December 9, 2013

Transfers Means Lots of Pictures

Dear Mom,

So I'm not sure, but I think from your email it might have been cold this week ;) We haven't had any cold like that here yet. Apparently it's generally highs between -5 and 5 in December, with more rain than snow, and then they get dumped on from January through whenever the snow stops.

This week has been another good one. Sister Coleman and I went on a shopping spree on Monday and it was awesome. I found a Banana Republic pencil skirt at Value Village for $8, and also a kilt for $8, so I got both of them. I wore the kilt to church on Sunday and it got Sister Findlay's approval. She's a 74-year-old Scottish woman who wears kilts to church all the time, so I know it's legit :) After P-day, we tried to get in touch with all of our investigators, and I have down that we had one other lesson, which I think was just a brief 10-minute stop by with Val. We did meet a really great potential though, who we have an appointment with tonight, because I OYM'd in a totally dark parking lot in the ghetto, and she turned out to be a nurse and is a totally awesome, non-sketchy person, so that was cool. In the evening, we had a skype meeting for all the trainers, which was really great.

On Tuesday, we had an early morning appointment with Heather Orford to say goodbye and she gave us Christmas stockings, so that was sweet. Then we went street contacting for a bit and had a lesson with Jackie. It was totally awesome. She randomly brought up a concern about polygamy, so we resolved that, and then she kept sticking to her concern of "you talk about Joseph Smith too much," which is kind of related to her not understanding the significance of authority. And I was just so done with her not understanding this, and I went super bold (I can't remember what I said at all, so that's how you know it's the Spirit talking and not you) and you could tell the Spirit just struck her, so she decided to start the Book of Mormon from the beginning and come to church on Sunday. After that, we had a DA with the Simeon family, who are from Polynesia, so they made awesome Asian food and it was pretty much the greatest thing ever. Then we had a lesson with Val, wherein we taught the Stop Smoking Program and tried to take away her cigarettes, but she put them in the freezer instead. Baby steps.

Wednesday was correlation again, and then we came back to the church to study. While we were having lunch, Val called to ask us to come take away her smokes (of course we will!) and then we went street contacting for a while until it was time to go teach Kiera, the 9-year-old we picked up way out in Rowley. Teaching 9-year-olds is interesting because there is SO much variance between their maturity, understanding, and participation. In Cole Harbour we taught New Member Lessons to a 9-year-old RC, but I guess he had a lot more maturity than Kiera, because the Restoration was a bit boring. Oops haha. After that we had a DA at the Walkers', and then we went knocking until the end of the evening, so that was Sister Coleman's last day in Saint John!

We went to visit a less-active, Holly, before transfers on Thursday, and then we drove up to Moncton. We got there and of course the transfer van was behind schedule, so we got to see a lot of missionaries and reconnect for a bit, which was fun. Sister Judd was there because she's going home, so I got to see her before she left, and it was generally a good time. The only bad part was that it was 5 degrees and sunny in Saint John, so I figured, it's not cold and we'll be in the car the whole time, I'll wear my shoes! But I forgot that Moncton is ALWAYS colder, AND my shoes have holes in the bottom, so we were standing in the snowy parking lot for hours and my feet were freezing, haha. Finally the transfer van came, and I said goodbye to Sister Coleman and met Sister Jarvis. It turns out she's been reading my blog since July when she got her call, so that was super funny. She did 1 year at BYU majoring in microbiology, so we're obviously getting along great. She reminds me SO much of me as a new missionary, it's crazy. It's this bizarre experience where it's like the Lord is holding up a mirror and saying, "See how much you've grown in 9 months? So stop worrying." We got home and unpacked, and then we went knocking right away just to break the ice and get it over with. We ended up running into a lot of French people, since we were knocking near the French community centre, so I got to do some door approaches in French and it was super fun. After that, we came home and had dinner/unpacked, before going to a lesson with Muzammil. It was a really bold and deep lesson, but I get the sense that he's not really putting in the spiritual effort when he's praying and coming to church, and kind of blocking the Spirit that way. I think he's afraid to put forth that spiritual effort because he's worried that if Islam is true and the church isn't, God will condemn him for it. So yeah, Sister Jarvis' first lesson in the field was pretty intense.

On Friday we did weekly planning, and then we went to the University to talk to people and also introduce Sister Jarvis to the Bishop. Then we tried to get in touch with Shawna, but she's been ignoring us all week (sad panda!) so we had a less-active visit with Sister Kennedy, and she's been reading her scriptures more since we committed her to it, so that was nice to see. Then we went street contacting uptown a bit before a DA with Sister Raeburn, and while we were there we found out that Jeremy, who lives right next door, was free that evening. So we went with Sister Raeburn to teach him, but then he basically had major concerns over homosexuality and although we taught alright, he ended up dropping us. 

Saturday morning the elders called us asking how to make a DVD, so we met them at the university to provide some tech support. Then we tried to go to a craft fair that a less-active member was participating in to talk to people there, but we ended up getting lost and then not getting there until it closed. But we had a lot of great conversations on the street, including this woman who was both Gnostic and super feminist, so that was a fun one. Haha. After that, we went and got Sister Jarvis a real winter coat, and then we had a short lesson with Jackie. We brought Sister Findlay and she told an awesome story about church attendance and how attending church regularly helped her convert, so that really got Jackie solid for coming to church. Then we went store contacting for a bit, and I bought 3 pairs of over-the-knee socks, which are my new favourite thing. Then we had a lesson with Michelle. She basically doesn't want to come to church until her boyfriend comes with her, which was the first time she mentioned him, so obviously that's a hidden concern there. But apparently he's open to meeting with us, so that sounds like it could potentially be really great. I think the deeper concern is that she's worried about being judged for being a single mom, so she wants him with her for that reason. After that, we had a lesson with Val, and she cancelled for church tomorrow because she sings in this Christian rock band that was performing at the Anglican church for the holiday season. I kind of got the sense that she was testing us, kind of "acting out" as a spiritual "teenager" to see if we'd tell her she couldn't go, so I was just like, okay, fine, sing in your band and then come to church every week after that. She's really getting comfortable about the church though, which is good - she keeps saying, "You know, everyone else has got you all wrong. You guys are great." Haha. 

Funny story - at one point Sister Jarvis was telling me about some experience she had at home, and then suddenly she went on a tangent like, "Well this guy...he is my boyfriend but he isn't, because we're both on missions, so I don't really know what to call it, etc. etc." and I was just like, well, how about you tell me his name and we'll just call him that? Haha. Remind you of anyone?

We met the elders at the church early on Sunday to work on the ward mission plan and have choir practice before church. Jackie and Kiera came to church, which was great, and then we taught Kiera the Plan of Salvation after church with a little map/puzzle thing. Sister Jarvis taught primary right before coming out, so that was great. Then we had lunch, and then we went to visit Sandra. I could tell something was up with her, but she didn't feel comfortable with Sister Jarvis yet, so we didn't really get to the root of it before our dinner appointment. After our DA, we basically went finding for the rest of the evening, which was pretty average, so that was the week! I think it's going to be an interesting couple of weeks helping Sister Jarvis adjust - I really think that missionaries who were really outgoing before they came on their mission occasionally have more trouble adjusting to talking to people as a missionary, because they feel so awkward and they don't know how to deal with it. Whereas for me it was like, hey, I'm awkward, what else is new? Haha. But it should be good.

Sister Olson

Sister Coleman, Muzammil and I

Sister Coleman and Heather

Sister Coleman and Val

Sister Coleman and I doing our "turtle face."

Sister Judd and I

My missionary "mom" and "daughter"

Me, Sister Coleman, Sister Nelson, and Sister Dougherty

My missionary mom and my other daughter

Sister Echols and I

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