I hope you all are doing well and happy with life and such and I hope you all had a great week!
This week was a little slow. Elder DiReda and I were back and forth with not feeling well and just little bugs that come with this time of year. But we're doing ok now and we've got some plans to shape up this week and work a little better.
We've been able to visit a few less-actives and one who is has been returning to church for a while now opened up to us a bunch and expressed her desire to get her patriarchal blessing and go to the temple and what is holding her back. She has a plan to get ready and we just need to help her along the way and it'll be great!
Probably the biggest thing this week was the same as many of yours. GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!
So many good talks and so much spirit was felt, even if the people downstairs were blasting crazy party music. We only felt the bass, but when I only focused on the talk, everything sorta melted away. It was great. 4 of my favorite talks were Elder Nelson's and Elder Uchtdorf's from the Priesthood session, Elder Christofferson's from Sunday Morning, and Elder Holland's from Sunday afternoon. So many good things on life, fatherhood, the priesthood, the truthfulness of the church, the wonderful power of the Atonement, and loads more. President Monson's talks may have been short, but they still left an impact. Choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. If we are faithful, we will have rest, but for now, we've got to push and pull and work to earn that rest.
I hope you are all doing well and I hope you will all read and re-read these conference talks.
I love our prophet and I know he is the mouthpiece of the Lord in our day. I know that what he, his counselors, the apostles, and all the general authorities say is true and right and that if we abide by them, we shall earn our great reward.
#82 March 29, 2016
Hello Everyone and I hope you had a wonderful Easter week! Ours was pretty good.
On wednesday we were able to meet with 2 of our investigators, Sarah and Noemé. They are friends of a recent convert, Mark, who currently lives in Texas but grew up here. They're pretty cool, but I haven't really seen them too much to give much more info...
Saturday we went to a Cabane à Sucre (sugar shack, for you anglophones) and it was SO GOOD and then SO BAD. Mark came up to visit his family and he loves missionaries (and he already knew my companion from when he visited during Christmas) so he took us to his mom's cousin's cabane à sucre. We get there, hang for a bit until we get our pallets, which were basically little wooden utensils that look like chisels. Then the people set up these tall troughs filled with snow. Then, the people come and pour hot maple taffy into the snow and you stick your pallet into the taffy, roll up and stuff your face. It was so good and they just kept coming back. My companion decided to stop after a little bit, but they people kept coming and so I kept eating. Then, after they cleaned that up, we all went inside the cabane and they handed out plates of maple butter, and we just ate it like that. The cabane itself smelled so much of delicious maple that I could feel getting a sugar high just walking in. And then eating the stuff was just delectable. After that we started our way home. I lasted for about 10 minutes before my stomach finally realized that I probably shouldn't have eaten so much maple sugar. But it was worth it.
It is currently snowing and is quite windy. But, not super cold. It's actually been pretty nice temperature wise.
A fun thing that I've started doing is scripture trees-chain-things. Basically I take one scripture, write a brief, one-line summary and look at the footnotes. Then I take those, and do the same. I repeat for a 2-4 layers until I don't have any room on 1 sheet of paper to fill them. I've received some cool insights from it. So, if you're bored from reading one day, I suggest trying it.
Other than that, not much. Just doing our best to work hard and find people to teach.
Hope you all have a great week!
"Stupidity is to grab what you can. Intelligence is to grow so much, there is no need to grab anything. That is intelligence. Stupidity is greed. On a broad enough scale it becomes evil. If you ever wondered what evil is, it is stupidity on a large scale." Billy Mo
"Oh! ayez de la sagesse! Que puis-je dire de plus?" Jacob 6:12
#81 March 21, 2016
"Goin' Way up North"
Hello everyone! How're y'all doing?
So, this week was a bit crazy. Lots and lots of travelling. Tuesday was filled with good-byes and packing way to late than I should've been. Wednesday we were supposed to wake up at 5 but the alarm didn't go off so we woke up at 5:30, rushed out the door so we could be in Kirkland by 7. From Kirkland we met up with our Zone leaders and Elder Harter and I took a train to the metros, each of us carrying our own luggage. Fun stuff. He got off one stop before me and so I had to get through the metros with my 2 giant suitcases, a carry-on, and my ukulele (you know, the important stuff). Thankfully I had some people helping me getting up and down stairs and such. After arriving at Berri-UQAM metro station, I waited a bit for my bus. There were 2 other missionaries going up to Quebec, so I didn't feel totally alone on the 2 hour and 50 minute ride up. We arrived in Quebec and I met my new companion, Elder DiReda from Kaysville, Utah. He's been on the mission for about 6 months. We stayed in Quebec city that night and went on spits with our District leader and his companion, Elder Noorda and Elder Morris (I went with Elder Morris, of Texas). It was a fun night. The next day we went to district meeting and then to Chocolats Favoris. For those of you who don't know, Chocolats Favoris is SUPER GOOD. I Ordered 2 ice cream cones (just normal vanilla soft-serve) dipped in a delectable chocolate fondu. One was Crunchy Hazelnut and one was Maple Vanilla chocolate. SO FLIPPIN' GOOD. I will be going back. Then Elder DiReda and I got to make the 2 hour drive up to Rimouski. We have a lovely little branch of about 10-15 active members, who are super solid, and a whole lot of work to do. It's going to be an adventure up here in the north.
#80 March 14, 2016
"Off to Never Land"
Bonjour à tous!
So, this week was not super exciting, but it had some fun moments.
We had our Zone Training Meeting on Wednesday. It went well. President Patrick gave a good training on how faith is our duty or loyalty to God and Jesus Christ, and that faith is action and power. We also discussed about how to see the vision, make plans to acheive the vision, and set goals based on those plans. We also were able to watch the new Easter Initiative, #Hallelujah. It's another great video set up by The Church. Afterwhich we went out to lunch with Cedric, Elder Navarette, and Elder Shumway. We were originally going to go to burger place that Cedric had told us about, but then he suggested a chinese place that was closer. It was SO GOOD. We each ordered a plate and then everyone shared what everyone got. We had fried rice with shrimp, noodles with chicken, lots of yummy sauces and vegetables. It was delightful. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera, so I'll have to steal the picture from Elder Shumway.
Saturday we got a call. It didn't come completely unexpected. It comes every 6 weeks. That's right, you guessed. Transfers. And guess who's leaving? Yup. After 6 months of being here in little ol' Hawkesbury I'll be shipped off to the great north to a little branch called Rimouski. I've heard they have lovely sunsets. I've also heard that I'll have an extra month of winter. And that in the summer the sun will set around 10 at night. It's about 2 hours northeast of Quebec City, which is about 3 hours northeast of where I am right now. So I've got a long ride up. With only 4 and a half months left, I'm assuming that I'll be finishing my mission up there. It'll be an adventure.
I'm so thankful for the opportunity to serve here. I've learned a lot. I have a new appreciation for everything I have been blessed with. My family, my friends, my health, my toys, my home, my talents, my heritage, my hair, my future, my memories, my trials, my happy moments, my life, my Savior, my Father in Heaven. I don't know why I've been so richly blessed, but I become ever more thankful for it everyday. The age we live in is wonderful and the knowledge we have of this plan is precious. I hope we all can be quick to remember our God and for the miracles he has performed. I'm so thankful for the Savior, for his love for us. I'm thankful for the power of the priesthood and for the temple. I'm thankful to be a missionary, though at times I don't see how much I really do.
Thanks for your love and support and I pray you all will have a wonderful week!
#79 March 7, 2016
"Praying for Spring"
This week has been quite tiring. Monday night we had to help a member move out, which was no fun with a little bit of snow and we were the only ones able to help out. Thankfully the truck was big enough and it only took around 2 hours. After that we had to help shovel Mike's mom's yard, which was a pain because it mostly icy snow that was quite heavy. The next day we had to help ANOTHER guy move, but this time we had to move him out and in because he was still in our area. It took between 4 and 5 hours. And again, we were the only ones able to help out. Both nights I was very happy to go to bed. The next morning, being Wednesday, we had to help the guy move a little bit more because we weren't able to finish it all the night before, and then we had to drive straight to District Meeting. After that, we went on exchanges. Elder Keller stayed with me and Elder Sorensen went with Elder Harter. It was quite a day. Half the day was spent shoveling different driveways. But we had a pretty cool experience on the way to a lesson. We had scheduled a lesson with an investigator who lives almost and hour away by car. About 10 minutes out, I remembered that we had wanted to start calling right before we left because sometimes he had forgotten our appointments and we drive down and he's not there. So we call and. . . He's not there. So we decide to call back 10 minutes later, just to see if he's in the bathroom or something. We call and. . . He's not there. So I think to myself that it's probably the best idea to turn around. But then Elder Keller suggests that we say a prayer. So he prays and the whole time I'm thinking that we should turn around. But as soon as he's done, we both had the thought to move forward. So we did. 10 minutes before we arrive, he calls us saying that he had just gone to the store and that he hopes that we're still coming. It turned to be a great lesson and the Spirit was very strong. So thankful for prayer.
That's the biggest story of the week. There have been a few other members who have been having some struggles that we're doing our best to help out with. It's pretty warm and it's supposed to get really warm the rest of this week. I see signs of an early spring here in Canada.
Have a great week!
#78 February 29, 2016
"Don't go scuba diving with King Noah"
Dear People of this Universe and Aliens who may be reading in,
This week wasn't too out of the ordinary, but I do have few stories that I'd like to share.
First one happened during District Meeting this last Wednesday. I had assigned Sister Shaver to organize a role play that she had done before on her mission. I didn't really know what to expect, so I just let her run with it. I turned the time over to her and she started off by giving each of us a small slip of paper that had a number between 1 and 3, if we were the investigator or the missionary, and some instructions that we were to reveal to no one. I was the missionary and I had the job of teaching the first lesson by using a scuba diving analogy. I was paired up with Elder Keller (the number 3 determined our pairing) and I started in without any preparation. As I started to relate the Restoration to Scuba Diving, I started to realize that he felt uncomfortable. I asked him if he was ok and he said that he had had an experience that didn't make him feel comfortable about talking about water. Feeling nervous, I related how Prophets are like instructors who teach how to dive safely and that our gear is like the tools we have to follow Christ and stay safe in this world. The mood changed and the short, 5 minute role play ended ok. After, he revealed that his paper said that he had had a near-drowning experience that left him with a terrible fear of water. I thought I did pretty well for the situation, but when he was asked how he had felt at the beginning he said, "I was freaking out!" It was pretty
Story number 2:
So, we've been working with this old less-active member who is very old, has a bit of Alzheimers, and is pretty catholic in her ways. We've been reading in the Book of Mormon with her and we were in Mosiah where they start talking about Kind Noah and his wicked priests and their wives and concubines. After reading, she started going off on how they should not have printed it and that if they did it back then why are they saying it don't do it now and this and that and it was all very confusing and we were trying to explain to her that this was a BAD example. That these were BAD people so we know what NOT to do. We even tried explaining that it's kind of like learning about Hitler! It was a bit frustrating so we did our best to explain and then the conversation kind of trailed off. Whew. So tiresome sometimes.
The last story I'd like to share is our new investigator, Lornie. He's nice old fellow who we had contacted on the street a week or so ago. He got his number and address and were able to meet him in his apartment. He's a religious man who's not affiliated with any church, believes in Christ and His teachings, and likes to pray. We tried our best to teach the first lesson but it was very hard to stay on topic. We were able to stay on gospel related subjects, we just don't think he understood it all. But he accepted a Book of Mormon and said we could come back as long as we teach what Jesus taught. He's nice. I hope it all works out.
Anywho, I hope you enjoyed those stories for the week and I hope that you're all doing well. Remember who you are, read your scriptures, go to church, say your prayers, be safe, love thy neighbor, etc. etc. and have a great week!
#77 February 22, 2016
Bonjour tout le monde!
I hope your weeks have been good and warm-ish! Because the weather here has been crazy. It snowed several times this week and most of them ended with rain. We had to shovel 2 or 3 times this week and when we did it at night, it was basically shoveling the swamps of the arctic. Heavy, wet, gross, and icy underneath. So...fun...
Anywho, our first grand excitement was our splits with the Zone Leaders. The missionary council people up in Salt Lake decided that splits would be better if the leaders always stayed in their areas and the other team would come to theirs. This means that both Elder Sorensen and I went to Kirkland and stayed the night for our splits. It was quite the adventure, especially when, as we were driving to Montreal, they called us and said they had locked their keys in their car. [face palm] Thankfully they got them out when we arrived, but their car was covered in ice from the freezing rain. It ended up being a good split. Nothing too exciting. We visited this one lady who had a cat with those weird opposable thumbs. Yup. At district meeting the next day, it went well. Nothing to exciting there. Sister Shaver showed us how she can play Called to Serve by dialing on their phone. Who needs apps when you've got a Rugby?
We've been doing some contacting and we've got a few potentials that we're excited for. We also went to this tiny little restaurant that our branch mission leader recommended. It's this super small mom 'n' pop restaurant called Chez Marie. Super good fries, awesome burgers, and all for a decent price. We'll be going back soon. We even got to talk to the owners a bit and got to explain a little bit about what we do. They asked us where we're from, why we're here, how long we're staying, do we have girlfriends, etc. I don't know why that last one always seems to come up when we start explaining who we are. [shrug] After eating there we had b-day party for one of our recent converts. It was nice with cake and ice cream. Plenty o' sugar to keep me up half the night.
So, we're truckin' on through this odd month of February. But spring will be here soon. That'll be nice. Winter is fun and all, but we could really do for more sunshine.
Have a great week!
Article of Faith 9: We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
#76 February 15, 2016
"Sick and Frozen"
So this week started off with Elder Sorensen getting sick on probably one of the worst days to get sick. He wasn't feeling Monday night, so he went to bed early. Tuesday was basically a day full of service. Every Tuesday we volunteer at the food bank from 9-12 and there's always something to do there. Right after that we drove to move some wood for one of our investigators and that was a pain because a lot of the wood was frozen and so we had to hit it with an ice pick to get it unstuck. Then we went to Chad's sister's house where we did a little bit of service for her and her boyfriend. They were very nice and we talked with them and Zak, the boyfriend, asked lots of questions and complimented how down-to-earth we were for being so... I don't know... Religiously active? anywho, as a little thank you he gave us each a fancy salt and pepper shaker. After all that, Elder Sorensen was pretty worn down. So we cancelled just about everything else for the day so he could rest. The next day, he was still kind of... slumpish. So he rested some more. We did, however, help Elianne shave Prissy, one of Ann's 5 cats, later that day. She...looks...so... ...different. But, we got it done. And just in time for Ann to come home! Yay! She has been in the hospital since the end of November and now she is finally back with her cats. It has been quite an adventure with her but we hope that it will all be good for a little while. Friday we had our Zone Training Meeting in Montreal which was quite nice. After, Elder Sorensen and I were able to get our interviews with President. It went well. We had a nice little chat and we found out that he has seen the new Star Wars. 3 times. Yup. And our Valentine's day was spent frozen. It got down to -24 C (-11 F) and a ton of members had car problems getting to church. But we still had a nice Sunday. A little after church, we went to Brother Keith's house, where we played pool with Chad and had mac n cheese and chicken strips for dinner with fortune cookies for desert (his wife is out of town helping their family in Florida). One of my fortune cookies had 3 fortunes in one cookie. They all said 'spoil yourself a little'. I then had 3 more fortune cookies.
#75 February 8, 2016
"My companion broke the window"
How's it going? It's getting colder here but it has been a pretty warm week. Monday we helped a friend of Mike's son move and the weather was perfect. Sunny, a few clouds in the sky, with only a slight breeze to cool us down. I had to roll up my sleeves at a few points so I didn't get to hot. So much for a Canadian winter. Oh, well, I shouldn't complain too much. It's supposed to get really cold these next few days.
Let's see... Tuesday was pretty great. We started working with a roommate of one of our older (in meeting with us, not in age) investigators. The new investigator is named Johanne (not to be confused with the Johanne who just got baptized). She has a real desire to know the truth and this second lesson we had with her she had read almost 90 pages of the Book of Mormon! Quite impressive [yes, yes. Quite]. She a had few question which were easily resolved with some discussion and after a lesson on faith, repentance, baptism and the Holy Ghost we invited her to be baptized on the 26 of Marchand she accepted! She then told us she wasn't expecting it all to go so fast, but she said that she'll make it a goal. She's already good friends with Bro. Proulx, our branch mission leader, and so that's pretty cool. She seems to progress well and we'll have another lesson this next week.
Another great thing that happened on Tuesday is that we were finally able to meet up with Ashley again! He's been a little bit under the weather because he's been sick and not feeling to good mentally, but we'll be starting to meet up with him again some more. He's super solid and ready for baptism, we're still just trying to find a way to get him to church... But we're working on that.
Wednesday was an adventure in the morning. We woke up to find a thin layer of ice. Everywhere. On the car, the roads, the snow, the houses. It wasn't too thick and it started warming up later in the day so driving and such wasn't too dangerous. We made quick video of what looks like Elder Sorensen smashing the window on our car (it was actually the layer of standing up with the window rolled down) We've showed it to several people. So far 1 missionary and 3 members have believed Elder Sorensen actually broke the window. It's been great. But shoveling that day with all the slushy snow was a pain. Super heavy with ice stuck to the driveways. We went home and slept happy that night.
Other than that, not too much happened this week. Visited members and less-actives, trying to help them feel the spirit, trying to cheer them up, service, more service, and planning. So much planning. But that's missionary life! It's great.
I've been trying to do some self-improvement lately. Well, I know I should be doing it all the time, but I think this next week I'd like to do a little more. I just need to get into a better habit of finding things I can work on then actually making a plan and then working on it. Probably the hardest thing to do is to come up with a solid plan that I know that I'll do. You can always make a plan to make a plan, but when you make one and stick to it and do all in your power to make sure it gets done, that's when the improvement comes. So that's my goal for this week. Coming up with a plan for something I want to improve in missionary work or just in my personality. And then I gotta make a plan to keep on doing that throughout my life. So you could say I'm planning on planning to make a plan to help me plan better. Now plan sounds funny in my head... I hope you all know how much I love and miss you all and I hope all is well in wherever you are!
This video may not work :(. I'll keep working on it.
#74 January 25, 2016
"Another email from your friendly neighborhood me"
Hello all you people who read my emails, tune into my un-updated blog, or just happen to stumble across these words through the magic which we call internet.
This week was not uneventful, for events did happen. One of which was the grand Missionary Broadcast which was watched by all the missionaries in the world. Funny to think how we were all watching the same thing at the same time. It's like we all live under the same sun or something.
It was quite a nice training. It basically went back to the basics that we all learn the first 12 weeks on the mission. It refocused us on our purpose to teach repentance and baptize converts. I thought it was wonderful and I picked up a few things that I personally could work on the upcoming weeks. Then the day after we had our Mount Royal Zone Conference, where we basically went over the things that we had learned the day before, but more applied to our zone. President Patrick gave a great training on justification and sanctification. Becoming rather than just doing. Really and truly consecrating ourselves to the Lord. It's a little easier said than done, but then again, that's basically what this life is about. I highly recommend studying it a bit, starting with D&C 20:30-31. I really enjoy comparing it to the sacrament, but when you think about it, it can relate to many things in the gospel.
Probably the next best thing is that Johanne is doing well. She's having a few struggles (as normal) but she is staying as positive and ever and it's contagious. No complaints there.
Our branch president right now is pretty awesome, too. He's a wildlife/nature artist, is pretty buff, does races such as the Gladiator (look it up. It's boss), and is just all around an awesome guy. We had supper at his house, and it was great.
Thanks for your prayers, your support and for your dedication in reading my emails even if they are not the most exciting in the world. But I hope you enjoyed it. If not you may send complaints to my secretary, Joey.
Have a great week!
#73 January 17, 2016
A Quick Update
This week was pretty great! Johanne got Baptized! [applause] There was a nice light snowfall and we even saw 3 big turkeys in the parking lot while filling up the font. The actual baptism was bilingual, which was fun. We sang in French and English, had a talk in French, the actual baptism was done in French by Elder Udave, the first missionary who taught Johanne (he got permission from President to drive an hour from Laval to do the baptism), the 2nd talk was in English, and the confirmation on Sunday was in English. It was great. Johanne is so awesome. 2nd miracle of the week: we visited our newest investigators, Yan and Marie-Eve, and we were going over the Restoration in a little more detail. But before that, I had asked them what exactly they expected from us, or what did they expect when we knocked on their door. Then Marie-Eve explained that just before, they had been in an argument. They were wondering where was the love from when they were first together. They just didn't feel the same towards each other. Yan asked for a sign or something to help them become close again. Then we knocked on their door. I was like, NO WAY!!! In my head, and a big smile came to my face and I was even a little bit shocked because I was not expecting that. We then explained that that is one of the central points of our message. The Gospel bring families together. It was just a really cool experience and we are very excited for them.
#72 January 11, 2016
"It's Raining, but It's Good"
How's it going in your various places across the world? Doing good up here in Canada. Things are a abnormally warm but most everyone isn't complaining. It's better raining than being -40.
So, this week has been a bit stressful but had some good peaks as well.
There have been a few people in the branch that have been going through a rough patch and so we've been doing our best to help them out where we can. We as missionaries can only do so much and it's a little frustrating when we don't have the time, talent, or resources to help more. But we do our best and give God the rest and we'll be blessed through this mess...ed/t. Rhyming.
Anywho, we also had some success finding 2 new investigators! Elder Udave, an elder who used to serve here, said that he had knocked into a couple doors and remember that they were open to have missionaries back. So he text us and told us to try them out. We knocked on the first one and... they weren't interested. So we tried the second one and the let us right in! I was a little shocked but once we got talking and stuff we were able to share a quick restoration lesson and give them each a Book of Mormon. It was a young couple who, we found out as we were leaving, were just engaged the day before. It was a little funny because we were getting ready to leave and we were talking about who-knows-what when the girl said, "Ya, he proposed to me yesterday on my birthday." It was little like Wow! That timing. And we awkwardly said a few congratulations and it was good.
The most bestest thing this week though is Johanne passed her baptismal interview with flying colors! She is on track to being baptized this Saturday! So this week is going to be lots of planning and preparing and we are quite excited for that.
Thanks for all your support and love and I hope that you all have great week!
#71 January 4, 2016
"Christmas was Green, but New Years..." Well, the snow is finally here. Canada has finally shown true colors and it is blue and white. Cold, and Quebec.
Tuesday we had a HURGE storm. It snowed at least a foot and we shoveled 3 different driveways and we had to shovel a few of them again 1 or 2 days later because of other smaller snowfalls. It's been pretty fun. We got our work out for the day, had a snow ball fight, and shoveled some more. Tuesday we were also able to meet with Johanne and she has a baptismal date! [yay!] We will be having her baptism in 2 weeks, on the 16th. We are super excited for her because we have been working with her for a long time and ya. She has made some big strides in her faith and we are very excited for her.
Probably the next biggest thing is that we have been working with one less-active family for a long time. They are very nice people but they all have some personal challenges they need to overcome. This week was particularly stressful for the father. He has some mental challenges that leave him tired and not at his peak. It was very difficult this week and so we needed to visit him several times in order to help him out. It was a bit stressful for me as well because there really isn't much that we can do to really help him besides try to strengthen his faith and then refer him to church leaders for more assistance. So, we've been doing our best to help him. He was always very grateful for having us over.
Other than that not much has been happening. The snow is coming and the temperature is dropping, but thankfully I've got my boots and my coat. Hope you all have a great New Year!
2 Nephi 32:9
"But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul."
#70 December 28, 2015
"The Pie Wasn't the Only Thing Filled" Merry Christmas to All! And a Happy New Year, too!
This week has been a pretty good Christmas week. Probably one of the most exciting things was our Mission wide conference we had on Tuesday. It was filled with lots of musical talents such as organ, piano, singing, flute, and violin. Our opening hymn was AMAZING. With over 170 people singing Joy to the World, it's pretty powerful. And then our closing hymn was even MORE. The first 2 verses were sung by a small missionary choir, a piano, and the organ (played by my previous companion Elder Shumway) and then everyone joined in on the 3rd verse of Hark the Herald Angel Sing. IT. WAS. AWESOME. To say the least! It was so powerful and solid it was almost tangible how amazing it was. I even heard that some people even started to cry. And then all the wonderful musical talents in the mission were just unbelievable. And the next best thing that day was when President Patrick made a pun. We were talking about three paradoxes of Jesus Christ: He was perfectly obedient, but was patient with others and their disobedience, He was the perfect example of a leader and a follower, and He was the one who showed the example of finding oneself when losing oneself. It was very cool. But the pun was: "We are going to talk about 3 Paradoxes. Paradoxes are 2 truths that don't seem like they should work together, but they do. Now, that is not a Pair-o-ducks. That's just 2 ducks." It was pretty funny, if I do say so myself.
The rest of the week was filled with my stomach being filled. Christmas Eve we went to Sister Kelley's house and had turkey, pork, chicken curry, and beef. Christmas day we were able to skype our families (which was AWESOME. Can I just say that I love my family? I'm pretty sure I have the best parents in the world. And my siblings are pretty cool, too ) and then we had turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and punch at the Gordons. THEN the next day we skyped Weston, formerly known as Elder Pryor, and had a nice big supper at Mike and Elianne's. It was turkey, ham, potatoes, biscuits, veggies, pigs feet stew (which is actually quite good), 4 different pies, 3-4 different types of cookies, and a log cake that was very nicely decorated. So, Christmas was good. I hope it was as good for all of you as well. And with all the craziness, I hope that you all were able to find some time and really think about the Why of Christmas. Jesus Christ and his birth and life. I love our Savior and I'm so grateful for Him, for my family, for my friends, for the good people in my life, for those who are here and for those who are gone, for a wonderful country to come from, for a wonderful country to serve in, and for a billion-trillion-gazillion other things that I could list.
I'll talk to you all next year!
#69 December 21, 2015
"Good Bye Bon Fire"
Bonjour et salut!
How're y'all doin' t'day?
This week was filled with good byes. On Wednesday we said Good Bye to Elder Pryor as he was shipped back to Orem where we expect to hear a wedding announcement by Valentine's day (not really but it's fun to tease). The day before we said Good Bye to Pizza Pizza, a popular pizza chain of Canada. You see, as we were on our way to another family that Elder Pryor was going to say Good Bye to, we saw large amounts of black smoke coming from a yellow building. So, we pulled up and walked carefully where we saw some people trying to quickly move a white trailer. We then noticed flames coming out of the ventilation shafts. When we saw that there was nothing we could do, we did what any good by-stander should and got some photos of the scene. Then we proceeded to say more good byes.
Other than that, nothing much. Elder Sorensen is recovering from being sick, I get to start playing the piano for Primary (that's for you Mom), and we finally got some real snow that actually stays on the ground today.
I hope you all have a great Christmas! I'm so grateful for this wonderful occasion where everyone is a little kinder, a little happier, a little better. I hope we can all get past the stresses of Christmas Shopping and really take some moments and be truly thankful for the Birth of our Savior. I love the gospel, I love Christmas, and I love you all!
#68 December 7, 2015
"A Cheap Roof"
Bonjour a tous et Joyeux Noel!
The Christmas Initiative A Savior is Born is awesome! Not just the first video but all of them! I just love Christmas. And because it is now December, we can now listen to Christmas music and not feel silly! So yes, that makes the week a little better.
Monday we were able to do some Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping. Basically we went to a store where lots of stuff were 20-40 percent off, they told us that everything also has an additional 15 percent off, and we all bought stuff. I got a nice $45 dollar sweater for 28 bucks and Elder Pryor got a nice $300 coat for $170 or so. So, good start.
Tuesday we were able to help Doug, a returning member, move. He's been going through a lot but he's doing his best to come back to church and really have the gospel more in his life. Because of financial stuff he had to move in with one of his buddies, so we helped him move a lot of his stuff into a storage unit. He also had a couple buddies help move. It was actually pretty funny. We were cleaning out his living room and I can't remember why, but for some reason we all started making funny southern accents using y'all and such and one of his buddies said something like, "We all sound like a bunch of Americans in here!" And then as he and I were moving a tv into his car he made a comment about how he doesn't really like talking to Americans because he finds they're a too selfish. I don't think he realized that we missionaries were all Americans and I was going to make a funny comment like, "We're not THAT bad, are we?" But then I forgot. . . But the move went pretty well.
Nothing super exciting until Saturday. We had planned to help fix Mike and Elianne (part member family) with their roof. They had been able to get all the shingles and supplies donated from a company that our branch president works at, they just needed the man power. So we had planned to do that and then leave a little way through to go to our other appointments. Then all our other appointments cancelled, and it turned out to be a HUGE blessing. They really needed the help with the roof. There was only 3 branch member who were able to help and they really needed the help. We ended up staying the whole day, putting up shingles, nailing shingles, cleaning up old shingles. We started at 9:30 in the morning and stopped at around 7:30 at night, well after dark. It was a VERY long day, but I learned quite a bit about roofing. It was fun. That night we made some Borscht, a Russian stew that Elder Pryor found. It was delicious.
The Christmas Devotional was SO good last night! I loved President Uchtdorf's talk. I'm so grateful for this Christmas season and for the beautiful music that comes around this time of year. I'm so grateful for the birth of our Savior and for His life and ministry.
How's it? Doing good here. Getting darker and getting colder but that's Canada.
So, this week had some exciting highlights, but the rest not super interesting. . .
We were able to have a great lesson with Johanne, our most progressing investigator at the moment, at the Library with Sister Kelley, one the best member missionaries out there. We went over a little bit about the Book of Mormon and recognizing the Holy Ghost. Johanne really wants to get baptized. She feels that it's the right thing to do and we are so excited for her. Later that night we went to Sister Kelley's house for supper. It was CRAZY! We just love playing with her 5 boys. They are so fun and full of energy (they're all under the age of 12) and I must have "died" at least a dozen times from zombies, fire, magic, nerf guns, and bortsch (a common Russian dish. Don't ask how it came to be).
Thursday we were able to do some service for Margaret and then return later for supper. Our original plan for Thanksgiving was to make a chicken (the turkeys were too big for the 3 of us) and get all the stuff for a classic Thanksgiving supper (potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, stuffing, and pumpkin pie and rolls). But we were happy to have a nice dinner with Margaret and her 2 kids and their roommate Johanne (investigators). Actually, it had been Mireille's (oldest girl of Margaret) birthday, and so we half celebrated that. Tuesday we had stopped by with a plate of cupcakes and a birthday card for her, but she wasn't there, so we left it with Johanne. The problem was that Margaret's mother was there. Let's just say she is does not share our beliefs and didn't really approve of us. We got a text the next day that asked us to remake the card and I was like, "Oh no, what did she do?!" We found out Thursdaybefore dinner that Margaret's mother had thrown away the cupcakes and the card before Margaret, Mireille, and Philippe got home. I was a little disappointed, but I made sure to make the 2nd card even better and, looking back, I just think of how silly the whole situation was. And then on Friday we made our thanksgiving dinner.
The next exciting thing was on Saturday night, I believe. We had just gotten home and Elder Pryor was sitting in his chair. For some reason, Elder Sorensen decided to start throwing a volleyball at Elder Pryor's knees. Every time, the ball would ricochet off his knees and back to his hands and he would say, "Yes, again!" And throw the ball again. Then, about the 3rd or 4th time, the ball went a little higher, hit Elder Sorensen in the face, and bounced onto his table with all his study material and knocked half of it off. It was perfectly. . . hilarious. We all were dying on the floor and my chest hurt from laughing so hard. It had been a while since I had laughed like that and It was just too perfect to be true. Yay for the 3 stooges.
The last thing I'd like to mention is this year's Christmas Initiative. #ASaviorIsBorn. I felt the spirit so strong the first time I saw it and again when we showed it to our ward. This is so amazing and I'm super excited to use it. Truly this is inspired work. The invitation at the end is for everyone: Discover Why. Why is it so important that a Savior was born? Really think and ponder why it is so important to have our Savior. Study and discover what you can do help your testimony grow as well as the testimony of those around you. I pray for you and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season. It's only beginning!
Alma 26:12 Yea, I know that I am nothing ; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things ; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
This week hasn't been super eventful, but we did do some good work. Tuesday we had our Zone Training meeting and our interviews with President. We talked a lot on things we could work with teaching and stuff. Everyone was also having interviews for their temple dedication recommends, so our actual interviews took a little bit. But it was fun talking to some other missionaries that I hadn't seen in a while.
So, through the week we've been seeing our investigators and they seem to be doing pretty well.
Johanne: She is a single mother with 3 daughters, but only 1 lives with her. She wants to be baptized as soon as possible and she was hoping that she could before Elder Pryor left, but we're not sure if that would be possible. She seems to be getting busier and busier. But we are helping her and she has a real desire to do what the Lord wants her to do.
Ashley: Ashley is a single guy who lives in a group home. He's trying to get his life in order and has a strong desire to be baptized. He's working on quitting smoking and drinking coffee, but the biggest problem is that he lives an hour away from the church and anybody else who could give him a ride. So it is difficult for him to come to church, but we are helping him with what he can do.
Friday we were able to go to a birthday party for one of our members. He was turning 12 and is autistic, but he is super funny. We love to play around with him and his party was Jurassic World themed. It was super fun to eat with them and talk and pretend like we were watching dinosaurs. And he LOVES Legos! So we brought a little gift for him.
Probably the most exciting part of the week was the Temple Cultural Celebration and Re-dedication. It had dances from all sorts of different cultures that make up Montreal and I even saw some youth from my previous areas. It was super fun to watch. Then, Sunday morning, we were able to watch President Eyring give the dedicatory prayer. I just love the temple and I'm super excited to be able to go back soon! We have a few people in our ward who are preparing to get their endowments, and we're so excited for them. The Temple is just amazing.
Lastly, my ponderizing scripture of the week:
D&C 112:10: Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.
Heavenly Father speaks to the humble, those who will follow His words. If we become meek and teachable, He will guide us where we need to go.
Love you all!
#65 16 November 2015
Well, this week has been pretty good. In preparation for our new companion, we had to do a TON of cleaning this last p-day. We filled up our garbage can with junk and rearranged our apartment some to make it more suitable for 3. Elder Sorensen still has to study on the couch with a little table, but it's better than nothing.
After picking Elder Soresen up from the Mission office we went to the temple open house with Chad and Mike, 2 recent converts who are planning on going to the temple for the 1st time when it reopens. It was SO great and I even saw a bunch of people from my previous areas! Even from Saint Jean! It's been over a year since I've seen some of these people! And the temple is wonderful! It was renovated due to some mold and foundation troubles, so they basically redid the whole thing. It used to be one the basic small temples they have all over, but now it has some Montreal flavor to it, implicating the 4 different flowers of Montreal's founders all over. The English Rose, the French Fleur-de-Lis, the Scottish Thistle, and the Irish Shamrock. It was beautiful! Shout out to Sister Ashcroft from my homeward who helped with the mural. It's amazing the artwork and decor that it is put into the temple. Thanks to everyone who helped make this such a wonderful place. Only the best for the Lord!
So, a little about Elder Sorensen. He's from a small town in southwest Oregon, is a huge fan of Star Wars, and is overall a pretty fun guy. We've been getting along well these past few days, so I'm sure there won't be much to worry about.
On Friday we were able to go to the temple AGAIN with one our investigators, her 2 kids, and their friend/roommate. (Margaret, Mireille, Philippe, and Johanne) They seemed to really like it and had lots of questions about the temple and the church. The temple just got even better the 2nd time we saw it! I just love to the see the temple.
Saturday and Sunday was our Stake Conference. Elder Milan F. Kunz, a Seveny, came. It was wonderful conference all about the Work of Salvation and Ward/Family Councils. I was inspired to work more with the members and to just be better. Elder Kunz even did a couple role plays with the members, which was surprising but super fun!
The final thing is that last night we got a super weird message from a random number from a man who said something like: "Hello Elders, this is Jeeeaaaan Geeeay [elongated name. . . suspicious]. I have a friend who is Mormon Polygamist and I want to join your church because I like a lot of. . .another woman. Please call me back this is urgent. Thanks." I could totally tell it was some fake accent, but I was little worried if it was some weirdo I didn't know. So I called back, played along with it, but as soon as he started talking some more I could tell it was Guillermo Lemus from Hochelaga! He had called to thank me for a letter I had written him to say that he is leaving tomorrow to go on his mission to LA. I'm so excited for him and I know that California is going to receive a great missionary.
Final thoughts for the week:
Sense of the Sacred by D. Todd Christofferson. It's a wonderful talk and I recommend that everyone read it.
This week I'm ponderizing Moroni 7:33 "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me."
Have a wonderful week!
#64 9 November 2015
Sorry, super short letter this week. I'll do better next week.
Probably the most exciting news this week is that we got our transfer calls. We had expected us both to stay here in Hawkesbury, which is exactly what happened. What we didn't expect was that we will now be in a trio! The missionary that will be with us is an Elder Sorenson (not sure how it's spelled). So we've been cleaning and preparing for him almost all p-day. So now we'll have a small army of Elders at all times. It should be fun in our small apartment. The next most exciting thing is that we've been having to feed our investigator's cats every day this week because she was sick with double pneumonia. She has 5. It's been an adventure. But we've had fun. The third most exciting and the most frightening experience of the week happened yesterday night. We had stopped by the chapel to do some business stuffs on the the computers. We entered the chapel and I was opening the door to the clerk's office. Just as I got the door unlocked a super loud, bone cracking, ear-drum popping, booger blowing, tear inducing, socks knock-offing, heart stopping BRRAAAP! went off. Imagine your annoying alarm clock hooked up to the speaker system at a college football stadium that goes off to scare away rhinos. I might be exaggerating, but that's what it felt like to me. I thought that we had not turned off the alarm properly and that we were going to be shot down by a tactical missile. Turns out that it was just my companion seeing if this certain button had the same sound as our doorbell. Let's just say it took me a good 5 minutes for me to breathe again and another 20 minutes of adorable Mormon commercials (Homefront videos on lds.org. They're wonderful) to get my heart out of my stomach and my brain right-side-up. Good job companion. You've done it again.
To end it off spiritually D&C 108:7 "Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all yourprayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings."
#63 2 November 2015
This week has been pretty. . . Uneventful. Johanne was in Utah and she came back on Monday. She seemed to enjoy it but she's still not sure on baptism. We're working on that. Tuesday we did some service at the food bank which is always fun. Stacking shelves and helping people.
Probably the most exciting thing this week was when Elder Pryor scared the beejeebeez out of me. One night I walk out of the bathroom and Elder Pryor asks me to change the alarm on the phone. So, I walk over and open up our phone and I notice a message that says it's from Pres. Patrick. Every time I get a call or text from the APs or President my heart starts beating in my ears. So I look at the phone and it says, "Elder Perkes, we'll speak further of this but just so you are prepared you are being transferred next Wednesday to Ottawa." In my head I was like, WHAT THE JUNK?!? So I run over to Elder Pryor almost yelling at him, "Did you see this? Did you see this?" I send back an "Ok" without really knowing what else to say. But then the 'ok' came straight back to my phone and I know my face turned bright red. Elder Pryor had sent the message to our own phone then saved our own number as "Pres. Patrick". I then proceeded to punch his arm and kick his shins several times. I was just so hyped up in the moment that I didn't sit down and think logically like: Why would President send this over text? Wouldn't it be the APs call me? I've only been here for 5 weeks! Why would he send this on a Wednesday? And other things similar. So, he got me good.
Not much other than that. We bought pumpkins that we haven't carved yet and I think I saw 3 trick-or-treaters on Saturday. Hawkesbury is not a very Halloweener town.
That's about it for this week. For Ponderizing this week I have Alma 5:26 "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" I hope you can all remember the wonderful experiences of the Gospel and continue to live it and share it!
#62 26 October 2015
This week was pretty great. It started off with a speedy P-day because we had to rush down to the Mission Office in Montréal to get to a leadership meeting with Elder Golden. Unfortunately I was not allowed to go in (which upset me, but it's ok). So I went on a splits-blits-thingy with Elder Roubicek, Elder Carr, and Elder Critchlow, 3 missionaries who have been out for about 4 months (Elder Roubicek is my 'brother' as he is also being trained by Elder Hunter). Basically what we did for an hour was we walked up a street, walked back down, and talked to everyone on the way. It was cool to see all that greenie fire. We placed 4-5 Book of Mormons, I believe.
After the meeting we met back up with our companions and then E. Pryor and I went with 4 other elders and got La Banquise. Good stuff. We slept over at the Zone Leaders apartment in Kirkland and then woke up bright and early the next morning so we could get to the Papineau chapel by 5:30. At 6:30 we sat in our seats waiting for Elder Golden and then we all got up and we formed a line into the gym where we were all able to shake his hand and introduce ourselves. He asked us how long we've been out and where we were from. I told him that I was from Logan (no one knows where Hyde Park is) and he said, "I know that there are a lot of Perkes up there." but the line moved too fast and I hesitated and so I wasn't able to ask how he knew that. . . But it was still cool!
So, Elder Golden focused on being exactly obedient and having the Holy Ghost. He said how it's the small and simple things we do everyday that help us invite and keep the Holy Ghost in our lives and that with it, we can't do anything. So, Elder Pryor and I have a renewed motivation to be exactly obedient. He told us not to worry about what we've done in the past because we can always change and become better. Overall, it was a really good conference.
The rest of the week we were able to do lots of service. Raking leaves mostly. The trees have gone from their pretty oranges and reds and are now turned dull and brown and they are dropping EVERYWHERE. So, last Thursday, we went to help Chad, a recent convert in the branch. We were able to rake a nice big pile and even took some fun pictures of us jumping in it. Then we went over to help his neighbor rake/mow here lawn a bit as well. After we had finished there and talked to her a bit, we went back to Chad's yard and filled 18 black bags chuck full of leaves. At about 11:20 we had finished all the work and said bye to Chad. As we walked to the car, Elder Pryor hesitated. He patted all his pockets and he uttered something so dark that it caused the light of the sun to blink. "Uh, where are the keys?"
"Are you serious?" replied Chad. With another 5-6 searches through every pocket we concluded that the keys were lost. With a sigh, we started looking, having almost no idea where to start. We commenced our search with a prayer, as a good missionary should, and we kept a prayer in our hearts as we began to scan the grass for anything shiny or black. When we found nothing, we began to lift up the bags and shake them rigorously, listening for anything that could come near to the sound jangling of keys. Still, no luck. Chad left to go search his neighbor's yard and, with a sting in our hearts, we began to rip open each of the 18 bags and pour them onto a tarp. We hoped that the the weight of the keys would fall through the dead leaves and hit the coarse tarp with a jingling crackle and reveal their location. Unfortunately, every bag was emptied and the keys were still not found. By this time I was getting quite discouraged. We had prayed and were doing everything we could to find these keys. I was expecting a miracle. That one lucky bag or shimmer in the dirt. But it just wasn't happening. I had even got down on my hands and knees and literally swept a section of grass with my hand. I even got out my camera and searched the photos seeing if I had a lucky pic of the keys flying out of his pocket. Nothing. So, after about an hour and 40-ish minutes of searching I sat down to take a rest. I was discouraged, tired, hungry, and on the verge of giving up. Chad was still in his neighbors yard and Elder Pryor was on his knees in the huge pile, taking the leaves a handful at a time. Then, I looked over, and I saw his head bowed, and I wondered if he was praying again for divine help in finding them. But as he lifted his head, his hand came with it as he held up the keys and big smile of relief appeared on his face. The search was over and we went over to tell Chad that we had found it, and he was walking back from his neighbors yard. We showed him the keys and he told his neighbors that the keys were found, and then he told us that the whole time he was over at his neighbor's, he was talking to her and her mother about us, the missionaries, and a little about the gospel. Later, Elder Pryor told me this: he had decided to sit down and just search the leaves by the handful, not really knowing what else to do. As he almost mindlessly grabbed handful after handful, a thought came to him: "Put your hand in, pull it out, and they will be there." So, he reached in extra far, grabbed a handful and felt. . . nothing. With a sigh, he pulled out his hand and CLINK! The keys fell to his lap.
Hopefully that wasn't too long for you, but it was an excellent lesson on prayer, perseverance, and faith that all will be well. It was a needle in a haystack miracle, you could say. I'm thankful for a companion who hung in there.
Thank you for your prayers and I hope you all have a wonderful week!
p.s. Alma 34:27 Pray and ponder always for you and those around you
#61 19 October 2015
The answer: 15 cords (read on to find our more!)
This week we did lots of service. We picked a bunch of apples again, and they were HUGE! Lets just say we have enough apples to last us while. Elder Pryor actually made exploding apple pies! Ok, they didn't really explode, but they kinda fell apart. That didn't make them any less yummy though. (Elder Pryor is a pretty good cook).
Friday one of our members set up a Zumba class, and she really wanted us to come. So we invited a bunch of members and a few of our investigators and a grand total of 5 people showed up. . . Kind of awkward, but we had fun.
Saturday we helped move TONS of wood. Literally. We moved 15 cords of wood. For those of you who, like me, have no idea what that means, a cord is a 4'X8' stack of wood. That's feet, not inches. It was an all day affair. It took about 2 hours load up, and that was with the help of this fancy conveyor belt machine that the guy had. It was super scary because it ended about halfway into the truck and was about a foot or two above our heads. We should have had hard hats or something because I was so scared that a log was going to land on my head that my neck was looking up most of the time.So, once all the wood was in (and the truck was chuck full of it) we drove the 1.5 hours to drop off the wood, which took 2.5 hours to unload. What made it even worse is that as we were stacking, twice the piles almost fell all over. Thankfully only the end fell, but it was still pretty scary. After all that we had nice lunch at 5 o'clock of pizza and pop. Then we had to leave because usually on Saturdays Mike and Elianne (Recent convert and non-member wife) feed us, so we had dinner at 7 that night. I was very happy to get into bed that night.
Other than that, not too much happening. Ann, one of our investigators is very sick with shingles. It's very hard for to even move so we've been helping her out a lot around the house and just trying to help keep her spirits up. Johanne, another investigator, is going to Salt Lake City tomorrow to attend a business conference for a company she's in. She wants to visit Temple Square and go to church next Sunday while she's there so we're super excited for her and we're hoping that she really feels the Spirit while she's there. Other big things is that tomorrow we will be having a zone conference and Elder Christoffel Golden of the Seventy will be coming to do a mission tour, so we're very excited about all that. And the cherry on top of it all is that the Montreal Temple will be rededicated on November 22, which means in early November there will be the temple open house and we're super excited for all our members and investigators to go. Super exciting!
This week I am super thankful for my family, that I was able to have the gospel in my life from a young age.
Proverbs 22:1 "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches , and loving favour rather than silver and gold."
#60 13 October 2015
This week has been pretty good, but we didn't do too, too much. We were able to go do some service at a farm. We picked up about 12 laundry baskets full of apples, and it was only from 8 trees. They have 250 trees in total. . . Pretty crazy. But it was pretty fun and we got a whole bunch of fresh apples and some fresh apple juice. Pretty great stuff, if I do say.
We did splits with the Zone Leaders (who are also in our district) which was pretty fun. Well, except for the part when we were almost sprinting out of their apartment with a plate full of chicken kebabs that we hoped were cooked enough so we could make it to an appointment on time. Then the person wasn't even there and we saw our back-up plan walk out the front door just as we came. It was pretty terrible. But we had good night anyways. The next morning we went to a gym that was owned by one of their members and it was super great. I had more motivation to actually work out and it was fun.
Sunday I had to give a talk on Matthew 8:23-27, when Christ calmed the stormy Sea of Galilee. I focused on how when we turn to Christ he will calm our own stormy lives. It turned out pretty good, I think, considering it was my first real Sunday in the branch. Pretty great. After church we went down to Sister Kelley's house, a super awesome member in our branch with 5 boys who basically make up the entire primary, for Thanksgiving dinner, because Canadian Thanksgiving was yesterday. We had wonderful dinner of hamburgers, chips, and turkey with about 13 people squished around a table meant for 6. It was wonderful. Then on Monday (yesterday) we went to Mike (member) and Elianne's (Mike's non-member but very nice wife) house for our 2nd Thanksgiving dinner which consisted of turkey pies, mashed potatoes, ham, veggies, pie, and ice cream. So, it was wonderful. After dinner we took some food to Ann, one of our investigators, because she had been in the hospital on Saturday and was too sick to come to the dinner at Mike's. She appreciated it very much and we had a good time.
My Ponderizing Scripture this week: Mosiah 27:14 when the Angel explains to Alma the Younger that his father, Alma, had prayed for him and that Heavenly Father will always answer the prayers of the faithful.
#59 5 October 2015
So, this week was pretty exciting. It started with a nice lunch at La Banquise (poutine) where Elder Shumway bought a regular poutine, ate a third of it, put the rest in a box, went up to pay for his meal, then left the box on the counter. Basically he left 8 dollars on the counter there. Pretty funny when he found out on the metros. The rest of the week was mostly preparation and packing for transfers, which went smoothly besides the fact that I got sick. We were able to visit a few families before I left and take a few pictures. I'll be missing Hochelaga, but I'm excited to be in Hawkesbury with Elder Pryor. Elder Pryor is from Orem, Utah and it going home in December. I met him when I was in Ottawa and now we're companions and we get along pretty well. It's been pretty fun so far. Hawkesbury is full of bi-lingual people and is very small compared to Montreal. The actual physical area is huge, but it's all small towns. My first night I was not feeling super awesome, but we still helped this one family move in. It was pretty fun, but the house was not in the best condition (the previous owner didn't clean it up very well) so that fired up the husband a bit. They had been through a lot the whole day because they weren't able to get people to help them pack up the trailer and then they come to a home that's not clean. But we were able to unload just about everything before 10 o'clock and I was very happy to get a nice rest. Mostly I've been meeting our investigators, less active and active members. Conference was SO great! I learned so much. One thing I got from 3 different talks that we could apply to almost anything is Simplify, Magnify, and Clarify. A new goal I have is to Ponderize a new verse each week. This week my verse is 1 Nephi 6:4-6, and it's Nephi explaining how he wants to write the things that are most pleasing unto God, and not to man. I hope that we can all take and apply the new things we learned in conference, because I know that if we do that, we will find more peace and happiness in this world that seems to be unraveling more and more. Have a great week!
#58 28 September 2015
Important points because I don't have a ton of time, sorry.
Hugo has a date! We had a great lesson and then later that day he and Guylaine, our newest investigator, came to the baptism for 3 kids in the Montreal Est Branch. They both loved it! We had over 80 people at the baptism, which was great.
Probably the next exciting/sad thing is that after 6 months of being in the big city of Montreal in the lovely ward of Hochelaga, I shall be transferred to a little English branch 45 minutes away called Hawkesbury. I'm sad, happy, excited, and scared. I'm excited to be in a new area, happy that I know my new companion a little already and he seems pretty cool, sad to leave all the wonderful people I've met and worked with (note: must come to visit), and worried I shall lose my french. But it's ok! That's what studies are for, right?
Funny story of the week:
Last Sunday at our pot-luck Elder Shumway bit his lip. 3 days later, it started bothering him a lot and we looked it and it had gross white spot on it. We had some mission people look at it and then Elder Shumway decided to go to the doctor. It took about 1 hour to get to the doctors office where we waited 10 minutes because we were early and then another 30 because the appointments were backed up. Finally the doctor invited us in, looked at Elder Shumway's mouth and walked out. 5 minutes later he walks back in and says that it's going to heal on it's own and that he just needs to avoid touching it and eating on that side and that he can gargle salt water if he wants. . . Then an out back to our next appointment. [face palm] Quite an adventure.
So, change is coming! I hope everyone has a FANTASTIC general conference! How lucky we are to have a prophet today!
#57 21 September 2015
This week was pretty good, but I don't have a ton of time so here it is in a nutshell:
I had splits with Elder Hernandez where we ate $5 Thai food, gave a haircut to one of our good friends in the ward, Daniel Bolduc, I attended some District Leader duties and did 2 baptismal interviews with 2 kids going to get baptized this Saturday, and then visited the Cosmes, a Spanish Family in our ward. They made us Agua de Horchata which is the delicious drink of rice, milk, and sugar. SO GOOD.
The rest of the week was filled with normal stuff. We got a new investigator from the English Elders, Guylaine and she seems pretty solid, searching for truth and stuff. We had few Dinners with members which is always nice and we did LOTS of planning.
Sunday was fun because our 2nd and 3rd hours we did a genealogy activity, which most of our investigators liked, in preparation for the reopening of the Montreal Temple. Then we had a nice big pot-luck after with so much good food and stuff.
And we finally got a baptismal date for Margalie! [cheers] So, she should be baptized in the mid-October. (we have to do some scheduling magic with the stake to have it). But it should be good!
Have a fantabulous week!
#56 15 September 2015
This week wasn't the most exciting week. We were able to go to the Biodome, which was basically a mini-zoo. My favorite was the poison dart frogs and the puffins, which I have decided is my new animaux preferé (favorite animal en français). We had a few suppers at members houses and I had this Mexican drink made from flower pedals called Jamaica (pronounced like huh-my-kuh) and few good lessons. Hugo and Margalie are doing good, but we're still working on the coffee thing. But they both committed to stop. We also had pass-off with the English Elders, Elder Hunter (my trainer) and Elder Roubicek (his new trainee). His name is Hughes and he seems like a pretty cool Haitian. Sunday was a little crazy. I was able to play a duet with Elder Shumway in Sacrament meeting with me playing the piano (that's for you mom) and he was playing the organ. We played the song found in this months Ensign called "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need". Everyone loved it and said it was perfect (there a few timing errors, but no one really noticed). Then we had another pass-off with the English Elders in a sketchy part of the our area, but the guy seemed nice. His name was Hugo (yes, we now have 2 Hugos we're teaching) and he's just young guy but his environment isn't the most...inviting. We were interrupted by a lady who jumped in, told us her life story and why she believes what she believes. It wasn't necessarily bad, it was just. . . odd. But we got a return appointment. After that the Chinese Elders, Elder Chou and Elder Woo, called to ask if we could open the church for them and come help them with a lesson. So we sat in on the lesson, which they kept mostly in English. It was a long Sunday and we weren't able to eat until quite late. But it was good and I got a good night's rest for our Zone Conference the next day. It was such a good Zone Conference. A big chunk we talked about the Sabbath Day and how if we keep the Sabbath Day more sacred, if we really dedicate it to a day of rest from the world, all other aspects of our life will be better. We also learned about Sacrifice and how we need to cut of the bad branches and purge the good ones so that we can become better (John 15:1-2).
So, pretty good week.
#55 8 September 2015
This week was pretty fun/crazy/normal/yummy. We had a little district activity where we all went up to Mount Royal to see the view point of the whole city. Yes, it's more of a hill than a mount, but it was cool anyways. While up there, we saw this kid and his aunt playing together. The kid was playing the accordion and the lady was playing the public piano. They were really cool and we were talking with them after and the lady said that she had actually met President Hinckley! She had been in a group that had performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and they had lunch with a bunch of general authorities.
Wednesday we had a pretty good district meeting and after we did a split with the other Elders. Elder Smith came with me to our area and it was ok. Nothing super exciting, but after a long night of bus rides we stopped at this tiny Thai restaurant and it was FANTASTIC. I got a plate of special noodles, shrimp, and chicken. Then we had fried ice cream. It was SOOOO good. The next day we had ANOTHER split with the Zone Leaders, but this time I went to their area with Elder Gutierrez and Elder Shumway stayed in ours with Elder Munoz. Unfortunately, all of our appointments fell through and we spent a lot of time in the car making calls and figuring out what we were going to do. We were supposed to have one solid lesson in the evening, but that cancelled as soon as we showed up. So we talked with the member who came with us (well, he did. They talked in Spanish) and while I awkwardly stood there picking out a word here and there, two younger men walked by. As they passed us, the one walking closest to us lifted up his hand and said, "High-five!" I reacted with such great reflexes and returned the high-five. They just continued walking. Random moment, I would say.
Saturday we went to our first lesson and I COMPLETELY forgot to wear a tie. I almost felt naked without it. But it was ok. The lesson went well. We have 2 solid investigators Hugo and Margalie. Both come to church consistently and Margalie really wants to be baptized. Hugo is still a little hesitant. He doesn't feel like he's ready for the moment, but I think he'll be fine.
For fast and testimony meeting I bore my testimony about Charity. I shared something I had learned in District Meeting from Elder Plumb. Charity is the pure love of Christ, which doesn't necessarily mean that charity is your love for someone. Really, Charity is the Atonement. And how we have Charity is by sharing the blessings of the Atonement with everyone. That is true charity. So, that was a cool thing I learned.
Then yesterday, for Labor Day, all of our appointments cancelled. It was long day of walking and trying to find lost ward members and investigators. My feet were very tired at the end and I was happy to get some sleep.
Thanks everyone for your love and support and have a great week!