My wonderful, beloved, dearest, magnificent family, friends, and random people that I will someday meet,
So, last week it was pouring rain here in Simcoe. I think that my statement about it not snowing cursed us. We’ve come to find out that Heavenly Father has a great sense of humor. The next day it snowed more than I have ever seen in my life. My winter boots and huge coat have definitely been useful in this adventure we call Simcoe.
Our investigators are doing well, but they are all struggling to give up something in their lives. Whether it be alcohol, tea, coffee, lifestyle, money(tithing), stubbornness, or just making time to learn more about the gospel. We’ve testified BOLDLY of how the Lord will pour out his blessings upon us– when we choose to become closer to him by giving up those things in our lives that are holding us back from receiving all of those promised blessings. We’ve done our part, and now it’s their turn to fully accept the gospel of Jesus Christ.We also have found one new investigator. Her name is Zilda. She lives in a Women’s Shelter and is so open to the gospel. She’s gone through a lot in her life, and can’t seem to find any sense of peace. She’s 3 months pregnant, and is running from an abusive relationship. It’s kind of a tricky situation for us, because we cannot give her any advice because that could get us involved in some political issues.We are super worried about her understanding the importance of what we are teaching her. We asked her to be baptized and she said “Sure, yea, okay, that sounds like fun”. There could be some potential issues there. 🙂 We haven’t been able to meet with Sandra because she has been in the hospital getting some tests done, but we have an appointment with her on Saturday, that will hopefully get her “spirit train” going. We met with Neville again (this time he wasn’t intoxicated…long story…) and he knows ALL of the answers. He gives the most doctrinally correct, wonderful, spiritual answers…and he told us in these exact words “I want to be baptized. I know I need to be.” And, yet, he won’t get baptized and he won’t commit to a date. Sometimes peoples agency is just so frustrating. Wendy is another long story. Wendy originally comes from Orillia (about 3 hours North from here). She was just down visiting a friend and she had to go back to Orillia unexpectedly to take care of some business. We don’t know when she will be back. So, until further notice, the missionaries in Oriillia are taking care of Wendy and her learning. We are meeting with James today. We still haven’t felt completely comfortable with the idea of him becoming a progressing investigator, but we are going to teach him and then see where it goes from there. We’ve had so many wonderful things happen to us, that we can’t even imagine how we have been blessed with these experiences. We must be doing something right…?! We had a miracle happen yesterday at church. My companion and I procurred a ride for Zilda, because she doesn’t have a car, and she really wanted to go to church. We asked Sister Davidson (a member) to provide a ride for her. Sister Davidson got to this building and buzzed Zilda’s room number for about 5 minutes and nobody came. This lady then comes down the stairs and Sister Davidson asks “Are you Zilda?” This lady replies that she is, and Sister Davidson told her that she was there to come pick her up for church. This lady was really confused and couldn’t remember us meeting with her and inviting her to come to church. Well, Sister Davidson said “If you would like to come with me, we will see the missionaries, and then you’ll be able to remember!” This lady then got in the car with Sister Davidson, who took her to church. Eventually Sister Wester and I got to church, fully expecting to see Zilda…because we had confirmed with Zilda that she was coming to church, and everything was put in place, etc. We walked in…and Zilda wasn’t there. We were HUGELY disappointed because she had really seemed sincere. We then went to go and talk to Sister Davidson, and we saw a lady sitting beside here. We figured that it was someone she was working with, because Sister Davidson is a ward missionary. Sister Davidson then says to us, “Hello Sisters, this is Zilda!”. Sister Wester and I were like.”..uh…well…we’ve never met you before…What’s your name again?” This lady’s name is ZELDA. Not Zilda. Zelda. We just started laughing our heads off and just thinking, “How on earth could this have happened?” Until Zelda said something that caught our attention, (in her own words) “I had been praying this morning to find a church to go to in Simcoe, because I just moved here 3 weeks ago. I know that God sent Marilyn (Sister Davidson) to come and pick me up and bring me here”. Our mouths DROPPED. She then told us that her grandfather had been LDS and that she really wants to get her life back in order and on the right path, and that includes finding the right church. What. The. Heck. She was so excited to be there and learn more. THAT was a miracle from Heavenly Father. There is no other way to describe it. To have someone named Zelda live in the same apartment as Zilda and come down at that exact moment to meet Sister Davidson and get in the car with a complete stranger–is a complete manifestation to me that God is in charge of everything. He is going to put people in our path that are ready. That are prepared. And that are willing to receive the truthfulness of this gospel. We are meeting with Zelda tonight and we just KNOW that it is going to go well. We are going to invite her to be baptized on March 31st. We know that this is a direct answer to our prayers, and a direct answer to hers. What a miracle.
1. Do you have enough money?
We definitely have enough money to survive. Not living the high life, but we don’t need to do that to be happy and feel fulfilled. 🙂 We eat a lot of rice and potatoes. The hard thing is that everything here in Canada is about 40% more than it is in the states. For example, we bought some bagels and then we go to get cream cheese. One little container of cream cheese cost $5.65. Yea. We didn’t get the cream cheese. 🙂
Does your money carry-over to the next month if you do not use it all?
Yes. But there won’t be a lot of money carrying over. 🙂
How are your shoes, bag, clothes holding up?
Shoes are great. I really havene’t had the opportunity to wear a lot of flats, because I’ve been wearing my snow boots.Clothes are great. I wish my bag was a little better quality, but I love saving money. 🙂
Anything you wish you had, but don’t? Anything you have, but find you don’t really need?
Uh…I honestly don’t know. I’d have to think about that, because I can’t come up with anything off the top of my head.
Do you ever get invited to member’s homes to eat? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Twice a week. We’ve had some pretty…uh…interesting combinations. But we love all of the members, and we’ll eat whatever is put in front of our faces. The worst was there was one day where we had 2 dinner appointments right in a row. I thought I was going to puke. AND Sister Wester was saying things like. “Sister Colvin LOVES rolls, here Sister Colvin, here’s another roll. OH, Brother Whitney, cut Sister Colvin a big piece of cake. She loves chocolate cake.” She said something similar to that about every food dish. Of course, Sister Wester knew that I was about to roll over and die from all of the food that I had eaten. I was about to kill her. She laughed a lot when we walked out of the house. She teases me…A LOT. It’s hilarious. I just laugh along…secretly hating my life. Haha. Sister Wester just told me to write that.
Is your companion making you exercise?
Yes. Every morning we wake up at 6 (a half an hour early…gr…) and run until 7ish. I hate every second of it.
Where do you email us from?
The tiny Family History Center inside the church. The patrons (Brother and Sister Nicholls) come and supervise us every Monday. They are really sweet to let us do this, because we were lazy and didn’t want to go to the library and get a library card so that we could use the computers there.
I cannot believe that I have already been on my mission for an entire month. Someone told me that the days feel like weeks, and the weeks feel like days. That is completely true! Before you know it, I’ll only have 6 months left, and then 1 month, and then it will be over! I’m already so sad that it’s going to end. I’m just going to try and cherish every single moment of every single day. That’s all we can do while we’re on this earth. We have to cherish and treasure every single moment, because all of the moments that we have are gifts from our loving Heavenly Father.
One scripture that has really helped me this week is Phillipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengeneth me”. We’ve had some really hard things this week happen to us that we’ve had to push through. It’s been really difficult, but we turned to Christ and poured out our sorrows and repented of our weaknesses and prayed to become more effective instruments in his hands. We had an abundance of love and strength poured out upon us. I know that Christ can strengthen us in all things. Even if it seems silly, like praying for the strength to allow your 13 year old daughter to start dancing with boys (I love you, Mommy and Daddy!)–he can help us. Jesus Christ is our brother and he loves us so much, and he’s been where we have been and where we will go. If you turn to him, I promise that you will be able to feel that love and closeness to him and our Heavenly Father.
Happy Birthday to Uncle Travis and Papa a couple of weeks ago! I’m sorry that I forgot to mention it in my email last week,but I hope that you both had wonderful days full of love and laughter! I love you both very much, and I hope that this next year is the best yet to come.
OH. You know how on the movie “The Best Two Years” they run and squeal around their apartment when they receive mail? I am here to tell you…that “The Best Two Years” is absolutely correct. That is what we do when we receive mail. I LOVE getting mail. Thank you so much for your continued support. Grandma and Grandpa, I LOVED your letter. I will respond today when we get back to our apartment. Beards, I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the candy, gum, beautiful pictures and card. That was a really hard day, and that package lifted my spirits and buoyed me up.I am so appreciative!
I love you all so very much, and I hope that you have a great week. Just remember that you can do all things if you turn to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They will give you strength to accomplish all things!
Please keep in touch! The Church is true! I love you! Choose the Right!
p.s. 3 ictures are attached. The first is of Sister Prescott and myself. The second is myself in Port Dover by Lake Erie. And the third is myself and Elder Shumway the day before I left the MTC. 🙂
p.p.s. I LOVE YOU.