My dearest family, friends, and people that are reading this that I don’t really know,
It is a wonderfully rainy day here in Simcoe, Ontario. We think that there won’t be any more snow…but it’s Canada…enough said.
It has been a week of miracles here in Simcoe. Last week was really difficult. We didn’t have anybody to teach and nobody wanted to even talk to us. But, through the Lord’s hand, he led us to those individuals that are prepared to hear this beautiful message of peace and joy. We have found FOUR new investigators this week — Sandra, Neville, Wendy, and James. We met Sandra while tracting. Her husband passed away in 2011, but he was taking the lessons from the missionaries at one point. She was just never interested. She has great questions that sometimes we don’t know the answers to. She is very reluctant to pray and ask Heavenly Father if this is the truth. We KNOW that she can receive an answer, it’s just instilling in her that desire and having that leap of faith to put yourself out there. Heavenly Father is reaching out to all of us…we just have to reach back.Please pray for her that she may be able to find that courage. Neville is a former investigator that is from Trinidad…and makes the most amazing food. He does have a hard time keeping commitments. He knows and he’s expressed that he needs to be baptized…but he doesn’t know when.We’ve committed him to read, pray, attend church, and to be baptized on April 7th. He was against the baptismal date, but we feel that he is progressing well and by that date he will be ready. Wendy was such a miracle! We went to go visit a less-active sister whose husband is not a member. We got there, and the husband wasn’t there, so we were a little bit disappointed, but then Wendy came out and said that she’d love to listen! She was really receptive to the gospel, and attended church yesterday. We are meeting again with her tonight, and we’re so excited to see her progress.She doesn’t live here in Simcoe…but she will be here for a month. And that is PLENTY of time for her to get baptized. 🙂 James was also a former investigator that we just happened to meet on the street. He expressed his sincere desire to give up his addictions (alcohol and cigarettes). We haven’t meet with him again yet, but we are hopeful and know that through Jesus Christ he can be rid of those addictions. We always take a priesthood holder with us when we meet with someone of the opposite sex. This is for safety purposes, so that’s why we haven’t met with James a second time…because nobody can come with us. I guess that if it’s meant to happen…it will. 🙂
1. What is Simcoe like?
Well, Simcoe is tiny. We’ve tracted in a lot of neighborhoods…and then gone street contacting…and then people get mad/frustrated with us…because we knocked on their door yesterday. 🙂 Haha. They have a lot of tiny/sketchy shops that we haven’t gone to yet…but they have a Wal-Mart here…so that is indeed a blessing in our lives. 🙂
2. Is there a ward there?
We are in the Simcoe Branch in the Hamilton Stake. This branch is ridiculously small. There was a pot-luck last week and 15 people came (this was including myself and Sister Wester). Everyone was remarking how happy they were that so many people came to support the branch. It is definitely different here than in Rexburg. It’s nice to have a small branch, because then you get to know everybody really well. There are also negative things that come along with small branches…but let’s not focus on those. 🙂 We also spoke in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. I spoke on Humility and how we can become more like the Savior. It was a POWERFUL experience. As I was speaking, I felt a burning sensation in my chest. I know that this was the Spirit testifying to me of the truthfulness of this gospel. I was able to speak clearly, effectively, and powerfully. But “I do not boast in my own strength…as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things”.
3. What is my companion like?
Sister Wester is awesome. She is a convert to the church (she was baptized at 19) and now she’s out here serving a mission! She has a really strong testimony and she is teaching me a lot. She also says that she appreciates you stalking her on Facebook…but just to add her so that it doesn’t become creepy any more. 🙂 She is also obsessed with spicy food and puts Tapatio on everything. Rice included.
4. How do I feel about Canada?
I didn’t think that it would be this different, honestly. You go to buy pasta…and it’s no where to be found. We eventually found it…in the “Foreign Foods” aisle. Pasta? Really, Canada? Come on now. Canadian food is bland. In general. That’s why Sister Wester’s mom sent her Tapatio from the States. Canadian words are super different, I still haven’t said “eh?” in a normal context yet. I’m still working on it. What our district leader told us is that Simcoe is kind of equivelant to the “South” in the United States. Their accents and the words that they say are going to be a lot different than, for instance, in Toronto. He called the Simcoe folk “back-woodsy”. And I am here to tell you that is correct. Man. We have some stories.
The toilet paper is normal. 🙂
5. How is independent living?
I miss your cooking, Mommy. End of story.
6. How is our apartment?
Our apartment is beautiful! Besides the fact that we locked ourselves out the first night here in Simcoe and every time that we pull up to our house…we remember that experience…we love it a lot. And it’s even more beautiful now that we have our beds. We didn’t have them until this last Friday. That was an adventure. We also have our own washer and dryer! Hallelujah! That makes it really nice for us on P-day. (Yea for P-days!)
7. Do we have a car?
YES. Our area covers a lot of tiny towns that are about 20 minutes away from each other–so to not have a car would be quite detrimental to the work. My companion can’t drive though, because she got a ticket a couple of days before she came in to the field. So I have been doing all of the driving. It’s definitely an adventure. We were getting lost so many times, that our Zone Leaders had pity on us and let us borrow one of their GPS’s. Again, Hallelujah!
If you have any more questions email them to me. On another wonderfully, exciting, life-changing, awesome note…
To: General Authorities, Area Seventies, and Mission Presidents
From: Missionary Department
Subject: Adjusted Missionary Email Policy
Missionaries are to write to their families each week and are also authorized to communicate by email with friends, priesthood leaders, and new converts. Mission presidents should allow sufficient time on preparation day for missionaries to write emails and letters. While in the mission field, missionaries should receive authorization from the mission president before entering into communication, including via email, with converts and others of the opposite gender within the mission boundaries (see Missionary Handbook, 36–37).
WHAT NOW?! I get to directly email my friends, missionary friends, siblings, extended family and so on and so forth. Isn’t that so exciting? I really don’t have time to do it today, but next week it is going to explode! For all of you wonderful people that STINK at writing letters (I love you all!) you now have a much easier way to write me. 🙂
I miss you all, but I know that you are doing great things with your life–as long as your foundation is on the gospel and Jesus Christ. It is such an honor to be a missionary. There is a scripture in Acts that I really love. It’s talking about Peter and John and all of their AMAZING missionary work. Well, they get taken to prison and suffice it to say that they were not being treated very well. They were beaten, but still refused to deny Christ. After they had been abused in all possible ways this happened:
“And they departed from the presence of the council, REJOICING that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”
I am counted WORTHY to have doors slammed in my face. To have dogs chase after me. To get cat hair all over my nice coat. To be sworn at. To be rejected. And everything else that comes along with being a missionary. I am so blessed to have this opportunity to serve my Lord with all of my heart, might, mind and strength. Thank you for everything that all of you have done to help me be able to serve in this great mission. I will be forever grateful for the sacrifices all of you have made for me.
If you haven’t read the Book of Mormon yet in your life, I am challenging you to commit yourself to ponder and read from it. The Book of Mormon is POWERFUL. This book can change your life for the better. If you have enough faith that you can receive answers from those words, you will. Please, please, PLEASE read it. I promise you, as a representative of Jesus Christ, that if you read it, the blessings of heaven will pour out upon you. You will be more able to withstand the trials and tribulations that will come. Heavenly Father gives us those trials to help us grow and eventually to become like him. I know that this is true.
Adam, how is your mission preparation going? I’m excited to hear about your experiences you have while you read the Book of Mormon… 🙂
Again, I love you all. You all are pillars of strength in my life. I cannot wait to see your smiling, wonderful faces once this grand adventure is done. Just know that I constantly pray for you and want you to succeed in all that you do. You all are wonderful children of God that I love very much. Keep the faith–for the Lord will continue to bless you as you continue to keep his commandments and strive to become like him.
p.s. I don’t have to pay any money to receive a package…so…yea…that’d be cool. 🙂
p.p.s. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!