it. I'll have to fill you in some day on all the experiences that I've had. Love ya tons! Have a great week!

Elder C. Lyons
Sun Dog
Sun Dog


Ian and Aaron