March 24, 2014

Road Trip to PEI

Dear Mom and everyone,

What is the school play this year? I don't know how Elder Widdup was before he left, but he's definitely a really mature and converted missionary right now. All of us missionaries were in Primary on Sunday and he was great with the kids. He drove me insane the first couple weeks in Moncton but now I think he's pretty great.

This week. Man. Every one gets more and more insane. On Monday we went camera shopping. Thanks so much. Then we walked to the bus stop, bussed to Dieppe, and went knocking. We talked to 42 people! On a Monday! I couldn't believe it! While knocking, we knocked into this guy with Huntington's disease. Elder Widdup keeps trying to get us to challenge people to baptism at doors. Well, I felt impressed to this time, and while he said no, there was such a great spirit when we did and it actually helped him open up a lot about why his religion was important to him, helped us discern his real intent, and he also gave us a referral. So that was a neat experience.

Tuesday was Sister Lewis' 20th birthday, so that was fun. We had district meeting in the morning, which was really good. It was all about brining people to sacrament, and how they can't get baptized if they don't come to church. Then we had lunch, and then we had an appointment with a less-active we met on the street about two weeks ago. She's not on the ward list, and when we met her she didn't seem thrilled, but we left her our number and she called us on Monday to "touch base"! (That never happens!) So it was pretty cool. She has a pretty sad life story and basically had to flee another province with just a suitcase and her kid. Then we went to Dieppe to go knocking and got an investigator the 3rd door in! (Never happens.) Her husband is actually a LA member and she is one of the most Christlike people I know. She used to be Catholic but then got disenchanted with the church and is Buddhist, but still believes Christ is our Saviour. It was kind of weird because she let us in right away without us even giving a door approach, and at first we were like, " this legit? Does she even know why we're here?" She also let us in "so we could warm up," and it was like 6 degrees and wonderful that day, haha. After that we had another appointment with a potential, but she fell through. So we followed up on some potentials and went knocking for a bit, and we knocked into the sisters of some members from the ward who are on a senior mission in France, and she gave us 2 referrals! It was seriously such an amazing day, Heavenly Father just let everything fall into our laps. We definitely felt really blessed to have that, since we were going out of our area for about half a week. Then we had a DA with a member, which was pretty good, and then we had hardly ANY time to do anything and it was so stressful. We didn't even have enough time to get to our area, so we basically just pulled over and started street contacting in the most ghetto part of not-our-area ever, and hardly anyone was there, and I was like, gaaah, this isn't going to be productive! And then the last person we met on the street was SO SUPER PUMPED UP TO MEET US and was just really excited and it was a total miracle. After that we tried to stop by Stephanie, but she wasn't home, so we stopped by a part-member family and had a quick lesson, and then we had interviews with President Leavitt over Skype. He basically just talked to me about all the other missionaries in the mission, which is usually a pretty good sign that he thinks you're doing a good job.

On Wednesday we had a lesson with Ashley at 10, and we talked about opposition in preparation for her baptism. It was really good. Then we went home for language study and lunch before taking the bus to Dieppe. We checked on a few referrals and then bussed back in time to go to a "lesson". It was the 7-year-old son of the RS President, and we're teaching him the discussions before his baptism. Her non-member mother-in-law is over on Wednesdays to help with the kids, so it's a pretty good setup. Then we had a dinner appointment, which was SO fun because she has 3 boys under the age of 7 and a baby, so we got to help the little boys eat their dinner and get ready to go to the church. Then we went to the RS party. It was a lot of fun. It was a "birthday party" for everyone and we had SO many non-members there. It was great. After that, we skipped out early to go to a lesson with Amanda. Her boyfriend was there and was totally anti, and it was really just not a good teaching environment. We'll probably have to drop her, which is sad, since if her boyfriend was out of the picture she'd have some potential. We might try to pick her up as an online investigator at some future date once that starts happening. In order to get out of the lesson in a timely manner, we said, "Well, we have to drive to PEI tonight..." So once we got out, I convinced Sister Lewis to actually drive to PEI. We were going to go on Thursday morning for exchanges, but there was snow in the forecast. So at 9:30 pm, I drank a can of Dr. Pepper and we hit the road, arriving to Summerside at about 11:30 at night. Because of kilometers, we decided to just blitz their areas instead of traveling back and forth for real splits.

After a night of sleeping on the floor, we headed out for exchanges. Sister Comfort and I went to a Bible study at the United Church. HOLY FALSE DOCTRINE BATMAN!!! And SERIOUS false doctrine. I was so upset. I felt like Alma listening to the apostate Zoramites. So I tried to teach true principles and bear testimony a bit, but I couldn't totally confound him because it was his bible study and we had to be respectful. After that we went street contacting, went home for lunch, and then switched and I was with Sister Jungheim. We followed up on a few potentials and went knocking and store contacting. We also had a less-active visit, which was pretty interesting because we never actually managed to sit down and teach, but we had a 45-minute conversation about gospel principles and how they related to her life. Then we went home for dinner, and I went back with Sister Comfort. (Connor Comfort's cousin). We found a new investigator, which was really fun, and then had another less-active visit. A lot of the exchange was spent fixing companionship problems, actually. When we got home, we had call night with Elder Widdup, and then slept on the floor again.

Friday morning, we switched the order of personal and companionship study and spent it making a long-term plan for the Summerside area, since they were kind of in a rut and just knocking the little town to death. Then we took a road trip to Montague. Somehow we missed the turn to Highway 2, and ended up on this little highway along the north shore of PEI. We were kind of frustrated until we realized we'd drive RIGHT past Green Gables, which was exciting, so we agreed that it would be okay to just turn off the road for a second and snap a few pictures. But I think Heavenly Father gave us a stupor of thought, because somehow we missed the turn for that too, so we just kept going. On the way to Charlottetown, we called the District Leader in Charlottetown and got directions to the Zone Leader's apartment. We knocked on their door, and the looks on their faces when they saw us were PRICELESS. I think it was my favourite thing we did all exchange. So we picked up my French nametags from them and continued to Montague. Once in Montague, I went with Sister Sharp to tour a Catholic church. In contrast to the United Church bible study, there was a really sweet spirit in that little country church. They had a baby grand piano and I played the second movement of Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata and it was really great. After that, we went street contacting and store contacting, and then we met the other sisters to set up a free hot chocolate stand. Hardly anyone took hot chocolate, but a guy from the newspaper came along and took our picture, so that was fun. (The Montague newspaper is apparently online if you want to stalk it for the pic, Mom). Then we had dinner and I went with Sister Smith for the evening, who is a new missionary. We went knocking and contacted some potentials, and then we went to a lesson with their on-date investigator. We taught more about getting a confirmation of the Book of Mormon and taught the Sabbath Day Holy as well.

Saturday, we woke up from our last night of sleeping on the floor (can you tell it made me tired?) and had another long-term-planning companionship study. They're just kind of afraid to try new things, so we worked on that. Then we went to the Montague church for some Skype meetings. First we had a French skype call. Elder Nzojibwami, who used to be the AP, is opening a new French area and is leading a group companionship study in French, since we don't all have fluent speakers to learn from. It was pretty fun. Then we had another Skype call with the Zone Leaders about this week's goals, and then we went back to the sisters' apartment to drop off the church keys. Then we drove home, managing to take a wrong turn AGAIN (we took highway 2 instead of highway 1 and went past the Confederation Bridge and had to double back), getting home just in time to go straight to the church for ANOTHER Skype call. This one was a training to let us move up in technology privileges. Then we street contacted for a bit before we had a lesson with Danielle, the potential we met on Tuesday. She was super interested and accepted everything, and even asked about getting baptized before we could commit her! It was awesome. Then we had dinner, where we totally crashed from being so tired. Then we tried to go knocking, but it turned out the JW's had hit the street earlier in the day so everyone was grumpy with us. After that, we had a lesson with Stephanie and taught the Word of Wisdom, which went well. She had some concerns about drinking since she drinks socially, but I think we should be good. We brought one of the only YSA in the ward, Thomas, which turned out to be super awkward because at the beginning of the lesson she was like, "Remember Mark from church? We went on a date on Wednesday and he gave me chocolate!" (Later on Sunday we found out it was her first date ever, which was super cute because she was so excited but also funny because they're both pretty awkward.) After the lesson, Thomas was like, "By the way, I'm bringing a friend to church tomorrow and she wants to meet you" and we were like, "WHAAAAAAT???" Then we went home and had a quick call with our senior STL, Sister Broadhead, before bed.

Sunday was church. It was so awesome. Stephanie introduced herself as "Sister Cormier" to people, Danielle was there and made tons of friends, and Ashley is seriously just part of the ward now. The Primary president asked the missionaries to act out various scripture characters for Sharing Time, and Ashley's son said one of the prayers. It was soooooo cute. After church, we went home and had lunch, followed by trying to get some less-active visits in. Nobody was available, but finally we got to go in to see Eudine and Eurice, two less-active teenagers in the ward. We were SOOOOOOO tired. We seriously sat in the car for like 20 minutes just trying to figure out something we'd have the brain capacity to teach. (All through church I was kind of in a daze, the members thought it was pretty funny). Finally we went in and taught a simple lesson about God's love for them. Then we went home for dinner and just took a nap for the whole hour and ate granola bars at the end, but we were soooo groggy. We went knocking, and at first it was so hard. Seriously. Everyone spoke English and was being friendly and everything, and I still just felt so overwhelmed because I was SO TIRED. But as we kept doing it I woke up more in time to hit the French people, who all happened to live later on the street. We managed to finish out the week with a LOT of people on date, at sacrament, etc., so it was a really good week, but I'm pretty glad we don't have to do any more traveling. On the Sunday conference call the ZLs congratulated us for how much the sisters are improving, which was gratifying, so I guess it was all worth it.

Then we showed up to email on Monday and people were actually using the Family History center for family history, which was weird, so we had to figure out somewhere else to email and finally ended up at NBCC, which is why this is late.

Sister Olson

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