Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sister Houde & I in matching Christmas outfits with some new converts

December 23 2013

Merry Christmas everyone!

Oh what a wonderful time of year it is. I have always loved this time of year and believe it or not being a missionary at this time of year is ten times better. We get the privilege of celebrating the Savior’s birth and I get to wear his name on my chest every day! The weather has really cooperated with this holiday season as well. We have received so much snow this week it’s amazing! One day it was raining straight ice it was so cold. 
We started our week off with the mission Christmas party both Ottawa zones met together with president Patrick and his family. We didn’t have a fancy dinner or a special holiday thing, but President Patrick split the missionaries and his family in half and sent us down two different roads to go and carol. It was so much fun when we knocked on doors the peoples faces were priceless too see 20 missionaries standing at there door singing. It was better than any Christmas party we could of had. We were doing what we have been sent out to do serve the people of Canada and I know we touched some of those people’s hearts by bringing the true spirit of Christmas at their doorstep. 
 Teaching was tougher this week seeing how every young single adult thinks they can go home for Christmas =) We were still able to see some people and help them understand the true meaning of Christmas. We taught an investigator the Plan of Salvation this week and he told us that he didn’t want to die because he is scared of heights and he doesn’t know how to fly yet so he is not sure if he will land on heaven with out a big thud. We got a good laugh out of that and explained to him that he won’t have to worry about that ha-ha! 
     Tomorrow for Christmas Eve all the missionaries in our ward are putting on a Christmas party for all the Chinese that don’t celebrate Christmas or some of the people that we teach that live in shelters and don’t have families to celebrate Christmas with. I’m so happy that we are able to help these people celebrate Christmas and feel at home. I wouldn’t want to celebrate Christmas in any other way!
This Christmas Holiday I ask all of you to reach out to someone in need and help them feel Christ’s love. Read Luke Chapter 2 and get into the true meaning of Christmas. Christ's birthday is significant because of what he accomplished for us in his life. For many of years prophets prophesied that Christ would come and his birth was that proof that those prophets were really receiving revelation from our heavenly father! The Book of Mormon is our proof of the restoration of the true gospel. Prophets prophecy of Christ’s coming again and we must be ready for that day and always trying to be our best! I love you all so much and I hope you all have the best Christmas ever. I would like to challenge you all to give your favorite sin to Christ for his birthday this year. I promise it will be the best gift you give this year! Merry Christmas OR Joyeux Noel!!


Sister Dick

Monday, December 16, 2013

 I got to reunite with all my MTC missionaries at a meeting in Montreal
 The ward Christmas Party
 Trying the famous Canadian "Poutine"  (Fries, gravy and cheese curds!!)
 District picture
Waiting for the bus in -30 weather!

December 16, 2013

Happy Monday!

I don’t know if the states are cold, but Canada is! This week was very chilly. Most of the week it was at -30 you would go outside and immediately your nose holes would freeze! I have never been in crazier weather. We were waiting for the bus stop this week and Sister Houdes eyelashes were completely white! I may look like the little boy off of the Christmas Story, but I don’t care because I bundle up with as many clothes as I can fit! This next week doesn’t look much better the member we live with told us that it’s suppose to get to -35 with frost bite warnings everyday. On a better note we had the ward Christmas party this week and all the missionaries got up and sang a Christmas carol at the Christmas talent show. It was a lot of fun and the best part was between the eight missionaries in the ward we had 30 non-members there! I finally caved in this week and had my first ever Poutine. Its this Canadian special. It has fries with gravy on top with cheese curds. It was an interesting dish. I ate it, but the whole time I was thinking, okay scratch the gravy where is the fry sauce!!
As a service project we wrapped Christmas presents for charity. It was so much fun and it allows you to feel the real spirit of Christmas when your serving other people just like our savior Jesus Christ did. Taylor our most amazing investigator that I talk about every week came with us to wrap gifts. She expressed to us that she told her parents that she was going to get baptized and her parents told her she wasn't allowed to come home for Christmas. She is going through a lot of hard things right now, her friends are sending her non-Mormon articles, and even her sister mocks her when she calls. On Sunday we asked bishop to have a meeting with her and he was able to give her a blessing. She said she felt so peaceful and felt the spirit so strong. We were so happy for her, but unfortunately five minutes ago we got a text from her saying that her parents are packing her apartment up and moving her back home and she is never coming back here. Sister Houde and I are heart broken because the miracles we have seen with her are unbelievable. I have seen first hand how Heavenly Father prepares his children, and now I have also seen first hand how Satan so badly wants to turn those people that are so close to finding the gospel away. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!!


Sister Dick

Monday, December 9, 2013

Me and my companion along with the other two sisters we live with

December 9, 2013

Hello everyone!

It sounds like everyone is freezing in Utah! We have been getting lots of snow lately, but it hasn’t been at its coldest. This week was a very busy one starting with a trip to Montreal for a trainers meeting for all the new missionaries. Montreal is sooo different from Ottawa it’s like you travel to a new mission or something because it’s a different language, look, people, everything. As soon as I stepped out of the car at the mission home in MontrĂ©al, I bumped into an old man and started apologizing to him of course in English. Very confused the man started talking to me in very fast French, but what I got was "beacoup de Mormons, beacoup de Mormons" which means a lot of Mormons, a lot of Mormons. I just laughed and realized I was definitely not in Ottawa anymore. The training was so great by President Patrick. He made sure that the new missionaries or their trainer’s didn’t have any questions and were getting use to the missionary life style. He shared a video with us from the new mission presidents training he attended in the MTC in July. It was Elder Perry telling the new mission presidents that this time with all the new missionaries goes at the top of the list with, the Book of Mormon, The First Vision, and the Restoration of the Gospel. This time with all missionaries going out is so important because we are the ones telling everyone about the Book of Mormon, the first vision, and the restoration!! Why are those events important if nobody knows about them?? I got to see all the missionaries I came in with from the MTC and it was so great! All the sisters did a huge group hug. President Patrick couldn’t believe how close we were and he told us we couldn’t move because he wanted a picture of it. I was so fun to hear all the crazy stories they had already accumulated from their different areas. They all told me I was lucky to be in Ottawa because all there companions told them Ottawa is the land of milk and Honey and I couldn’t deny it! This area is the best and I feel so lucky the lord chose me to be here. Sister Houde and I have been very busy this week tracking down all the students with their finals. Taylor, our amazing investigator that I have been sharing awesome experiences with every week told us just yet another miracle. This girl is so amazing she was so prepared to find the true gospel. She told us she had been praying really hard to have help from her Heavenly Father because she was struggling in life.  The next day she met us in the street and she new it was a sign from her Heavenly Father. This week when we met with her she told us that she had done what we told her to do. It is what every missionary tells all their investigators:  if you read the Book of Mormon and pray about it the Holy Ghost will testify to you that it is true! Sounds easy right? Well its not, we struggle a lot getting investigators to actually do it. Taylor told us she read some scriptures from the Book of Mormon, and then prayed. She said she felt the spirit so strong and was so happy. She said she went on with her day and she said she felt the spirit leave and she was sad, but at the same time so happy. I testified to her that when we get baptized and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost we have the opportunity to have it with us all the time!
This week I have been thinking a lot about Mosiah 15:28 "And now I say unto you that the time shall come that the salvation of the Lord shall be declared to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people." When we went to Montreal at the mission office I went into the room where they keep all the Book of Mormons there were shelves and shelves of Book of Mormons in every language you could think of! there was so many Book of Mormons in different languages because were able to give them out in this mission because of the diversity. Missionaries are not allowed in most of China and Middle East, but here in Ottawa I have already had the opportunity to teach many people from China, and Afghanistan… you name it! Some times missionaries here will just go out with a different language Book of Mormon each day and find someone that can read that language. Heavenly father knew this time would come! President Patrick in the trainers meeting shared with us D&C 33:2 "behold, the field is white already to harvest; and it is the eleventh hour, and the last time that I shall call laborers into my vineyard." I feel so lucky that before I came to earth that I agreed to do missionary work and now I have stayed worthy enough to do what I promised the lord I would do! I love the gospel so much and love you all so much and I feel so lucky to have so much support! I wish you warm thoughts and I hope nobody freezes!!!


Sister Dick

Monday, December 2, 2013

Playing in the Snow
Crazy Chinese restaurant a member took us to eat!

December 2, 2013

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving and is not still groaning to bad from eating too much. Sister Houde took me out for a beaver tail on thanksgiving to celebrate that I am definitely in Canada and not in the U.S. anymore. This week we got a lot of snow. On Tuesday we went to bed with no snow and on Wednesday we woke up with snow to our knees, so…We decided to play in it! We got to meet all the new missionaries that came into our zone this week from the newest transfer and our new district leader is really awesome and can really bring the spirit. He is going to be so great to help this district with missionary work! A funny story of the week was when we had a lot of appointments cancel on us on Wednesday so our back up plan was to do street contact for four hours in negative degree weather I was a little skeptical, but Sister Houde said that it was going to be just fine because we would just find someone on the street and we could teach them in the park. Sure enough the first person we talk to said he had time right now and we taught him on the bench in the park! He is a really great guy who has been through a lot in his life. He wants to stop smoking so we got him on this 15 step program the church has set up and he is already doing great because he has been in foster care his whole life he told us he doesn’t even know the feeling of love or family. Sister Houde told him if he comes to church he would be able to know that feeling. Yesterday as we were walking out of sacrament I turned around to see this investigator surrounded by 15 members shaking his hand and welcoming him to church. He had the biggest smile on his face and I knew that he was realizing the feeling of love. Members are such a big part in missionary work. The Missionary’s can't do it alone. We need the members to be there friends and to show them that Christ like love so they feel welcomed! We had nine investigators come to church yesterday! No one could wipe the smile off my face. We had a very powerful testimony meeting and they all walked away feeling something. The girl that was able to feel the spirit at the baptism last week came to church yesterday and thanked us again because she said she had never felt so close to god before and NEVER so welcomed at a church before. Sometimes I don’t even know how to react when i see miracles right in front of me all I could do was give her a hug and tell her that what she felt was heavenly fathers love for her!
This week will be interesting because its finals week so all the students we teach are very stressed for those. On Tuesday Sister Houde and I are taking a road trip to Montreal for a new missionary training from President Patrick. I will get to see everyone i came with from the MTC, so I’m very excited! I hope everyone has a great week and is getting ready for the Christmas season!

Love, Sister Dick
I am all bundled up ready for my first Canadian winter!!
This is the awesome young man that can understand 3 different languages, but can only speak on his iPad

November 25, 2013

Hello Everyone,
This week I hit my third month on the mish and that means my first transfer in the field! We had transfer calls on Saturday and Me and sister Houde are..... Staying! We weren’t surprised because we figured we would be. We were surprised though when they told us our zone is splitting. The Ottawa zone has become to big with 40 missionaries so they split it. All the leaders in our zone got transferred so we have new zone leaders district leader and new sister training leaders. I am very excited for this zones progress. We had a lot of interesting lessons this week. One with a guy from Madagascar he just wanted to bash on the Book of Mormon and every other religion except for him. We had to remind him of his great love for Christ and that if he truly believed in Christ then he wouldn’t being saying this about other people. Its amazing to see even if the spirit is so strong in a lesson if you don’t want to receive the spirit you wont! As Sister Houde and I testified to this man about the love we have for the Book of Mormon and how it can bless your life the spirit was so strong but you could just see the spirit dying right when it got to him. The Highlight of the week was when we went to an appointment and they ended up not being there we were bummed out because it had been like that all day it seemed. We sat on the curb making phone calls and discussing what our next action was. We decided we would go contact some more. The first people we saw were two girls. Sometimes it can be intimidating when there is more then one because no one is willing to stand up for them selves with there friends. We told them who we were and the first girl was very rude and said I am atheist I don’t care to talk. Her friend exclaimed I am Christian i would love to meet with you guys! When we met she told us that she had never had the opportunity to learn about Christianity growing up but she always believed in god. We invited her to a baptism that Saturday. She came and the baptism was all in Chinese, but yet she felt the spirit so strong she started crying! She asked us if she could get baptized! It was so amazing to see people that have the desire to learn more about our heavenly father!
We had a great opportunity to go with a guy in our single adults branch family for dinner. They are from Guatemala he is a very special kid! He knows French, Spanish and English. He isn't able to talk but he is an amazing typer on his Ipad. They fed us lots of yummy Spanish food and we gave them a lesson in English/ French slash very broken Spanish, so hopefully they could understand most of it! I was able to bear my little Spanish testimony my MTC companion taught me and you could tell there eyes lite up even though I only said like three sentences! I love all the cultures I get to know here in Canada!
This week I woke up on Thursday and thought it was Thanksgiving. The member we live with even made us thanksgiving because I told her happy thanksgiving from the US! Later that day someone had to inform me it was next Thursday! Since I have been celebrating Thanksgiving so much with Canada’s Thanksgiving being in October and mine being a week before the US I thought I would say some things I am thankful for!
* The gospel of Jesus Christ
* Heavenly fathers love that everyone can feel if they open their hearts to him
* The Book of Mormon and bible that can always help us in our lives if we just read and apply it!
* My family and all the love and support they give me
* Warm coats, boots, scarfs and gloves to keep me warm!
* My companions French so that i don’t always say the dumbest things to people in French!
* Hot chocolate
* And everyone who is reading this! I love you
I hope that everyone has a fantastic thanksgiving week and hope you all give thanks to heavenly father for what he has given you! Alma 7:23


Sister Dick