Sunday, April 10, 2016

Pictures

Sugar Shack
 Food!!
 Look at those slippers.
 Rimouski
 Newest Compaion

Lovin' the sugar shack.

Slacker Parents #76-#83

#83 April 4, 2016
"Short But Sweet"



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.

Elder Perkes


#82  March 29, 2016
"Sugar Rush"

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!

Elder Perkes

"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.

Elder Perkes


#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!
Ciao,
Elder Perkes


#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!

Elder Perkes


#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!

Elder Perkes


#77 February 22, 2016
"Swampy Winter"

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!

Elder Perkes

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.
Nothing much else this week. Have a good one!

Elder Perkes

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Back at it. Letters #68-#75

#75 February 8, 2016
"My companion broke the window"

Dear Everyone,

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!
Bonne semaine!

Elder Perkes
video
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!

Elder Perkes


#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"

Dear Everybody,

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!

Elder Perkes


#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!

Elder Perkes

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!

Elder Perkes


#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!

Joyeux Noël!

Elder Perkes


#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.
So, it has been a good week.
Happy December! Go out and carol a bit.

Elder Perkes