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 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 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 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