Serving in the Canada Edmonton Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week 9, 11/25/15

Nothing like playing football in church clothes on a frozen lake - truly inspiring!

Can't believe I've been away from home for two months! Honestly it feels like A LOT LONGER.... But I look back and I have changed so much in the past two months it's pretty amazing! 

This week was a great week! We got another new investigator, she's a school principle and isn't super serious quite yet but the spirit will get her eventually ;) nothing too exciting happened this week. All the days kind of blended together, lots of tracting and a few good lessons with our investigators. None of them have baptismal dates yet but we have high hopes for a lot of them. 

                                         This is the way I have to warm up my feet in the apartment :)

I think the highlight of this week was Sunday, we got the opportunity to attend all three sessions of the Montreal Quebec temple re-dedication. It was so nice to just sit there and relax a little bit and feel the spirit. Also another highlight would be yesterday in our lesson with our investigator Len, we were going to teach him lesson 3 and we had a super detailed lesson plan ready. We get there and he had several questions about the Book of Mormon and what he read during the week, so we just abandoned our lesson plan and taught him about the Book of Mormon and read with him. It worked out to be exactly what he needed!

Well I'm doing great out here in Canada, but it is starting to get quite cold most days.  I hope you're all staying healthy and happy. 

Party on eh  Elder Bonny

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 8, 11/16/15

This week was really good! Towards the beginning of the week I was still pretty sick and coughing all the time, I coughed up blood a few times so I decided to go to the doctor (I might have been influenced a little by my very concerned mother), and I got some antibiotics and I'm doing a lot better now.

my favorite Canadian dog/furball
The highlight of this week was definitely Saturday.  One of our investigators had a grandson recently pass away, and the funeral was on Saturday.  That whole entire side of the family is Catholic, so it was a Catholic funeral service combined with mass, and they asked elder Payne to do a reading at it.    It was pretty funny, he had no idea what he was doing and was kinda freaking out but he did a great job - haha.  The funeral was different than what I'm used to, but it was a good experience.  

After the funeral, everyone went over to our church building to have food.  There was seriously like 120 non members/ Catholics in our building, eating, visiting, having a good time.  There is definitely a different spirit in our church building than theirs, and I know a lot of them felt it.  We handed out a few Books of Mormon and pamphlets to some people as well, it was pretty awesome.  They were super grateful and appreciative.  After that we had about 45 minutes to clean everything up and get ready for the baptism of Sadie and Gage! It was an awesome, memorable experience for them and for me as well.  I was lucky enough to be able to baptize both of them and it was obvious I hadn't had much practice.  I forgot to say Sadie's name and I let Gage's toe come up out of the water. Oops ...hopefully I'll have other opportunities to hone my skills. So that was a pretty productive day!

The rest of the week prior was basically full of getting Sadie and Gage ready for the baptism and helping in preparations for the funeral.  We did teach a few lessons though.  Last Tuesday night we taught our investigator XXXX and his super nice family.  They speak Spanish so we had them Skype the Spanish speaking elders and they taught lesson one.  That was a big mistake haha....  The lesson went an hour longer than it was supposed to, and you could tell the whole family was getting irritated.  When it was finally over we told them we were so sorry for how it took, and if they let us come over again we would only take 20 minutes of their time.  We are going over there tonight, hopefully it goes well!  

We had three other investigators we were hoping could get baptized soon, one of them already had a b-date but she is moving away:(  The other two we were confident were going to commit to be baptized during our lessons this week but they declined.  Both of them are older, super nice guys who would make great members, they just need to make sure they're going to be 100 percent committed.  They'll get there eventually! All in all it was a really solid week.

I really have no idea what I'm doing here...
When I get back I'll need someone to go to a hockey game with me.   I went to part of one here, the Slave Lake Winterhawks.  It's like as close to a pro sports team as a town this big can get, but it was freaking cool to watch haha.  It's not like football when you're like "oh he should've done that", or you compare plays to other plays you've seen before.  I was just in awe the whole entire time cuz I can't imagine myself ever being able to do anything remotely close to it!  And they fight sometimes…so that's pretty awesome...

My teaching has gotten much better than what it was before...  like night and day.  I have gained a lot more knowledge about what I'm teaching so it helps me teach it more simply, but there's a lot of room for improvement.  I feel like I still have a long way to go until I'm actually good at it.  I've noticed the best way for my teaching style is just to bear simple testimony, that brings the spirit every time.. 

 Love you all, let me know how you're all doing!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Week 7, 11/10/15

Let me just start off by saying this week was super successful! We found 5 new investigators, one of them dropped us already but hey it still counts, one of them we committed to baptism:). We are teaching two more people tonight and we have faith that they will become investigators as well.

Even though this week was really successful missionary work wise, it was still kind of rough for me. I was sick on Wednesday and Thursday, and whenever I get sick it takes me forever to get all the way better, so I've been coughing and stuff a ton and probably will be for the next few weeks. I just kind of felt out of it all week I don't really know why haha. This week will be better though, hopefully we will be baptizing two of our investigators who are 9 and 11 years old this weekend.

Some family has requested more details on how the missionary work is going so I'll give a run down on our investigators for those who are interested.

There's XXX who is an older man who we taught the first lesson to yesterday and we invited him to pray at the end and I'm pretty sure he got an answer right then and there. He's been taught by missionaries before but didn't want to commit to it if he wasn't 100% sure, but he didn't seem to know anything we taught him so maybe the other missionaries just didn't do a good job haha... next time we are hopefully gonna teach his wife too, he's a really nice guy.

There's XXXX who has also been taught before, and was committed to baptism some years ago when her dad died, then she lost contact for a few years. We helped her move a huge TV stand into her house the other day and we asked if we could come teach her, we did and it went great and she committed to baptism.  She actually basically asked to be baptized!  But then we couldn't get a hold of her when we tried to arrange a ride for her for church, and our appointment fell through.  Later we found out that another one of their family members passed away recently, so we're gonna stop by soon and hopefully set up another appointment to teach her and her 4 kids

                           This is how we get pumped to go teach a lesson. Watch the excitement biuld  :)

There's XXXX and XXXX who we are hopefully getting baptized this Saturday, they are 9 and 11 years old.  Their mom is really nice, but they have it pretty rough. She has two other kids, is pregnant with another, her car is broken, they live 40 minutes away, she has to walk all of them to school and day care everyday and then work and take this course, and then walk them all back. I don't think her husband helps out much and he doesn't like the missionaries.

There's crazy XXXX who thinks we live in a dome and that the earth is flat and that aliens control everything, and that they are trying to break through the dome…no joke.

There's XXXX who we found and he just let us in, he speaks Spanish, we taught him the first lesson and it seemed to go pretty well, were gonna have the Spanish elders Skype him. He is promising and we are going to teach his wife too.

There's XXXX who we had previously set a baptism date for and we finally contacted him again last night.  He has just been way busy with work and would love for us to come over again.  Hopefully we can work towards a new baptism date with him, but like many, there are Word of Wisdom challenges.  He is a super nice guy!

So there's XXXX, he's older, and has a pretty bad disease on his neck and face called Wegener's Disease.  Unfortunately it causes him lots of pain and it sounds really rough. I think he believes the church is true, he just needs to come to church, but he won't cuz he feels self conscious.

There's XXXX who is really nice and comes to church every week but won't pray for answers and thinks there are other ways to salvation.  We need to think of a new way to get through to him. 

There's XXXX who speaks Tagalog, so we just set up appointments with her and she Skypes the tagalog speaking elders.   That seems pointless though cuz she just speaks English to them.  We both wish we could just teach her but it's their stewardship.

Me getting wrecked at a game of Risk after daily planning
We have other investigators also who we are trying to progress with but many are very busy and several can't progress until they get married.  If you made it through all that - congratulations!   We're super blessed to have the investigators that we do and to be having the success we are!

Hope you're all doing great, Jesus loves you:)  Elder Weston Bonny

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 6, 11/3/15

Wow, so much has happened this week it felt so long!! It has been a really awesome week though.  And yes I do have a story to tell about Sasquatch but I'll save that for the end because I know half of you probably never even read my emails all the way through haha;)
This is what our mission album cover would look like...if we had one.                                   Lesser Slave Lake
Well, the beginning of the week we were still without our truck and walked literally all day Wednesday and didn't really even run into any people, it was a pretty lame day. Thursday and Friday were both pretty unproductive missionary work wise because we were cleaning our gross apartment that was filled with years of other missionaries gunk literally all day Thursday and packing up all our stuff, and then Friday (the day we finally got our truck back) we spent the whole day moving out of it.  We had a district meeting that morning though, and our district helped us move, so that made it a lot easier. Our new apartment is SOO nice compared to our other one... It might even be the nicest one in the whole mission haha lucky me:).The best part is that I got a new mattress and I actually look forward to sleeping now.... my old one was probably the worst mattress in all of Canada. I named it whinona because whenever I laid on it, it would moan and creak so much and it was like it was whining about me being on it hahaha... yeah I'm weird.

Saturday, Halloween, was a pretty interesting day hahaha.  We helped set up this haunted house at the city library in the morning for an hour or so and then had a skype training meeting with some other new missionaries and their trainers.  A little bit later in the day the library still needed more help in setting up, and they said they also needed more people to be popping out at kids and scaring them, and asked us.... So we put on masks and capes and scared people for an hour hahaha.  I never thought that's something I would do on my mission, but hey, service is service right?  Not gonna lie I scared some kids, and their parents, pretty bad.  After that we had supper (that's what everyone calls it here) at a member's home we had to go back to our apartment and be in the for the night.  So my Halloween wasn't half bad.

Sunday and Monday we finally got to do some actual missionary work again.  On Sunday, I fasted and prayed that we could find a new investigator.  We ended up tracting into a Hispanic man named XXXX and taught him the first lesson and a little bit about the Book of Mormon, and he seemed to understand pretty well, and said we could come back next week!  It felt good to finally get to teach someone new again!

Yesterday we had several opportunities to teach people and set up appointments to teach by doing service.  It was interesting, on Sunday we knocked on a guy's door and he said he doesn't appreciate door knockers at all and was kind of rude in rejecting us.  Yesterday this lady called us and asked if we could move this monster tv stand that had 3 different parts to it from another guy's house to hers.  We go to the address she gives us to load it up, and it's the same rude guy's house from the day before haha.  He instantly apologized when we walked in and told us about how it was a really rough day for him and that his mother had passed away, and invited us to come back later to "have a chat".  We also ended up getting an appointment with the lady who we moved the tv stand for, to come back and teach her AND her kids:)

It's important that we never judge people by just one little encounter, everyone has their own challenges in life and is going through something, so don't assume people are rude or bad when you don't know anything about them!  I learned the importance of that yesterday.

I told you our apartment was nice!  jk
OK, Sasquatch story -  the Parks (the senior missionary couple in our area) live two floors directly below us. One morning this week Elder Park noticed a dark shape moving towards the apartment through the woods. At first he thought it was a bear, but as it moved a little closer he said it looked like it was upright but it was moving too fast to be a human or a bear.  Then it disappeared as it descended down to the stream and went out of sight. For reals!  Was it Sasquatch?????!!!!! Who knows, it wouldn't be the first time it has been spotted in this neck of the woods.

Well I look forward to a great, productive week this week, and I hope all of you have a great week as well:)   Elder Bonny

this employee has been sampling too much inventory

Week 5, 10/27/15

How do you like our P-day handywork?

Well this week was a little less productive than last week, so I don't  really have as much to write about...  

A few random things:  I ate pigs ear the other day, it was weird, I've eaten more pie in the  last 4 weeks than I have my whole life, random teenie-bopper songs  that I always hated keep getting stuck in my head for some reason. Why can't that happen with songs that I actually like? 

Photos from MASSIVE fire back in 2011
They had a huge wild fire here in 2011 that burnt down almost a third of the town.   Most people didn't even have time to pack anything they just had to leave with their wallets and the clothes on their backs.  There all whole sections of town that have these really nice brand new houses so its pretty easy to tell if a house was burnt down or not.

 We had a few teaching appointments with investigators this week but  most of them fell through or they weren't home.  Our truck was in the  shop all week because we had to take it in to get a dent fixed that  another missionary caused like 4 months ago.... gee, I'm sure glad they waited until got here to fix it!   

So this week we had to walk everywhere or get a ride from the senior missionary couple in our  area.  We mostly ended up walking, which actually hasn't been all that  bad, its just a bit chilly.  Wednesday we had exchanges and I spent  the day with our district leader, Elder Powell.  I got to learn some  good things from him.   

The Tagolog speaking Elders paid us a visit
Saturday the Tagalog (the language Filipinos  speak) speaking elders came up from Edmonton, and we had a fun little  branch party/game night.  One of the Filipino ladies in the ward  (there's lots of Filipino people up here for some reason) invited like  20 of her Filipino friends and it was pretty cool.  We gave a little  devotional at the end and showed the "Because of Him" video and the  spirit was definitely there.  Then the time came for the missionaries  to head home and the other people set up a game of musical chairs, and  they had this huge speaker thing with a disco light set on top of it,  and when we ended up leaving they were playing musical chairs with  super loud Jay Z music, disco lights flashing everywhere, IN THE  CHAPEL (technically its the multipurpose room).  We just facepalmed  and left haha.  Gotta love  these Canadians/Filipinos.   

We finally got our blessed truck back  -  yeah!
The next day in sacrament meeting Elder Payne and I both gave 15 minute talks on the importance of members and  missionaries working together to bring people to Christ, and how to  most effectively do that.  I felt like we did pretty good (well he  did, anyone who went to my farewell knows I'm not the best public  speaker, slowly getting better though).  Everyone seemed to be pretty  impressed and inspired!  The only other highlight of the week was last  night, we taught a lesson about Christ's earthly ministry and His  atonement to a recent convert, and at the end of the lesson I bore my  testimony about the Savior and during that I really just felt the  spirit so strongly.  I know Jesus Christ lives, and He is our Lord and  Redeemer.  I'm really so grateful to be a part of His church  re-established on the earth today, and I'm so grateful for His  atonement and that sacrifice so that we can change ourselves and  become perfect one day. Love you all, party on:)  -Elder Bonny   

Its getting cold here...I'm soaking in the warm sun while I can.

Week 4, 10/20/15

Week 2 in good ole Slave Lake has been pretty great! I have gotten to know the area and the branch members a lot better and this place is starting to feel like home.  Every day is exhausting and full of challenges but I have gotten pretty used to getting thrown out of my comfort zone now haha.

A few highlights from the week: Saturday Elder Payne and I had an appointment with an investigator and we planned a great lesson for him and it was gonna rock his socks off (spiritually yah know), and then he called and cancelled.  After another week with very little success, we were feeling pretty frustrated and discouraged and all our plans for the day were wrecked.  We prayed for guidance and we both felt that we should go tracting at this trailer park, so we did and the first door that answered was a super nice guy who let us in!  His name is XXXX, he's in his mid 20s, and he is simply an honest seeker of truth.  We taught him the first lesson and he understood it great, we committed him to baptism on Nov. 14th!  The best part was HE asked US to come back and teach him more.  That was the first time I have ever been invited into a house while tracting:) 

Just leaving on a FREEZING COLD jog

Another cool experience: Sunday during gospel principles class we got called out in the hallway and got introduced to a guy and his wife who apparently just moved here from India and were just walking around looking for a church to go to and saw ours and came in and wanted to learn about it.... so pretty much what every missionary dreams of haha.  We taught them the first lesson and they seemed very interested and understood everything, unfortunately they were just stopping in town and were moving to a town called High prairie that afternoon, so hopefully the missionaries there can contact them!

Rough moment of the week: Sunday night we were driving to this man's house who said earlier to come back later sometime in the evening.  We pull up to his house and his garage was open AND HE WAS IN THERE WATCHING THE PATRIOTS COLTS GAME ON HIS FLATSCREEN TV.  I basically freaked out and Elder Payne is a big pats fan too so this was a pretty rough situation.  We ended up doing the right thing and decided we would come back later and left:,( so that gave me anxiety for the rest of the night.  I miss watching my pats k guys. 

Well in case any of you sent me a letter or any sort of mail, I haven't been able to get any mail for two weeks because we get it whenever we go to zone training.  So if you want me to get your mail faster, send it via US postal service and send it to the address in the attached photo with my name instead of president park.

 I love you all!  Byeeee -Elder Bonny

Week 3, 10/13/15

Ready to go to work
1st week in the mission field completed!  Some interesting things about Canada: all the speed limits are super slow, everything is measured in the metric system, dinner is always called supper, bathrooms are called washrooms, any dessert that is in the form of a square like a brownie or lemon bar, or anything like that is just call "a square", they have their Thanksgiving day on October 12th, so that was yesterday (I'll talk more about that later), pretty much everybody here owns at least one dog and a big diesel truck, and people really do say "EH" all the time - haha.

Well here's how my week has gone: On Tuesday morning, pretty much Monday night, we had to wake up at 1 am to get ready and get to the travel office and get to the airport in time for our flight.  So my whole travel day I was running on less than an hour of sleep!  It felt like the longest day of my life and I was so tired the whole time.  When we arrived in Canada we met our mission president and his wife, they are super awesome by the way.  We spent the night at their house, and I'm not gonna lie that night was pretty rough with stress and homesickness and whatnot.

The next day we met our trainers, and you would never believe it, my companion's name is Elder Ridge Payne and he's from Spanish Fork Utah hahaha!  It's such a small world.  So I was pretty stoked about that - it turns out we know a bunch of the same people and we have a ton of things in common.  He's only been out here three months, but he knows what he's doing and he's a great missionary.  

Lesser Slave Lake

A little about the area I'm in and what I've been up the past few days: I'm in a place called Slave Lake, its about 2.5 hours north of Edmonton, and sits at the east end of a huge lake called Lesser Slave Lake.  There aren't many decent sized towns north of it!  Apparently it kind of has a reputation in the mission for being not so successful for missionaries.  I've kind of seen why the past few days knocking so many doors and not getting invited into one house. It's a little discouraging but we are staying positive.  We did find like 8 people who said to come back at another time, so we have hope for them.  So basically all I've been doing is knocking doors and meeting the branch members.  We did help a lady move the other day too.  I mentioned earlier that it was Canadian Thanksgiving yesterday, but people here just have their feast whenever they want, so the past 3 
nights we have been fed a Thanksgiving feast, and I'm definitely not complaining haha.  Well that's how my week has gone!  I'm excited to find more investigators and get teaching this week!  I love you all, be safe and happy <3