August 18, 2014

New Companion: Sister Curtis

Dear Mom,

So this week was pretty interesting. After emailing we drove out to North Sydney, my first time being there, to help a less-active move out of her house. It smelled like someone had lived in it for years with several animals and alcohol and smoking problems. Eventually Sister Hughes got a migraine from the smell and we left. I actually enjoyed the service but I was also okay with going home and getting everything done before transfers. I ended up packing most of Sister Hughes' things for her because otherwise it was NOT going to get done and I was so not interested in using proselyting time to pack, haha. We did laundry too and then we had a DA with Sister Parks, which was really great. After the DA we were supposed to have a lesson with Vanessa in the park, and we brought Kerianna, but she didn't show up, so we went street contacting for a while and then we went back and had a lesson with Kerianna. We showed the "Wrong Roads" Mormon Message and talked a little more about her mission papers. Then Sister LeBlanc came in and we chatted with her for a bit before going home.

On Tuesday we rode our bikes around in the morning to talk to some people before grabbing a quick lunch and heading to the church to check President's reply to our weekly letters on the way out to Glace Bay. We had a lesson with a less-active member who just found out she's pregnant, and talked about how our agency can either make experiences into stumblingblocks or stepping stones and committed her to come to church. Then we had a lesson with Marlaine. She hadn't done the reading we assigned her because she lost the sticky note it was written on, so we read 3 Nephi 27 with her. She started crying during it because apparently it was exactly what she'd been saying to her husband just the other day and it just helped her confirm her testimony that it was true. It was pretty cool. After that, we tried to stop in on some potentials and did some street contacting. We met a guy in a wheelchair who actually wheeled a fair ways with us to show us where a street was, which was pretty cool, and we met an old lady and set up an appointment with her for the next day. We also tried to stop in on some less-actives but they weren't home. Then we biked back to our car and drove to our dinner appointment with Sister Demeyere, the Young Women's President. She's looking after her son's baby, so we got to enjoy that :) After that, we stopped by the Davisons for Sister Hughes to say goodbye, and then since Glace Bay is a little further out that was pretty much the end of the evening.

Wednesday was kind of slow just because we were leaving at 5 and it was hard to feel like anything would really be accomplished. The McKinnons took us out for breakfast and I ordered the breakfast poutine, which had sausage and bacon and peppers and hollondaise gravy, but it wasn't the best. After that, we did studies and then we went out for frozen yogurt with Kerianna and Sister LeBlanc for lunch, since apparently everyone wanted a break from the sugar fast, haha. They had some good questions about a couple of doctrinal issues that we got to discuss. After that, we were supposed to have the appointment with that old lady we met on the street, but she cancelled, so we ended up driving out to Glace Bay for nothing and didn't get a lot done. We eventually went down into Sydney to just street contact for the last little bit and got to meet some really prepared people, which was really cool. Sometimes I feel like we're not even doing our best and the Lord just blesses us for the effort we do put forth, and it's really humbling to see how much he wants to bless us. After that, we met the elders at their apartment to load all their stuff into the truck, but Elder Tait still wasn't ready, so we ended up going to correlation meeting without them and then we went back to get their stuff. Whereupon I drove us all to Truro. It was a really nice trip down since we all get along pretty well and I got to drive a pickup truck for the first time in forever. We stayed at the Truro sisters' apartment and Sister Fenn brought out nailpolish and we all painted our toenails, which was actually a bit frustrating because I was the only one who needed to actually prepare to plan the next day and everybody else wanted to have a slumber party. Haha.

On Thursday we had to meet the elders outside the Truro elders' apartment at 5:30 in the MORNING in order to make it to Halifax by 6:30. It was gross. But eventually we made it and then we did all the exchanging and stuff and I picked up Sister Curtis, Elder Tincher, and Elder Belmonte to drive back to Sydney. That ride was a bit more awkward since none of us knew each other and the two elders are brand new. But we still had a pretty good time and made it back into Sydney. We went home and had lunch and planned out the rest of the day, and ended up biking to Julie's. We got there and it was a really great lesson. We hadn't seen her in a couple of weeks, but she started realizing that she needs to make real changes that she can't go back on, and she's still been praying every day. We showed her the ARP website and committed her to start working towards all the changes. The Spirit was pretty strong and mostly we could both just feel Heavenly Father's love for her and that he wanted us to help her. It was pretty cool. Then we did some more biking/street contacting before dinner, and then after dinner we ended up getting a lot of inspiration for the things we want to work on this transfer and how we're going to work towards baptisms and reactivations, so that was pretty cool. We both felt impressed to set a goal of THREE baptisms AND THREE reactivations and we were just like, woooahhhh, no way, that's crazy. But then as we made some more goals and plans it occurred to me, this would be more than I've ever done before, how could we not be blessed with that kind of success? So that's the plan. We spent most of the evening working on that.

Friday was weekly planning, and Julie texted us to ask if she could get a ride to church on Sunday. Um, yes? Haha. After weekly planning we went biking and street contacting, and we did some Facebook at the library and then kept street contacting for basically the whole afternoon and talked to a TON of people. We talked to 60 people that day, and the standard is 30! It was nuts! After dinner we went out to Whitney Pier and tried to stop by some referrals and members and potentials, but nobody was really home that day. So basically, we did a lot of stuff on Friday, but it didn't really seem to come to anything. It was kind of weird. People were way less receptive than usual.

On Saturday we were going to do service for some members, the Olivers. It was kind of funny because EVERYONE was kind of trying to dissuade us from going because it would be "dirty" and we'd have to climb a ladder. It was kind of funny because Sister Curtis and I are pretty similar, and it really just activated the stubborn side of me so that if that service had been "carry this spider in your bare hands across a tightrope" I would have just been like, BRING IT. Hahaha. So we decided to spend half an hour in the morning working on the member book records so that we could take a longer lunch and shower afterwards. Then we had studies and then we went to go give service. We had to climb up a ladder into the 3rd floor attic, which really wasn't too bad, and then we were helping take out the insulation. I got to wear a face mask and I was just like, "I KNEW I should have packed my prescription safety glasses!!!" hahaha. They first had us taking out nails, which was TOTALLY the easy job *sigh* but then we got to help vaccum the insulation and whatnot. It was a good time. Getting out of the window onto the ladder to go down was probably the hardest part. So yeah, after that we went home and made Mexican food and showered, and then we went out to Glace Bay. We were SO tired and I eventually had to pull over in a Superstore parking lot. As soon as the car was in park I was asleep. I've just been so wrecked since transfers. I'm going to have a long nap today. Anyways, after that we went out to the McMullin's, a LA/PM family I've never met. She's pretty socially converted in her own church and he believes the church on more of a logical basis than because he's received an answer to prayer about it. They're going out of town for a couple weeks so it was totally inspiration that stopped by when we did. That took most of the time so we stopped by a potential or two and then came back home for supper. Then we went to a street we'd knocked in Sydney to follow up on the potentials. Holy grumpy people! If you don't want us to come back, then don't say "yes" when we ask if we can come back. Then we went to knock a different street for the rest of the evening, which was better. We had some good conversations and met some guy on the street who seems pretty interested. It was POURING rain all evening, though, my yellow shoes still aren't quite dry and I had them sitting in front of the dehumidifier and everything. I love knocking in the rain though, it makes me feel like a real missionary :)

Sunday was kind of unusual since we only had sacrament meeting, since there's apparently deadly levels of e coli in the well water, so they didn't want people staying there just in case someone forgot and drank some. But everyone hung around and socialized after sacrament meeting anyways since they had nothing to do, and then we met with the branch president about some families in the ward that need strengthening, so it basically took the same amount of time anyways. After church we had lunch and then we drove out to North Sydney to contact a referral. It was actually a member referral from the friend of a parent of one of the missionaries, so that was pretty cool. She's pretty busy but she said we could come by later and she if she's home. I think she'd just let us in out of obligation to her friend, or always be "busy," but it could also lead to something. Then we stopped by some families in the ward and some potentials, but everyone was busy or not home, so we went home for dinner. The Demeyeres had given us steak a couple weeks ago, so we cooked that and it was AWESOME. After that, we called all the branch council members to follow up on a commitment we left to seek for personal revelation. It was great. It sounds like we're basically going to focus on helping the members have more spiritual experiences, and working through the youth and primary kids to strengthen and/or reactivate their parents. One of the members also asked us for pass-along cards, and it just made my whole day. Seriously, if you want to make the missionaries happy, just ask them for some pass-along cards. So we made a sample pack of all the kinds and dropped it off to him, and then we checked on a few potentials and referrals and went knocking for the rest of the evening. I knocked into a French lady and got to have a door approach in French, which was cool because I really miss speaking in French. Except she wasn't very interested so we didn't get to talk much, haha.

So basically we worked REALLY hard all week but didn't find anyone for the first time all transfer. I really think the Lord wants us to just focus on working through the members and not personal finding, which is going to be kind of hard since that's just different than how I've done it and I'm not sure how to be effective. But we'll go for it! Also, we have to leave for Dartmouth at 5 am on Wednesday for Zone Conference. I'm going to develop an addiction to 5-hour energy. I tried one last week for transfers and it worked so well that it kind of freaked me out haha, because that's WAY too easy. So I'll just take my last one in the pack I bought on Wednesday and then quit, haha.

Sister Olson

Marlaine and Sister Hughes

I love babies

Breakfast Poutine

The pick up truck
 Doing Service:

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