The continuation of our journey through the Maritime Provinces.
We left Hopewell Cape and drove to Moncton where our first zone conference was held.
Before heading to our hotel we checked out a local famous spot, Magnetic Hill.
The trick is that it is an optical illusion and you are actually going downhill. But I stood at the "top" of that hill and looked "down" and it was mind-boggling that it wasn't really uphill.
Moncton Zone Conference
Here we are with President and Sister Pratt.
They are pretty brand-spanking new-only been serving since late June- but already seem like pros :)
Sorry about my cheesy smile of late. I don't know where or when I developed it but it drives me crazy and I can't seem to shake it.
President Pratt held a "working lunch" so they could cover all the things they needed in this one day together.
One of the wonders and marvels and great blessings of living in the modern world:
The missionaries on Prince Edward Island were "trapped" over there due to the Confederation Bridge being closed because of high winds. I'm sure they were very disappointed but at least they got to watch the proceedings and even participate due to this fantastic invention.
They contributed in discussions, and even offered prayers. Here they have broken into smaller groups for role playing. I believe the group consisted of 4 elders, 2 sisters and a senior couple.
This is Brother Cartier, the Institute Director for these Provinces. He traveled with us to each conference and gave a slightly different presentation each time as prompted through inspiration. He was my hero. He is an incredibly gifted teacher and definitely in the right field. I would love to attend his classes weekly and glean from his insights and knowledge.
I took 11 pages of notes writing as fast as I could!
How I wish I could share it all with you.
I just have to share some of this light so I will give a few of his insights in each conference post.
As noted in the slide above , his topic was Scripture Study.
He first asked each of us to ask ourselves and honestly answer this question:
"Why do I study the scriptures?"
He suggested one of the most important reasons should be for personal revelation.
I should search to find the light and truth that will save me and those around me and to come to know the nature and majesty of God and His Son.
A lot of people read to find comfort and peace which is all well and good but he said you can find those reading "Chicken Soup for the Soul". What can you find in the scriptures that you can't find anywhere else?
Some truths are everlastingly more important than others.
As you read , focus on essentials and saving doctrines.
Look for Christ in all scripture.
Look at the passage and ask-
What principles are taught/implied?
How does this draw my attention to the Savior?
"To ask and to answer questions is at the heart of all learning and teaching." President Eyring.
More to come...!
Just as soon as this conference was over, we jumped in our cars and drove to Dartmouth/Halifax where the next one would be. It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive.
Zone Conference #2
Held the next day.
Elder Braithwaite with his captive and captivated audience.
Prayer is a powerful and essential part of scripture study.
We need to ask God what we should pray for and tell Him we will do what He tells us.
Before reading the scriptures we should ask what we need to learn from what we are going to read, what we need to do to be given more knowledge.
Ask: Heavenly Father, what are you truing to teach me through this story
Brother Cartier began a habit of randomly telling his young children things like this:
if you ask me for an ice cream cone right now, I'll give it to you.
if you ask me to take you to the movies right now, I will.
if you ask me...I'll do it.
He says his kids look at him funny, confused, and seem to put it away in their minds for future processing. They rarely ask him for what he has promised.
He is trying to teach them the principle that we have a Father in Heaven who has so many wonderful things He is just waiting to give us
we have to ask Him.
I simply love that!
The Halifax Temple is literally right next door to the chapel! We were so excited to attend that afternoon as soon as the conference was over but unfortunately for us, the temple was closed for its semi-annual cleaning.
There is an apartment building just on the other side of the temple where the missionaries live. Senior couples, young missionaries and temple missionaries. How perfect!
We had one day in between conferences 2 and 3 so we took advantage of the time to explore the city of Halifax.
Our hotel was right across from the Public Gardens, which happen to be the TripAdvisor #1 out of 120 top things to do there. Naturally, we had to see it.
It was lovely but what impressed me most was how much it was being enjoyed by the locals. People sitting here and there, walking through, just savoring the beauty of the day and the beauty around them.
And right across the street from the gardens was the Halifax Fortress on Citadel Hill, complete with period costumed guards and tour guides.
Our cute-as a button Scottish guide.
It was a very hot and humid day and I felt so sorry for him and all the others layered in wool.
I personally don't know how they can do it.
I was about to faint by the wayside in my light weight clothes.
They are mostly students and this is their summer job.
Bless their hearts1
Preparing the cannon for the noon salute.
The fort was brilliantly designed in a star pattern where every inch of it could be defended from several sides at once. Enemies had to climb up a steep hill while being shot at the entire time, jump into a deep moat while being shot at the entire time from several angles, try to scale the wall while... you get the picture.
It was so formidable that it was a never attacked. No one dared!
Next up: Lunch on the waterfront.
Lots of ferry action back and forth between Dartmouth.
My favorite thing about Halifax is its waterfront boardwalk. It is the longest one I've seen.
About midway along the path, Dale visited the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
He very much enjoyed the exhibits on all things ships and boats, including one of the largest collections of artifacts from the Titanic.
While he did that, I continued to explore the waterfront.
Now if this isn't just about cutest thing you've ever seen!
Halifax is a popular stop for cruise ships offering many tours you can book which take you to the picturesque neighboring villages of Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg. ( To which we later traveled as well. You will see those in future posts)
That night we boarded a plane with the Pratt's, the office couple the Stewarts,
and the Assistants to the President, all headed for Gander, Newfoundland!
The Sister Trainers flew over earlier to get some training in and Brother Cartier flew in and out the next day.
Pretty exciting! One of the few missions left where you need to fly to attend to all your flock!
We went to bed rejoicing, looking forward to what the next day and week to follow would hold.