Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Things are still fantastic here in Bowmanville.

First of all, I didn't forget memorial day because I'm Canadian. I forgot memorial day because I always forget memorial day. I was a terrible American even before I was Canadian!

Glad to hear everyone's keeping busy and out of trouble. I'm looking forward to graduation pics Erin! Before I forget Mom, I have been putting the ensigns you sent me to good use so thank you. One of our former investigators had surgery so we dropped by to see how she was, and she said she was going crazy just reading newspaper ads because she was bored. So we brought her some a few ensigns to read, it was perfect. She appreciated them a lot, and she came back to church this weekend for the first time in months so hopefully the Spirit is touching her and helping her to be ready to learn again.

Sorry to hear about Brother Reeves, Sister Reeves is definitely in my prayers.

Glad to hear you had a cool sacrament meeting! Tell Erin I'm making her take me to the hospital every single time and I'm waiting till the last possible second ;) Buuuuuut I do have to claim my Sunday was better, we had a country wide stake conference broadcast this weekend from Salt Lake. Elder Walker of the 70, Sister Stephens from the General RS Presidency, Elder Christofferson, and President Packer spoke. Basically, the themes were: Focus on the temple, focus on Christ, focus on service, and focus on the Spirit. I loved that, because if you're really doing any of those things you'll be doing all of them! One of my favorite quote was from Elder Christofferson, he said "Service is not something we endure so that we can achieve the celestial kingdom, but rather service is the very fiber of an exalted life." Fits right with what you were saying mom, about not becoming too busy to remember to serve those around you. We talked with someone this week who said there's a lot you have to do in the church and that it's too hard and too much of a commitment. Afterwards we were talking about how the church seems hard if it's something that separate from you, but when the gospel is part of your life and part of you it's natural and stops being a long list of things you can and can't do, and just becomes life. Service so often is something we have to make time for and can seem to big of a sacrifice, but when it's who we are and what we do, it stops being something we have to find time to do and we naturally do service. And when we have a service centered life, we have a Christ based, temple centered, Spirit filled life. I love that!

Things are still fantastic here in Bowmanville. Sister Casner and I are a LOT better, after a few days our drugs started really kicking in. Sister Casner told me "I feel so weird in the morning," so I asked if she was sick and she said "No, that's the thing. I have energy to get out of bed, it's the weirdest feeling!" So we're glad to be working a full 7 days a week again. Kathleen and Josh are doing awesome, both are really excited about being baptized in a few weeks. And Kathy is being confirmed this coming Sunday- for several unexpected reasons we keep postponing it a week, but we're excited she'll finally actually be confirmed. I may start pushing for Saturday baptisms after this so we don't have to wait so long for the confirmation in church, the anticipation is a little much.

The weather has been AMAZING, it's been high 20s all week. Sister Casner has been dying in the humidity, but it finally feels about how it feels February/March in Texas so I'm stoked. I'm going to enjoy the next 3 months sooooo much!

That's pretty much my entire life right now. Love you all!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good day!

Good day!

Sorry you didn't know about Victoria Day. Canada has SO many holidays, and the celebrate ALL of the on Monday. America probably has just as many with things like president's day and such, but everything in Canada shuts down for every single holiday so it's alot more noticeable. Best moment of Victoria Day- we were at a member's house, and they were explaining what the holiday was for, and I asked Sister Casner if she'd noticed how patriotically I had dressed that day with my red skirt and white top. She said "What? I don't see any blue..." The Canadians were not pleased with that!

So this weekend was really exciting! First of all, no idea if I told you about this but as a mission we're trying to have 65 baptisms in the month of June. Last year when the missions combined both missions worked super hard to have the best month ever right before they joined so the new mission would start off with a high, and together they had 62 in the month of June. So we've been praying and working for 65 this year. So this week, as the first week of the new transfer we had a mission wide conference call because June is this transfer so it involved all the missionaries that would be a part of that goal. It was crazy, the first few times sounded like signs or something with alien noises coming over the phones, but they finally got everyone muted and we had a really powerful talk about working to achieve it. President Scott quote Elder Eyring's talk about the danger of the word someday, because what it really means is not this day. he talked about how
 someday a group of missionaries would have 65 baptisms in this mission so it's not a question of if it's achievable- it's a question of when, and if we're going to stand on the sidelines or step up and be involved in achieving something great. You can predict how many people will be baptized based off of the number of baptismal dates that have been set as goals at the end of the month of May, so to have 65 baptisms in June we need 90 people set with a date when May ends. So with 180 missionaries here this transfer, exactly 90 companionships, everyone needs to set a date- which works out really cool!

So we've been determined to not be on the sidelines and to have a baptism in June, and this weekend has been really exciting! We were able to set a baptism date for June with 2 people this week! Josh is 11, he's wanted to join for years but just got permission. He is the best, he asked if we could teach him Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and baptize him Thursday- I wish everyone I taught was that determined! But his aunt told him he better wait till June 10. We also taught Kathleen, who we actually taught our first Sunday in this area and is really interested, but because she's in a boundary grey area for the missionaries we weren't sure if we'd be able to teach her. Then she had health problems, then her family had a crisis- so a month later we were able to actually teach her again! She's so amazing, she has SUCH serious intent. Her friend who introduced us is a member and she's trying so hard to not push her that she didn't even realize that Kathleen had
 tried to tell her earlier that week she wanted to be baptized so she was shocked when we committed her to June 17 and Kathleen said yes. It was way fun.

I love you story about Dad's eloquence. Sister Casner and I have been joking this week about that actually- there's this quote from Brigham Young about how a man with eloquence can't teach the gospel as powerfully as a man who humbly bears his honest testimony, and there's a doctrine and covenants clip of him saying that quote and he says it SO eloquently and dramatically, the irony is hilarious! So basically, what I got from your story is that dad is Brigham young. Love it! Thank you for lining up your life with our inside jokes.

Sounds like everyone has some pretty cool summers planned! Hopefully EFY works out for more than 1 week Mel, that would be sweet if you and Joe get to work together! Erin did you ever hear back from DB about a job? I guess y'all haven't gone to France yet, which is disappointed because I had multiple dreams about France this week- in one of them I just walked up the stairs of the Eiffel tower for hours with Dad and Joey, so I was hoping you guys were doing that the same day I dreamed it. Unfortunately, I guess my dreams continue to be nonprophetic. Lame. Sorry you have to work Mom, but I'm glad you can get the hours you want to! I told a girl this week my mom works for an airline and so we fly for a discount and she looked at her mom all upset and said "When are you getting that job?" So thanks for continuing to have the sweetest job in the world!

Btw, I saw a doctor this weekend- Sister Casner and I drove to Oshawa to meet with a member who's retired. She was prescribed an inhaler with a steroid in it and I was put on a stronger antacid, and both given strict orders to see him in 2 weeks. So hopefully we'll stop being the most sickly companionship in the mission! We spent 3 days inside last week, we were going stir crazy, so managing to still get 2 new investigators with baptismal dates was an EXTRA tender mercy of the Lord.

Dang, long letter, and I probably have told you like half of this already lol oh well! Love y'all bunches, talk to ya in a week!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ouch Charlie!

Opps, I did it again and didn't get a ltter to Rachel before she wrote on her p-day.  In my defence, I was told earlier last week that Monday, may 14 was a holiday to celebrate the Queen's birthday and nto to expect an email until Tuesday.  But when I sat down to write to Rachel on Monday, I discovered that she had already written and now thought we just didn't write because we had spoken to her the night before.  Made this mama sad!  Who knew you couldn't trust the office elders when it came to Canadian holidays? ~Rachel's Mom

Oh, that after phone call day burn when no one writes me an email...... I tried to put it off by sending pictures in hope I'd get a late one, but alas!
But that's cool, because I have lots of things I didn't tell you yesterday that I can write about.
Like how Kathy's baptism was almost cancelled! Sister Casner and I got to the chapel at 8 for ward council but turns out it was canceled, so we were like that's okay we'll just go clean the font. And that's when we found out the font was clogged because our building is under construction for the expansion and they had switched the septic tanks or something, so there's like 3 inches of dirty water in the font and the drain was unplugged. So we called some people and tried plunging it and nothing was working, and everyone kept saying we could either go to Coburg (which wouldn't work because it was mother's day so no one would want to go and Kathy doesn't drive so we wouldn't be able to get here there) or move it to another week, which broke our hearts. Finally Sister Casner asked someone why we couldn't just bail the water out- so we spent half an hour bail out the water with small bathroom trash cans and a dust pan and then mopping the font. It was kind of hilarious once we weren't terrified it was going to be postponed. Then the baptism was amazing, the spirit was so so strong! Although I kept having random moments of panic where I was convinced Kathy was about to change her mind and leave and never speak to us again, up until even AFTER she was baptized! It took two tries and I was thinking, ahhh she's embarrassed, we warned her it might happen but she's going to hate us- and then she turned around and came out of the font just beaming and I was like what is wrong with me?? Chillax Sister Jensen! Sister Casner laughed so hard when I told her about it, hopefully I'm not that paranoid every time someone's baptized.
Oh, btw, I'm not transferred! 6 more weeks in B-ville! Which means I get to teach this amazing boy, Josh. He's 11 years old and lives with his aunt and uncle, who are members. He wants so bad to learn about the church but his mom won't let him so he just listens through cracks in doors when missionaries and home teachers and such are over. He does go to church, but he's been begging his parents to be baptized and they keep saying no- I know, so so sad! BUT this week he officially got permission from his mom to be baptized! We saw him and he immediately came and told us and asked when he can start the lessons, so cute. So i think next week we're going to start teaching him. He's going to be our miracle this transfer!
Sister Casner was so sad she didn't get to talk to you guys more, it's actually kind of hilarious- she said that when the member who's house we were at asked her to come eat dessert while we were talking she felt like half of her phone call was stolen away, she keeps asking me what I told y'all about her haha.
Yeah, that's about it. It was awesome to see your faces yesterday! Hope you have a good week! Love you!

Pictures of the week:  Kathy's Baptism

Kathy's program

Me, trying to plunge the font

The bugs we scooped out of the font
- the centipede was my least favorite, sister casner's was the spider that was still alive!

Monday, May 7, 2012

I want to be a Harvester!

Thank you for that story mom, I love hearing about people who finally make it! My companions have been laughing at me because I told them I hate being a seed planter- I want to be a harvester and see results, which I realize that probably means everyone I teach will take 20 years to join because I need to learn patience. So it's inspiring to hear when that happens to people! We went over to a member's home and she told us about the best conversion story ever- seriously, it's so good that President Monson wrote it in one of his books "Pathways to Perfection", and we were told it at the MTC, but she gave us way juicer details! So for 20 years they had a neighbor who kept sending missionaries to their house over and over again, and he told them everytime no way not interested. So one time he sent them off with some rude comment about how they can't tell him Jospeh Smith was a prophet and slammed the door. They started walking off, and one of the missionaries stopped and said they needed to go back and bear their testimony. So they do and then leave, and her dad was left with the words ringing in his ears and he couldn't sleep that night thinking about it. About a week later the whole family was baptized. So I agree- never ever ever ever ever ever give up. Winston Churchill said that. I think. (Name that movie.)
Glad Joe made it home alright, now you can all sit around and wait for me to call you on Sunday! I think I'm going to end up calling at 6:30, 5:30 your time, but it's possible it will be an hour earlier- if it is I'll call the house phone before hand and tell you to get on skype. Hopefully I remember all the log in information.... So Sunday will be crazy, because on Sunday Kathy is being baptized! She's so excited, it's awesome to see. But it's a little tricky because it's mother's day, which we didn't think about at all when we set that date but now we have to make sure people can actually stay for the baptism and do things and support her. But we know for sure we'll have priesthood holders to baptize and witness, so that's really all we need.  Btw, I stalked mormon.org and looked for all of you (President Scott has asked us to use the site more in our teaching, so we're asked to spend 30 minutes on it every week to get to know it better) and only found Melissa. So make profiles so I can stalk or! Or make it easier for me to find if you already have one.
I think that's about it. I guess if I forgot anything I was dying to tell you I can just say it on Sunday :) Love you all! Have a fantastic week!
--Oh, and we get transfer calls on Sunday. Crazy day! I can't believe anopther transfer has already gone by! Love you!