December 2, 2014

The Last Week

Monday was the last P-day. It was pretty run of the mill, other than packing all of my things. We had a dinner appointment with Sister Betts, which was awesome as usual, and I was glad because she’s definitely one of my favourite members in the Sydney branch. We had an appointment we set up with Cheryl, one of the people we street contacted, but we didn’t get to it. First of all, Sister Betts’ DA’s always go over time. By the time we got there, we found that it was one of those super old houses that are chopped up into small apartments, and we couldn’t find hers. We finally ended up knocking on a sliding glass door at the top of a rickety staircase leading to the second or third floor, feeling like either nobody would be home or it would be super awkward. It turned out it was her place, but she wasn’t there. It was too bad because when we contacted her I kind of had the feeling that she was prepared and felt the Spirit, but at the same time that it wouldn’t go anywhere. We meet a lot of people like that, who have gone through a lot of trials and are at a hard place in life and even though they’re prepared in one way, their choices make it hard for them to go anywhere with it. After that we stopped by another appointment we had set up, which also cancelled, so we knocked Alexandra Street for a while and ended up knocking into a Muslim guy from Saudi Arabia, Hatin, who let us in. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and picked him up as a new investigator. He was mostly intellectually curious but it’s not often that we get any Muslims to let us in at all. I think they have a very intellectual approach to Islam and they often mistake being prepared or feeling the Spirit for intellectual curiosity. Sister Curtis was terrified to teach him without me in the future haha.

On Tuesday we drove out to Dominion and helped Sister Mercer out with the move some more. She was still convinced that she was moving out and John and Elaine are moving into Donald’s. It was super awkward so I hope everything went okay with sorting that out. We had lunch and then went around trying to see less actives and eventually stopped by the Porters. Sister Porter wrote something really lovely in my goodbye book about how I helped her and that made me feel good because I didn’t feel like I’d been helpful at all. We tried to see Ariel and Marlaine too, but they didn’t answer. Then we drove into Sydney to meet the LeBlanc’s for a DA. It was at a restaurant that was also a bit of a bar (classic Sister LeBlanc) and they were super late (also classic) but it was really nice to see them again. Sister LeBlanc told us she was getting married! To a non-member. Hope that goes well. I worry about people. Sister Powers was going to let us come by to say goodbye, but she called and cancelled because she forgot it was her husband’s birthday haha. We tried to stop by more people and eventually went to YW/YM to say goodbye because Sister Demeyere specifically asked us to. We got some stuff done on Facebook and whatever and then stopped by the Olivers’ to say goodbye before heading home.

Wednesday was awesome. We went street contacting and there were so many people! We shattered our contact goal of 45 super quickly — we got 60 in 1.5 hours — so we decided to keep talking and talking to more and more people. Around noon we tried to see Tracy, had lunch, then tried to see a bunch more people, but nobody was available. So we kept contacting until our appointment with Caitlyn, who bailed (her mom was not pleased she had set one up and told us off at the door), so we kept knocking. It was really good knocking, just really bold and focused. We were so close to 100 people and we totally wanted to break 100, so we pulled over in a parking lot on our way to our DA and talked to those last two people we needed. It was amazing. We had a DA with John and Elaine and they made some traditional Chinese food that was really good. Then we left to drive to New Glasgow. I think we got there around 10:30. There was lots of talking going on and I just wanted to go to bed haha.

I woke up around 4:45 on Thursday morning because we had to leave by 6 to make it to Truro to meet up with the transfer van. We got there and I met up with Sister Tegge and Sister Finn. We went back to their apartment, had breakfast, had studies, and went street contacting. It was really cool to work with Sister Tegge since I was her STL for so long. She’s grown. They were pretty good about not asking too many questions about going home and just letting me work. Street contacting was awesome. We met a long-lost less-active, who might be crazy but might just have had a hard life, and he let us take his information. Then we met a young couple that seemed really nice and I got to talk a bit about faith and getting answers, and they became potentials, Mark and Margaret. He’s from England and was visiting her, and they’re dating. We also met a lady named Melissa who was actually a former, and we got her information as well. The last guy we street contacted turned out to be from Moncton, which felt really special. He was going back soon and was sincerely interested but would be busy in the near future. I used the pamphlet to teach him the First Vision on the street and got to recite it word-for-word for the last time as a missionary. I explained that there currently weren’t missionaries in Moncton but left him with a pamphlet and an explanation of how to media referral himself. I really hope something comes of it. I love Moncton. After that, we went back to Wendy’s and I got some lunch and we met the transfer van and came into Halifax. We went through the temple for the last time and it was great. Nothing unusual, just peaceful. We talked and took pictures then went back to the mission home for dinner. We tried to have “normal” conversations and totally failed. We had a really powerful testimony meeting. I don’t remember what it was about, but I remember the Spirit was strong and I was so grateful for the opportunity to serve. I know the Church is true now. And I know it was part of God’s plan for me and that I accomplished something by going. Then PL sent the APs off to get pictures printed while he gave us advice on getting married well. He said:
(1) The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
(2) They have to pass the friends and family test
(3) One offer is no offer
(4) Marriage is the ace of spades — the decision trumps all your other good decisions
We then discussed other advice we’d been given and it was pretty funny. Nobody went to bed on time. We had to pack and weigh and re-pack and talk.

I woke up at 3:30 am on Friday and discovered I’d forgotten my razor in New Glasgow, but I didn’t want to wear tights on the plane so I shaved with just a spare razor blade held in soapy hands while still half asleep, balancing on one leg. Miracles happen because I didn’t cut myself. We drove to the airport and I didn’t really feel nervous, a bit sad, a bit excited, mostly tired and not looking forward to a plane ride. We split up at the airport and Sister Thompson and I got to wait for our flight together, which was cool since we were MTC companions. We got on and the guy to my left didn’t take out his headphones the whole time. The lady to my right, Houda, was from Syria and didn’t speak English well, but she formed a special connection with me because she was TERRIFIED to fly. So I held her hand during takeoff and landing and during turbulence. We talked a bit. She lives in Mabou Beach and was visiting friends or family in Calgary. The flight was long because I was too tired to read and couldn’t watch TV so I flipped through the channels on silent and saw there was a fire at the Chicago airport, which was sad since Sisters Echols, Lee, and Keeler had a layover there. But eventually the flight got into Calgary and I started feeling excited. Sister Thompson and I walked through the sliding doors and Chloe was crying and then everyone was crying but me. It didn’t feel weird at all; it just felt like I’d never left. We drove to the Stake Center and I got released and just like that, I was home.

My shoes

Sister Betts and I

Sister Mercer and I

Sister Mercer and Donald

Elder Belmonte, Henderson, Tincher, Sister Mercer, Sister Curtis

Sister Porter and I

St. Theresa’s church in Sydney. View from the last evening of knocking.

Sister Demeyere and I

The Olivers and I

John, Elaine and I

Sister Curtis and I

Sister Tegge and I

Sister Thompson, Sister Sandberg, Sister Pizzey

President and Sister Leavitt and I in the airport

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