Monday, January 27, 2014

Baptism ~ Staying Put ~ Chinese New Year

So this week was pretty sweet to say the least.... remember Max who I told you about last week? Well... he got baptized yesterday and it was really great! Here is a brief rundown of the whole story again... 

Max's baptism
"Well when they say, "Expect Miracles" I now know that is 100% true because this week we saw a serious miracle... and his name is Max. :) Max is from Nigeria and 3 weeks ago after driving by our Stake Center multiple times he felt prompted that he needed to call the church. So he went home, looked up the address online, and called the number. They asked if he was a "single adult," he said yes.. so they told him to go to the Young Single Adult Branch. So he did, the Elders started teaching him, and then the next Saturday I met Max. I started talking to him, asked how long ago he came to Canada, he said 7 years ago, and then I asked how old he was when he came here.. he said 30.. So that makes Max 37... definitely not able to attend YSA! haha So... he went to church at the YSA branch the next day and then we did a hand off lesson this past week. He already had a baptismal date for Feb 2nd, but we met with him and we all felt he would be ready for January 26th. So... we taught him everything and he was baptized yesterday! It was SO.COOL." 

So many of the ward members stayed to the baptism that we had right after church and it was really great that everyone was there to show him that support. I think he was a bit surprised to have everyone there. haha It was really special and everything went so well. My favorite thing was during the actual baptism seeing all of the little kids up surrounding the glass watching the baptism. It was just really neat and I am grateful that I was able to be a part of it. We are really excited for Max, and I am grateful we will be sticking around for another 6 weeks so that we will be able to get to know him more. 

Oh and there is the other thing... We didn't get transferred. The ward had us all but packed up and moved. haha Everyone was saying bye and getting pictures  (see below) and fully planning that at least one of us would leave but... here we are. They were all pretty shocked and I'm not going to lie, so were we. We though FOR SURE something would have to happen. We have been here forever. But... I guess God has other plans and there are still things here that we need to do.

With Brother and Sister Ince
With Janet and Norm
With part of the Mitchell Family
This was before we knew we weren't getting transferred. we had to take pictures just in case!

This is Katelyn Rowden, she is a senior in high school and is a member of this ward. She was sad to think that we might have been leaving and she wrote us the nicest letters. needless to say she is happy that we are staying

Well... random fact. A member told me that Keith Urban was having a concert in London, Ontario either this past weekend or this weekend so.... that is just a kick in the face for this country music deprived Sister! Oh and The Band Perry had a concert at this place that is practically next door to us. Oh well... I have made it this long without Keith Urban.. I guess I can make it a bit more :)

This week at District meeting everyone decided to play the "What year were you born game?!" Now this is not my most favorite game and you will see why... A few missionaries say they were born in 1992 (which is fine), a lot of them say they were born in 1993 (like Elder Prochnow... who after saying that goes, "Sister Prescott, weren't you born in like 1989 or something?" and then he just laughed) And then there are the two Elders that say they were born in 1995..... 1995!! I was 5 years old when they were born! haha They are babies! It is so weird! So they like to make me feel like the old grandma. haha They are all a lot of fun, but it blows my mind how at 23 I can feel so old!

Celebrating the Chinese New Year
We also celebrated Chinese New Year. The Mandarin speaking Sister put together a big party and it was great! All of our investigators enjoyed it and a lot of people came. It is now the Year of the Horse, which is actually what I am. These are some of the characteristics of people who are "horses".   I think they are pretty fitting if I do say so myself :)  

This week was a lot of fun and I finally took some pictures so enjoy!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Things are coming together

Officially starting the last week of this transfer today! This has been a really fast transfer and I can't believe that it is coming to an end. It feels like I have been in Kitchener for a long time, but it makes me sad to think that I could be getting transferred next week. I don't know that I am ready to leave yet.. I guess we will just have to see! :)

This week was busy... really, really busy.

We started Monday evening off right and found a new investigator! It was a great way to start the week and then it seemed like everything just kind of fit together after that. 

We met with Janet and Norm and they are continuing to do so well. They were able to see the Baptism of a man in another ward this weekend and they loved it. They are really wanting to be baptized and working towards it. They will hopefully be able to be baptized in the next few months. As for now they basically consider themselves part of the ward, just with out the baptism side yet. They went to the baptism, a Stake Talent Show, and to a Cottage Meeting last night.  Janet's motto, "If it's Mormon, I've got time!"  They are really embracing everything and it really goes to show what happens when people give the Book of Mormon a chance and just read it.

Saturday we were also able to find another new investigator among all of our appointments.  And then Saturday night at the Stake Talent Show we saw another little miracle.  The YSA (Young Single Adult) Elders had brought a guy with them that they had been teaching for about a week. His name is Max.  His story is that he always drives by the church and he was wondering what it was all about so he looked up the number and called. They asked if he was a "single adult" and he said yes so they told him what time to go to church on Sunday and what building.  He went to church on Sunday, met the Elders and they starting teaching him. Now Max is from Nigeria and looks like he is 24 so... the Elders didn't even bother asking his age . But when I was talking to him Saturday I asked him when he came to Canada, he said 7 years ago.  Then I asked him how old he was when he came to Canada and he said, 30. I just looked at Elder Lasley (the YSA Elder) and then looked back to Max, and Elder Lasley goes, "wait... how old are you??" So... basically Max can't go to the YSA ward. We told him he has to go to the family ward and he was totally ok with it.  So that was a serious blessing. This guy is very prepared and will be baptized either this week or the next.  It is amazing how there are people who are so prepared and I am grateful that we will be able to teach him. 

Things really did just come together again this week. We were able to hit the Standards of Excellence for the 2nd week in a row and are really seeing so many great things happening. Hoping we can keep it up for this coming week as well. 

Unfortunately... I have absolutely no pictures from this week... which I realize is SO boring. haha  Oh well.... I will do better this week!  Hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, January 13, 2014

11 whole months !

Does anybody know what today is??? Nope? Well... I will tell you... today marks 11 months since my cute parents dropped me off at the MTC... 11 whole months!! It is a strange strange thing, and pretty exciting to look back on what has happened in the past 11 months.. I have met so many new people and have done things I never thought I could do and have learned so much! 

The day that the thermometer said -21 and it was apparently -40 with the wind chill... and also they said if your skin was exposed to it for more than 5 minutes you could get frost bite... and then... it rained Friday. Go figure!

 This week was good. The weather got crazy cold Tuesday and Wednesday. Everyone said it was -40*C with the wind chill so... that is pretty darn cold. Thankfully we had quite a few appointments so we tried to stay in a house or in a car most of the day. On that Tuesday we got a funny phone call from Elder Prochnow and Elder Parker (the Zone Leaders)... It started out with a," Hey Sisters..... ummm..... do you think that you could come and jump our car??" Their battery was going bad and even in their underground parking the car was way too cold and was not starting. So... we went and helped them with that... This is now twice I have had to jump a car on my mission.. Heavenly Father really was preparing me for this when my car would die ALL THE TIME back at home. Glad that it wasn't all for nothing. :)

My outfit on a freezing cold P-day

So after we made it through the freezing weather things were good. We had a Zone Training Wednesday and then we did exchanges that night. Sister Tofa came here with me and it was a lot of fun.. She leaves at the end of this transfer and it will be sad to see her go. She will go back to Australia and I am going to have to convince her to move to the states at some point so that this isn't the last time that I see her ever. 

Ice cream cake that Elder So'o had made for
Sister Willouhby's birthday

All of the sisters with the cake

We had some good lessons this week. Janet and Norm are progressing SO well. Norm has really started getting in to the Book of Mormon and I cannot believe how fast he is reading through it. Norm even committed to baptism which is pretty amazing. Three months ago you would have never even seen him wanting to sit down to talk with missionaries. It really is a testimony to me of how much power is in the Book of Mormon. He really has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and you can see it working in his life. We are really excited for them! 

We had a really great week! We hit "standards" which I haven't done since the first transfer of my mission. So this means that we have 2 progressing investigators, 2 investigators with baptismal dates, 2 investigators at church, 4 lessons taught with members present and 2 new investigators. It was pretty great to see our work paying off and also seeing the tender mercies. We were quite blessed this week!

Transfers will be coming up soon and... I really have no feeling as to what will happen but... If I do leave I already know that I will be so sad about it. I really love this ward SO much. Since we have had a lot of dinner appointments lately I feel like I have gotten to know the members more and more and it makes me sad that I will have to leave! It is a great thing about missions that you get to meet so many new people but it is a sad thing that you have to leave and that some people you may never see again. Oh well... I guess it is all a part of it!

Brother Mitchell (the vet) brought this cute thing home from work the other day.. She had broken her jaw and the farmer didn't want to pay the money to fix it so Brother Mitchell said that she would take her and then he just did the surgery and now they have her so... if at any moment you want to buy a mini horse that would be GREAT. :) 

Oh and yesterday the new Stake Presidency came here for ward conference. They spoke and taught all of the classes and it was really cool. The Stakes theme is, "Feed the Spirit, Nourish the Soul" and they talked a lot about how important it is for all of us to be continually "feeding" our Spirits. So... if you haven't read your scriptures lately... try that. :) If you haven't said a prayer lately... go do that. :) There are so many things we can do to feed our Spirits and it really does help! 

Well... I hope this was a bit more of a "substantial" email then some of my others have been. I hope everyone has a great week! :)

Have a ever mentioned that there are squirrels EVERYWHERE here??
We play this game where we see how long it takes to see a squirrel when we leave the house and it usually only takes about 10 seconds... Case in point.. looked out the window... squirrel sitting on the emergency exit stairs outside our apartment

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone!!
Sister Tofa and Karly at the New Years Day Read-a-thon

Glow in the dark glasses

The weather is probably the biggest news this week. Lots and lots of cold... lots and lots of snow and then lots and lots of more cold to come in the next few days! I guess Canada has decided that I really need the Canadian experience.  This is the worst winter they have had in years and years everyone keeps telling us.

This was after we had cleaned our car off at 9:00 last night

Thank goodness for boots, coats, and mitts

Janet and Norm came to church on Sunday and again loved everything about it. Norm has been reading the Book of Mormon a lot and really loves it. He had basically written off religion because of bad experiences that he has had in the past, but his experiences with the Book of Mormon and with church are really changing his mind, and he is starting to make some big changes in his life!
Well.... I really can't think of much to say and... I don't really have time to say it. The internet is down at the libraries so the other missionaries are here so I have to get off, but.... once again here are some pictures... hopefully that helps.  And... next week I
will write the blog email first so it can be a good one. :)