Tuesday, March 25, 2014

 Our Favorite Canadian friend
 Sunset view
 My first District Leader
 Snowing after Conference
My MTC Companion

An Apostle!!


Wow was this week an awesome crazy week!  We started it off with St. Patrick’s Day on Monday and Sister Olson and I got asked to give the lesson for family home evening. We gave a fun St. Patrick’s Day lesson and then got to play volleyball and Dance Dance Revolution with them all and some of our recent converts that came! They have the funnest things here for activities it is so easy for them to invite their non-member friends out to them. This week we prepared to meet elder Anderson at the end of the week. President Patrick gave us some talks to study and ponder about so we could be prepared. We left for Montreal on Friday around 2:30 with the sisters we live with to tackle the 2 1/2 hour drive ahead of us. They took us to the temple because we got asked if we wanted to go because we haven’t gone this transfer yet. There were tons of missionaries at the temple, but Sister Olson and I were the only sisters. The temple was amazing and it was so great to be able to go. You feel so much peace when your there and you just feel at home. When we got out of the temple we didn’t realize that it was so late but it was 9:30.  The other sisters told us we had to hurry because we were suppose to be on the other side of Montréal by now at the place we were staying at for the night. Sister Olson’s gps broke and we did not have a Montréal map so we became so lost. We were clear on the east side of Montreal when we were suppose to be on the southern west side of Montreal. Caleb our recent convert happened to call us and he was able to look up directions on his phone and direct us to a road that looked familiar. The zone leaders kept texting us and telling us to buy a map that would of been a good idea if there was even a store in sight! We finally made it to our destination down town Montréal and took another half an hour trying to find parking. Montreal is like a whole new world, I felt like all of us coming out of Ottawa looked like folks coming out of the country! We stayed with the Montreal Young single adult sisters and we finally all got to bed by 12! The morning was interesting trying to have six sisters getting ready all at once, but we managed to all be ready by eight and running out the door with dry pancakes in our mouths. As we pulled into the big stake center parking lot of Montreal there was just a sea of missionaries. Having been stuck in Ottawa for six months I felt like I didn’t recognize very many. I did get to see my whole MTC district though, which was so cool. We tried to catch up on all of our crazy story’s from these past few months but it was impossible! I just want one of them to come to Ottawa and serve by me. A cool thing was a Sister came up to Sister Olson and asked where I was she grabbed me and said “right here” she told me she recognized Sister Olson from my blog because she has been reading it and she has only been out one transfer! It was so cool to see that people have been reading my blog and I’m not just talking to myself when I write these! The Conference was beyond amazing When we first got there president Patrick told us that he really didn’t know what was going to go down all he knew was that Elder Anderson was in charge. It started off with Elder Anderson introducing him self and everyone who was there in FRENCH. Who knew that he could speak French, but apparently he was a mission president in France. Then he had all of us come up and shake each one of their hands. It was so cool and special! Then he had Bishop Gerald Causse of the presiding bishopric speak in French because he is from Paris. I could understand a lot of it, but for sure not all of it! Then Elder Donald L. Hallstrom one of the Presidents of the first quorum of the seventy spoke, and Elder David Homer the Area Seventy who supervises our mission. Elder Anderson then called random people that he wanted to bare their testimonies.  One of them was President Patrick’s son who just got called on a mission to Tahiti, French speaking he was sooo nervous standing next to an apostle! Finally Elder Anderson spoke and little did we know how funny he is! He told us that the apostles are so old that they have one foot in this world and the other in the next and we have to keep pulling them back to this one. He was saying all sorts of funny things, but as soon as he started to talk about our Savior Jesus Christ it was like this literal wave of the spirit just smacked us all in the face it was so intense. He talked to us a lot about the atonement and how we should get more and more familiar with it. He challenged us to know more about it in the Book of Mormon and it was amazing how many scriptures he could just say off the top of his head! He told us how they decide where missionaries go on their missions and how they put a lot of thought into it because it changes your life forever! All of the speakers put a big press on knowing that right now as missionary’s we should not have any regrets because this is the only time that we will be serving 24/7 and when we get back from our missions we will have lives but right now we should put everything we have into our missionary work. It was so amazing to get to hear wisdom from our amazing leaders and from a witness of Jesus Christ. It got me so excited for general conference coming up! On the way home from the conference I was reading a letter I got from my bishop from Hawaii and read that a friend I knew in Hawaii passed away in December it was so sad to hear and helped my testimony of the plan of salvation grow even stronger. I know that we will get to see him someday and I will always remember his service to me!  Sunday was so great Taylor gave the lesson in Relief Society which was sooo good, Caleb got the Priesthood and that was such a neat experience to witness him receiving the authority to act in gods name, and another recent convert we teach taught priesthood, and another talked in sacrament, so it was an amazing Sunday as you could see.  This week is going to be sad because it is Sister Olson’s last week on the mission. She has to start saying goodbye to everyone and she is not ready to, but who is ever ready to say good-bye? We also get to go to the temple with Caleb this Saturday for him to do baptisms for his ancestors. We get transfer calls this Saturday and I am excited to see who my next companion will be. I am really hoping that I get to stay here at least another transfer because I really don’t want both Sister Olson and I to leave this area with all of our amazing new converts. I know that Heavenly Father will take care of this area no matter what! I love you all

-Sister Dick  

Monday, March 17, 2014

 Caleb's baptism
 My St Patrick's Day breakfast
Polishing the Elder's shoes
The cake we made for Caleb's baptism

Happy St Patrick's Day!

I had another fantastic baptism week. This week was really great and even better weather! Sister Olson and I were able to meet with lots of people, and we also got to give a training to our district this week about how to be optimistic and have hope. It was really great and helped us realize how fun missionary work really is and that we must always be hopeful in our work. On Friday the sisters we live with were cooking caramel for their wards pot luck and Sister Gerday open the can of boiling caramel and it splattered on her face her companion Sister Zelaya shoved her face under cold water and had to peel the hot caramel off her face. It was pretty scary but she recovering well with only a few burns on her hands and face. Ultimately this weekend was the best out of everything. Caleb's baptism was on Saturday and it’s a baptism I will never forget! We have been working with Caleb for a long time on getting him able to tell his parents about his choice to be baptized. After many spiritual messages and pep talks he was able to tell them. Like I said they were not happy. They went back and forth this past week in the decision of coming to his baptism or not. They finally made the decision that they would come as long as no missionaries would talk to them or as they referred to as "keep the dogs away" Sister Olson and I were pretty nervous that something would go wrong. Many people showed up for his baptism even from his hometown, which is 2 hours away. The spirit was so strong; the strongest I have ever felt at a baptism. What was really cool was when Caleb was getting dressed we had a testimony meeting and people were able to bear their testimony’s if they wanted to. Sister Zelaya and Sister Gerdays less active member and his daughter came. He went up and bore his testimony about how he went to bible school and found the church and its not an easy rode but it’s worth it. The testimony was really good, but it wasn’t anything mind blowing, but to our investigator who came it was really great because she had gone to the same bible school. After the baptism they were able to talk and he was able to answer all her questions from her side of view. Caleb’s parents stayed and many members talked to them it was so great to see that his parents came and supported him! Sunday was even more amazing many people that we have been teaching came to church. Caleb received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Arzaan received the priesthood. These are both amazing gifts that our Heavenly Father has given to us! After church I got to do something that I never thought I would get to do. All sister missionaries were invited to attend the Ottawa stake fireside. We were kind of confused why we were invited but by the time we walked out of the meeting we knew exactly why we needed to be there. The entire meeting was focused on hastening the work. Which has been the topic in many meetings lately, but this one was done so well. A recent convert of 6 months talked who that night had just been announced worthy to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. He spoke of his conversion and the joy that he has in his life now I couldn’t help but shed a tear as he described what he had been looking for. A young man talked about how he has been going out with the missionaries and how the youth can help hasten the work. A member of the stake presidency talked about missionary work and how its not just about baptisms but also about less actives he shared a really cool talk about how a bishop was reluctant to ask a less active to talk in church, but how it made people realize he was a lost sheep. Then the Stake President asked Sister Gerday and sister Zelayas less active member who was the one who bore his testimony at Caleb’s baptism to come up there and bare his testimony. He had us look right and look left and then close our eyes and picture who is not here but who you would like to be there. He said brothers and sisters I was that lost sheep after many, many sister missionaries who came to our house we have come back. He complimented Sister Gerday and sister Zelaya for not giving up on his family. The spirit was so strong I looked up to see our mission president, President Patrick sobbing as he was baring his testimony that the sweet sister missionaries spirit touched his heart. President Patrick got up next and shared that at the last mission president conference he went to President Anderson told the mission presidents that the ARMY of sister missionaries would come out and be able to touch the hearts of stubborn men. He laughed and said I’m so happy to see that come true. That meeting was one I will never forgot, and there was no doubt it was a priesthood meeting when we walked in to the gym for refreshments there were only a couple bowls of potato chips on the tables... boys =) I felt like nothing could get rid of the spirit that I was feeling last night until our district leader called to tell us that a recent convert that I had met when I first got to the mission had emailed his bishop and decided to take his name of the church records. I was devastated... I had looked up to him so much of being only a recent convert of a couple months. This only testified to me stronger of the importance of finding those lost sheep of never allowing sheep to be lost. It is so important in these days to keep your testimony strong and help others with theirs as well. My mission is a roller coaster of emotions but I know if we didn’t have the tough times we couldn’t enjoy the good times. I am excited for this week of getting prepared to get to see an apostle! Today for p-day I lined the elders shoes up to polish them so that they look good for the apostles... Elders need a little help sometimes! =) I hope that everyone has a fantastic week I love you all!

-Sister Dick 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Parliament (castle!)
Posing in front of Parliament
Arzaan's baptism
Indian Restaurant with great food

Spring is in reach. This week the weather was a lot better! It’s still not warm, but it’s almost out of the negatives which means the Canadians are taking their coats off! This week was really good it started off with going on splits with the sister training leaders. Sister Wright and I stayed hear in Ottawa and tackled the young single adults while sister Olson went to Québec. I showed her how to be a missionary young single adult style and it was really fun. We street contacted a lot in a blizzard and caught snowflakes with our tongues. I am sure the people we talked to thought we were crazy doing this in the snow, but we didn't care! We had another zone training this week with the whole Ottawa zone. I think President Patrick is getting us ready for the Apostle to come March 22. We found out today that it will be Neil L. Anderson! We are very excited for that. We have institute going at all three university campuses so we are having fun taking people we teach to those. It’s so great that the church is getting in to schools now to help spread the gospel. We have been helping our investigator Arzaan prepare for his baptism this week. It was this past Saturday and it was so amazing. There were so many people there it was unbelievable. He had invited everyone he knew. He even picked up an investigator of the elders and brought him to his own baptism. He was so excited and so was Elder Adams the senior missionary in the ward who baptized him. We went to the church three hours early to feel the font and Elder Adams was already there feeling the font with hot water by the time the baptism started Elder Adams had made him self a hot tub! Elder Adams cried through the whole baptism because he has come and helped with almost all of the lessons we have taught him. It’s so great to have a senior couple in the ward. On Sunday at church he received the Holy Ghost and it was very special. He came in his brand new suit looking all nice and no one could wipe the smile off his face. Sister Olson and I taught Relief Society on Faith and Repentance. It was really good and the spirit was so strong many people came up to us and thanked us for bringing such a strong spirit. Caleb passed his baptism interview and we will be having his baptism this Saturday! He has been struggling with telling his parents that he wanted to be baptized, but finally on Sunday he was able to find the strength through many prayers to tell them. They are not totally happy about it, but that was to be expected and they even might come to it! I hope they do because the spirit they would be able to feel if they came would be so strong and they would be able to hear their son’s testimony of the church. Caleb has such a strong testimony of the church its amazing I know he will be able to blow them away with it. I feel so blessed to be in this area with all these amazing people. I really feel like I have not even done that much with these two because the members are doing it all! We have had a fun P-day today we were able to go to an Indian place for lunch with our district and then to Parliament of Canada and go inside. It was really neat I felt like I was in a castle from hundreds of years ago. I wish you all a great week!

Sister Dick

Monday, March 3, 2014

 Our pretty "Name Tag Jello"
One of my favorite members she has waited for 1 year 3 months to get her visa to go to the US to marry her fiancé.  I will miss her!

And yet another week has sneaked past me. This happens frequently out on the mission since tomorrow is my 6-month mark. I feel like I left on my mission yesterday and now I’m here a third way through my mission. Last p-day we played volleyball all day so this whole week I have been walking around a bit sore. Apparently just because you walk for miles a day doesn’t mean you’re necessarily in shape! This week Sister Olson and I were little tricksters. We live with two other Sisters and they are always playing tricks on us so Sister Olson and I decided our trick was to still there missionary name tags and put them in jello. They woke up in the morning and were searching everywhere for them, but they were on the counter inside a big mound of jello =) another trick we played was the elders in our ward bought us dinner one night because we didn’t have time to go get some then everyday after that they bugged us and bugged us for their money, so for district meeting we baked them a beautiful cake and we got there money in all dimes and we stuck it in the cake and we gave it to them! When they cut open the cake their reactions were priceless!!
     Arzaan our awesome investigator who was referred to us by a friend is getting baptized this Saturday. We are so excited for him, but we really can't take any of the credit. The members in the ward have really been the ones who have helped him gain a testimony of the church. He comes from no Christian background and now it is amazing what he knows! He walked around church and was inviting everyone to his baptism. He has even helped one of his friends that is less active come back to church. I’m so excited to see him take this step with being closer to his heavenly father.
 Caleb who is still planning on getting baptized on the fifteenth is still doing great as well. He is still struggling with telling his parents his decision on being baptized. I have seen so many people go through this while I have been on my mission. Its heart breaking to see and its hard to relate sometimes because I come from such a supporting family. All I know is that no matter what your parents have to love you and that even though you have very tough life decisions to make you have to make them for yourself.
This Sunday was Fast Sunday and Taylor my recent convert got up and bore her testimony on the power of prayer. She said that she told her parents this week that she got baptized and that they were very mad and threatened to come up and take her home again. She said she prayed a lot and she couldn't help to feel very at peace and she knew that was the Holy Ghost helping her. I always sit in amazement when recent converts bare there testimony on the gospel.
Another miracle that happened this week was my first transfer here we tried to find this less active girl and we drove a long way to her house to find out that she doesn't even live there anymore. Afterwards we went to the church and I over heard a conversation between two members that this girl worked at payless and they had said hello because they knew they hadn't seen her at church for a very long time. We took this great opportunity to get new boots ha-ha and to hopefully run into her. We were in luck and invited her to church she came and she has been coming back ever since. This week at church she gave me a big hug and that she has decided to serve a mission! I am so excited for her and her decision to strengthen her testimony in the gospel. I wish you all a great week!!

Sister Dick