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

Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 13, 12/23/15

Hello cuties and Merry Christmas to everyone! I can't believe I've already been out almost three months and that I'm about to experience my first Christmas away from home.... It still doesn't seem real haha. 


Well this week was absolutely awesome!!  The two highlights were definitely mission conference and Lawerance's baptism. Mission conference was on Thursday in Edmonton, which meant we had to wake up pretty early to drive and get there in time to get Lawerance's name embossed onto a set of scriptures we got him as a gift. Driving down to Edmonton we hit -27 at one point (Celsius) I think that's like -17 Fahrenheit.

Merry Xmas to me!
Half the mission was there, so about 150ish missionaries, and it was about 5 hours long.  We had lunch, listened to an awesome training from our mission president, listened to some musical performances, and did a few other things.  It was fun to catch up with a few of my friends from my MTC district, and I learned SO much about how we can draw upon the powers of heaven to make us more successful missionaries. After that Elder Payne and I went out to eat at Red Robin with our district and a few other Elders, it was a lot of fun to get to know them better and make more friends in the mission field!  Sadly our waitress was a bit (ridiculously) slow, and we were there for like 2 hours  so we didn't get home to the promised land -aka Slave Lake until super late. 

Now onto the main event.  Lawerance's baptism was so great!  He was just radiant with joy the whole time.  In church the next day he was confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost, and in gospel principles class he was saying how he could definitely feel the difference in now having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. He was still radiating happiness!  After church he was ordained to be a Priest, and also set apart in a calling to serve as the Elder's quorum secretary!  We know he will make a great member:)  We love that guy! 

Fortunately we haven't been doing as much tracting lately because we've been busy, just preparing for the baptism, teaching a few lessons to several other investigators, service, and other usual missionary things.

Just wishing the lovely (AND LOUD) people upstairs a jolly holiday
We have had some issues at our apartment lately.  The people who live above us are so unbelievably loud and annoying. I'm not even exaggerating, 24/7 there is constant pounding and people running around and jumping and it sounds like they are trying to be as loud as they possibly can. It seriously goes all night, one night I woke up from it at 2:30 and then it is already started at 6:30 when we wake up. I've kind of gotten used to it though haha.

I hope all of you have a very merry Christmas and I really appreciate the cards and mail, it seriously makes my day, so thank you to all you true homies out there;) Love you all!  

 Elder Bonny

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 12, 12/15/15

Hi cuties. This week was another good one! First off I know you're probably all wondering how things have been going with our gay investigator. Unfortunately he has been out of town the past week so we have been unable to meet with him again, but he still wants to meet, hopefully we can meet again sometime this week haha. We are still enjoying the so far very abnormally warm winter here. It's been hitting a balmy 25 degrees pretty regularly. Not gonna lie, I'm still cold all the time but from what I hear it usually gets down around -30 sometimes around this time of year.  Also, the subject of the email is titled the way it is because elder Payne and I both say quack occasionally and one of the more elderly members caught on and said full quack the other day and it was just really funny.... Kind of one of those "you had to be there" moments. 

I think I'll trade in my football pads for some hockey pads after the mish

Well on to some highlights from the week. Wednesday we went down to Edmonton for interviews with our mission president. I got to learn some great things from him, I love that man! I also got to talk with a few elders and sisters in my zone for a while and get to know them better (we never see them cuz Slave Lake is so far away from everything), so that was good too. Thursday we had exchanges and I stayed in Slave Lake with Elder Sortomme. It was a pretty productive day, and we managed to find a new investigator! 

We got together with these district Elders I did my first exchanges.  Meet Elder Sortomme

When we exchanged back we met at the trailhead for what was supposed to be a quick little hike to the geographical centre (that's how they spell it here) point of Alberta. Well sadly it wasn't quick because we pretty much got lost in the Canadian forest and hiked 30 minutes in the wrong direction. We probably wasted like 2 and half hours finding the right trail and the monument that was at the centre and hiked about 6 miles, trudging through 8 inches of snow in our snow boots. We were all pretty dang tired after that haha. 

Saturday morning we were able to do some service for two of our investigators named Warren and Sammy. It was pretty fun, we chopped a lot of wood and got a pretty good workout in the prOcess (how they say it here), and I got to drive a quad (what they call four wheelers) hauling firewood around the lot. We had some fun conversations with Warren and built our relationship there, he even wants to take us ice fishing now haha! Hopefully we can get them to church this next week eh. 

Another fun thing this week was the branch Christmas party on Saturday night. It was a Pajama party so one of the members made us these pretty extravagant onesies. We were quite the site not gonna lie. Maybe the church should always have missionaries wear onesies out proselyting because it was a pretty good conversation starter. There were a lot of non members there, the food was great, I ate lots of cookies, so all in all a solid party. 

The main event of this week was definitely our lessons with Lawrence. We met with him twice and we were able to teach him everything else necessary to get him ready for his baptism this Saturday. Elder Payne and I are honestly amazed at how ready this man is, and how dedicated he is to gaining a testimony. He said in a previous lesson he doesn't feel like his prayers are being answered. He admitted he was looking for a miracle, what he did was he prayed to receive an answer and then opened up the book to a random page and read a random verse. He said he didn't really receive a specific answer but more of a vague one. I personally think it was pretty specific, he opened up to Alma chapter 32 that talks about faith being like a seed, and how we need to plant it and nurture it to see if it is a good seed. Elder Payne and I knew that was the Lord telling him to continue exercising his faith by reading, praying, going to church, etc and over time his faith will continue to grow. In our lesson with him on Sunday night, the spirit was there so strong and as we testified at the end of the lesson, he realized the Lord really has been answering his prayers this whole time, and he told us that with tears rolling down his cheeks. We all could feel God's love so strong it was amazing :) seeing Lawrence's progression and the many miracles we have seen with him has definitely been the most rewarding experience of my mission so far. He is going to make such a great member! 

Well it's been a great week and I have a feeling this week will be great too!! Christmas season is the best time of year by far. I hope you all are trying to have a Christ-centered Christmas this year! Ya know I guess He is kind of like the reason we celebrate or something like that ;) I love you all, thanks for all the support!  

Elder Bonny

As a bonus - check out this awesome original missionary harmonica performance of "Slave Lake"...(not to be missed)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 11, 12/10/15

Ok first off, I sent a Christmas card to everyone who asked for one, hopefully they get there before Christmas...if not, oh well. 

Ok I know missionaries say it all the time, but this week seriously flew by! So much happened every day that this week just blended all together. At the beginning of the week we had a district meeting where our zone leaders met up with us, and we blitzed with them. Blitzing is when you go on exchanges but all stay in the same area, so elder Payne and I split up and each went with one of our zone leaders in Slave Lake, and we got a lot of work done. I went with Elder Rich, and we taught Lawrence a great lesson! I was kind of nervous about basically being the one to lead everything and do most of the teaching, but I was able to be confident and do a decent job. That was definitely an answer to my prayers. It was a great lesson and we helped prepare Lawrence more for his baptism and solidify his decision. I was able to learn some good things from Elder Rich and it fun to have them over to stay the night in our apartment. 

Hey President Park, can we go thrift shopping?

A few days later when we were tracting, we knocked on a door, and the guy who answered was super nice and after we gave our spiel, he invited us in and said, "oh yeah come on in I'm just chillin with my boyfriend." So we were pretty bummed right off the bat hearing that haha. What was even more depressing was that the lesson went great and he believed everything we taught, and he even committed to baptism  so he's going to be for a rough surprise. Oh and thanks to that, in our role plays in our companion study, we get to play the role of a gay investigator now.... It's been pretty... Interesting. Hopefully we handle things well with him haha. 

Probably the most eventful day this week was Sunday. We had twice as many people as we usually do at church! We had about half of our investigators there, and a lot of less actives as well. After church we got a call from a less active who asked us to go give a blessing to her son. We went to his house and... wow he wasn't doing too good. We just let him vent for about 30 minutes and pretty much every problem you can think of, he has been struggling badly with it. He almost seemed like he had demons inside or something at first. He was just so spazzy and had a freaked out look in his eye, and it was a little scary. After he vented, we told him how we can all be healed through Christ, and how we were going to go about this process, and told him some other things. After that we anointed and gave him a blessing, and I got the opportunity to give my first blessing:) It was such a spiritually powerful experience. After that, the difference in how he was acting from when we first arrived was night and day. He was so much more calm and peaceful.

A few hours after that he came to the Christmas Devotional with us, which was good for him. I loved Elder Bednar and Elder Uchtdorf's talks!! Hopefully we can help him get back to where he wants to be. Yesterday was another awesome day, we had a lesson with one of our favorite investigators, Len. We have asked him to be baptized a couple times, but he has heart problems and has said he needs to worry about that right now before he can get baptized, and whenever we ask him it stresses him out a lot so we have tried to make our last few lessons a lot more stress free, and we are going to focus again on baptism after Christmas. 

We also had a fun lesson with two of our newest investigators, Warren and Sammy. We taught them the first lesson since last time we taught the plan of salvation, and they had A TON of questions, just like last time. That's what made it fun:) we answered all of them pretty well, and they understood everything. The best part was at the end, they were kind of wondering what the Holy Ghost was and what it felt like, and Elder Payne and I both testified powerfully to them about how we know the Holy Ghost is real. After that Sammy seemed pretty amazed and she said she could feel the power coming from us when we were talking. "That's the Holy Ghost!" we told her. It was an awesome experience:) Well those are a few of the highlights from this week. I hope you are all doing well and are having a great Christmas season. 

Love you all!  Elder Bonny

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Week 10 12/2/15


Don't worry everyone, I still got to celebrate American Thanksgiving in Canada.  Thanksgiving was actually probably one of my favorite days on my mission so far!  The Parks (the awesome senior couple in our area who live right below us) had some of their family come up and visit them, so Elder Payne and I got to get to know them pretty well. We played basketball with them last P-day, got in a few prank wars with them, they took us out to eat once, and they invited us over to have their Thanksgiving feast with them.  I have to say they made us feel like family, and Sister Park is a magician with her cooking so it made for a pretty stellar Thanksgiving :) still wasn't the same without a turkey bowl though (Parker you lucky hoser). 

The challenge - fit as MUCH CANDY as possible on top

This week still would've been awesome though, even without Thanksgiving! On Friday we had a random, spur-of-the moment lesson/discussion with our investigator Vance who we haven't been able to meet with in forever.  He had a lot of questions we answered and we just had a really good discussion and we committed him to baptism on December 19th!  He didn't come to church though and he never has because he has some medical problems that cause a lot of problems for him, and our investigators have to come to church at least three times before we can baptize them, so that date is probably gonna have to be postponed, but we're still happy about it. 

We also had a lesson with our investigator Lawrence on Friday and it went pretty much as well as any lesson could go!  We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and we prepared a very detailed, precise lesson plan with a lot of scriptures from the Book of Mormon, and the scriptures we read were perfect for him.  He even said he felt like they were all pointed at him.  The spirit was there testifying to him through the scriptures, and it was so cool to see!  We cut our lesson at the point where the spirit was the highest and invited him to be baptized on December 19th (we asked once before and he said no).  He thought about it for a second and then said yes! :):):) after that lesson we were so pumped hahaha.  Basically just picture me after Malcolm Butler intercepted that pass in the super bowl last year.  Ok if I'm being honest we probably weren't quite as pumped as I was then, but you get the point.

Anyways, Lawrence came to church on Sunday and was smiling the whole time and looked genuinely happy to be there.  He even participated a lot in our gospel principles lesson.  So basically we are super hopeful and excited about how well he is progressing. In other news the Edmonton Eskimos, their football team, won the gray cup on Sunday.  That's basically the super bowl for the Canadian Football League.  Some people are pretty excited about that here.... But in the back of my mind I'm kind of just like yeah big whoop there's only 8 teams in the league  but hey if it makes them happy I'm excited about it too. 

On Sunday a member and her non-member friend told us to come over wearing our service clothes for a surprise with their family.  We were pretty confused but we went, and it turns out they planned a fun little gingerbread house building party for us haha.  It was a good time, got us in that Christmas spirit!  And then they fed us dinner too, they may or may not be our new favorites:) 

Well I guess those are all the big highlights of this week.  Oh, we also picked up two new investigators tracting last night named Warren and Sammy.  They are super nice and fun to be around and had a ton of questions for us.  We taught them the plan of salvation and a few other things and they seemed pretty interested!  We are stoked about that too:)  

Well I'm having a great time out here in Slave Lake and I hope you are all having a wonderful time back home!  Love you all, and I love hearing from you all too:) Now this email is over so take off eh!  

 Elder Bonny