Tuesday, 10 June 2014

I Took Over Europe

This week was somewhat crazy and I feel like it was so long, but here's the run-down!

I got really really really sick and felt like I was going to die. Anyhow, I got lots of medication, as well as a Priesthood blessing, very kindly given to me by Elder Schmidt and Elder Schollars. I went to bed that night after hearing in my blessing that I needed to "take time to rest and recover" and was completely unconscious for 18 hours. Quite scary, but I felt much better afterwards! I guess it was just a bad cold, and now I feel much better! 

It's upside down, but Sister Harrison took a picture of me driving
(editor's note: I turned it the right way around)

Last Monday we played Risk with the Elders. It was so fun! They told us at the beginning not to take over Europe or Asia, because apparently that's too difficult, and what did we do? Sister Harrison took over Asia, and I took over Europe. Then we teamed up with Elder Schmidt and took over the world!

On Tuesday we taught a 12-year-old boy the Gospel of Jesus Christ...by relating it to Halo. That was quite the experience, and I will probably always think of Halo when someone talks about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
After District Meeting we had a KD-party (KD is mac and cheese) and we made the biggest pot of KD I have ever seen. It was insane. This week we are going to have a Perogie Party and it is going to be epic. I will send pictures next week!


We started volunteering at the Humane Society here. It's the SPCA, and on Tuesday we went over and got to play with the dogs and walk them and everything. The Elders had gone over there before and Elder Schmidt refused to show me the one room they had. Later I found out that it's the room they put the animals down in. So sad! I am grateful that Elder Schmidt knows me well enough to have kept me away. Anyhow, we really enjoyed our time with the dogs.

​My first time driving through the drive-thru

Because I was so sick this week, we got a text message on Friday morning telling us not to eat breakfast. A bit confusing, but about an hour after the text Elder Schollars and Elder Fratcher showed up at our door and THEY MADE US BREAKFAST! Soooo kind and thoughtful. Elder Fratcher said it was all Elder Schollars, but I am positive that he had something to do with it as well. We got so much food from other people this week that we didn't even have to buy groceries.

​We took a picture of a storm when we were on a reserve

Well, that was the sum-up of my week! I love you!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

'Yeah, we put the PA back in Party!!'

I don't really remember much of what happened at the beginning of the week, because we mostly just said goodbyes and they were sad.

Anyways, I drove the car down to Saskatoon, where we met with all the missionaries that were transferring and stayed there for about half an hour. Then Sister Haner drove the car down to Regina. We almost ran out of gas, but we made it to the temple just fine. We got to do a session with about fifty missionaries and it was amazing. Being in the temple made me realize that I NEED to make my goal of living of my Heavenly Father again the main focus of my life.

Anyhow, after the temple we drove to the Sunrise Sisters' apartment. They live in a house and it is so nice, BUT they only have hardwood floors and no carpet. So, for two nights I slept on a hardwood floor. I will never complain about my bed again. It was fine though, and it was quite the experience! I got to spend the day with them and it was interesting to teach in a tri-pan again. We had a lot of fun though, and I love Regina! I hope I get to serve there one day.

After Regina Sister Bronson and I drove back up to Saskatoon. She is my new Sister Training Leader along with Sister McPhee. When we got to Saskatoon...I got to see Elder Barba again! Except now he is Dan, because he was released. So weird seeing him without a name-tag!

I picked up Sister Harrison and we drove back to PA. I feel more confident driving now and I am glad that I am the designated driver. Cars don't scare me any more! Yay! Sister Harrison`s first night in PA was rather...weird, haha. One of our neighbours decided to leave their car radio on the ENTIRE night and it was playing super loud music. I fell asleep to Gangnam Style and Cotton Eye Joe. My favourite was when the announcer said 'Yeah, we put the PA back in Party!!'

We got to drive down to Saskatoon again on Sunday because of Stake Conference and it was so great. The broadcast was wonderful and we got to hear from Sister Linda K. Burton, Elder Holland and President Eyring. They really geared their talks towards the youth and talked a lot about how we need to reach out to less-active members. I learned a lot and it was fun seeing everyone again.

Sister Harrison is great and she is also a physio-therapist. Two nights ago she hooked my back up with electrical pads and shocked me. It was great.

I love you and I hope you have a great week!
See you later, hopefully! :)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

There Are Bugs EVERYWHERE!

Well, on to my week.
President and Sister Thomas came to PA this week and President had interviews with us. We also had a member present with him and Sister Thomas and it was glorious. Jodie really loved meeting with them and when she prayed she even said "I am grateful that I got to meet the President and his wife." So cute! 
Diva is getting baptized on Saturday at seven, and we are really excited for that. She had her baptismal interview yesterday and she also tried on her jumpsuit. She looked so cute in it! I am so happy for her and I am so happy that her family is supporting her. Seeing her be baptized will really help them be active again. The bishop told me that just before their baptism they came to church for a year and didn't miss one Sunday. And they even got married, because they lived common-law before. 
I am still teaching myself to play the piano and I am getting better. Unfortunately I don't have much time to practise, but Sister Haner and I found a keyboard in the library that isn't being used, so we are going to ask someone from the bishopric if we can take it to our apartment.
Sister Haner and I went to help out at a yard sale this Saturday and it was so nice. The sun was shining and it was really nice to spend some time with the members who were hosting it. They are hilarious and Sister Haner and I even got some clothes for free. The members that we were with take in a bunch of Foster kids on a regular basis and they are such an example to me of Christ-Like service and selflessness. I have learned so much from them.  
Because the sun is shining and it is getting warmer there are bugs EVERYWHERE! We can't even go outside without walking through at least one swarm of mosquitoes. It is so bad and I really need to buy some bug repellent to spray on myself so that I can stay free from mosquito bites. The mosquitoes here are HUGE and I heard that it gets worse and that more bugs are coming. Woohoo! We need to buy a fly swat thingy this week.
We get transfer calls on Friday, so I will let you know what is happening and who my companion will be for the next six weeks. I am sad to see Sister Haner leave (she's been here for six months, so she's probably out), but I am excited for what the next transfer has in store for me.
We went on exchanges this past week and I got to serve with Sister McPhee for a day. It was so great! We really enjoyed it and we laughed so much. We got to teach quite a bit and I am grateful for the time that I got to spend with her again. We were able to talk about some things and about Brandon and I really gained a love and appreciation for her. I miss her already, but I am grateful that she will be coming up to PA again next transfer. Also, I will see her in Saskatoon when I drop Sister Haner off and pick up my new companion two days later, because this mission is so huge!
I sincerely hope that I will get along well with my new companion, because for some reason I feel like it is going to be a difficult transfer. Pray for me! Haha, I'll be fine, I'm just paranoid.
Anyways...today is my 6-Month Mark, which is crazy! I can't believe that I have already been out that long and it is incredible how time flies. President and Sister Thomas are confused about the fact that my MTC group apparently goes home a transfer early, so who knows, maybe I'll go home in June after all! We'll see.
Well, We are going out to a Thrift Store to buy ugly sweaters so we can take a district picture together. I will send it to you next week.
I hope that you have a wonderful week and that you all get healthy and stay safe!

Lots of love, Ashley

It was incredible!

Well, I got to skype home today, so I don't have very much to write about, but here are the notes that I took during Sacrament Meeting yesterday. It was incredible!
-"Motherhood" does not mean maternity. Every woman plays an important role in nurturing and raising children around her.
-Satan attacks mothers by making them feel inadequate. He knows that the hands that rock the cradle can rock his reign here on Earth.
-Mothers are the Lord's secret weapon
-Righteous women were endowed pre-mortally to be mothers
-Being a mother is a big responsibility, that is why we are foreordained 
I am so grateful for my incredible mother and all the life skills she has taught me. She is such an example and an inspiration to me! I am truly blessed to have her in my life.

It was so wonderful to see my family! I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's plan and the knowledge that I can be with my family forever. What a blessing!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

I want to tell you a story

We made transfer guesses...

May 2nd in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Well, on to my week!

It was good, as far as numbers go. We taught more than I have ever taught on my entire mission and it was glorious. We worked really hard, but sadly the mission numbers went down, so that sucks. President is really pushing for us to work hard, because this work is so important! Anyhow, Sister Haner and I are probably going to sit down again and figure out what we could be doing to be better. Tomorrow we get to drive down to Saskatoon to attend Zone Training Meeting, and it is going to be all about online proselyting, so hopefully we will be on Facebook soon after that! I am excited for it, because so many people always ask us if we have Facebook, and we always have to say "no". Anyhow, there are about 4 people for us to add and teach as soon as we are allowed to go online. Excitement!

We finally got to meet with one of the people we were working with again (after two weeks) and it was so great! She showed us this massive moose head that she has in her basement. It's so big! I didn't know that they get that big! She also has a bunch of really amazing Native art all over her home. I am now officially obsessed with Native art, and I can totally see me decorating my future home with it! We went into her computer room to show her a video and she had this wolf pelt on one of the dressers. So big! And fluffy and soft. And she came to church yesterday, which was so great! I love her.

This week we celebrated Sister Haner's year mark! She is now one year old! Time flies by so quickly, it is crazy. I have already almost been out for six months and I feel like I just got here. And when I hit my six month mark (which will be in two weeks) I only have ten and a half months left! Insanity!

Yesterday we got to go over to the Yawney's home, which is always so great. I love being there, they have the cutest kids ever! Brother Yawney was away, so the Elders came over to bring Sister Yawney and her two little sons the sacrament. They brought Nevin with them and afterwards Nevin ended up playing with the boys for over an hour. It was so funny! They were screaming because they were laughing so much. Sister Haner and I laughed pretty much the entire time. Today Thomas (who is 3) came up to me and said "Come sit with me!" so we went over to the fireplace and sat down. Then he said "I want to tell you a story." He then proceeded to tell me a story about a monkey...unfortunately I didn't understand very much. So cute! The Yawney's are fantastic. They always invite our investigators over for dinner so that they can fellowship them and help them feel comfortable. They ALWAYS have us over for dinner/lunch and they just support us in any other way that they can. When I grow up I want to be just like the Yawneys. Seriously, so great. 

Not much else happened that I can report on. We really just worked our little feet off. We found three new investigators. One of them lives on a reserve, so we will have to figure something out for her, because we don't have the K's to drive out there all the time. We also set a solid baptismal date for May 24th, so we are really excited for that!

I love being a missionary! It is seriously just the best thing ever. 'It's the coldest, hardest, toughest and the best!' I am excited to see you next week!!!

Love, Ashley

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

If This Were The Work of Man, It Would Fail

On Sunday there was a sentence that really stuck out to me in Relief Society. It's from the Joseph Fielding Smith manual and it is "If this were the work of man, it would fail, but it is the Lord's work, and He does not fail." That is so true! Firstly, it shows just how much we need to rely on the Lord as missionaries, for without Him we cannot have success! And secondly, this work is not failing! That means that it most definitely is true, as it is the Lord's work. So great!

Elder Schmidt also gave a really good talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday and said something that opened my eyes. He talked about Christlike attributes (and seeing as I have been praying for more charity and patience, I payed special attention) and said that when we pray for Christlike attributes, Heavenly Father will give us experiences that will help us develop those attributes. So if I pray for patience, He isn't just going to bless me with more patience. He will give me an experience that will make me need to have an increase of patience, which will help me develop that particular attribute. The same with charity. I was so grateful for his talk, because it was very inspiring and motivational.

We also found five new investigators this week! The Lord truly does bless us when we trust Him completely and work our hardest (even though I was really sick and was convinced that I had bronchitis). Five of the people we are working with also came to church and they loved it! The ward was fantastic and reached out to them by introducing themselves and talking to them. I can't imagine anything worse than going to church for the first time and being ignored.

Jodie came to Young Women's this Wednesday and she really enjoyed it. They built little temple replicas out of rice crispy treats and she did such a good job! She has been making so much progress and I am so proud of her. I am also so grateful that she gets support from the people that live in her home.  This week she said something so funny. She was watching a movie with her boyfriend and he touched her leg...so she smacked it away and said "Don't touch me like that, it's inappropriate and Jesus will be mad at you!" She is the best and I love her.
I learned to sew on a sewing machine on Thursday. Sister Haner taught me and it was so much fun!

The place we volunteer at on Thursdays is kind of like a thrift shop with a quilting store for people with mental disabilities and illnesses. There was this one guy who saw Sister Haner and I and yelled "I love you!" from across the room. So sweet. It's good to know that somebody loves me. There was also a new guy in the quilting room and when we walked in he said "you must be the prettiest girls in PA!" He then proceeded to be rather creepy (but sweet) for the entire time that he was there. It was funny.

I think the greatest thing that happened this week was that Corbin was baptised. Elder Schmidt and I got to skype in to Brandon to watch the baptism and it was wonderful. It was so fantastic to see him again and of course I cried like a baby. I got to see his sister, Bailey, again, I got to see Amber, Jocelyn, Michelle Palmer, bishop Palmer, Elsie Palmer, the Walker family, Sister Day, Elder Hindes, Elder Camarena, Elder Warren and my Mexican brother, Elder Barba. It was the best thing ever. I am so happy that Corbin was finally able to get baptised. He is such a great example to me and to everyone around him. It was such a blessing to have been able to spend three months teaching him and I am so grateful for all the times that he made me laugh and smile. He gets the Aaronic Priesthood soon and I am so excited for him! Agh, I love that kid.

Anyhow, that was my week. I hope that things are great over there and I love you! Have a good week!
Oh, and I totally won a bible bash on Saturday. Elder Ballard told Nevin (one of the YSA here) while he was still in the MTC that "We don't Bible bash, but when we do, we win!"

It was so funny. This guy asked if I believed that Christ will come to Earth as a spirit, because that is what he believed. I said no, He has a resurrected body. In the book of John we read that Christ appeared to His disciples after His resurrection and they thought He was a ghost, so to prove to them that He had a body of flesh and bone, He ate fish and honey in front of them. 

The guy didn't say anything after that. Sister Haner was very proud of me.

Alrighty, that is all! 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

"Don't find excuses, find the Saviour!"


Ah man...don't tell me about all the delicious food...I miss it! But...we get fed a lot here and the members take good care of us. We had two dinner appointments this weekend so we did not go hungry! Plus, this wonderful lady in the ward (her name is Sister McKay and she reminds me A LOT of you) went out and bought us groceries, so we don't even have to go shopping this week. So nice! I almost cried. I am glad that Thor has good friends and that he is doing well! He is so great and I talk about him ALL the time. Pretty much everyone here knows that I have an amazing brother named Thor and they all want to meet him! He's famous in the Canada Winnipeg Mission :D
Well...I don't know what to do for JJ anymore.. I know that Satan works particularly hard on the Youth of the church. By destroying the Youth he destroys the future of the church. I am so grateful to know that he will NEVER succeed at that. There are so many great youth and they keep getting more and more! I don't know what else you could do for him either...and I don't think that he would appreciate or take my advice. So sad. I have learned that foul moods need to be ignored, not acknowledged! They need to be greeted with cheerfulness and charity. Super hard, I know, but I learned that that's the only thing that works. Grumpiness is like yeast...it needs to be fed. So if you try to always be in a good mood around him and just ignore his bad mood (not him) I hope that things will get better for him! I guess he has identified with being the black sheep of the family and thinks that he isn't getting out of that role...well, no black sheep can live in the presence of God! I know that that isn't how the scripture goes...but I think it fits. Anyhow, enough about JJ. Please just let me know if there is anything I can do to help you and Papa. There was a guest speaker here this Sunday. She said something in her talk that I really liked. She said, after talking about how we all make mistakes "don't find excuses, find the Saviour!" 

This week was really great, we taught quite a bit and found three new investigators! I am so happy that the work her in PA is finally starting to pick up again. It was really rough for a while and that was quite discouraging, but after much prayer and consideration, Sister Haner and I worked out what we need to change/do to see more success. Sister Thomas helped a lot with that in Melfort last week when she told us that we need to focus more on developing Christlike attributes. I have really been concentrating on Charity, Humility and Patience, but mostly charity. It is something that I really struggle with and I hope that some day I will finally have developed more of it.
Oh...someone got shot last week in our part of town...the police didn't find the murderer until about two days later, so we did not go into any sketchy parts of the city and we didn't stay out after dark. I am glad that they found him and that he is in jail now! 
I was on a reservation this week for a dinner appointment. It was so great! This lady's home is FULL of Native art and dream catchers and a MASSIVE buffalo head on the wall. Buffaloes are huge! Eric took a picture of me with it and I asked him to send it to you, so I hope you got it! I love being in this mission. I love the Native culture and I feel so ignorant because I hardly know anything, but I hope to learn more!
Friday we drove down to Saskatoon to go meet with all the missionaries there and pick up the two Sisters that we had the privilege of driving down to Regina with. They were so great and it was fun to chat with them. They are in our Zone, but they are serving in Saskatoon. I was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited to finally arrive in Regina because we got to see everyone! The mission has never gathered together before, because it is so huge, and it truly was an historic moment. I got to see Sister Bennett and Sister Ashton-Korn again. I got to see Sister Day, Elder Allred and Elder Barba! It was so great! A lot of jumping up and down as well as hugging went on. Of course I only hugged the Sisters.
I got to see Elder Barba again!
Well, on to meeting the Apostle. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! we all gathered in the chapel and as soon as he entered the church building you could just feel a change. Then he walked into the room and we all stood...so powerful! It was fantastic. Elder Christofferson is so funny! He made so many jokes and we laughed so much. He spent the majority of the time answering our questions. Then at the end he said that he wanted us to write in our journals for our posterity to read that these words came out of his mouth: I know that Jesus Christ lives!" It was so powerful. We got to go up and shake his hand and introduce ourselves. So special. President Thomas said in his weekly email to us all that Elder Christofferson said that he had never before been in the presence of a more dignified group of missionaries. Again, I am so grateful to be a part of this mission! I am convinced that we have the best Mission President ever. I know that I have said that before, but I just have to say it over and over because I constantly get reminded just how blessed I am with him and Sister Thomas.
Elder Christofferson told us that the Prophet said he loves us. He then proceeded to bless us with so many things. He blessed us that we would have greater power in teaching, that we would find answers to our prayers, that we would learn more things from the scriptures, that our teaching would be as powerful as the missionaries of old, that we would have strong testimonies, that we would feel a deep sense of joy and peace in the work and that we would know that the Lord approves of us. With all that I cannot fail!
Please watch the "Because of Him" video on the front page of LDS.org. You can also look it up on the YouTube page of Mormonchannel. It is so good and it really puts everything into perspective! Also, the music is excellent! I love it! 
I hope that you have a great week and I love you!
P.S. On the way back to PA we saw a wolf! 

The Canada Winnipeg Mission
Bye bye Elder Jordan!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

"Oh, so you're my German!"

Well, for Easter we will be having a meeting with Elder Christopherson! So I am really excited for that.

It is still cold, back to the negatives and it snowed again...but, I have faith that we will soon see Spring!
We got our transfer calls! I will be staying in Prince Albert with Sister Haner! Yay!!! Elder Hindes is leaving (boooooooo) and he his going to Brandon! So I have a ton of letters for him to take down and give to all the people there. I still miss Brandon, and I wish I could go back, but I know that I need to be here in PA. Still not quite sure why, but until I figure that out I'll just keep on persevering. Elder Jordan is also getting transferred, he is going to North Battleford, so not too far away. Elder Schmidt, who I served with in Brandon for two transfers, is going to com up to PA, so we will probably serve together for two more transfers. He just isn't going to get rid of me!
The snow melted and we had some really nice warm days, but then on Friday it started to snow again! So we're back to Winter, haha. Canada!! I love it.
We finally got to reset Jodie's baptismal date for May 10th and we are so excited! She has been keeping all the commandments that we have taught to her and is making so much progress. I just love her! We showed up at her house and washed the dishes and swept the floor for her Kukum (her grandma) and ever since then her family has been so nice to us and they really like us! Her grandma wants to make us bannock, so I am excited for that!
We got to go to Melfort this weekend to help with a food drive there. We arrived on Friday in the afternoon and it was so great to see President and Sister Thomas again. I love them! Melfort is a tiny town of about 5000 people, and there were around fifty missionaries there. We got to hear from President and Sister Thomas, as well as Elder and Sister Menlove, who work in the mission office. Elder Menlove talked all about how the funds we receive from the church are sacred. The money that we personally contribute to our mission doesn't even cover our rent. I am so grateful for the support that the missionaries receive from the church. Those funds truly are sacred and I intend on being much more careful. I am so grateful for Sister Haner, because she loves being thrifty and has helped me so much. 
After the training portion of our meeting, we got to attend a fireside. It was so good! Everyone talked about "Finding" and Sister Thomas explained that if we develop Christlike Attributes, we will find more people. So, here is my master plan: President Uchtdorf talked about how gratitude is a catalyst for developing Christlike Attributes...So I am going to be much more grateful, so that I can develop more Christlike Attributes, so that we can find more people to teach! 
We had the opportunity of meeting some of the members in the Melfort branch. When I introduced myself to President Froc (branch President) he said "oh, so you're my German!" I got the same reaction when I introduced myself to one of the Sisters. She said "ooooh, you're the German!" So funny. 
I got to see Sister Smith again, who was in my MTC group and it was so great! She is going to Winnipeg now, so I will be the only Sister from my MTC district all the way up in PA. All the other Sisters are in Winnipeg and the surrounding areas. 
I got to meet Elder Vause, who is the most unique and incredible human I have ever met in my life. He made me laugh so much! He is just hilarious. Such a character. He knows everything about movies and when we had a practice as a group, he took his chair and placed it in the middle of the circle...I am so excited to see him again on Friday :D
I also got to meet Elder Gardner, who is actually in my zone. He is currently serving in Saskatoon. He is a convert and he joined the church when he was eight. We chatted for over an hour and it was great. The missionaries in this mission are fantastic!
I am so excited to see the apostle on Saturday and I can;t wait to tell you all about it on Monday next week!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Well, We Got to Watch Conference!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got to go mattress sailing!

So pretty much my entire email is going to be full of my insights from the talks that were given. But first I will update you on how my week went!

I met a lady from Namibia, who studied in South Africa and knows German! It was so fun to talk to her about South Africa and speak with her in German. She even told me where to find Biltong in PA! I am soooo excited.

We went to visit a member that lives out of town. On the way there we passed so many deer right by the highway. It was rather frightening. Anyhow, we finally found where she lived, and we weren't quite sure if it was her house or not. But we walked down the super long and windy driveway and her massive dog ran up to us and just started barking at us. Not in a friendly way. We didn't know what to do, so we just stood there and let the dog bark at us. Anyhow, after about three minutes of not moving I took the phone and called her. It was her house and she came out to get us. So funny.

Speaking of dogs...there is this one particular dog that used to like me...I don't know what I did, but now every time we go over there it bites me. It hasn't ever pierced my skin, so I'm not too worried, but I sincerely hope that the dog and I manage to sort things out!

We finally got to see J again! She has been really busy, but she was happy to see us again and she still really wants to be baptised. She has been keeping all the commandments we taught her about, and hopefully we will get to teach her about all the other ones soon. She has been making such good progress and I love teaching her. She is so great, and I am so blessed to have met her!

We went out to a member's home for lunch on Friday. After eating and chatting we asked if we could share a message with them. We watched the Lifting Burdens Mormon Message and read Matthew 11:28-30. Then we sang "I need Thee every Hour". The husband absolutely bawled when we were singing. It was so sweet, I hope he was feeling the spirit and not just crying at our singing voices!

Yesterday evening we got a phone call from Sister B. She called us to check up on us and ask how conference went. Then she asked if we had enough food and all that. She is so sweet! I love the members of this ward, they are so great and they take very good care of the missionaries!

We have a Zone Conference in Melfort this Friday. It will be a service project, and I don't really know too much about what will be happening, but I will let you know all about it next week.

Alright, on to my conference insights. First of all, I absolutely LOVED conference. It was so good! Every single talk was brilliant and I took a ton of notes. 

I love how Elder Holland talked about how we need to take a moral stand and defend our faith with courage, courtesy and pure Christlike love. Everyone will eventually have to defend their faith, and we seem to have to do it quite a bit. Sometimes it can be hard, but it is so worth it! We are so blessed to have the gospel in our lives!

Sister Linda K. Burton talked about how we need to make daily family prayer and scripture study a priority, as well as have Family Home Evening. Doing these things will help us be less stressed and more at peace. I think that everybody could use a lot less stress! So that means that everybody needs to make that more of a priority!

Elder Andersen said that the Book of Mormon is the most powerful written testimony of the Saviour. We are so blessed and lucky to have it.
I loved this quote by Elder Nelson: "Even if everyone is doing it- WRONG WAS NEVER RIGHT. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God's approval." So powerful! And so true. The world around us is constantly changing and getting worse. Staying faithful and standing up for ourselves gets harder and harder, but it is worth it!

President Uchtdorf's talk was much needed. "Gratitude is a catalyst for all Christlike Attributes." That sentence was like a spiritual high-five. In the face. I really have so much to be grateful for, I really need to start showing my gratitude! I need to stop always being in a bad mood, I need to stop getting frustrated so quickly, I need to rely on the Lord much more. So many things to improve on! But hey, that's what missions are for, right? I have no intention whatsoever to go home and be exactly the same way that I was. That would be terrible!

Alright, this email is getting longer than I wanted it to be, so I am going to stop now. Subscribe to the Ensign!!! Church magazines are great! Also, hang a picture of the Saviour up in your house. I think it was Sister Burton who said that as we make the Saviour the focus of our lives, we will be blessed with the guidance of the Holy Ghost and everything else will fall into place. That is a great promise! 

I hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

One Step at a Time

It's still really cold here, but it is slowly warming up. All the ice is melting leaving massive slush-puddles EVERYWHERE. Yesterday this massive truck got stuck in one of said puddles, and we tried to help pushing it out...we only made it worse. Oops. Anyways, the people called a tow-truck and all was well.

Sister Haner and I get along fantastically. She is great. I am very blessed to have her as my companion. I sincerely hope that I get to serve with her for another transfer!

We haven't been able to contact J, which is so sad, because she is our baptismal date. I guess not any more, because we haven't been able to meet with her in over a week. So sad. 

We went thrift shopping on Monday after emailing and it was glorious! So funny! Elder Hindes bought a suit for only 25 dollars and then wore it on Tuesday to District Meeting. It was so funny! 

On Tuesday Elder Sorenson nicked our phone when we weren't looking and deleted their number. Or so I thought...anyways, I texted them and after typing in their number I pressed send...and it said "sending to President Thomas". I almost had a heart-attack. It took a couple of seconds and then I realised that he hadn't deleted their number, he had changed their name to "President Thomas". So mean! That could have gone really bad...luckily it didn't!

At Sports Night we had a bunch of potential investigators and one of them is an eleven year old girl with the voice of an angel. Anyhow, she was talking to Sister Haner about how she loves singing and I asked her if she knew the cup song. She did. We then went to the kitchen to get cups and sang the cup song together. It was so fun! Anyhow, she is coming to Sports Night again tomorrow and I am so excited! 

We met an Austrian man yesterday and I had so much fun speaking German again! It was so strange though and I really had to think about words and sentence structure. I hope that I will still be able to speak it by the end of my mission!

Also, if you have time, check out the ward boundaries for Prince Albert on lds.org. They are HUGE! One lady came to church this past Sunday and it took her four hours just to drive here. Insanity!

I love being here in PA and I love this mission! I have some exciting news to share with you next week...it is going to be glorious!! Also, I just wanted to let you know that the ward members take very good care of me! We usually get fed every Sunday and one of the Sisters here bakes a ton of cookies for us! 

This week in my studies I have really been focusing on Humility. I never really considered myself as prideful, but after studying humility and getting chastised quite a bit I realised that it definitely is something that I need to work on. The more I study the Christlike attributes section in Preach My Gospel the more I realise how incredibly far away I am from being Christlike. I take it as an opportunity to change and grow, and am trying very hard to not get discouraged. One step at a time. And Sister Haner is really helping me a lot! 

This gospel is so true! And the more I read the Book of Mormon the more I love it! You should watch the Mormon Message entitled "Lifting Burdens". Mission- and life-changing. So good!

Oh, and I hope that you are excited for General Conference! I know I am!!!

Alrighty, I hope you have a great week and stay safe!

Elder Hindes wearing his suit and hat. So funny!

Elder Sorenson downloaded a picture of himself onto the computer...So I stuck his face all over the Family History Center


Monday, 24 March 2014

Search and Rescue

This Sunday the Bishopric was speaking and they all talked about Repentance. It was so good! 

We have been focusing on the Less-Active members throughout the entire mission and have been seeing a lot of success. Sister Haner and I committed one of the ladies we are working with to come to church and she came! And she liked it! And she has started reading her scriptures again and is praying more. We are so happy with the progress that she is making! This mission is a "Search and Rescue" mission, and President has asked us to especially focus on the rescuing part. It makes no sense for us to keep bringing people into the church through baptism when they fall away again.

Sister Haner and I get along just fine, and she makes me eat very healthily. She likes all natural products and what not. Also, she has put me on a ten-day chocolate fast, so that is coming along well and I actually feel a lot better...less sluggish and less tired. Also, I have not had a migraine since my first transfer, which is great! Heavenly Father really has blessed me with health. I have also gained four kilograms, so I guess I'm not underweight anymore! Sister Haner has made me learn to be grateful that I now have a normal body weight. She is seriously the best, and this district is incredible. I thought it would be really hard to get a district as great as the one in Brandon...but all I needed to do was come to PA! Elder Hindes (my district leader) knows pretty much everything about me, because he is so good at asking questions. I asked him how he manages to get people to tell him their life-stories, because the majority of the questions he asks are really personal, but when he asks them you just want to tell him everything! He said it's because he genuinely cares about the people that he talks to. I need to be more like Elder Hindes when it comes to asking questions. I really need to learn to have more love and charity for everyone that we work with!

So, this week we went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. I went with Sister Harrison and it was so fun! We got horribly lost...multiple times...but hey, now I know the area even better! I have seen pretty much every corner of Prince Albert, and I love this city even more now. Sister Harrison said that I taught very well and was impressed that I knew the names of all the Ward members. We saw so many miracles on that exchange! Jodie's boyfriend, who has refused to talk to us the entire time, came downstairs and introduced himself to us. We invited him to sit in on the lesson and he almost did, but I guess playing Grand Theft Auto was more important at that time :D 

This week I got given a lot of very nice things. Two children made me bracelets (I wear them whenever I know that they are going to be around) and all the missionaries got given gift cards for groceries. So nice and kind and thoughtful! We are all so grateful and it is truly such a blessing that the ward members take such good care of us. I love this ward!

We went to a round dance and I loved it! It was so powerful, I got goosebumps. I love learning about the Native culture and I am sad that I hardly know anything. Since being here I have developed a weird obsession for feathers and dream catchers :D

We went over to a member's home and his wife made Filipino food for us. It was delicious!!! But...this evening we are going to have a YSA-FHE activity and one of the members is bringing Balut (or however you spell it) for all the missionaries...so I might just die. I am honestly terrified, but it will sure make for a funny story to tell in ten years!

Anyhow, sorry to end my email on that note...everything is great here in PA, other than the fact that it is still freezing cold...but no worries, I just checked the weather and today is a toasty -22 degrees Celsius. Wahoo!

Driving to a member's home...

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Diabetes Treasure Chest

Quite a few things happened this week, so I'm just going to jump into it!

The only piece of meat that I have had to eat all week was a small piece of Turkey. It was great! Eating all this fruit and all these vegetables has really been helping me stay healthy.

Sister Haner is seriously the best. We are the same person. She loves Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. So great.
The snow here is starting to melt. That means that there are super big slush and water and mud puddles EVERYWHERE! It's like driving through a lake and it's really fun, except for the fact that our car is now absolutely filthy.

We went over to a member's home and they apparently take mugshots of all the missionaries. Unfortunately I looked really bad that day...they still took the picture of me. It actually looks alright.

I learned how to pin the squares of a quilt together and I'm sure that soon I will learn how to sew with a sewing machine.

Elder Jordan made me a bunch of CDs to listen to in our car and they are the best. He is so nice! He also gave me a tie so that I can start trading with the other Elders to build up my tie-empire. Tie-trading is practically a sport here, and I plan on getting very good at it.

They closed down one of the streets because of all the slush and ice and when they opened it up again they somehow didn't turn the traffic light on properly, so it was always red. Anyhow, we pulled up to this traffic light and there were about five cars just standing there, waiting for it to turn green. We knew that it was broken, so I jumped out, ran up to the pedestrian crossing, pushed the button and sprinted back (I slipped and slid more than I ran) to the car. As soon as I jumped in the car the traffic light turned green and we were able to drive. I had to laugh the entire time, from when I first jumped out of the car to when I jumped back in and then Sister Haner and I laughed for about ten minutes straight. It was so funny.

We received a banana-bread-baking-kit from a member and it was great. I was brave enough to try some of it and I really liked it! Maybe I will conquer my fear of bananas out here.

All the missionaries in PA provide service at the food bank and afterwards we are allowed to go into the basement and go through the sweets and it's like a treasure hunt. We call it the "Diabetes Treasure Chest" and it is glorious. We picked up so much chocolate and so many other sweets...We now have an entire cupboard in our kitchen that is filled with sweets and chips and cookies. So much joy.

I got a hair cut. It is now even shorter, which I am not too sure about, but it sure makes it easier to manage. Also, it was free! One of the members is a hairdresser and said that she would love to cut our hair. Then we asked her how much she charged she just said "For you, nothing." It was so great!

There is a recent convert here who is just the greatest. His name is E and at Sports Night he got me to read him a talk by Elder Holland...in German. It was so fun, and he really liked it. He is seriously the most incredible person. He talks about the gospel with his friends and really wants to serve a mission. He will be a fantastic missionary once he gets out there!

We visited another member and her husband and they have a cat that loves to nibble on toes. Only my toes though...so that was a rather interesting experience.

Yesterday two guests, who had just returned from their mission in Russia, gave talks in sacrament. They were brilliant. Her talk was fantastic and he said something that really gave me chills. He said that the lost tribes are not lost to him, they are in Russia. Hardly anyone there that gets their patriarchal blessing is from Ephraim or Manasseh and they know someone from every tribe. The gathering of Israel is happening! It's sooo exciting! Also, She said that the Winter here was colder than in Siberia. Can you believe that? I survived!!!

As to spiritual things that happened this week, Sister Haner and I have really been striving to be exactly obedient, especially in going to bed on time. The Lord truly does bless us when we are exactly obedient. Also, we have been trying to focus on doing everything that Preach My Gospel teaches and we have been seeing more success! I love Preach My Gospel, and I love Sister Haner! I have learned so much from her!

The church building in PA

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Well...I Am Finally in Prince Albert!!!

I left Brandon and 6AM on Thursday morning and arrived in PA at 10AM on Saturday. This mission is so big!

PA is actually warmer than Brandon (currently +5), so I am sooo grateful for that! My new companion's name is Sister Haner and she is a sweetheart. She is from Utah and is a vegetarian. She is a great missionary and we teach very well together. I have already learned so much from her, especially learning to recognise the promptings of the Spirit. They happen so much more than I originally thought! We teach a lot here in PA, which is really good.

The Elders in my district are great. They are all from Utah and their names are Elder Hindes (my District Leader), Elder Sorenson (his companion), Elder Hanson and Elder Jordan. They are super funny and are really nice to Sister Haner and I.

Our apartment is great, the Relief Society in our ward made sure that it was well furnished and clean before the Sisters arrived. They even made quilts for our beds! So kind. Our shower is possessed, as it goes from freezing cold to boiling hot and then back again ALL THE TIME, so showering is not really enjoyable.

We have a brand new car, it is a Chevy Trax and it is rather large. I now have to jump up to get in the car, instead of sitting down.

The ward is great, except everyone shows up at least twenty minutes late to church. So we need to do something to change that because it is very distracting. Anyhow, it was announced in sacrament meeting that I would be speaking, so I thought that I was supposed to get up and introduce myself and bear my testimony, just like I did in Brandon. That is what I did, and then after church people thanked me for my talk and Sister Haner asked if the bishop had coordinated me speaking on Sunday beforehand and I just hadn't told her. Apparently I was supposed to give a talk, only nobody told me. I hope someone learned something from what I had to say though. We also had to teach Sunday School, because the teacher didn't show up to church because she/he was sick. So we had to throw a lesson together, and it worked out really well!

Anyhow, it was really hard to leave Brandon and I shed quite a few tears. When we drove from Winnipeg to Regina we stopped in Brandon to get gas and I almost started crying again, because it only would have taken five minutes and we would have been at the church building. I am very grateful for the time that I got to spend in Brandon, and though I miss it very much, I know that I am in PA for a reason. It feels right, and I feel motivated to be the best missionary I possibly can.

Transfer meeting in Winnipeg was crazy, we had over 80 missionaries there. I got to see Sister Ashton-Korn again and it was a most joyous reunion. I was so incredibly happy and we just talked for ages and laughed so much! It was great. We even got to stay with her and her new companion for the night and we stayed up really late and just talked. I really hope that I get to serve with her one day, but unfortunately I don't think that that is going to happen.

Our mission got the go-ahead to do online proselyting, and it is the first mission in Canada to start that. So that will be really exciting! It will be interesting to learn how to do online proselyting and I am excited for this change in missionary work. The youth here are elect and that is the best way to communicate with them. Things are really changing here in Canada and I am so happy and privileged to be a part of it all. This really is the best mission in the world!

I finally got to see Sister A-Korn again!
 My new companion, Sister Haner

The greatest person in the world                                 
Elder Schmidt's boots are HUGE

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


I am rather sad, but at the same time really excited for all the new experiences that await me! When we told C and B, C looked over to me, started to tear up and said "you can't leave, you just got here!" That broke my heart and I had to book it out of there, or I would have started crying. I held it together until we got to the car. Yesterday was quite rough too. I heard a lot of "What? You just got here, you can't leave already!" I never realised just how much the members love the missionaries here until I saw the Relief Society President start bawling after she told me that her granddaughter was not pleased that I am leaving. It was really sad. I am so grateful that I was able to begin my mission here in Brandon. really could not have started in a better area. Sister McPhee is getting transferred to Wanuskewin and will be my Sister Training Leader), Sister Day is staying here and will be training. I am getting transferred to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan to serve with Sister H All I know about PA is that it is way up North and freezing cold. Also, it has only been open to missionaries for two transfers. I am rather scared, but really excited too. It will take about twelve hours for me to get there...Sister McPhee and I will hop aboard theTransfer Train, which is a 15-seat family van, and drive to our new areas. I might just go crazy on the way there. This mission is sooooo huge!

This week we had a record cold day. It was freeeeeeeeeeeeezing, and by freezing I mean-52...and were out and about. I thought that my face was going to burn right off. This year Manitoba has had the longest, coldest Winter in 35 years. I survived! At least I have so far. I have never before had to run from the cold, but as soon as we get out of the car we sprint to wherever it is that we are going because it is just too cold to walk at a normal pace!
I can't believe that I have already been out for three months. It's crazy! It feels like I just got here, but at the same time it feels like I have been here forever. It's so strange,  but I love it and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!

Not very much else happened this week, as we have pretty much just been stopping by to say goodbye to people.

I did have a burger that was made of deer meat. It was really good! Also, the people we had the burgers with bought us a cake that said "Farewell, we will miss you!" So sweet. I really love Brandon and I am so grateful for the people that I have met here. They have blessed my life in so many ways and I have learned so much from them

Last day at the Soup Kitchen!

CWM with Elder B

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Morgan Freeman!

Last week was nice and warm, and I was able to wear flats all week! It was great!

Anyhow, this week is going to be freezing cold again. Today is -40 and I was stupid enough to scrape the ice off of the windshield without gloves and using the metal ice scraper thingy. My hand hurt quite a bit after that...I seriously need to be more careful or I really will get frost bite!

This past week it snowed A LOT and we decided to get up early one morning and go shovel snow for a few people. Shoveling snow is honestly the best work-out ever! I was fine for the first two hours and then I got a Hexenchuss. Not many people can say that they got a Hexenchuss from shoveling snow, right? Anyways, I persevered for another hour and the Sister Day started to feel sick as well, so we went back home. Three hours was just waaaay too much. 

Sister Day had a stomach bug or something, because she spent quite a bit of time vomiting. I felt so sorry for her, but luckily it only lasted for about two days. On the second day we went to a member's home for dinner and had moose meat. It was really delicious! I was a tad bit skeptical, but I'm glad that I tried it. Afterwards she gave us ice-cream, and Sister Day managed to eat half of hers and then her stomach started to hurt again. By now we have perfected the plate-swap, so we quickly swapped bowls and I ate the rest of her ice-cream. I didn't get sick though, so all is well. That's what companions are for, right?

This week our Ward Mission Leader's wife made us Cafe Rio Salads. I didn't know what that was, but Sister Day was soooooo excited. It was the best meal I have had on my entire mission. I loved it. So if Solingen ever gets sister missionaries, look up a good recipe for Cafe Rio Salads on Pinterest and make it for them. Please. They will be eternally grateful.

We taught the blind pastor again and it was great! We also got to meet his fiance, who is in a wheelchair. Those two are incredible, and their relationship is so inspiring! I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them, and they even baked shortbread cookies for us! They were delicious..

We showed the "What Matters Most" Mormon Message to a family and afterwards we asked the son if he knew who it was. He goes "Morgan Freeman!" I almost died laughing, it was so cute! When we explained that it was the prophet he just burst out laughing himself. So funny!

This week also seemed to be the week that everybody decided to feed us muffins and cupcakes. I may or may not have eaten my body weight in muffins and cupcakes. Not complaining though, not one bit!

On Sunday A gave her first talk and we helped her write it. A tells me every week that she is praying for me to stay in Brandon. Anyhow, while we were helping her write it she leaned over to me and said "You have really pretty eyeballs". I guess the light really must have made them glisten and glow. I have never gotten that compliment before, so I'll take it! She was so nervous on Sunday, but she did a great job and I was very proud of her.

Yesterday we stopped by at a member family's home to see how they were doing. They have a parrot, and when I went up to say hello to it, it whistled at me. So funny! That parrot is hilarious. 

This week I have really been trying to focus on listening to everyone and having faith that the spirit will help me know what to say and when to say it, instead of always planning everything. It worked! I really enjoyed teaching and meeting new people this week. And it was much easier for me to bond with them, because I actually listened.
This week was really good, and I really enjoyed. I am so grateful for the time I have had here in Brandon and I can honestly say that the Canada Winnipeg Mission is the best in the world. At least for me it is

Sister Day got a tad bit sick, so I cut this out of a cookie box and taped it to the toilet. I am glad that she thought it was funny.