So, not much happened until the end of this week. I went on splits with Elder Hurtado on Friday. Elder Hurtado is going home Wednesday. He was our zone leader and I learned so much from the split. We had lunch appointment where I ate half a chicken, which was way too much, and tried my first sugar pie! It was delicious. After we went to the Ottawa mission, a charity where we served food to people who were under-privileged. We met some crazy people but it was fun. I felt like I was going to explode from lunch, so I didn't eat any leftovers. After, we went to go contact some referrals that he had gotten (we were in the Champlain area). We got lost, but we asked a nice lady who showed us on her phone. The first... wasn't there. The second was there though. He was a little confused and we did our best to explain the Book of Mormon, but he seemed pretty interested. He wanted some dvds and pamphlets, so we gave him some pamphlets and said we'd come back with dvds. Then we had a lesson with Jerry, an investigator who wants to be baptized and is super solid, he just needs to straighten a few things out in his life. But it was a good lesson.
Saturday, not much happened. Until transfers. That was pretty crazy. So all of us are staying... Except Elder Bybee. He will be district leader in Quebec. So that was pretty exciting. And my new companion will be Elder Mataoa, which is pretty known throughout the mission. Apparently he's a cool guy. I'll find out soon enough.
But Sunday was awesome! Right after sacrament this guy came up to me and asked if we could give him a blessing. He had super thick British accent and has been taking lessons from missionaries in Sydney (is there one in England? because my first thought was Australia, but I'm not sure). His wife is a member and will be joining him here in Canada sometime soon but he has a baptismal date for the 30! He wanted a blessing because he had noticed an increase of trials and stress as his date has gotten closer, so he wanted a blessing of comfort. It was super great. Then, later that night, we had our own baptism! Caerie, Patrick, and Xander all got baptized! It was super great and we all had a super fun time and it was just a wonderful experience for everybody. Elder Bybee baptized Caerie and Xander and Elder Artica baptized Patrick. So, good times were had by all.
12 January 2015 (sorry this is so late)
Well, this week went by pretty well. It started off with me buying a ukulele. It's pretty great. Tuesday we had President Interviews which was great. He gave me some good advice. The best way to overcome fears is just by doing them. Unfortunately I was getting gradually sick. On wednesday I went with Elder Gonzales to one of the Spanish less-actives. It was fun, but I only understood Jesuscristo and amigo. We had some DAs with a couple of members and new years was... uneventful. I was able to write a few things in my journal and Elder Bybee yelled to me from the other room "Hey, Happy New Year!" The next day I was dead. Not really, but I was sore, sick, coughing, and gross. I've been sleeping mostly since then. But we were able to get a few lessons with different people. We visited Eric, which we will hopefully be setting a date by the next visit. Saturday we had a big snowstorm and got a few inches, then that night we had freezing rain. It looks really cool, and it was fun to smash through the layer of ice to get to the soft snow underneath.
Well, this week has been... different. But fun. Last Monday we went Caroling at the Rideau Center. When we first got there I was terrified. I didn't know if this was a good idea if we were going to sound well if we had too many missionaries. But then we got started and everything went wonderfully. Some of the other Elders made some good contacts and one lady even asked if she could come sing with us! And she even visited the church yesterday with her brother (they weren't able to stay the whole time because they had other plans. Baby steps.)
2 days before Christmas Elder Bybee and I had a snowball fight with one of the sisters' investigators (he's 8 and the parents wanted us to be good friends with him. His name is Xander). Unfortunately I lost my magnetic nametag... I'll be getting a new one soon. Later that day we had a Christmas devotional with our zone. Each district sang a song and President Patrick gave a short talk at the end. He talked about the Christmas story, but the thing I remember the most is what he said right after we watched some Bible videos on the birth of the Savior. He said that he noticed that every time an angel appeared to a person, the angel would say, "Fear not." He said how it was interesting how fear is a natural instinct for man, and how we should find ways to overcome that fear.
Christmas eve we went to dinner at the Heagle's, a very nice older couple. There were 3 investigators there and 2 other members. One of the members from a nearby ward was very British. His name was Derek and he's old, retired, and little... rounder. But he's got a very thick accent is very proud to be from "The Mother Country". He pretty much bashed on us "Yankees" and quizzed us on popular British songs that are sung everywhere. But he gave some good advice on how to be a little more bold when talking to strangers in a friendly setting.
Christmas was pretty great. I woke up and read about the 3 kings. After, I opened the different gifts that my family had sent me. And yes, I built all the Legos that day. We ate at the Fong Family's and skyped there as well. I skyped in the upstairs bathroom because Elder Bybee was in the den. So that was exciting. We played some fun board games.
We visited Heberwak and Wakoya on the 27. They are an older Ethiopian couple that were baptized just a few years ago. They are super nice and we ate some really good Ethiopian food.
Sunday was great as well. Brother Anthony, a member from India, gave an excellent talk on making room for Christ in our busy lives. He first explained how different Christmas was when he moved to Canada. In India, they didn't really give gifts. When he moved here, it transitioned to an option, then an obligation, and now he feels like it is a complicated puzzle. Good stuff. Later that night we had dinner with the Johnson's. It was fun and we had some crackers. Not like crunchy bread stuff, but little paper tubes that you pull the ends and the go CRACK! But what was cool is that they had little prizes inside. E. Bybee got a tiny deck of cards and I got a Golf Abacus (that's for you Dad).
So, pretty eventful week. Hopefully we'll back to missionary work after the New Years. A great Mormon Message that we've been sharing with families is the "Don't Look Back". It talks about Lot from the Bible and how to move forward. Keep moving forward. We all have regrets and past mistakes, but Jesus atoned for them. With Him, we can be free from that guilt and regret when we properly repent. I'm so thankful for that knowledge.