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

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Week 62, 12/6/16

Tracting out by Lake Wabamum with E. Nelson

Yeah, it was -27 yesterday with windchill, and it isn't supposed to get any warmer any time soon:)  We have basically nothing to do other than try to FIND people to teach.  Lets just say I am very grateful we have a car to drive and a bunch of cold gear to bundle up in.... and it also would be accurate to say that despite having all those things I will still be fetching cold:)  Not a whole lot to report on as far as the work here in River Valley, we mostly tracted, and tried contacting potentials, former investigators, and less actives unsuccessfully.

Here are a few highlights from the week though:  Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder Nelson out to a town 30 minutes west of Edmonton called Stony Plain.  President specifically asked us to do an exchange with this companionship as soon as we could because they were struggling with each other so it was kind of spur of the moment, but it was awesome!  We tracted a bunch and like 8 people answered their doors the whole day.  We got to go out to a cool town by a lake and a native reserve to try and contact some people though. Native reserves are so sketchy...  

Thursday was pretty eventful as well.  It was the worldwide day of service, and we got a spontaneous opportunity to help a less active move, and we also gave blood!!  I have never given blood before, so I wasnt sure what to expect.  Everything was totally fine until the blood actually started flowing out... I started to feel pretty weak, dizzy, short of breath, light-headed, faint, you name it haha.  My body was telling me that it was absolutely not okay with me giving away its blood, not one bit.  I guess you could say my body "couldn't eve.  Yeah my body is pretty selfish.  After a little bit some nurses noticed I was totally about to pass out and they rushed over and took the neetle out and leaned my chair back and gave me a couple wet towels to cool me down, and they gave me a juicebox to drink as well. For like 10 minutes after that my body was shaking and for some reason I was super giggly haha.  It was fetching weird.  But after a while I felt okay and I got more juiceboxes and cookies to rejuvenate my body, my spirit could not be rejuvenated though because I was totally the loser who couldn't even finish his blood donation😒. I almost filled my full pint bag, but not quite all the way.  Hopefully that blood helps someone somewhere. 

Saturday I went on exchanges with a Mandarin speaking elder who is struggling.  He covers a super busy part of the city and we had nothing to do most the day other than FINDing.  We did go to this ping pong activity all the Mandarin elders do and I got to play pool with some Asians, that was fun.  We talked to SO many people while we were walking around the University of Alberta campus, but nobody was interested.  I feel like I was able to help this elder out a bit which was my main goal so it was a great exchange:) 

Later today Elder Klunker and I get to take the greenies who are probably flying here as I am writing this email out street contacting!! We are super excited! We both remember when we were the brand-spankin new missionaries who were scared out the wazoo when went street contacting our first day like it was just last week.  It is currently -32 outside with windchill right now... It should be fun!  There really hasn't been much happening in the past few weeks and I am working harder than I have my whole mission.  Sometimes I wonder why we can't find anyone who God is preparing, but I know this will all be for my benefit, and if we can continue to have faith, work our hardest, be obedient, and love others then we will be pleased with our efforts and we will feel successful:)  Love you all!  
Morning after giving blood workout

Weekly Scripture: Ether 12:18 18 And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God. 

                                            Driving around the native reserve.  Yeah, I drive fast!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Week 61, 11/28/16

Hello cuties!

This week was pretty stellar.  THE RETURN is going well!  There still isn't a whole lot of teaching going on here, but it is a good challenge.  I already know the area like the back of my hand, we tract all the time, but our area has a plethora of townhouses that are just begging to be tracted out, so we don't mind.  I am a big advocate of townhouse tracting.  Townhouses are as Nacho Libre would say: "tha baaaest".

First thing is first: STEAK CHALLENGE.  Reader discretion is advised. Tuesday night we had one last supper with an awesome couple down in Leduc.  I kind of talked about it last week, but as part of a food challenge that a lot of missionaries attempt, I ate (in this order):
   -a little fudge coated ice cream bar
   -a 42.7 ounce steak
   -2 biscuits
   -a bowl of salad, mashed potatoes, and corn
   -another little fudge ice cream bar
   -1/4 of a lemon pie COVERED in whipped cream
   -a large marble slab chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich

Yeah, I know, that is pretty darn gross.  I hit the first wall towards the end of the steak and vegetables when Elder Klunker puked out ridiculous amount (and thus he was disqualified), that grossed me out pretty good and made it pretty tough to continue, but I soldiered on.  I hit the second wall during the pie, cuz lemon pie is gross, and my third wall during the ice cream sandwich.  I don't know how I downed it, but I did.  I ended up gaining 4.4 pounds start to finish, and I had the meat sweats for a few days after.  But I got my membership card and it was totally worth it!

Saturday I went on exchanges with an Elder who has a few struggles to say the least.  It was a good day though, I feel like I was able to build a pretty good relationship with him and help him out a bit.  That is definitely my favourite thing about being in a leadership assignment, helping and ministering to other missionaries.  We taught a great lesson to a less active who straight up told us she wants to come back to church but she just needs some help.

Sunday at church I got to see a ton of awesome members from my last area, since Rutherford, Greenfield, and River Valley all meet in the same building.  I literally felt like I knew almost everyone in the building haha!  That night we did splits for a few hours with some other elders in the zone to help them out with a few things.  We kind of just did the same old stuff, tracting, talking to people on the street, and stopping by potentials, having some good conversations with each other while we were at it.  I wish I had more exciting things to report about but thats basically all this week was.

Yesterday while tracting, a super nice muslim lady gave us a bag of like 6 huge kit-kat bars cuz she felt bad for us knocking on doors in the cold.  Muslim people are so nice.

We have been trying to let everyone know about the new Light the World Christmas initiative. I love the new video!  It shows how being Christlike really is within our reach, and how simple that can be.  We have been asking around for service opportunities a bunch, but EVERYONE in our area is loaded and has everything taken care of apparently.  Elder Klunker and I have gotten tons of entertainment out of marvelling at the size of SO MANY of the houses in the area as we drive from place to place.  We are probably the first or second most affluent area in the mission.  All these millionaires hire people to take care of all their service needs so for the day of service on Dec. 1 we are planning on donating blood -muahahaha!

Most awesome couple in all of Canada!
Well that's it for this week, fam.  It doesn't sound like too eventful of a week just what I wrote, but we are working super hard and touching people's lives here and there so I'm happy 😊. Hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving!  

Canada doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving but we had our own if we needed more food  :)

Weekly Scripture: Alma 34:38
38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

Week 60, 11/21/16

Well, you guessed it.  More transfer chaos!  And it's not even transfers yet! I'll explain:  Wednesday we got a call from the assistants telling us that we were going to be transferring back to the city on Monday.  There is a huge back story, but in short it sufficeth me to say that the Riverbend zone (the zone I have been in my whole mission until going to Leduc) didn't really have any zone leaders, so they needed us there, and they figured now is the best time to make the change since we didn't really have any people we were teaching in our area.  

MILLWOOD Zone...gonna miss em!
So yesterday we moved into the River Valley area, and why did I put "the return" as my subject you might ask? Because River Valley is RIGHT next to my old area where I was for 7 months, and when we had to deal with transfer chaos on three separate occasions, we ended up having to cover River Valley ward, and move temporarily into their apartment.  Collectively I have probably covered River Valley for about 2 weeks before officially getting transferrred here.  So it is basically the return lol.  Same area of Edmonton, same zone, same district, same church building... fun stuff:)  

Here we go...moving back to Edmonton

The Elk Ridge Boys - E. Lofthouse
Most of the week was pretty much just getting ready for this craziness.  Saturday I went on exchanges with Elder Lofthouse (hes from Elk Ridge!!!) and Elder Lara.  It was super fun to finally get to exchange with Elder Lofthouse.  They are both super awesome dudes so we had a good time.  We had a super interesting lunch experience.... The part of the city we were in is pretty much the East India of Edmonton.  SO MANY Hindus and punjabis and muslims.  What could be compared to our church building is their "Gurdwara", except they serve food in lower floor at theirs.  We didn't have tons of money and we wanted a memorable experience so we went in and got some food. It was so different... We had to take off our shoes and socks, put a bandana on our head, and stay on the right side of the room, and then sit down on the floor cross legged to eat our food.  I don't really even know what the food was haha, some sort of Indian food.  It wasn't bad! Everyone was looking at us so weird, but they were super nice to us. 

That is one of my favourite things about Edmonton, the cultural diversity.  It makes for some memorable experiences!  Other than that the day was pretty miserable, just walking around literally all day in the -10 degree weather.   

Yesterday night we had a pretty unbelievable introduction to River Valley, we went to supper with a guy named Rich (figures), and he took us to the super nice gourmet burger restaurant in his spaceship-esque volvo, and probably spent more money on us than anyone has ever spent on me at a restaurant before.  We feasted on an amazingly delicious 4 course meal, and got to hear a lot of words of wisdom and council from this ridiculously wealthy man.  He is a sports agent for some of the best hockey players in the NHL.  Marian Hossa is probably the biggest name, he plays for the blackhawks and he's scored 510 goals in his career... He has also met a bunch of presidents and hall of fame athletes and coaches, movie-stars, etc.  He also helped break one of his clients out of communist Russia forever ago.  Elder Klunker and I were just in awe the whole time haha, it was so cool!   

Riverbend Zone.  Temple 2 weeks in a row!

Awesome member - He isn't too happy we're leaving
Well in a few hours I will be doing a food challenge that could quite possibly be the death of me.... 3 ice cream bars, a 40ish oz steak with vegetables and mashed potatoes as sides, 1/4 of a pie smothered in whipped cream, and a sugar cookie ice cream sandwich to finish it all off.  Its the legendary "steak challenge".  If I eat it all and hold it down for an hour I basically get my legit man card.  WIsh me luck lol.  Ill let you know more about the area next week when I actually know stuff about it.  We are excited to get things going!!  

Love you all have a happy thanksgiving:)  

 Weekly scripture: Jacob 5:41 41 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard?   

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Week 59, 11/16/16

What up!!  This week was another good one. :)  Thursday we had Zone Training Meeting, my first one as a zone leader, and it was pretty sweet!  There was all sorts of chaos being thrown our way at meeting time, but the spirit was still really strong.  Right before we started, the power in the church went out, so we had to move to a room with more natural light, and that ended up being the same room that the baptismal font was by, and towards the end of the meeting when the power was back on the baptismal font started filling up.  It was pretty distracting but the spirit was still super powerful.  Elder Klunker and I were both pretty pleased with the training we gave.  We feel like the whole zone is pretty inspired and motivated to use the Book of Mormon more in their work.  The Book of Mormon is where its at - alright?! 

Pics of our Zone, the biggest in the mission

Friday night and Saturday was pretty awesome, I went on exchanges with one of the assistants and one of my good mission buddies, Elder Mejia. We literally did finding all day, and talked to sooo many people, and honestly it was a great day.  He had a pass-over lesson with the Greenfield/Rutherford Elders (my old area) and I got to go on splits with Elder Sites while they were teaching the lesson, it was fun!  Of course, we went tracting haha.  Just like old times.  It was fun to catch up with him.   

Exchange selfie with AP E. Mejia
The whole rest of the week was mostly finding.  I feel like ever since I have really been trying and putting my best effort into every conversation I have, it has made a huge difference.  Maybe not in the outright results, but people seem genuinely more kind in return, and I feel way better and feel so much more love for the people as well.  This morning we got to go to the temple.  I LOVE THE TEMPLE.   

Missions are so awesome.  I could rant for pages and pages, but I would prefer to have more time to do fun things on my P-day.  Just know that I know that God our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ our Savior live, they love us, and this is their work :)  You all better have an awesome week alright?  Read your scriptures and say your prayers!  You'll get blessings galore.

E Bonny  
Wishing this kid good luck in Toronto Mission

Weekly scripture: Mosiah 26:24  24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.