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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Week 82, 4/26/17



Hey cuties.  Heather and Meccana went to the temple on Wednesday and loved it as far as I know! They are so awesome.  This email will hopefully be a little bit shorter than usual. This week was awesome as usual, but I don't have a whole lot to talk about, just where we were and a cool story for ya:) 
  
Sweet morning run with the boys along the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton

This week we mostly worked in Edmonton with a couple different companionships of YSA missionaries, we pretty much did finding the whole time, mostly on the public transit system which is definitely my favorite form of finding. It is fun to actually have conversations with people rather than feeling like an annoying salesman on their door.  

On Friday Saturday and Sunday we were killing it in the thriving metropolis of St. Paul, Alberta. It is a town of about 5000 people about two and a half hours north east of Edmonton. We had a fun time with the missionaries out there and taught a lot of people. Elder LeFevre and I found 3 new investigators, pretty cool eh?  

Behold the NORTHERN LIGHTS

Can you find me?

I want to tell a story about how we found one of those new investigators. It was about 8 o'clock and we had two appointments fall through, honestly that is kind of the usual for us missionaries. We weren't quite sure what to do because the whole town has been tracted out pretty recently. We were driving somewhat close to an apartment complex, and felt like we should go and try to buzz people's apartments and try to get in the complex and knock a few doors.  That is pretty uncommon for missionaries in this mission to do, so we felt kind of apprehensive, but it made sense because missionaries probably hadn't tried that before.  As we were walking up to the apartment complex door, we saw a couple girls out on their porch on the first floor having a smoke. We went and struck up a conversation and one of them turned out to be truth seeking. Long story short, one of them is now an investigator who is committed to be baptized!   I love being a missionary and having opportunities to be an instrument in Gods hands to help people like her who are so prepared to hear the message of the restored gospel.😊  

Home at last!
Another fun part about the St. Paul trip was on Sunday we went out to a town an hour north of Saint Paul called Bonnyville, hence the subject of the email.  Ever since I got to the mission I have been wanting to go there for obvious reasons haha.  The town is bigger than St. Paul and they have been wanting to go up there a lot more often than they do, but they don't have the kilometres, so we took them and worked up there for a few hours and it was great!  We found a couple solid potentials



In other news, the weather is still a joke.  It has snowed more than half the days this week!  I'm wondering if winter will ever actually end or if we will just keep getting teased with good weather for a couple days then back to winter.  Well that's it for this week folks. Life is good. Im so blessed. There are so many amazing people in this mission who I get to serve around and learn from. I'm really excited to finish writing this email so I will have more time to go ball.  

Love you all!   

Weekly Scripture: pretty sure I've already used his one but it was a big theme of my studies this week, Ether 12:27: And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. 



If I look pretty frustrated and angry that winter won't end - I am!

Week 81, 4/19/17



Most legendary 4-man pad ever!
Hey hosers!  This week was the best week I have had in a long time.  Mostly just because of Saturday and Sunday, because Dorine, Heather, Meccana (come to find out thats actually how you spell her name), and Bobby all got baptized and confirmed!   I love all of them to death.  I got to baptize Heather, Meccana, and Bobby, and confirm Meccana.  The most important thing is that these awesome people made a covenant with God, and they entered into the covenant pathway that will bring them, as El Guapo would say, "a plethora" of happiness.  It is definitely a nice tender mercy to be able to perform the ordinance as well though.  :) 

Baptism Day  - the crew and some friends, lookin' good in white
All of Friday and Saturday morning leading up to the baptism it was snowing.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not very happy about the never ending winter here, but it was cool to see everything coated in pure whiteness driving to the baptism, where 4 of my favorite people would soon have their sins washed away and become white as snow.  It totally made me think of the scripture in Isaiah 1:18 (this counts as my weekly scripture): 
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.


Not only that but with it being Easter weekend, it was a great constant reminder that yes, our sins can be blotted out and our red can be made white, but it is only because of Jesus Christ, and His infinite atonement.  He was resurrected on the third day, and He lives today.  The white everywhere is always a good reminder of our Savior and His love for us, and the potential for us to become like him.  

The baptismal service was awesome, there was such a strong spirit there.  I heard more about Heather's story while talking to her after the baptism.  She had been struggling quite a bit with various trials and even though she wasn't a super spiritual person, she resorted to calling out to God for help.  Literally 15 minutes later we knocked on her door :) She told us to come back a few days later, but then she wasn't there, and she wouldn't really return any of our texts, so we kind of figured it was probably another one of "those potentials", but then one day as we were driving by her townhouse complex we felt like we should stop by and see if she was there.  She was and she let us in to teach her about the restoration of the gospel, and the rest is history. :) Another bit of the back story that is kind of fascinating is that right before we knocked that row of doors, we saw someone sitting on their front porch smoking, so we went and talked to her.  Turns out she was super into witchcraft and creepy stuff like that.  We had a brief conversation and then asked if any of her neighbors might be interested, and she told us specifically to not knock Heather's row of houses because they were all super rude.   Looking back, I see that as Satan trying to prevent us from finding Heather... Luckily we already were planning on finishing the complex. :) There must be a reason I love tracting townhouses 200% more than anything else!  Heather and her family were so prepared by the Lord.  Believe it our not, Heather and Meccana are going to the temple TOMORROW to do baptisms for the dead! So awesome.


MLC - Mission leadership conference


Well everything else that happened this week is an afterthought to all that stuff I just wrote about.  Transfers were on Wednesday and Elder Mejia and I are still the gypsies.  Tuesday was spent with the new missionaries, Wednesday was transfer chaos literally all day, basically being a taxi service driving our "swagger wagons" around (pictures will explain).  Thursday was MLC, we received an amazing training on planning from our magnificent Assistants to the President, Elder Ridge Francis Payne and Elder Jess Robert Hunsaker.  They are truly inspired men. 

We are going to working with some companionships in the city for a little bit, we are excited to be sleeping in our own beds.

Well, this is obviously the Lord's work.  The Savior lives.  I hope you all had a great time celebrating His atonement. :)

Back with the Ellerslie boys



Swagger Wagons
I forgot there were no seats in this swagger wagon...

Friday, April 14, 2017

Week 80, 4/12/17


Hey fam!  First of all I just want to say thanks for the birthday wishes, I really appreciate all the love and support.  You are all the greatest :) 

I don't have tons of time today because transfers are tomorrow and we are running all over the place, but let me briefly summarize our adventures of this week:  Last Tuesday was the best P-Day I've had in a while, we went to this super cool windmill park by some cliffs outside Dawson Creek and threw huge rocks off the cliffs.  Anyone who knows me well knows that that is the definition of heaven for me :):) after that we played some good two on two ball.  Ball keeps me sane :)  Wednesday we continued to work with the Dawson Creek Elders. 
  


We went out to a really cool town close to the western border of the mission named Chetwynd.  We tracted for a while and then went to teach one of their potentials who is now an investigator, she seemed really open to seeking truth.  Hopefully she comes to know its true!  That's one thing about this traveling gig that isn't super ideal, I meet and teach all these people who are so great, only to never see them or hear about them again.  Kind of a bummer, but it's a good thing that the work isn't about me building relationships, it's about them accepting and living the Doctrine of Christ. :) The relationships aspect is a nice perk though that's for sure. 
  



Thursday we went to Dawson Creeks district meeting and then headed back down to Grande Prairie to work with the zone leaders.  I was mostly with my buddy Elder Chamberlain, we got to know each other pretty well in the good old Ellerslie house, so it was good to catch up with him and do some work together.  We found a new investigator and taught him in a Starbucks, fun stuff.  We finished off the trip by going to high Prairie on Saturday, a town about two hours east of Grande Prairie.  We weren't able to do much actual missionary work with them because they were moving and needed some major help, so that's pretty much what we did with them the whole time.   




We finally got back to Edmonton yesterday evening, and this morning we had some fun at the Mission home during transfer calls and having some delicious breakfast sandwiches made for us by Sister Pattison.  Yum!  Everyday is full of fun, challenging, different, and spiritual experiences.  Coming on a mission is the best decision I ever made. The Savior lives, His gospel is true, and life is good!   

Weekly Scripture: Alma 37:36-37  36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. 37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day. 





More pics from The North

Our journey to the North





Pic taken from the banks of Great Slave Lake, one of the biggest lakes in the world

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Week 79, 4/4/17

The church's Easter vid is sooo good!
Hey cuties! Life is good:)  I have a million and two things to write about, so I apologize in advance if this email ends up being a novel.  In the last 10 days we have put 3072 kilometres on our trusty RAV4. Just to put that in perspective, that is further than driving from Salt Lake to Atlanta.  We are running out of ways to stay entertained (or at least sane) in the car!.   

Welcome to Fort Vermillion - on the way to High Level

Last Tuesday evening we started our journey up to the thriving metropolis of High Level, Alberta.  It is about an 8 hour drive from Edmonton, and there was no way we were doing that all in one shot, so we stayed the night in the blessed land of Slave Lake:) The elders there were super hospitable and the Parks fed us a glorious breakfast feast before we were on the road again.  Shout out to the Parks, they are what one would call "true homies".  We rolled into High Level around 6 that night because we stopped in a town on the way and tracted a bit to break up the drive.  

The local preacher in Slave Lake

Heart attack in a box - Poutine

 Thursday we hopped back in the car and drove 3 hours even further north to a decent sized town called Hay River, which borders the Great Slave Lake to the south.  Its in the Northwest Territories!!!  It was crazy how far north we were, I could actually feel it, it was super weird haha.  Elder Chadsey (my awesome MTC comp) and Elder Collins had been wanting to get up there and do some work for awhile, and we have unlimited Ks so we went for it.  It was amazing how many prepared people there are up there!! We found a couple new awesome investigators and bunch of potentials, and had some great experiences. Everyone in the town was super nice, the trip was a success to say the least.  That night to top it off we got the best northern lights show I have ever had in my life:):):)   

Scenic country on the way to Grand Prairie

Exchanges with Tagalog Elders
 Friday we did some work in another town that was about an hour and a half away from High Level named La Crete. Most of the people there are Mennonites, but there were definitely still some prepared people, we found another investigator and a few potentials.  The next morning we headed down from High Level to a pretty big city about 5 hours south. Sadly that was Saturday morning, and we stopped to get a donair poutine in a cool town called Peace River, so we had to miss the morning and afternoon sessions of conference because we were on the road :(   I never thought I would miss conference as a missionary.  I'll catch up on it next week :) The parts of conference I did get to see were so good though! I especially loved the priesthood session.  It was amazing how specific each talk was.  We are so blessed to have a living prophet and apostles.   

BC!! - betcha didn't know that was in my mission

The rest of Saturday and Sunday we worked in Grande Prairie with the Tagalog elders, not a whole lot happened that is worth writing about, it was a great exchange and we did some good work :) the highlight was most definitely general conference.  Yesterday morning we left and headed northwest an hour and a half to a cool town in British Columbia called Dawson Creek, and tracted all day.  The highlights of the day were getting let in and fed pizza and mango juice by a Sikh dude, and our supper with a totally awesome quack lady :) We will be in Dawson Creek today and tomorrow and then we will head on the road again!   

Well that's pretty much it for this week.  I am loving the opportunity to get to know a bunch of missionaries and work in a bunch of different areas.  I wish I could say i love seeing a bunch of different beautiful places, but everything is still brown and dead up here haha.  I know that the gospel is true, and it is simple.  Doing the small and simple things will allow us to grow and nourish our testimony and bring us lasting peace and joy, and we will be rooted in Jesus Christ :)  Love you all!  

 Weekly Scripture:  Mark 9:23 23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.   


A memorable supper in Dawson Creek with the "quack lady"
Crossing the Peace River - beautiful country but spring seems ALONG ways away!