Monday, 27 January 2014

I Love Being a Missionary!

The weather here is absolutely strange. One day it's warm (only minus 12) and then the next day it's freezing (as in minus 35). Today it is a toasty -44. I forgot my mittens somewhere, so now I need to buy new ones. My hands froze today and I may or may not have frostbite on one of my fingers. We'll see how that goes. 

This week I really missed Loki and Otto. Luckily almost everyone we go see has at least one dog, so I get lots of love from them! I am always covered in hair, but that doesn't matter.
We had our first apartment-check last Monday, so we made sure that the apartment was super clean. It looked so nice, and we got 100 percent!

Brandon is starting to get pretty treacherous...the snow here doesn't melt, so people create these massive snow mountains when they shovel their walkways. These mountains are perfect for climbing on. So fun! They are also perfect for ripping skirts on...not so fun. Poor Sister Day ripped one of her skirts while trying to climb over one to get to a member's home. Luckily she has an incredible mom who can fix all sorts of rips and tears.

We went to a basketball tournament on Tuesday. C was playing his first basketball game and his mom wasn't able to make it, so we went to cheer him on. He is so cute! 

Wednesday was our last district meeting ! It was rather sad, because Elder M and Elder Me got transferred out, but at the same time it was really good! I learned so much and we had a testimony meeting at the end. Plus, Elder S brought us hot chocolate, so it was nice and cozy. Elder M said that "when we see people that are in danger, we instinctively try to save them. It is the same with sharing the gospel." I really liked that.

At district meeting I nicked the transfer sheet from Elder A (our Zone Leader) and saw that Sister Ashton-Korn is now serving with Sister D and her trainer. So my MTC companion is serving with Sister Day's MTC companion and we are both in trios. I miss my drooling Ginger! If I could serve with her again...phew, we would be SO incredible!

Thursday we went to the soup kitchen as usual and I got to talk to quite a few people. M P was also there and we chatted for quite some time. I got to know her a little bit and she is incredible! I am so excited to go on a split with her this Friday. Thursday was also the we got to meet one of our new Elders. His name is Elder B and he is from Mexico, but he lives in Calgary. He had traveled all the way from Flin Flon down to Brandon and hadn't slept in 30 hours. Our other new Elder is Elder R. Both of them are really nice and I am positive that this transfer is going to be incredible.

On Friday we had weekly planning. Usually weekly planning is so stressful because it takes FOREVER, but this week we managed to make it fun. I have decided to make D&C 123:17 my motto for this transfer. I read it every day because I decorated my planner with it. I have decided not to let anyone or anything get me down. So far it's working!

It snowed so much last week! It was fine though, because the snow here is really pretty. Perfect snow flakes that glitter in the light. It was like walking through glitter!

Yesterday we taught C the Restoration and then had him teach it to us. He was so good! Then we knelt down with him and he prayed and asked Heavenly Father if the church is true. The spirit was so strong and he received a very speedy confirmation. Such an incredible experience! I almost cried.

I truly am here because of the people. I have the best mission president in the world. His wife is the most incredible person ever. I have met so many people and every single one of them has helped me in one way or another. This mission is perfect for me. It is cold, it is hard, but it is the best! 
I love being a missionary!

This is what we do at District Meeting. Just kidding.

Brandon District Represent!

Monday, 20 January 2014

So, I Survived My First Transfer!

I will be staying in Brandon for another transfer and will finish my training here. After that...who knows? Only the most amazing Mission President in the entire world! Our District Leader is getting transferred to International Falls in Minnesota. He has been in Brandon for almost an entire year. How crazy is that? One of the other Elders is going to Flin Flon. Apparently there are polar bears over there.. I love Brandon and I love the Ward here! The bishop's daughter got back from her mission this past week and she is just incredible. I hope very much that I get to go on a split with her!

This week we were in some rough homes. I am so grateful for everything that I have! And I am so grateful that we have a clean apartment and warm clothes and enough to eat. There was this one family...oh man, we ended up cleaning their house for them because it was so bad. We also gave them milk because they didn't have any to feed their baby daughter and son. Of course the father always has enough beer in the home, and don't forget about the cigarettes and the drugs! Who needs to make sure that their kids have food? I was so angry. In moments like that it is so hard to keep smiling and to not say anything. We went up to their house, put the milk on the doorstep, rang the doorbell and ran for it. It was soooo funny. Running in a skirt and puffy jacket looks hilarious!

This week we all got a little bit sick. Sister McPhee had to throw up, Sister Day has a really bad cold and I had the worst upset stomach for three days. All I ate was oats. We're all fine now, and hopefully this week will be better! I am finally sleeping enough. I can fall asleep rather quickly and don't wake up a million times in the night and then just lie there because I can't sleep. So I feel so much better.

We were able to witness a Priesthood blessing this week. It was incredible. I love the Elders serving in this ward! Seeing little Chancho (Elder Camarena) get up there and lay his hands on her head was just so incredible. Afterwards she told us that she felt better already! I am so grateful for the Priesthood and for worthy Priesthood-holders!

We played basketball at YSA and I was a little bit disappointed, because that's what we did last week as well. Anyhow, I was on the same team as Elder Schmidt, who is really good, and it was so fun! I'm definitely not as bad as I thought I was. Our team was actually good!

I am finally confident in my teaching abilities! I have no problems with starting a lesson and asking good questions and all that. Teaching is the best! Now we just need to find more people to teach!

I met someone new at the soup kitchen and we chatted for a bit. I am slowly losing my fear of talking about the gospel to complete strangers and I gave him a card. Hopefully he checks it out, it's a good website!

Not very much happened this week...sorry about that! I just learned once again how much Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us. He cares about us and He wants us to be happy. I love prayer. I love the fact that we can communicate with Him whenever we feel like it. He really comforted me this week, and I really needed it! 

The sunsets here are beautiful. 

5 degrees celsius!!!! Warmest day of the week

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Ukrainian Christmas

This week was great! After I wrote to you we went shopping and cleaned our apartment, which was great. After buying groceries we went to get petrol, and it was my turn to hold the pump, and the silly little metal latch wouldn't click up because it was very silly me decided to take off my mitten (-51 degrees Celsius) and try push it up with my finger. Yeah, my finger froze to the metal pump. It was very painful, but I guess that's what you get for being stupid.
We went to a member couple's home for Ukrainian Christmas, which was very interesting, and the food was really good! I love that family!  So supportive of the missionaries. Brother Z always says that if we ever need food, we just need to show up an they'll feed us. And Sister Z said the same about hugs. I love those two. Brother Z is also the guy that made me try the pickled herring...he's a funny man!

On Tuesday we went out to contact some former investigators and it was so cold that my face turned blue...I didn't really feel cold, but Sister D and Sister M said that my face looked bad, so we got back in the car and warmed up a bit. At least now I have something funny to tell to others!

We had dinner at this Spanish family's home, and I love that they call me "Hermana" because I try to speak Spanish with them. The Spanish member's in our ward are fantastic, I love them! They are all soooo solid and have such strong testimonies!

On Thursday we had Zone Training Meeting and it was great! I love the missionaries in our zone, they are incredible! Our Zone leaders are seriously the best. They invest so much time and effort into making sure that we're all doing okay and that we have everything we need. President Thomas is like that as well. He spends every single Pday sitting at his computer replying to every single one of our weekly letters to him. We have 150 missionaries in our must take him forever. I love him and Sister Thomas. We really do have the best Mission President and Mission Wife in the entire world. 

The Youth in Manitoba are so elect. We found this 11-year-old boy who has already almost read the entire Book of Mormon and wants to learn more. And two of our other investigators are 11 and 12. They ask the best questions and are soooo incredible! We heard this talk by a 14-year-old in Winnipeg, and it was so good! She talked about the Atonement and repentance for about 25 minutes and I learned so much form her! It seems like Manitoba is the place to be!
We washed Sheila (our car) this week and she was so nice and shiny and clean...and then yesterday the Elders decided to spray muddy snow on her, and now she is filthy again. I was a teensie bit upset, but now we get to wash her again, and I get to use the fun!

We spend a lot of time with the Young Women here, and one of them told me that she wants me to move to Brandon after my mission. So cute!

Okay, enough about Brandon, how are things over there.. The question mark button will not work, so I apologise for that!
The work here is rather slow, but I love it! I love being in Brandon and I love being a missionary! It seriously is the best thing in the world.
Have a great week!


I guess my name is really hard to spell...

Monday, 6 January 2014

Kinda Like Elder Holland

So, here's my long email.

This week was absolutely great, even though it was so cold that a lot of our appointments fell through. 
We spent New Year's Eve at the bishop's house. It was fantastic and we all had so much fun. They had all seven missionaries it was kinda loud, because we were all laughing. I loved it. There were Christmas crackers, so we all read each other the cheesy jokes and wore the paper crowns. We played this game called Croquinole, and it was so fun! His wife is an incredible cook, and she made one of the best Lasagnas I have ever eaten. It was divine. She also made home-made garlic bread which was soooo good. Okay, enough about food, onto the weather!

This week was sooooooooooooooooo cold. It was absolutely freezing. In fact, right now it's -51 degrees. At one point during the week it was colder here than on Mars...and I survived!!! I am so grateful for our car, my coat and my boots. It snowed so much this week that we had to shovel a ton of snow again. The missionaries are in charge of shoveling the snow in front of the church...and there was so much! My hair froze to my scarf and my middle finger may or may not have gotten frostbite even though I was wearing my mittens. Not funny at all. Anyhow, at least now I can say that I'm an expert at shoveling snow! There was a blizzard on Friday...that was kinda scary, but when you're inside it's not so bad. Our car got stuck in the snow again this week. Luckily enough a kind man jumped out of his massive truck and pushed it out for us. Apparently that's a thing here. Whenever a car gets stuck, everyone comes and helps you. Hurrah for Manitoba! I'm not quite sure why people live here...the day our car got stuck was also the day someone decided to stand behind the railing of the bridge and threatened to throw herself off of it. We said a quick prayer and the policemen were able to talk her out of it. The only problem was that she had been standing there for so long that she was frozen stiff. The police had to pull her up and carry her to the ambulance. Seeing that was hard, but I'm glad that she is fine and taken care of.
This week during companionship inventory I was told that I'm a very bold teacher...something I don't see myself, but apparently I teach "kinda like Elder Holland". Best compliment ever!! I still need to have more faith in my abilities, but I'm working on it!

On Friday we went to the home of a less-active lady who loves missionaries. She is an amazing cook, and I was able to give a Yoruba Book of Mormon to a Nigerian lady who then proceeded to teach me Yoruba by reading the introduction of the BoM to me and explaining it. She said she believes that it is the word of God and asked for one in English to give to one of her friends...that was quite the experience!

Sister Day is incredible, we laugh sooooooo much, but we can also be very serious when we need to. She listens to me when I'm irritated and need to vent, she says she loves my morning shower concerts (the walls here are made of paper!) and she loves to sing along. I love her! She wants me to teach her how to budget, so sometime this week we are going to sit down and do that. She has taught me so much about diligence. Even when it's freezing cold outside and we're actually not supposed to go out she puts on her boots and her coat and is so motivated and willing to help and teach people. I have so much to learn from her still, and I hope that we stay together for at least one more transfer. 

I absolutely love Brandon and I wouldn't mind spending my entire mission here. Although no, I would love to maybe go to Regina and serve with Sister Ashton-Korn, because I really miss her! But first I want to stay here a bit longer.

At the less-active's house who loves missionaries I almost got run over by a Great Dane. I love dogs, and the dogs here seem to love me, but that dog was so huge that I got quite a fright!! He's just a gentle giant though and he was the sweetest thing. Poor Sister Day hates dogs so she was absolutely petrified. I felt really sorry for her, but she didn't complain!

I have started reading in the book of Isaiah...and so far I haven't had that much of a problem understanding it! I read it really slowly and think about each sentence and what it means, that way I don't get confused. I love it!
This week C and B finally came home. I was so great to see them again! C is getting excited for his baptism and we are too! He is such a sweetheart. And even though it seems like he doesn't really pay attention during the lessons, he still soaks it all up. We ask him a ton of questions to make sure that he understands what we teach him, and he is always able to answer all of them. I am so impressed with him.

This week I gave a card to someone at the soup kitchen and he actually called back! He is the nicest man and he is just generally interested in learning about the church. I hope that we can help him some way or another.

I still absolutely love being a missionary, it's the best!!!!!!!!!!
I love you and stay warm in you 10 degree weather! 

This is how I exercise in the morning. Just kidding, we really do work out

This is how I went to take out the rubbish. It's -51 degrees celsius