Sunday, April 26, 2015

Letters #35 & #36

#36 April 20

This week was pretty crazy. Transfer day was way crazy. After getting up super early and talking with my companion some, we arrived in Montréal. We talked for a bit, picked up some mail, and talked to the sisters who we were replacing. They had already set up some lessons for the day! and the week! It was pretty great. We were able to meet the bishop and a bunch of other members throughout the week. Elder Brewer is my new companion and he is from South Jordan Utah. He`s a runner and is pretty cool. We did a lot of figuring out the area, meeting members and investigators. One less-active we just decided to drop by. At first I was a little aprehensive, but when we knocked on the door he let us right in and gave us juice and cookies and we had an awesome little talk with him. His name is Frere Dommerc and he`s 88 years old. Super nice guy. We met some other investigators from Haiti named Sylvain, Edna, and Ednar. They have a lot of questions and seem pretty solid. WE also met Frere St. Louis. His testimony is in the March ensign and it`s the story of how he lost his leg in an earthquake in Haiti. Pretty awesome story. Then we got lost trying to take the bus to an investigators house. But it was all good. Our Ward Mission Leader is only 21 and he is preparing to serve his own mission, he just needs to work some things out. He`s super nice and speaks English, french, spanish, and I Heard he`s Learning german as well. He`s great. Sunday we have Church at 1, which is a big change. We can actually do studies in the morning now! We met more members and after we had small dinner with Elder and Sister Wassum, the senior couple in our ward. They`re from Virginia. After dinner we went and visited a potential. Her name is Candy. She`s half haitian and half dominican republican but is from Montréal. She was super accepting and even wanted to pay tithing after! We didn`t even mention tithing! So she seems like a solid investigator.
Montréal is still big and I`m still a little nervous, but It`s geting better. I`m having fun and my new companion and I are going to work hard and do some good.

Elder Perkes

#35 April 13

This week was a pretty good week. After Easter there's a huge sell on Mini eggs (you know, the chocolate kind) and the Fongs bought us a big bag of them. They were delicious. On Tuesday, I think it was, I gave myself a haircut. It's not terrible, but my companion thought I cut it too short. It'll grow back eventually, so it's okay. On Wednesday we went on an exchange with the ZLs to do some pass off lessons, but all of the one's Elder Anderson and I were supposed to go to got cancelled, so we listened to a talk by Jon Bytheway. It was pretty good. It was all about 'what is in your backpack'. It talked all about how there are a lot of things in this life that you can't change. The hike is long and hard. But you can make it easier on yourself by what you take in your backpack. It was all about attitude and what you can do to make your life and the lives of those around you easier.
Thursday we visited the Paredes again and this time they made me a cake for my birthday! No, it was not my birthday, but they wanted to make sure they celebrated it, just in case (foreshadowing?).
Friday was not our day. We had made a bunch of appointments and were going to get a ton of awesome lessons. And then they all fell through. Thankfully it ended with a really fun soccer game. Alberto (the Spaniard), the Italian, the really tall guy from Cameroon, and a kid from Iran all came. It was super fun and pretty laid back and it was a great last soccer Friday (hint hint).

Saturday morning we helped the Mcateers move. Both of them. They were actually switching places. The Bishop moved to his dad's house and his dad moved into his house. So we did 2 moves in one. Thankfully they were super prepared and we had a lot of help and there was pizza. After all that they were going to watch the Hockey game (Ottawa Senators vs. Boston. Senators won. Everyone was very happy). We were talking to Bishop Mcateer for a little bit and we told him that transfers were later that day. He guessed that I was leaving (revelation, perhaps?). Then we were able to teach a few other families. We were able to see the Nguyen family. They're Vietnamese and have been having some financial troubles, but they committed to come to church next Sunday! So we were pretty excited for them. Then we went home. Waited forever for our transfer calls. And yes, you guessed it, I am being transferred. I'm a little disappointed. I was really liking Ottawa and Elder Mataoa. It's been fun and I wish I could have stayed another transfer. Not to mention that I'm being transferred to Hochelaga. Which is in Montreal. If you don't know much about Montreal, I know that it's very big and very scary. I will be a metro missionary, I've heard, so no car. But I've heard that that is fun. And I know that I am going where I need to be. I wish I wasn't leaving, but it'll be good. And I'll be able to practice my french some more. 
Will he be able to survive the metros?
Will his companion be some pyscho, or a someone pretty normal?
Tune in next week to find out on


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Monday, April 6, 2015

Letters #32, #33 & #34

My life had flashed before my eyes. Or just headlights 
Email from  April 6, 2015

Well, this week was pretty good, but I forgot to write down all that happened, so I will do what my best from memory.
A very scary experience this week happened after we had contacted some referrals. We were pulling out of a parking lot onto a 4 lane street near an intersection. There was a large cement sidewalk-like separator in the middle of the street. Because of this separator, my companion (who was driving) turned left onto the street, toward the intersection. As I realized what he had happened, I then commenced to panic. I raised my voice (not quite to the point of yelling) and said, "Elder Mataoa, we're on the wrong side!" He replied casually saying, "What?" The first car from the intersection turned into the road we were on, but to the lane to the left of us. "We're fine," he said. I then argued saying, "No, look at the next car!" The next car to turn onto the road was heading straight for us. My companion then said, "Oh," again in a casual manner and did a quick U-turn and pulled back into the parking lot. We then drove off on the right side of the road, my heart beating in my ears and him laughing at how scared I was. I bought ice cream that night. 
2nd exciting story of the week. Saturday night, after getting home at 10:00 from the Priesthood session of Conference, we were both ready for a nice long sleep so that we could stay awake for all of conference the next day. Then, a little before 2:30, the fire alarm went off. Slightly dazed but still trained from the many years of drills in elementary school, I got up and went outside to see what was happening. I smelt something smokey, but not fire smokey, in the hallway. I didn't know what it was, so I wanted to get out, for safety. My companion sluggishly slumped out of bed, put on some clothes and we went outside. The lobby was not super smokey, but smokey nonetheless. We then walked outside, and it was freezing. Sensing no immediate danger, we waited in the entryway between the outside and lobby. Fireman came with all their gear, sledgehammers, axes, etc. So we waited hoping for some excitement. Nothing. The most exciting thing was that they used a crowbar to lift up a panel on the floor. After about 45 minutes the alarm was off and we went back to sleep in our apartment.
Apart from all that, Conference was pretty good. Lots of amazing talks. Did anyone else notice the "theme" on parenting and families? It was a pretty good Easter.

Probably my favorite line: "I can teach you to dance, but you must hear the music." ~ an old medicine man

Elder Perkes

When Jolly Ranchers Attack

Email from March 30, 2015
This week started with some pretty good cake made by the Sisters for Elder Hernandez's birthday. It was red velvet.
Tuesday we had a big Zone Training meeting where we talked about the new Easter Initiative, Because He Lives. It's an amazing video and I really like it. Then the Spanish Elders left. It was pretty sad, I'll miss them, but the apartment is so clean now! Which won't last very long (I'll explain later). Later that night Elder Mataoa was burning a Jolly Ranchers wrapper. It then dripped (while still on fire) on to his finger, where the plastic burned to his skin. He couldn't peel off the plastic without peeling of his skin, so he had a hole in his hand. Despite all this, he still did Insanity (intense work out program with Shawn T). The lesson learned? When lighting things on fire, make sure your hand is angled more out of the way.
Wednesday we visited a less active named Matt Chasse. He's been having some rough years, but he really wants to get back to church. He showed us around his house and fed us some wonderful venison which his dad had shot and we talked a lot. He has an amazing testimony, he just had some very trying times after his conversion. And before it, for that matter. But he's awesome and he just needs some friends in the church. 
Other stuff: We were able to visit Eric this week. He's doing well and he has a new baptismal date which we will be working hard for.
Sunday was pretty ok. We did get a call from the APs again saying that Elder Bybee and Elder Shaw are coming to stay in our apartment for 2 weeks while they get a new one in Kanata. (see what I meant by not clean very long). We'll see how that goes. After church there was an Easter Devotional. I thought it was pretty good. Lots of cool uplifting songs and many wonderful talents.
A thought that I learned in Gospel Principles from our teacher:
He said that while on his mission when he had memorized D&C 4, he remembered the part when it said, "the field is white and ready to harvest". But when he imagined wheat fields, he imagined a golden field, not white. So he asked his family who asked their farmer friend. This friend explained how when the wheat field is white, it means you must do an emergency harvest, or the crop will go to waste. So technically, in this age we are in an "emergency harvest". We have to do our best and help as many people as we can, because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. A cool thought to show the importance of all of us helping in the Lord's work.

Elder Perkes

Winter is not going down without a fight
Email from March 23, 2015

On the 2nd day of Spring it was snowy and freezing all day. And it is still freezing. Winter is fighting a losing battle, but man does he throw some hard punches.
Other notes... Elder Mataoa and I were sick all week, so we were unable to do much. We were able to teach our new Chinese investigator Bruce once this week and do a couple of pass-off lessons with the zone leaders, but other than that we did a lot of resting. 
Other news: Emergency Transfers Round 2!
Yesterday morning as we were talking to the very bold and very British Derek who is now in our ward, we received a phone call from the APs saying that there was an emergency transfer that would affect us. My first thought was "Is Elder Mataoa getting a new Chinese companion?", but I was very wrong. The Spanish Elders, Elder Gonzalez and Elder Hernandez, are both being transferred out and their area is closing down. Elder Gonzalez is being transferred to St. Jean, my greeny area, and Elder Hernandez is being transferred to an area in Montreal. So, Elder Hernandez got emergency transferred in, and now he is being emergency transferred out. And with all this it leaves Elder Mataoa and I with the whole apartment to ourselves (and maybe the car! but we're don't know yet, so don't get your hopes up). And now the Zone Leaders and 1 other team is now in our district and Elder Mataoa is still district leader. So that was probably the most exciting thing of the week.

Cold, even freezing, but still alive,

Elder Perkes