Wednesday, March 29, 2017

General Conference

Dearest Familia,
I am glad that Grandma had such a great Birthday. I'm SUPER Jealous that you guys had a huge family party without me. I'm sorry that you won't be seeing Dad for a while, I haven't seen him for a while either. :'( I hope that Disneyland is fun, and I'm sure that Logan will end up ditching Micah. He would. We were over at our Bishop's house for dinner and his daughters were watching "Sing" in the other room. It looks pretty decent. I heard one of my favorite Beatles songs being sung on it (which is one of their not-well-known songs) and I got pretty excited. I'm sure I'll see it soon enough. I'm glad you got the one night shift, Mom. Don't vomit. And don't worry about me eating too much ice cream. Elder Babbel has made it his job to make sure I don't eat ice cream or bad things. And trust me, this is the guy that pep talked me through eating a WOW size Poutine. He can make me do incredible things. Haha.
I do however, have to get Dairy Queen this Saturday, because of the family tradition for General Conference. But Elder Babbel will allow that. TRADITION!!
The only things I can think about wanting you to send me, is an electrical razor and a French-Cuff White Shirt. My only cuff-link shirt has gone to shreds and I'm going to turn it into a short-sleeve shirt. Other than that, if you want to buy me anything for my birthday, I would advise you to keep it at home and give it too me for a late birthday/coming home gift; because I do NOT want to have extra stuff to pack. I'm probably already bringing a bunch of things home for all of you. Also, I probably won't be bringing much clothes home, because most of my missionary clothes are just about done for, so I'm going to wear them out in the next few months, and then either leave them or throw them away. The only clothes I'll bring home will probably be the ones I'll wear on the plane. And then I'll probably burn all that once I get released. So new church clothes for when I get home might be nice. :) Also, for my Birthday Dinner this year, I would like to go to the Cheesecake Factory. :) That's basically the first thing I want to do when I get back: go to Temple Square and to the Cheesecake Factory with all of you. So let's make that happen!!
Holo Logan. Good luck with the ACT. That's weird that they're having you do it on the computer. Lucky. If you can get 30 or higher, I'll be proud of you. That was my dream. But then I woke up. :| What AP Tests are you taking?? APUSH, what else?? Remember Logan: SCOL IS 4 CHUMPS!! Way To Go Sophie!! Nice job holding things for ransom. That's my girl!! And I'm glad you can stop worshiping Satan now, Logan. I can tell you stories about why you shouldn't do that... I think the two worst things in the world you could possibly lose are your Wallet and your USB (or other Storage Device). I lost my USB last week and I'm pretty distraught about it. Mainly because I lost a TON of pictures I've collected on the mission. I bought a new USB today and have salvaged most of the pictures I've sent you all or other people, but that's not even half of what I had. I'll find my other USB though. I have the faith.  Sorry about Preference and all the food. It's just preparing you for the mission life. I'm telling you, some days, you eat All-You-Can-Eat Sushi, and then a few hours later you go to a member's house where they feed you a feast! It's awful. But beautiful.
Now Logan. I'm happy for your new friend. But let me give you a few scriptures to warn you about the Canadian type:
Deuteronomy 7: 1 When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the CANADIANITES, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
2 And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
I don't know what to tell you Logan. Just be careful with those Canadians. Now, if she was Hispanic, I wouldn't be worried about you at all, but she's not.
Yeah, that's basically what I did during the Knowledge Bowl (answer all the questions). I remember the day we lost, I ended that round getting 40 points in a row. We knew before those points that we were going to lose, but I decided to go out with a bang anyways. So good luck. And you better send me more emails before the end of my mission. And one more thing. Ouagadougou. Nice Try.
Lacrosse sounds sweet, Micah. Honestly, it's just as popular here in Canada than it is in the United States. I'm glad you're making a lot of friends and having Logan chauffeur you around. Fun stuff. The temple trip you and Logan are planning sounds SWEET! You should wait a few months to go on it and I'll go with you kids. Like an End of Summer Road Trip. That'd be DOPE!! Believe you me Micah, 9th 10th and 11th grades are what matters. And part of 12th grade. 12th grade is when you start applying for Scholarships, so after that, nothing matters. ;) Let me know when you get the Book of Mormon done.
So this week was pretty above average.
Monday we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for the Birthday of Elder Bahr. It was super fun. There wasn't very many people there so it was great. Our waitress was from El Salvador so it was double great. Afterwards, we played sports with the Zone. One of our Zone Leaders challenged me to race him from and to the stage in the gym. So I did. And I totally won, then I lost. I had planned on jumping on the stage at the end of the race and sliding on my belly, but I jumped too late and ran full speed right into the stage. I have a HUGE bruise on my stomach right now and it hurt SO bad. So that's fun. Later on Monday we had a sweet Family Home Evening with an Uruguatian family. They remind me SO much of you guys it hurts. A lot of fighting, a lot of "Shut Ups," a lot of "Idiots," the works.
Tuesday we taught people and English (except not English because we didn't have any students :(
Wednesday we had Zone Conference in Hamilton (a city not too far from us). I had to prepare another Musical Number. This time we rocked it. We did the song "Dear To The Heart Of The Shepherd," and supposedly it was fantastic (I just played the piano). So yeah. The rest of the Conference was really good. President Shields has challenged all the missionaries to read the book "Jesus The Christ" before the end of their mission. AH!! I'm totally going to do it though. We also talked about good music and a lot of things about Jesus Christ and his Gospel. It was a really good conference.
Thursday we taught people and did service.
Friday we taught people.
WAIT! Friday was actually a stellar day. Other than the fact that one of our big appointments bombed. Elder Babbel and one of our APs, Elder Taylor were going to Buffalo Wild Wings to do the Blazin' Challenge for lunch; so we decided to join them. So the Blazin' Challenge. At Buffalo Wild Wings they have their hottest sauce called the Blazin' sauce. The challenge is that you have to eat 10 Chicken Wings in five minutes or shorter. You can not take any drink or wipe your face and hands. It was SO...easy.
Yeah, it was pretty easy. The hardest part was how hot the wings were, not how spicy. I got them done in like three and a half minutes. Elder Babbel got it done in two minutes and 11 seconds. Once the sauce touches your outer skin, though, it burns pretty bad for a while. So that was fun. We got shirts for it though. I'll send you a picture once I get them. And the video of me eating the wings. It was super fun and definitely one of the highs of the week.
Saturday we taught English Classes, and then we were supposed to go with our Investigator to a baptism Downtown in the Christie Ward (which I was pretty excited about) but he bailed on us to go to his cousin's bachelor party or something, so that was pretty upsetting. So we taught the people that live in his basement instead and committed them to coming to church. So that was good.
Sunday I gave a talk in church and I did a pretty stellar job. I made a joke about how I messed up on the piano in Sacrament Meeting and lots of people laughed. So it was good to be able to laugh at myself. I'll talk about what I talked about later. A member told me today that while I was giving a talk, he received revelation that I'm going to become a General Authority. And then he told me that he has the gift of prophecy and during my talk there was a light glowing around me. So that was pretty funny... I guess. The rest of Sunday was us running around inviting people to General Conference, so that was pretty fun.
They had me give my talk on General Conference and the Prophet during Church. So I shared a talk and story by the Prophet that changed my life and my mission. In the 2015 October General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson gave the talk "Be an Example of Light," in which he shared the following account. "At that time, leaders of the Church met with officials in Jerusalem to work out a lease agreement for land on which the Church’s Jerusalem Center would be built. In order to obtain the permissions needed, the Church had to agree that no proselyting would be undertaken by our members who would occupy the center. After that agreement had been made, one of the Israeli officials, who was well acquainted with the Church and its members, remarked that he knew the Church would honor the no-proselyting agreement. “But,” he said, referring to the students who would attend there, “what are we going to do about the light that is in their eyes?” For may that special light ever shine within us, that it might be recognized and appreciated by others." I echo what the Prophet says. I heard that talk my first few weeks in the mission, which was the hardest time I've ever had in my life. I decided to take it to heart and probably the biggest change I've experienced on my mission is the changed I've felt in myself in my love for other people. My charity in the mission has grown ten fold. Now, as I go to watch my final General Conference in the mission, I can't help but feel appreciation for the Prophet, Thomas S Monson. I know that he is a Prophet called of God and the he leads the church today. Due to his medical condition, we might not have him for very much longer, so Go, listen to him, sustain him, remember him as the Prophet he is. I love you all and hope you all LOVE General Conference. I know I WILL!!

Friday, March 24, 2017

I had too much Ice Cream this last week. Wait?? Did I just say too much Ice Cream. I'm sorry. I'm really tired right now. ;)

LOGAN!!!! Send me pictures of Preference!! And all the dates you have been on!! And all the girls you have kissed!!! And don't touch my White Tuxedo!! She's off limits until I get home, unless you send me pictures and tell me your kissing stories (if you even have them).
I hope Grandma likes the surprise. Good luck!!
So this week...pretty average.
Monday we played sports and I drank a Shamrock Shake.
Tuesday it snowed. So we shoveled some peoples' driveways. We also had no students at our English Classes. :(
Wednesday we taught some people, did some service, and ate dinner with the couple that took us to Niagara Falls. We talked with them about getting sealed in the temple (because they haven't yet), and we're all hoping that they can get sealed within the next month and a half, so we can be there too. That would be SO cool!!!
Thursday we taught more people and did more service. We also went on splits with the Priests in our ward, taught some more people, then got Dairy Queen afterwards. Delicious!
Friday I had a huge District Meeting (because the APs and a Senior Missionary decided to come, in addition to my already overly large District). So we had some fun and did it like a Zone Meeting: Intermediate Hymns, Paperwork Stuff, etc. Then afterwards I set up an Ice Cream Bar for everyone, so it was pretty fun. I had too much Ice Cream this last week. Wait?? Did I just say too much Ice Cream. I'm sorry. I'm really tired right now. ;)
Also on Friday, I went on exchanges with THE Elder Bahr. My companion from the MTC with whom I served with for another two transfers. They were pretty great. And strange. A less-active member whom we're trying to teach his family asked us for a ride to his house, but when we went to pick him up, he was drunk (in addition to his already mental issues) and was covered in alcohol. It was quite the hullabaloo. He wouldn't get in the car, so we drove away. :}
Later Friday, we did some service and had an awesome dinner with Bishop Limon and his family. The Bishop here in Chinguacousy is one of the best men I've ever met, so it was a really fun night.
Saturday we actually had students at our English Classes. Then we taught some people and ate some lasagna.
Sunday was a pretty great/crazy day. So to start off. I was asked to play the piano/organ for Sacrament Meeting, because the girl who usually plays wasn't there. I wanted to play the organ, because it's better for Sacrament Meeting, but we find out that the girl who usually plays has the keys, and she wasn't there. So I figured I'd be playing the piano, but one of the members was able to get a key to the organ from the Bishop of another ward. So we unlock the organ, they run off, and a few minutes later, I realize that I need another key to turn the organ on. Sadly, we were not able to find that Bishop or the member who found that Bishop, so I was stuck on the piano. Which is fine...or so I thought.
During that Sacrament Meeting, Maribel was Confirmed and got the Gift of the Holy Ghost. But while we were standing in the circle, while Bishop was confirming her, somebody in the circle's phone went off. And it kept ringing. And it kept ringing. And ringing. Eventually Bishop paused. It was mid-Confirmation so no one wanted to take their hands off her head, so we just waited for the phone to stop ringing. But it didn't. It kept ringing. And ringing. Eventually Bishop tried to reach into the pocket of the person with the phone, with his free hand (left hand), but the person just took his right hand off her head and turned it off. We then continued the Confirmation and all went well. It was pretty bad. And then that person (I'm trying to be as ambiguous as I can) had to leave Sacrament meeting after the Confirmation, and as he was leaving, his phone went off AGAIN! So everyone knew who it was. So that was pretty funny. And embarrassing. Now it's my turn to be embarrassed.
So, while accompanying Sacrament Meeting, I was using an English Spiral-Bound Hymn Book to play, but I had marked all the songs in English and I knew which one's I was supposed to play (even though they were using Spanish Hymn Books). So all is going well until the Intermediate Hymn. Both the Music Conductor and I thought the Councilor Directing the meeting was going to announce the song, so we waited a second, but he didn't. So we both hopped up as fast as we could. I couldn't recall him announcing what song we were going to sing before, and for some reason, I decided not to look at the Hymn Numbers up on the wall. So I flipped to the song I though I was supposed to be playing and started pounding out the Introduction. The Bishopric is looking over in my direction, so at first I think I'm doing something wrong, but then the Music Conductor motions for everyone to stand up (like we do for the Intermediate Hymn). So I think I'm fine, but once I start playing the actual song, I hear a few voice, but realize that no one is really singing. I look around kind of confused and decide to just play the introduction again, because I think that maybe they just missed coming in. I once again start playing the song, and no one is singing. So I stop cold. And look around at everyone looking at me. Then I realize I'M PLAYING THE WRONG SONG!!!!!! I had flipped to what was supposed to be the closing song. So the Bishopric member conducting hops up and says, "I'll guess we'll be singing Hymn number nine." The WHOLE Congregation lets out this "OH" of realization, then they flip to Hymn Nine, I play the introduction again (for like the fifth time), and then we all sing the song. On a scale from one to extremely embarrassed, I was an Eleven. We rocked the closing song though. And now I'm over it. It was pretty hilarious all in all and I was able to joke around about it with a few members. Good times.
The rest of Sunday was pretty average. We visited with some people, taught some people. Had an awesome lunch with a Peruvian Family. There are a TON of Peruvian family's in this Ward.
I can't think of anything too applicable that I learned from this last week (other than turn off your cellphones during Sacrament Meeting and look at the Hymn Numbers on the wall :). So I'd like to take the opportunity to bear my Testimony of Jesus Christ. I've been reading the book Jesus the Christ a lot lately and I've always questioned myself what I would have done if I had lived in his time period. I always ask myself "Would I have tried to stop his Crucifixion?? Would I have fought to the tooth and nail to make sure he didn't die??" And I always want to say yes, but I've learned that Jesus Christ HAD to go through the things he went through. To the Tee. There were SO many prophecies on his life, his Atonement, his death, and his Resurrection; that if he didn't suffer and die exactly how he did, he would not have been the Prophesied Messiah. BUT, he did do all of that. He did Atone for not only our sins, but for our pains, our afflictions, our infirmities; so that he can understand EXACTLY what we're going through. He allowed himself to be mocked, beaten, and crucified. And then he rose from the grave, so that we may do the same. I know that he did all of these things. I know that he is our Savior and our God. He loves us so much and will ALWAYS be there for us. In our times of trouble and pain, and also in our times of joy and gladness. He is our Eldest Brother and he loves us so. And his love is Perfect. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.

Friday, March 17, 2017

B B B B B B B B B B B BBBBBBBBBAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!

B B B B B B B B B B B BBBBBBBBBAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
B but I'll talk about that later.
Everything's going great and I'm definitely going to finish SUPER strong, as long as they keep me in Spanish work. Transfers were last night and I'm still kicking it here in Chinguacousy (Brampton) with Elder Hansen. We're both pretty excited because we've got a lot of solid investigators who want to get baptized. Fill up the Font!!!
AH!! I wanted to go to that wedding so bad. I got a wedding invitation and I cried. I can't wait to ice skate when I get home. Being in Canada has made me miss it a lot. And has made me want to play hockey. I'm pretty pumped for college too. :}
LOGAN!!!!!!!!!!! Tell me the details of your love life!!!!!! You're killing me with all these vague comments.
Nice Dad!! I'm not sure what else to say about that. I hope you get what you want, Mom, with the job.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Sophie??? Why are we cursed with strange teeth?? I'm so sorry, but with your pointy teeth, you can bite people and draw blood. That's pretty cool, right?? I'm sorry to hear you're getting braces. But, 'tis better than when you're in High School. Then you hate your life. :) My teeth are doing fine. The one feels kind of loose, but just like it always has. I want these permanent retainers off though. I don't like them. Especially if I do have to get an implant, it'll be easier (and more fun) with a removable retainer. So that's what I'll do.
B B B B B B BBBBBBBIRTHDAY!!!!! Happy Birthday Savannah!!!! Maybe I'll just wait four months and bring you some Kinderbars home, because sending stuff home costs a lot of money that I don't have. I love you!!!! 
Well. This week was pretty awesome.
Monday, we went to NIAGARA FALLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so good. The Chatter Family is definitely one of the best families in the world. They took us there, took us up the Tower there (it's like a mini CN Tower overlooking the Falls) and there we had a SUPER fancy dinner in the revolving restaurant. I ate salmon. And cheesecake. The Salmon was better. Later we went down to the falls and took a lot of sweet pictures. I'll send you them with this email. It was a ton of fun and on the way there and back, their little three-year old kept throwing things at me and showing me games on her iPad and drawing pictures with me. It was a lot of fun. It made me trunky. Fact.
Tuesday through Thursday was alright.
We met with a lot of solid Investigators who want to get baptized (our Investigator said, when talking about him coming to the baptism, "I hope to see my family there as soon as possible." Score!!). Other than that, we got ready for the baptism, we ate some gourmet ice cream, and had delicious dinner with some members.
Friday, I went on exchanges with The Elder Brett Babbel. One of my best friends in the mission. It was super fun, we did a lot of crazy stuff. We did not stay up 'till four in the morning this time. We decided to get some sleep. Also, on Friday, we had a fun District Meeting where we had some very spiritual conversation and we played a fun game. Friday night, we taught a part-member family the Plan of Salvation, while drawing it out on a white board. I did a pretty good job at drawing. They really enjoyed it.
Saturday was a lot of getting ready for the baptism. We had Stake Conference that night and it was super cool because none of our investigators had told us they were coming, but while we were waiting for the meeting to start, one of our Investigators came in with her RM son. She was SUPER excited to be there and it was SO sweet. We took a picture with her, so I'll send that too. It was a REALLY good experience at Stake Conference that night. I saw a lot of close friends in the Stake that I hadn't seen in a while. 'Twas like a family reunion. A lot of them thought I had gone home, so 'twas a fun surprise.
Sunday was Crazy Day. We had to go early to wash the baptismal font, because the meetings kept us from doing that on Saturday. Then we had to fill up the baptismal font WHILE the Stake Conference was happening. We had a few Investigators at Stake Conference, so we were running back and forth. Eventually, Stake Conference ended and we all got into the baptismal room. The service was beautiful and there were LOTS of non-members there. Some of them did not speak Spanish, so there was a lot of confusion and translation going on. Along with that, there were two bishops, two ward mission leaders, ten missionaries, and our mission president there; so it was pretty intense. She did get baptized though. And she will get confirmed next Sunday. So buckle up for that.   
So I'm pretty pumped to be staying here in the Chinguacousy Ward in the Brampton Stake. This Stake is a family for me here on the mission. While I was sitting there, Saturday night, at Stake Conference, my arm was on the chair of one of my close friends is turning 18 soon and planning on going on a mission, my investigator and other close friends were sitting behind me, one of my "mothers" in the mission was sitting in front of me, and I just took a moment to look around the chapel and see all of these people that I have come to love so dearly. And there were a lot of people there I love. I think sometimes in life, we just need to take a moment and revel in the love and the people that are around us. Life is hectic. Life is crazy. Life is hard sometimes. Those sweet moments pass so fast unless we grab onto them. Enjoy them. So that's my invitation to you all. When in those moments and love and family, take a minute to realize where you are at and how incredible and beautiful life is. That's what Heaven will be like. A never ending feeling of love and family. I love you all. You are all family to me. Have a great week. Chao!!​

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

LIFE IS SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week has been probably one of the longest on my mission. And the shortest. It was nuts. Needless to say, there hasn't been a baptism yet, but it will come...hopefully.
Thank you much, Mother, for the emails. I've honestly gotten really really really bad about journaling on my mission, so I'm really banking on that Blog. :) I'm pretty open, honest, and detailed in my emails; so I'm not too worried about it. That's sweet though. 2:00 PM in Corvallis. I never knew. Now I do. I would LOVE to see the Broadway Concert. So if you would order a DVD, that'd be great. I am pretty pumped for College too. I have too many options on rooming though. I have that scholarship half-payed rooming that I got, two of my best friends in the mission who (one) wants to buy a house and us three can live in it together and help pay rent (they're both going to BYU), and now Ashton and Skyler, and I'm sure Joey's going to want to do something also. I'm just going to buy a huge house, and we can all live in it together!! Good plan!! haha, I should start figuring things out now because the clock is ticking...
This last Monday was SO fun. Our Zone Leaders brought the grill they have at their house, to the church, and everyone brought lots of food and meat, and I grilled it all on a charcoal powered grill. It was so good. I smelt awfully great afterwards, and the food was delicious. First real grilling experience...Success.
The fair majority of the week was us trying to get a sister ready for her baptism. Monday we went over the Baptismal Interview Questions with her, and Tuesday, she got her Baptismal Interview. Wednesday we met with her again to plan the details for the baptism. 'Twas also Wednesday that a problem arose about her baptism. There's a specific baptismal rule that she wasn't necessarily able to keep, so we had to get permission from the General Authority Area Seventy, to have that rule overlooked. There was a lot of drama about it all and needless to say, the rule still hasn't been overlooked. Our Mission President will be meeting with her this Tuesday and they should be getting everything straightened out. Sadly, all the drama and confusion made her very unimpressed with Church Leadership and until yesterday, she has decided she didn't want to get baptized at all. It was devastating. BUT! Thanks to many prayers and fasting and wonderful church leaders and time, she gathered her wits together and she wants to get baptized this weekend. So that was a huge miracle that happened yesterday. So NEXT Monday we'll send the baptismal pictures. :)
The less important things of this week included helping a member family move out, lots of other service, lots of dinner appointments with solid families. Exchanges with Elder Tanner Bertagnolli. Lots of cold weather, and warm weather. And this brings us now to Sunday.
Sunday was a day of MIRACLES!!!! And hunger. Fasting brings SO much miracles. "But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God." -Alma 17:3 So after all the miracles that happened with Maribel, we went to a dinner with a part-member family (non-member mother and RM son). It was incredible because A. We broke our fast and ate food. B. The food was delicious Lasagna. C. The RM son invited his girlfriend and introduced her to his Mom (so it was like a double date the son and his Girlfriend, my companion and the Mom, and me as the fifth wheel! ;). AND D. In the middle of dinner, his Mom, said I want my Son to Baptize Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was SO random and SO good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So we're super excited for that. She said she wants to take time and prepare and I was like well yeah, we've only taught you the two missionary lessons. ;) It was so miraculous though. After that dinner we went and had a great lesson with our investigator who knows that church and the Book of Mormon are true, he's just waiting for his wife and kid to get back from El Salvador (hopefully soon) so they can all get baptized together. And then after that, a member family made us more Lasagna to take home and eat. I HEART LASAGNA!!!!! 'Twas a blessed day and my testimony of fasting grew tenfold. Honestly, I've had too many experiences on my missions where I've seen so many miracles while fasting to say that it doesn't help. Not only is it a great way to show the Lord we are humble and willing to obey His commandments, IT WORKS!!!! So DO IT!!!! And it doesn't have to be Fast Sunday either. It is whenever you want to. Just don't do it everyday. That's not healthy. ;) Well, that's my Spiritual Rant for the week. This email is a little shorter...BECAUSE I'M GOING TO NIAGARA FALLS TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll send you pics of that next Monday, and of the Baptism!!!!! LIFE IS SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

This week has been SO good!!! But I'll talk about that later.
It's super funny, because it got SUPER warm here, and then it snowed again. I'm SO happy that Olivia's making this decision. And I'm SO jealous of you all. I would kill to be there. Enjoy WOW.
Mother, life is too short to not be enjoyed. If you're not enjoying life, change it. At this point, the only decent things that this job is giving you is money and experience. If you really need those things, great, keep working. If they're really not that important, stop torturing yourself. I love you so much, Mom, and only want you to be happy. Like I said, and I'll say it a hundred times, Life is too short to not be happy.
But enough about you. Let's talk about me. ;)
Tuesday, we had a great dinner with an awesome family from Nicaragua/Costa Rica/Colombia/Venezuela. They're daughters are adorable and make me trunky. Enough said. Then we were supposed to have English Classes that night, but no one showed up. So we went and supported a youth in the Ward who opened his mission call and is going to Dominican Republic, Santiago Mission. So that's super exciting!!
Wednesday we offered service at this place called Knight's Table. It's a fun place. A lot of really nice people. We had dinner with a Peruvian Family later that night and then we stopped by a woman, a Mexican Investigator who's going through a really hard time with a divorce right now. We read Alma 7 with her a bore strong testimony that Jesus Christ loves her and he understands what she's going through, and is there for her. By the end of the lesson, she was in tears and I started sweating from my eyeballs. So the Spirit was definitely there. :)
Thursday we met with our solid investigator; met with an older member lady and encouraged her to share the Gospel with her family; cleaned out and closed down a missionary basement (and got a lot of free stuff from it); and had an awesome dinner with a family (from El Salvador). 'Twas an exhausting day.
Friday, I gave a District Meeting. It was pretty average all-in-all. It got really intense because I had to crack down on some rules (and I subliminally rebuked some missionaries), but I made Chocolate Chip Muffins, so all went well. :) Later, I went on exchanges with Elder Skartdstedt. Cool last name right. Guess where he's from.......UTAH!!! Who knew?? But his ancestors are from Sweden. We had a good dinner where Nicaraguans gave us Chinese food; then we had an incredible lesson with a Part-Member family. The Spirit was so strong and while we were talking about the Golden Plates, the eight year old son was like "I know something more about the Golden Plates." And then he went on to tell us, in detail, the story about when Martin Harris lost the first 116 pages. 'Twas intense.
Saturday. I made pancakes. I've probably made 100+ pancakes on my mission. There's no probably about it. I have. But they were good and had chocolate chips in them. We later had English Classes that morning, and two new Indian Students came. THEN we studied and planned for the next week. Then we had a funny dinner appointment with a Peruvian family. Last Thursday, the wife had texted us to confirm the appointment (for Saturday at 6:00 PM), and we confirmed it. Then on Friday night, I tried to call to re-confirm it, but she wouldn't pick up her phone; but since we confirmed on Thursday, I though it'd be wasn't. They TOTALLY forgot, and thought the dinner appointment was supposed to be for Sunday. The funny part was when they were set on proving us wrong (on the fact that the dinner appointment was scheduled for Saturday), and I could have easily pulled out our phone and showed them the text, but I let the wife pull her phone out, read the text, and then the whole family got pretty embarrassed. So they bought us pizza. :) Of course, we were super nice about everything and enjoyed talk and pizza with them. But the whole situation made me chuckle.
ALRIGHT! Enough of the boring stuff. So, this whole week, we've been in contact with the Hermanas (Spanish Sister Missionaries) in Black Creek (one of my old areas) because they just had an Investigator, who had a baptismal date for this Saturday, move from Toronto to Brampton (our area). So we had gotten in contact with this investigator, but we couldn't get an appointment with her all week, until Sunday. The dilemma was that she hadn't been taught the Word of Wisdom yet, and if she was to get baptized, she would have had to leave coffee (something she drank) seven days before her baptism. In addition to that, she wanted to have her baptism in the Black Creek Chapel, in Toronto, and wanted to get baptized into their Ward; which would have caused a LOT more problems and difficulties. Yesterday, she said she was going to go to church in Black Creek, but we find out later (from the Sisters) that she wasn't at church at all. :| So we frantically try to call her and text her and, thank heavens, we get in contact with her and set up an appointment. Before the appointment, we are having dinner at the Ward Mission Leader's House (Libardo Bernal, Colombian) and the member we had asked to accompany us cancelled, so we asked a Brother to come with us. And he did. So....
We get there and we find out that she's very adamant on getting baptized this Saturday, so I say "Okay, but there are some regulations and things we have to teach you first." So we teach the Word of Wisdom and when I bring up coffee she says "Yeah, I'm pretty bad with coffee, but it was a good thing that the last time I drank coffee was last Friday. So it won't be a problem." It was SO awesome!!! We committed her to leaving coffee completely that night and we pray that she sticks to that commitment. BUT, she was still pretty set on getting baptized at the Black Creek Chapel. So, while riding the elevator with her, from her apartment room; our Ward Mission Leader, being the charismatic, smooth man he is, says to her. "Sister, I would invite you to think about being baptized at the Chapel here in Brampton. It's bigger, it's RIGHT by the temple, and whoever you want from the Black Creek Ward to come, we can get here." And she was like "All I really want is the Sister Missionaries, the Bishop, and the Ward Mission Leader from Black Creek to be there." And we were like DONE!! We'll get it done. And she was like "Okay, let's do it."
That's what the Sisters and we said when we called them last night to tell them the news. We were (are) SO happy and SO excited for her baptism. Please keep her in your prayers, especially that she can leave coffee and not have any withdrawals that she can't handle.
Also, later that night, we stopped by one of my Best Friends. He was also someone going to Black Creek that moved up here to Brampton. We had been in contact with him for a few weeks, but we were finally able to actually meet with him. A funny thing about that was that he's living with a Colombian, non-member, single mother who had referred herself online and asked for a Book of Mormon, a few hours before we went over. We got the referral through text, while at dinner, and we both burst out laughing because we had already met her and knew all the information on there.
So all in all. Life is great here. I'd share another Spiritual Though, but there's plenty in this email and this email is long enough. I love you all and hope you have a rockin' week. Expect Baptism Pictures next Monday!!!!