Monday, July 21, 2014

 Mark's baptism
 Christina's baptism
 9 months left on our mission!
Me and Sister Alvarez


WOW what a week! This week was full of lots of different adventures preparing for two BAPTISMS we had this past weekend. =) Luckily we got a phone call at the start of the week that said the car mechanic felt bad for us walking and biking in such a big area so he decided to fix it and deal with the insurance company later. We were very thankful for this in such a crazy week. I haven’t driven very much these past 2 years because I have been living on the bus, so driving was a bit interesting at first, but I’m getting it down now. 
 Since I arrived here we have taught this awesome Colombian family with a mom and three kids. They are so prepared for the gospel and the kids just soak up every lesson that we teach them. We have tried to be creative with all of our lessons for the kids so one lesson we taught the kids the plan of salvation with them in their pool and us throwing different size balls for the different kingdoms another time we taught agency with Jenga, the ten commandments with hand signs and today we are teaching obedience with Simon Says. It makes it really fun for them and they always remember everything we teach them. What was really cool though was this week we committed them for baptism for September 6. They all committed to that date. On Sunday when they came to church the little girl told her mom that she wanted to get baptized right now and that she didn't want to wait. They are such an amazing family! 
A family invited us over to their house for dinner this week whose daughter just returned from the St. George mission. I have heard so much about this Sister because before she could go to Utah she was a Visa waiter in this mission for a couple months, so Sister Houde my trainer trained her in Dows Lake. It was so great to talk to her all about Ottawa, Sister Houde, and St. George. 
The greatest part of this week no doubt was our two awesome baptisms on Saturday. We put a lot of effort into preparing for these two baptisms. It is a lot of different preparations for a family ward baptism. Mark got baptized and he asked me to give a talk on the Holy Ghost. I was a bit nervous to give a talk in front of most the ward and so many missionaries because my French is still not the best. Luckily by the gift of tongues I managed to get by and apparently they understood me because people said they enjoyed it. 
The bishop baptized Christina as well and her baptism was really special as well. All the missionaries that have taught her were able to come and we sang a song at her baptism. Both of the baptisms turned out so well and it really hit me with how much i already love this ward so much.
On Sunday sacrament started and mark was there, but Christiana wasn't. Time kept ticking and Mark received the gift of the holy ghost and Christina was still not there! This is like a missionaries all time worst fear. We kept looking at the doors and looking at the family whose son was picking her up for church. She finally walked in after the sacrament was given and she was able to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Mark told us after church that he has felt lighter then air every since he was baptized. NO one could wipe the smile of Christina’s face it was so great to see such amazing people take that step closer to Heavenly Father. I am so thankful for Heavenly father trusting us to teach his amazing children so they could progress towards him. We see so many miracles everyday we can't even count them. We should all look more for the little things in life to really see all that God has given us! Lots of Love from Canada EH!

Avec amour,

Sœur Dick
Rain or shine our motto is "We Ride!!"

Hola Amigos!!

Another amazing week has past me in this wonderful place of Laval. This week was a really great week. This Saturday we have two people we are teaching getting baptized!! Woot Woot they are really amazing people and we have been preparing them lots this week. One is from Iran and he has been studying with the missionaries on and off for a year now but never good at committing. We were able to have some really spiritual lessons with him this week that answered his prayers exactly. The other one is a 16 year old girl from Haiti she has been studying with the missionaries on and off for a little bit, but not until just recently being invited to attend girls camp did she feel the spirit really strongly and we were able to commit her for baptism. Just in the past week I have seen the Lord prepare them for their baptism it is a really cool sight. 
One day this week we got ourselves in a major food bind. Sister Alvarez cooked us this big Colombian meal and then we went to visit a member for their birthday and they are Colombian so they fed us a big Colombian meal by then I was so full, but the worst was yet to come when we went to a less active Colombian house.... seeing the trend here.. =) they plopped this huge Colombian meal on our plates and my stomach was screaming at me and I looked to sister Alvarez with a horrified look and she said her usually response to anything I have from her country "YOUR WELCOME" =)  The Sister must have noticed my reluctant eating because on the way back she was giggling asking us if we had eaten before we got there!
No one needs to worry about all these Haitian and Spanish meals getting me down because.... we are now the owners of 10 year old, extremely used, elders bikes!! Yes that’s right we are bike missionaries now. We bike everywhere and when it’s to far we hitch our bikes to the bus. I have only crashed once and I was able to gather myself up pretty quickly before to many people seen my skirt over my head. Thank goodness for spandex because riding a bike in a skirt is a talent… that I am still trying to master ha-ha. 
We had our three-month interviews with the mission president this week and it went really well. He told me he has a new name for me and that is: The serial killer because I have killed my last three companions. I had to break it to him that the whole mission already calls me that. It was great to get comforting words from him on not understanding everything these people say with their strong accent because it took him a long time.
At church this Sunday they asked the new missionaries of the ward to bare their testimonies. Its kind of nerve racking in the first place to bare your testimony to a big family ward, but in another language is a whole other level, but as always the spirit guides and I was able to give my two-minute testimony some how. 
I love being a missionary so much and seeing first hand people changing their lives for the gospel. There is not greater joy then serving heavenly fathers children!!

-Hermana Dick

Monday, July 7, 2014

 I found me some Holly's!!
Love these cute, crazy little boys who talk very fast French to me!!
Another crazy crazy week of trying to get to know a new area, two new languages, eat heap fulls of Haitian food, and how to tackle little children while teaching a spiritual lesson. This week started of with a huge heat wave! We kept waking up in puddles of our own sweat because our apartment it just a sauna. On Tuesday we were teaching at a members home in Spanish and even though my comprehension is little in Spanish I could understand Hermana Alvarez when she complemented all the fans they had in the house. I started laughing because you know it’s hot when you compliment someone’s ordinary fan on their ceiling. Well thanks to Hermana Alvarez great compliments the members told us that they had an extra air conditioner and asked it we wanted it. They are such a sweet family they came to install it immediately in our apartment as sister Alvarez served them her special aguapanela with lemon (Colombian lemonade.) We got to go to the Mission office in Montreal and have zone training. It was really good and I felt like I had never seen any of those missionaries before because I have been in Ottawa so long. It did not feel like the 4th of July her, but my awesome Colombian companion cooked me a hot dog to celebrate the birth of the US and my 10-month mark on the mission.  We have had to really organize or selves to this huge area without having a car. We walk so much its crazy but a blessing as well because it allows us to meet people on the street. This week we are going to steal the elders bikes that they never use to try to get around everywhere a little bit faster and keep praying that we will get our car back sometime. We realized it was a sad day the other day when every one of our phone calls went something like this:
Hola (hello)
Como esta (how are you)
Triste (sad)
Por que! (why)
Colombia... (Colombia)

It’s all-good though we cheered our sad Colombian friends up from a bad loss at the world cup soccer with a great spiritual message! 
 A miracle this week... well there were just to many to count but this one is pretty awesome because member missionary work is the best. Susan was at a alcoholic meeting and a member of the church raised her had and started talking about home teaching. That person later asked Susan for a ride home from that meeting. During the ride home Susan asked her what home teaching was and the friends response it the best!! She said well I have some "friends" for you to meet that can answer that question. Well we are her friends!! Susan is so awesome and really open for the gospel. She loves church and the love she feels around member.
We had many progressing investigators who have baptism dates come to church this Saturday and they all really loved it. We asked one of them after if he liked church and he loved it so much that he wanted to get baptized the next day. We had to tell him he still has things to learn so he settled for July 19. We have three really awesome people planned to get baptized on the 19th of July.  It’s so awesome to see these people change. 
On Saturday we had this hilarious member come and teach with us and with out having a car in this huge area the members fill bad and drive us to our next appointment well this member kept volunteering to keep teaching with us every time she would drive us to a next appointment. On Sunday she got up and bore her testimony on the Sister missionaries tying her up an kidnapping her to come teaching with us. She said but its all okay because they told me I would be blessed and I felt the spirit really strong and the people we taught fed her a sandwich. She is such a crack up I love the members here so much and my amazing companion! There is nothing better then serving the lord with your two best friends by your side the spirit and Sister Alvarez. Sister Alvarez is so mindful she even gives me a good laugh and all of subway. We finished teaching a lesson this week in subway and she said she had to run to the bathroom real quick I was sitting down outside of the bathroom waiting for her and I looked up to see her walking across subway with her entire back of her skirt tucked in. She looked back at me with a horrified look like something was wrong. My expression was as if I was seeing a hallucination and then we both got smacked back to reality and she tried pulling it out as fast as possible while running around to hide behind the drink machine. I was crying and laughing so hard we couldn't even look at each other and then I looked up to see a lady tell her Madame, Madame your juipe (skirt) it still wasn't out all the way. She grabbed our things and said we are leaving now!! I couldn't stop laughing and her pride is still pretty broken but I love her!! 
I hope you all have a great week! Love ya 

-Soeur Dick 

Saying our Good-bye's

June 30 2014 Posted late, mom was out of town

Bonjour!!!! Aloha...

Where do I even begin with this crazy week! Well I guess I can start from the beginning. Goodbyes were so hard and not fun at all. I have never done goodbyes on my mission before now, but everyone would always tell me how hard they are and they were right. I was able to leave Dow's Lake on a very high note by seeing a Chinese baptism. I have seen him be taught by the Chinese elders since Christmas and he has grown so much in the gospel and his baptism was so special. The spirit was so strong especially when he bore his testimony about gaining a testimony about God and that he knew joseph smith restored the gospel. 
Packing was interesting when you have been in the same area for so long. I'm pretty sure the zone leaders eyes couldn't of gotten any bigger or there back's any sorer when they helped us take our bags to the bus station. Sister Verdin and me were the only ones who took the three-hour bus ride to Montreal. Everyone else rode up in cars. When we got there my new zone leaders met me there one of them being my last district leader and he confidently jerked my bags off the side walk breaking all four wheels off of them. It was funny and it was even funnier when he realized he would now have to carry the back straining bag to the car now! We arrived at the mission home and it was so great to see all these missionaries I have not seen since I arrived in the mission because i have been isolated in Ottawa. My new companion Sister Alvarez was there to pick me up. She told me the great news that she had gotten in a crash the week before so we had no car at the moment. We had to get into the other sisters car and stack luggage on top of us. Luckily we do not live to far from Montréal. 
My first impression of this new area was oh my goodness I have been transferred to Columbia... I woke up to my Columbian companion cooking me a Colombian breakfast and our first ten lessons were only in Spanish to all Colombian people. This area has a LOT of Spanish in it and with the world cup going on and Colombian doing good everyone just drives around waving their big Columbian flags honking their horns its crazy ha-ha. 
 Our big miracle this week was with this Columbian family. Last week Sister Alvarez contacted this girl at a grocery store because she has this like secret combination with being able to spot Columbian people from like a mile a way and she yells hey are you Columbian!!! Anyways the girl was not interested in the gospel and said she already had a good religion. That Sunday she came to church with a less active member. It is cool to see how member missionary work is so much more effective. The first night I got here they invited us over to eat and She was there with her three kids. We taught... Sister Alvarez taught a wonderful Spanish lesson and i just had a big smile on my face. We have been able to teach them many lessons this week and even committed them for baptism. They are an amazing family and were all able to come to church this past Sunday! 
We have had a lot of work cut out for us this week because they closed the Elders area here and gave it to us and with no car we have been doing a LOT of walking. I have never walked so much in my life and especially in this warm weather. It has become so hot and humid here this week we walk out of the apartment and we are already sweating a ton. 
Church was a lot of fun and I already love the members here so much and I have already gotten use to everyone coming up and kissing you on each cheek. I think it makes the ward so friendly and close. At church I luckily only told one person on accident that I was not happy to be in this new ward. Its really cool to be in this ward because its the ward next to my trainer Sister Houde, so they all know her and I feel like I get at least ten brownie points when I tell them that she trained me on my mission. All the people she talked about the three months I was with her I now have met personally! 
 No one believes that I am American I have to convince them that I am from Utah. They all think I look Italian or Lebanese. It’s so fun to be in a family ward with all of the cute kids running around. There French is hard to understand sometimes and I have never agreed that women talk to fast until I went to relief society. They were talking so fast that If someone told me it wasn't French I would of totally believed them! I know my French and Spanish will get better over time though and I feel like it already has just in the week I have been immersed in it. I can now bare a better testimony in Spanish and for the first time in my life i had someone clap after my testimony because she though it was so cute that I could say a few sentences in Spanish. 
  My companion is so amazing and its excited to be at the exact same spot in our missions. I am so excited for this wonderful transfer that lays ahead of us! I love you, J t'aime, te amo!
-       Soeur Dick