Monday, July 29, 2013

Hello from Cornwall !

     So, Cornwall! It's in the middle of nowhere! It's pretty much the opposite of Montreal. There are cows, and fields, it's beautiful, and I love it! I wouldn't mind living here! The people are so kind it's unreal. Our ward is good! Lots of older people, and they are good members. About 2/3rds of the ward are less-actives. So there is a challenge we're going to take on. We've already got a huge list of  pass-bys to do and people to visit. We're stoked!
     Sister Berg is such a sweetheart! She is from Kaysville and only a transfer ahead of Sister Stiles and I. We have three main investigators right now. Anne-Marie is an 80 year old woman who is a sweetheart and is really close to baptism. She is afraid to pick a date, she is worried that she might miss it because of health problems. If that would happen she would be so disappointed in herself. Next time we met with her we are going to bring the Ward Mission Leader, Brother Heinz. He will talk about the priesthood and maybe give her a blessing. So her baptism could happen anytime, she is ready!
     Then we have Tracy. She is living with a less-active member in the ward. She is really awesome! She is drinking it all in and  really excited about everything we've taught her. We taught her the law of chastity last time and asked her to pray about how she can best live that law.
     Then there is Steven, who referred himself on because he is online dating a returned missionary from Utah who suggested it to him. He is super interested. He asks a lot of questions, but it okay. Last time he asked a lot of questions about the temple recommend interview, and we were like WOAH buddy, let's talk about the baptismal interview first! He's got good intentions, he just needs to learn to get his answers through personal prayers and not so much through Internet and books. We are so excited about him.It is like in the scriptures when it talks about having milk before meat. In the gospel with  somethings, most things, we have to start with the basics and slowly work up to it as our capacities increase. We all need to remember to be patient with ourselves and not be frustrated if there are things that we still don't understand yet. That will come. That will come.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Oh la la! Quel surprise!

     So, Sister U-fa is leaving! She is headed to Terrebonne, which is up north, French speaking, she's going to be with a sister here in the English ward and they're already good friends. ALSO...I'm transferred too! I was super not expecting it, but yep!  They are flushing our area and I'm headed to Cornwall. It is Ontario. It's and English speaking! I really hope I don't lose my French. It is the area of our mission that is the closest to the U.S. Also, another surprise, I am going to be in a trio companionship with Sister Berg and Sister Stiles, my companion in the MTC. I would have never guessed I was going to be transferred, let alone this! So, on Wednesday, bye-bye Ville-Marie!
     Proverbs 3:5 "Trust  in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
     Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
     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."

Monday, July 15, 2013

     We have had a little setback this week with Rachael. She had a baptismal date for the 20th but she had to cancel us last week and she was not at church on Sunday. So we are going to have to push back her baptismal date. She has a strong testimony and likes us a lot. We have to figure out how we can improve our lessons with her. I'm sad about he change in her baptismal date, especially because transfer call are this Saturday and I'm pretty sure sister U-fa is leaving me. This weeks marks the half way point of her mission and she has spent it all here in Ville-Marie. Rachel was going to be her first baptism.
     Sister U-fa and I have really grown to love each other so much. During weekly planning this week we had a pretty tender companionship inventory. There were lots of tears shed as we both sense that she is leaving soon. I am filled with overwhelming gratitude for the example she's been to truly caring for each individual person and teaching with all her heart. The love she has for those less-actives is astounding. She has given the people in this area so much love and patience and it has been an honor to learn that from her.
     We spend lots of hours knocking on apartment doors, which is a challenge for me. It's not always something I want to do. I am having a hard time  beating myself up for not wanting to do it. I do love teaching lessons, and experiencing the love that the Lord has for each person.
     Last week we were walking around a park in Verdun and we talked to this one man for probably 45 minutes. He was intrigued and impressed with our willingness to serve. We found out a lot about his religious beliefs and family struggles and how he has such righteous desires to have a family, but it hasn't worked out. It wasn't really a conversation out of the ordinary, but when we walked away I was suddenly overcome with the strongest feeling of love for this man. It took me quite off guard and brought me to tears.
     There are people that are searching for the healing hope that the gospel has, so earnestly and honestly, and they haven't found it yet! I so hope that we can make an appointment soon and he can realize that we have what he is looking for. It's amazing how the Lord blesses missionaries to get a glimpse of how much he loves each one of his children, it's probably one of my favorite blessings about being a missionary.
     Things are good. Sister U-fa and I laugh and work and teach and sleep and do it all over again each day. I miss you like crazy, but we are having a blat here, doing our best to do what the Lord wants us to. I can testify to you that I know without a doubt, that He can make more out of our lives than we can by ourselves. I've felt it, and continued to feel it every day.I'm happier than I've ever been in my life, and I know it's because I'm doing what He wants, serving and loving others and trying to be more like Christ.

Monday, July 8, 2013

     We had a miracle this week! There is a less active/recent convert in the ward, named Gemina, from Haiti, that cut contact with the church and missionaries about seven months ago. On Thursday Sister U-fa felt like she should call her...She didn't answer, and we thought nothing of it. All of our appointments fell through, which happened a lot this week.But...then Gemina called us back! We had a really good lesson and she even fed us and THEN she came to church! The Patricks were so welcoming and kind. She asked the Patrick's 19 year old daughter, if she could come teach with us this week!!! Wahhh!! We have a teaching appointment with the Mission President's daughter! She knows a bit of French, she's preparing to leave for the France, Leon mission in less than two months. She is so awesome.
     Sunday night we went to the house of a family in our ward, the Rafafinimanana family, and the Bishop and his (Eveque) family was there too! Fun fact; the word for bishop is eveque. Hehe. Eveque Eveque! Well when I got there, everything was green... They threw me a surprise "greenie" party. Everything we ate was green or had green food coloring in it, and everyone wore green. It was so fun and they were so welcoming. They decided after the party that I was no longer a "greenie".
     We had a zone study this week, and President Patrick came to speak to us after.Their sweet family sang a song for us and then bore testimony. They are so amazing! So willing to serve even though they have young children. The youngest of the four of their children is only nine. Wow! I'm really feeling like the member work in our mission is going to be changed drastically in the next few months. The spirit was so strong after the meeting!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

     This week! Oh my goodness this week! First of all, yesterday was Canada day! Two national holidays in a row, wow! And in Montreal/Quebec since they don't like Canada...It's also moving day! It's the day when all the leases end! So we moved! All of it was done yesterday. We are very much indebted to the wonderful missionaries in our ward, Elder and Sister Bendio,and of course the Elders, Christensen, Smith/Griffiths and Malone. They were so much help! It was a big job. Today we are a little sore. Our apartment still needs to be painted so we couldn't unpack anything or even set up our beds. We slept on a mattress on the floor last night, and it's been fun hunting for miscellaneous dishes and stuff. Hopefully we'll be able to settle in soon.
     The big news of the week is THE PATRICKS ARE HERE!!! Woo!  So the Cannons are leaving. Friday morning the missionaries of the IDM zone (Isle de Montreal) got together and rehearsed a hymn "Each life that touches ours for good" We rehearsed it at the Villa Maria church, then we went to the mission home, and snuck up to their house (in the pouring rain), then Elder Babin, who was just recently an AP, called Sister Cannon and asked her to open the garage door. We all walked in singing and they were crying and it was the best. We love them so much! Then they bore their testimonies to us one last time
     And! Then! Sunday! I was called that morning and asked to give a talk...(eeks! french!) and then we get to church and during the opening song the Patricks walked in with their family!!! Whattt?! I was really nervous, but also super excited that they were there. I feel like I did a pretty okay job. It was really simple, basically my testimony, and a bit about the broadcast, which was what they asked me to do. After sacrament we met their family. It turns out that they're going to attend our ward!!! They've lived three years in Belgium so they know french. They want to go to our ward so their kids can learn more. The mission home is in our ward boundaries. The Cannons went to the English speaking ward. This is so BIG for our war! We're going to see miracles. After sacrament meeting President Patrick came up to the missionaries and said, "Okay. There were 5 less active families in church today, they will all be visited this week and we are going to retain them. Okay? And don't forget to ask for referrals." YES SIR! We're really excited.
     We visited Rachel, our one investigator with a baptismal date, a lot this week. She is a single mom from Haiti. Her date is July 20th.