July 28, 2014

Dear Mom (and everyone)

Dear Mom,

I'm not feeling particularly prolific today so we'll see how this email goes.

Hmm. So on P-day we just did normal errands, and then we went biking around Sydney to stop by some potentials. I learned how to use the gears on my left-hand side and suddenly my life got a lot easier. We stopped by a potential we'd met a few weeks ago and his wife, Jennifer, was home instead. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and knowing truth for yourself and kind of summarized the Restoration. She was really impressed by our testimonies since she has a daughter our age. She really connected with the gospel blessing her family. So hopefully we'll be able to teach them -- we had a return appointment but they had to cancel. On the way home we followed up with some other potentials and got a lesson set up for the next day.

On Tuesday we had district meeting, and then we brought a YW, Kerianna, to the lesson and they weren't home! Seriously, people, we talked to you less than 24 hours ago! So we went and had a lesson with Kerianna instead since she's a recent convert. Then we went downtown and street contacted until dinner, and then after dinner we ended up going to DQ, apparently, and then we stopped by Julie and had a lesson with her. I think she legitimately wants to learn, but her life circumstances are so crazy right now that the stress and instability are making it hard for her. We sang a few hymns with her and had a lesson about different things we can do to bring the Spirit into our lives, and how if we do something daily to bring the Spirit, then God can direct us. 

On Wednesday we went out first thing in the morning to go street contacting, and it was awesome. One of the first ladies we talked to gave us 5 referrals! We talked to 27 people in just over an hour. After that, we were going to bike all the way to the church, and the last guy we street contacted told us our tires were low and that we could fill them up at Sobey's for free. So we did that and I couldn't believe how much easier it was. The whole way to the church I was thinking about how using all the gears was like getting the fullness of the gospel, and then getting air in the tires was like the gift of the Holy Ghost, in that you go about your life the same way, but it's so much easier! Then I started thinking about how dorky you get on your mission. Haha. At the church we had a lesson over Facebook with one of the elders' investigators who lives in Eskazoni, which is too far away for us to go just to teach her. And they don't want sisters proselyting on the reserve for some reason. After that we had correlation at the church, and President Kaine got all the missionaries pizza and ice cream, which was fantastic. Then we stuck around to see if Marlaine would come to ARP, but she didn't, so we biked home and contacted some more people along the way.

Thursday was more street contacting in the morning, and then we came home to have lunch and finish up the member records we've been making. After that, we contacted some referrals and then a member drove us to our lesson with Julie. She ended up being busy and asked us to come back in 20 minutes, so we drove around with the member. And then we ended up taking a walk to the park instead of teaching Julie in her home, so basically it was a long lesson, but we taught the Gospel of Christ and it was great. It was also really cool because afterwards the member told us she'd been considering making some bad choices, but when she saw how they'd affected Julie's life, she realized, what was I thinking? So that was really neat to see that inspiration, because bringing her was pretty last-minute and it was a really subtle prompting. I love it when you can tell you were inspired, but the Spirit didn't have to press too harshly to do so, because I think that indicates a little more progress in the following-the-Spirit area. :) After the lesson with Julie, we visited with the member a little bit just to strengthen her, and then our lesson with Jennifer's family cancelled so I think we biked around contacting more people again.

On Friday we had weekly planning, and then we were supposed to have a literal fireside with Sister LeBlanc and Kerianna at a beach somewhere, but it was raining, so we rescheduled to next week. Instead we went through the area book and found some likely looking people to follow up on, and then we went around contacting them. (We also went to Dollarama and bought chocolate bars, but hey...) We met a really cool lady who used to be Jehovah's Witness but isn't anymore, so hopefully that goes well. Then we had the feeling like we should go to the church to update our Facebooks, even though that's a much less practical bike ride, but we did, and on the way home, we met this girl named Emrys. She'd met members of our church in University, and had a conversation about the Word of Wisdom. At the time she thought it was restrictive, but the member testified of treating our bodies like a temple. Recently she'd been thinking about treating her body with more respect and was basically living the Word of Wisdom! She also was experimenting with Islam. So we set up an appointment for the next day. It was pretty awesome. Then we stopped by some less-actives and ended up stopping by this Chinese student, Elaine. She's taking an English literature course at CBU that's really hard for her, since she's just learning English, so I ended up explaining the history of colonial India and helping her make an essay outline. English AP payed off, apparently, since a lot of the themes were things Ms. Kim always talked to death. It was pretty cool. I actually kind of wished I could write the essay, haha, it looked interesting.

Saturday we had our apartment inspection and I finally got the clothes you ordered to the Moncton apartment :) I love them. Then we picked up Kerianna and went to the lesson with Emrys. It was a pretty great lesson. We taught the Restoration pretty simply and focused on prophets and dispensations and the Book of Mormon. Kerianna actually taught most of the First Vision without us assigning her to do it, because she'd been reading JS-H the night before by coincidence, so that was AWESOME. Emrys is moving to Halifax this week though, so that's a bummer. We also ended up talking about the pre-existance and the role of opposition, which answered a lot of her questions and really piqued her interest. After the lesson, we took Kerianna home and had lunch before the branch chapel cleanup/BBQ. Everyone helped deep-clean the chapel and there were hotdogs and hamburgers. I was SO tired. I've felt sleep-deprived all week even though I've been sleeping well. After that, we went to get Sister Hughes' bike fixed at SportChek, since her pedal was completely mangled, and they adjusted our brakes for us too, which was awesome, except they adjusted them too tight and now they're dragging on the tires a bit. It's nice to be able to stop though. Then we biked to Sister Power's house and had a good lesson with her, and she told us about some really cool spiritual experiences she's had. I think she really needs visiting teachers though because you can tell she's just craving adult conversation, and it's hard to get her to focus on the gospel. After that, we biked back to our car and drove home.

Sunday was church, and Sister Hughes and I ended up teaching an impromptu Primary lesson to the senior primary class. They gave us the BoM manual when I'm pretty sure it's Old Testament, but we ended up talking about the Armies of Helaman and putting on the whole armour of God. It was a good lesson even if it wasn't in the curriculum. I love teaching Primary :) After church, we came home for dinner and then contacted some referrals again before driving out to Glace Bay for our dinner appointment with the Desmonds, who are a pretty great family. Then we rode our bikes to Dominion and met a lot of great potentials along the way, and we ended up kind of getting let in to a less-active. She was just visiting her parents, who are active, and she and her girlfriend offered to let us in for a glass of water, but then were clearly uncomfortable we were there and managed to avoid us sharing a thought. Haha. After that we biked home and that was the week!

Sister Olson
I don't know how I ended up in a frozen yogurt store...oops...haha

Elder Amaya carries this little vial of salt around. Apparently it's a useful object lesson to "take things with a grain of salt."

On the way home

I think this is my "oh my gosh stop taking pictures of me!" face

Teaching primary - the kids were pretty adorable

I just thought this was a classic missionary pic...bikes :D I love bikes

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