Monday, August 27, 2012

Gotta love when service softens people's hearts

Dear Mom aka Madame Vice President, please forgive me for laughing out loud about your comment about being alone because even Dakota was at the kennel. Hilarious, but I realize it was sad. I'm glad you got all refocused though, if you need a good talking to at any point read "remembering Lot's wife," sister williams' favorite talk. But it's a little harsh, so only read it if needed. I love what you said though, I've definitely seen the same thing on missions. Sometimes we have a hard week and I make my goal for the next week to be happy or have fun or something, but every time I'm successful at the goal it's because I was able to throw myself fully into the work. The Lord knows us better than we know ourselves, and he knows what really brings happiness. And so he told us very clearly with the commandments for men in general, and gives us personal answers through the Spirit. So when we make that our focus just like you've decided to, we can't miss true joy and happiness! We have to accept the consequences for our actions- this time in a good way.
I'm not going to lie, I'm now waiting to hear that you and dad are going to serve a mission. Hello, you're retired and the kids are gone. But I guess I'll stop receiving revelation for you as I realize I'm currently missionary work hungry and not the best person to ask for advice about serving a mission, because no matter who you are I'll say GO NOW! Lol
Glad to hear everyone's doing so well! It's weird you're all having big changes going on, I feel like that should line up with a transfer or something so I can relate haha. But I love the exciting emails and letters I get out of it!
Brian pushed his baptism back a week, because his entire family really wants to come support him but the all had things this Sunday. This last week of meeting with him has been so good, there's definitely been a change in him. He's so happy and comfortable now, he's still learning but he's not overwhelmed by what we teach him, he's supported by it. I love seeing the gospel work in people the way it's supposed to! His family is being such a great support too, I can't wait until they're ready to accept it as well. i think the baptism will be such a powerful experience for them to see him set that example of following Christ and to feel the Spirit.
We made some great progress with one of our investigators, Emily, the 17 year old daughter of a less active. She really shared how she felt about where meeting with us was going and how she sees it going- about how she wants to come to church but isn't sure she'll keep going, so she doesn't want to set any goals about baptism until she's sure she'll stay active. It's slow progress, but it's good she recognizes how important it is to promise something to God.  Hopefully she will come to church soon and start moving towards making that covenant.
We had some cool finding miracles this week, but unfortunately none that have yet resulting into someone we 're teaching. Best person we met was probably Brenda, who let us stop and help her pull nails out of a wall she's taking down. She's an older woman who's had a rough life and is really against the idea of God, she has 3 questions for every answer you give her. But she said she's never talked to missionaries before, she shoos Jehovah Witness away without listening and was going to do the same to us- gotta love when service softens people's hearts :) We talked for a long time and she ended up taking a card with our number on it so she can call us if she needs more help. She gave us the weirdest look and asked why we want to help so bad, and said maybe she'd look in a bit to a religion that produces young people who will beg strangers to let them help out. She's hilarious, dibs on teaching her in the spirit world!!
We got to go into our new chapel this week! Super exciting, people here have been waiting for a full sized church in Bowmanville probably more than 50 years. I love getting to see the pioneer faith people have around here, it's the stuff out of stories.
Love to everyone, hope you have another great week!  Keep me updated on the numerous projects I'm sure you'll be doing now Mom and Dad!

Monday, August 20, 2012


Hello family!
Yet another week where I have no idea what to write to you about....

Most of my life at the moment revolves around Brian, who's getting baptized next Sunday. We've had alot of great experiences teaching him, everyone in his family has sat in on at least part of a lesson. We're teaching his mother-in-law now as well and are hoping to be able to teach his wife and daughter soon, if their schedules will ever coordinate with ours. We had an awesome lesson with him this week, where we walked in and had him inform us he didn't feel comfortable about the idea of baptism. We told him we were here to help him, and if he wasn't comfortable then he shouldn't do it until he was. We then sat down and taught him and his mother about the restoration, and how by calling another prophet God has again given us the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Central to this gospel is baptism and it's a great blessing to be able to participate in this ordinance. We don't have to know everything or be perfect to be baptized; we just need to be willing to follow Jesus Christ and have a testimony of His gospel. At the end we were able to invite his mother-in-law to be baptized, and Brian told us without us even asking that he felt much better about the idea and still wanted to be baptized on the 26th. It was an especially cool experience because earlier Sister Williams and I had been talking about how we'd felt for a few days we were in a bit of a rut, and the member we brought teaching with us had told us how hard things were for her right now and it was one of those times you have to fight to keep faith. But all 5 of us walked away from that lesson having felt the Spirit so strongly, it was a message we all needed to hear and be reminded of the truth of what we teach every day. I love how God uses us all to bless each other, it was pretty incredible!
We also tracted into a woman this week who works with pretty much the entire stake. We'd gone by to see a less active but they weren't there- just left a note on the door apologizing for missing. I'd been studying the finding section in Preach My Gospel the last few days and thinking about the advice it gives for when you receive media referrals, like someone requesting a Book of Mormon off of plan time to find in the area where the referral lives because maybe the Lord has sent you there to find someone else nearby. So when our appointment fell through, instead of heading out early to our dinner appointment I asked Sister Williams if we could use our new found 15 minutes to tract out the area. So we did my favorite form of tracting- we prayed, each picked 2 houses, and knocked them. House number 2, Tracy answers, names off about 6 members she works with, and invites us back. LOVE THE SPIRIT! Preach my gospel is inspired! We're teaching her and her husband tonight and are really excited.
Glad to hear everyone is enjoying their road trips! I gotta say, probably the hardest thing about Bowmanville is the lack of movement because you can cross the entire area in under an hour. Even in Owen Sound we made a road trip to a town an hour away once or twice a week, once every other week we had district meeting 2 hours away, and once a transfer at least we'd make a 4 or 5 hour trek to zone conference somewhere. Bowmanville gets a bit claustrophobic sometimes, so the idea of a road trip makes me a bit jealous. Thankfully with our ward boundary changes we have a whole new section to go explore so once we beg a few more kilometers from our zone leaders we're going to spend a good chunk of time there.
I feel like I should give you a good Sister Williams story, but she's impossible to describe- you need to meet her in person to understand. Fortunately she's coming to live with us in Texas for a few months so you'll all be able to enjoy her in a few years. She reads me her journal entries when she writes something funny, one the other night was a paragraph about how I was running around the apartment fly hunting with my barbie coloring book.
Also, Pros and Cons of living with a member who works for the postal service:
PRO- you get your mail promptly and safely
CON- when you clog his bathroom sink and he has to fix it, he looks you dead in the eye and says "Don't forget, I know your first name." YIKES!
Rents, try not to go crazy now that you're empty nesters. Sibs, go crazy and enjoy your college life! If y'all want to send me some year old root beer in a package I wouldn't complain. Love you all!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekly Greetings!

Hey-o family!
This will probably be fairly short so I can send lots of pictures. But to sum up my good week....
-Jeff was confirmed on Sunday!
-Brian came to church again and is working towards being baptized on the 26th
-They're finishing the expansion on the church this week, so we'll have a new chapel on Sunday! And they'll close up the gym and start renovations in there- good thing, the carpet needs to be changed from getting a little wet last week.....
Yes, sorry, I'm staying in Bowmanville with Sister Williams. We were glad to avoid transfers because we were repeatedly warned if you had too much stuff it would be left on the side of the road. Yikes. So yes, PLEASE send me a wedding announcement! I'm dying for some mail, Sister Wiliams' massive amounts because she's so new is getting depressing.
Dad, I loved your email about the wedding, thanks you for that.

I seriously don't know what to write about, I'm just gonna send pics and put captions. Glad to hear Joe's a part of the family again! Have a great, exciting week. Love you all BUNCHES!
The picture that set Jeff's whole baptism into action....
Jeff's baptism
Swimming in the flooded gym, amusing the masses aka the members stood around and laughed at me
1)yoga on the beach- Sister Williams, Elder Bean (our zone leader), and Elder Webster (our district leader).
She was stretching out her back, then elder bean joined in, the Elder Webster couldn't resist. She took them through a whole salutation, they looked so peaceful....
2) with Sandra- an investigator the Pickering elders taught for 9 months.
She house sat for a few weeks in Bowmanville so we got to teach her a bit.
Ward picnic- cotton candy!!!!!!!!!!
Fort tender- we constructed her out of spare sheets we found in the closet (would have been nice if we'd known those were there when Sister Williams was beddingless for a transfer haha)  
We were going to sleep in it with the Belleville sisters, who were sleeping over for transfers night so they didn't have to drive our at 1 in the morning, but since they didn't get there until 11 at night and left at 5 in the morning it was mostly just Sister Williams and I having a party in the living room.
1) with sensi, who actually does most of the teaching
2) with henshi...9th degree blackbelt....grand master of the year...
developer of his own style of jui jitsu, "kumo jui jitsu" or spider jui jitsu....the bulletproof man..... he almost made Sister Williams black out one time. We love him. People join the church in an attempt to be more like him.


Monday, August 6, 2012

SURPRISE BAPTISM! For the greatest man on Earth!

OF COURSE the friggin Olympics was what cost me my mail! It's been killing me not being able to watch it, and everyone has it on in their home and won't turn it off so it's been the hardest week trying not to watch swimming during lessons. Ugh...

Anyways, besides that little rant, hello! Oh my gosh best week ever, ready for this? We had a......
SURPRISE BAPTISM! For the greatest man on Earth!
So Friday we go to teach Jeff a lesson, first time we've seen him all week because he went out of town, and at the end we ask to take a picture just in case something happens with transfers. So we explain transfers and all this stuff, and he's all sad about possibly losing his missionaries of course. So we leave and come back the next day for another appointment and he says "So I thought alot last night about you possibly leaving and I'd really like to be baptized while you're here, so I went and researched baptism and the holy ghost and wanted to know if I could do it tomorrow." He showed us these scriptures about how the Holy Ghost gives extra power and he showed us his notes on the gospel principle book on the chapter of baptism. So we phoned up our district leader and set up an interview for 4 hours later and threw together a full baptism. Thankfully he wanted to do it in the evening so his son could come, not right after church when they usually are, so we had a good 26 hours to call people and make arrangements.

And then, as if that wasn't already the most exciting baptism ever, our ward mission leader OVERFLOWED THE FONT and flooded half of the gym, which btw is also what we use as a chapel.

Jeff bore his testimony afterwards and it was so powerful, he talked about how the Book of Mormon was the word of God and told his story of how he could see God had prepared him to accept it when we knocked on his door. He was so grateful to be back at a church when he'd been away fr a few years and he was so greatful to have found this one. I was bursting with pride and joy! Loved it! It was probably the best day of my life, I'm so happy. And then we didn't even get transfered! Double win!

And it was ironic because it had been a pretty hard week, 2 of our investigators dropped us and another has gone AWOL. Jeff was the only one at church, we were expecting 4 people. But It's kind of a blessing, because otherwise we wouldn't have been able to focus on Jeff this weekend like we did, so it's funny how the Lord helps you. You gotta be pruned and dug about to be properly nourished and grown!

Love you all! Thanks for the email lol talk to you in a week!