Monday, February 27, 2012

Picnic at the church

*Attached is a picture of our picnic at the church. We didn't have very many dinner appts this week and it takes to many kilometers to go home for dinner so we had dinner at the church! haha It was so pathetic I took a picture of it. 

Hello Everybody!                                                                               2/27/12
Well, it's been a pretty good week. Is that what I always say? haha We picked up some new investigators! Let me tell you about everyone we're teaching...don't worry, it won't take that long. The pickins are slim...Canada is harsh!
We were going through "former investigators" last week, which means they have been taught atleast once by other missionaries, and we called Laura. She was excited to hear from us and we set up an appt for later in the week. Well, the lesson went INCREDIBLE. The spirit was so strong and she is so ready to hear the Gospel! She had sat in on a lesson last May with an older lady who lives in her building but wasn't interested in hearing more from the elders. We taught her the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then she just started asking questions, especially about life after death. So we taught her the Plan of Salvation as well! Invited her to be baptized and she said yes! She is about 30 and we have gained a great relationship with her. It's crazy because we hardly even know her but it feels like we've been good friends for a long time. She works in downtown Toronto and invited us to take the train with her on a Pday so we can go to the CN Tower! :) double excitement! We're teaching her again tonight!
We also are teaching  A FAMILY! We also found them in the former investigators list. Their name is the Alegados. Wanna hear something crazy? The mom's brother is in the area 70 in the Phillipines. Crazy, eh? We just dropped by and she let us in and was excited to invite us back. She said she can see the happiness in her brother's family and would love her family to be happy too. We're teaching them this coming week as well. Pray that these appointments go well! It's such a huge blessing.
Now, about Vivian. She didn't show up to church yesterday so we called her and her husband told us she got called into work. So last night we dropped by and she was home. We asked her if this is something SHE wants because she understands the commitment and baptism is a big deal. She layed it all out on the table. She is so upset about her job right now and they basically work her like a slave. She's supporting her family, as well as her family back in Congo with small support from her separated husband. This is all with her minimum wage at the dollar store. She wants to spend more time with her family and even making time to meet with us is a huge sacrifice for her. So we're setting her up with our ward employment specialist and we're going to get her physical needs met a little better before her spiritual needs can be met. She wants to be able to give all she can to God when she is baptized and she told us she has way to much to worry about that she doesn't think she'd be able to do that right now. Her testimony is strong and she will be baptized but first sister wirthlin and I are going to help her become a little more happy and confident with her life. As well as getting the ward to fellowship and really help her out as well. It's the beginning of an upward climb for her! 
Last but not least, Kimberly- who's been taught for a long time by missionaries but we're taking a big of a different approach this time. We're gaining a great trust with her and she's been coming out to church. She has 2 little girls that are fun to play with as well.
So those are the main people we've been seeing lately.
So, you asked about the ward changes. Nothing happened in the ward, we still are in the Oakville ward but we're in the Hamilton stake now. So we drove out there this Wednesday for our district meeting. hamilton is really pretty! It looks like a European town. There are bridges that go over Lake Ontario...or other little lakes...and lots of trees and even hills! There's also a "castle" but it doesn't look like a castle, it looks more like a mansion. It's still cool though! Our new district is pretty big. There are 6 companionships. A funny story for ya, Elder Wheeler sat down next to me and we were talking about how we both went to BYUI and he asked where i lived and turns out we were in the same ward! haha I thought he had looked kinda familiar but i thought that was funny. Small world, eh?
We got a text from a recent convert that we meet with sometimes, her name is Victoria and she was like, "I just did baptisms at the temple and I was baptized for Elisabeth Messer!" Think we're related?! 
I got the Barlows package, thank you!
To be closer to Hamilton, we're trying to move to Oakville. It makes sense because right now we live out of our area and travel A LOT. We're probably moving to an apartment complex on Marine Drive in Oakville which is one block from Lake Ontario! If there's a tsunami we're in trouble. That's a weird thing about Lake Ontario is it looks like the ocean because it's so big. Just some useless information for ya.
Answering your questions...
-Nope, we're not teaching ESL anymore! It's sad but the elders in our old district aren't even in our stake anymore so it doesn't make much sense plus we weren't getting any new investigators out of it for us, but we were setting the elders up with some great people. haha
-I don't know if Archie has gotten his call yet. i just heard he was going.
-Street contacting effectively is just all about being bold. Instead of stopping the people and talking to them, you walk with them. Then they're kind of stuck with you. But also just being super bold and talking to EVERYONE because sometimes people look scary but they're really not!
That is really cool that mady got into BYU. Does she know where she's gonna live or what classes/major she wants yet? Lots to think about! :) All of her friends going off in a different direction, that's cool!
Thanks for all your prayers!
Sister Messer

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Transfers came and went

Hello everyone! Transfers came and went. Sister Wirthlin and I are both staying in Oakville! Which is fine with me. On Saturday night we went out on what we like to call and "obedience walk" where it's like 8pm and we still have an hour to proselyte so we picked up our area book and started looking for former investigators and went and contacted them. It went really well! We found a family that could be interested and a lady named laura who we have an appt with this week! Even though neither of us were transferred, some big changes happened! We had the multi-stake conference this past Sunday. It was fun to see some missionaries I came out with! I saw Elder Bybee who was put into Farci speaking and he was telling me there are only 4 farci speaking missionaries in the WORLD and they're all in Toronto! how cool is that? We have 10 languages in our mission right now! There'a a missionary from the Czech Republic and they found some people who needed to be taught in that language so President made a couple of Czech speaking missionaries this transfer just to see if goes well. haha but 10 languages! Toronto is so diverse! Anyways, the meeting held some big changes. They dissolved the Mississauga stake (which Oakville was in) and made the Barry stake (which is by Brampton) So the wards all got shuffled around. AND, since I was in the Mississauga zone and the Mississauga district...we got kicked out of that and put into the Hamilton zone (since Oakville is in the hamilton stake now) confused yet? ya...well it should be pretty neat. We have to travel to Hamilton now for district meetings and what not. Hamilton is a pretty good hour drive or so away. But i will miss our mighty mississauga district! That also means we probably won't be teaching ESL anymore either, because the miss chapel is not in our zone. sad day, huh?! But our district got together yesterday for lunch at this Vietnamese restaurant (that's what you get for letting the mandarin speaking elders choose) as a last hurrah. Things got shuffled quite a bit but i'm excited to be in the Hamilton zone now. 
So i probably shouldn't be as excited about this as I am right now but Amanda J sent me a letter this week and in it was about how David Archuletta is going on a mission! I almost died! How awesome is that, eh? 
We had a funny street contacting experience this week. Sheridan College is in Oakville and we heard it was a great place to street contact in Oakville so we planned to go there. We were walking down the street and our zone leader and one of the ap's were there too! They were on exchanges and decided to contact in that exact place. It was crazy because they're usually in Weston which is a good 40 min drive from there. So it was a huge blessing because we saw how they street contacted and it really taught me how to be better at it! I've really lost a lot of fear i've had. I usually don't have a problem walking up to people and talking to them now...crazy huh? haha But "usually" is the key word. :)
 We got to teach Vivian twice this week  and we taught her about keeping the Sabbath day holy and her new baptismal date is March 4. Pray that she keeps it! She's so ready and she's excited. We have an appt with her tomorrow night. 
We were hanging up ESL posters and we ran into a possum! It was scary-i'd never seen one before! But they're ugly little things and i thought it just may bite my leg off.
So another transfer in Oakville should be great! I'm no longer being trained. yay! We're getting better at planning and really getting to know  everyone. We are getting more and more people interested in what we have to share and hopefully they'll want to hear more :)
Thanks for the letter and packages and prayers!
Love, Sister Messer

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I love & miss ya!
It's probably about time to send me another package :)

LV temple Sept. '11

*no worries, this post was made a long time ago & scheduled for today :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Church is Closing?

Hey Everyone!
This week had some really great things happen! Not so much for investigators (Let's just say Vivian's date is not for the 19th but hopefully WILL happen and we lost our progressing investigators for now...but this week should be able to pick them back up) but the leadership conference was really great! There were about 60 or so missionaries there (that's about 1/3 of our mission) and out of all of those missionaries, only 7 of us were sisters. All of the district leaders & zone leaders were there, a few other hand picked elders and then 7 sisters. Why they chose the missionaries they did? I have NO CLUE! But it was such a great privilege to be able to attend! Bro Watson was there (Director of proselyting for the world, helped put together preach my gospel) and another guy. They were such awesome speakers and taught us some really great things about teaching The Resoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about planning. It was really inspiring and we got to role play teaching and practice how to implement the things they taught us while teaching investigators. When they talked about planning, it was great. They taught us how our weekly and nightly planning session should be spiritual and how we need to have a vision and goal while doing it. Then schedule to meet those goals. It's hard to put into an email everything they taught us, i don't even know where to start! But they did tell us how they travel around the world to a lot of different missions and that what is happening in our mission is great and Pres Scott is doing exactly what The Lord would do. I must also tell you he got really teary eyed (Bro Watson) and said if our parents could see us right now they'd be really proud of every one of us in that room. So there ya go, even though i felt totally under qualified to be there i suppose you can be proud of the opportunitiy i had to go! :) We have a huge multi-stake conference this coming Sunday and "big changes" are supposed to be happening. We'll see what those are. Think i'll be transfered? I know not! haha Should be interesting to see though. Anyways, i'll move on to some other stuff.

We were having dinner at the Arce's this week. They're a super awesome older couple. She really reminds me of gma Nelda. they could be sisters! It's so crazy. But they have this black cat named Phantom and sis wirthlin is allergic to cats and it kept jumping on her lap while we were eating dinner haha and so sister arce got a spray bottle and would spray it so it would keep away. Well, it came up by sister wirthlins legs and so she started spraying it and it ran away...but she kept on spraying it and spraying it...but she was really spraying sister wirthlins legs! (she was wearing black tights) hahaha When sister arce realized what she was doing she just started laughing and laughing. It was hilarious!

Things are pretty slow with investigators but great things are coming out of ESL. i think i've told you about Amal but she is getting baptized! Sis W and I have had a big part in introducing her to the gospel and we committed her to baptism but she lives in the elders area so we had to give her to them :( So they'll teach her and on march 18 (if we're both still here) we can go to the baptism! A couple of months ago, our previous district leader said they tried to teach her and she wasn't open. Well, an elder in our district saw her on the bus a few weeks ago and told her she should start coming to ESL again because she hadn't come for a few weeks. So she came and sis W and I got to know her and she really opened up to us and she was totally open to the Gospel. If the church wasn't true, the elders would have destroyed it a long time ago...
We also asked Richard to be baptized and he was really hesitant and said (in his thick taiwan accent) "i'm 50-50" haha but for some reason he gets super anxious and uncomfortable around the elders but loves us! So he said we could talk to him this tuesday about teaching him more. Richard is so awesome. I love the students that come to ESL! Too bad none of them live in our area. But i forgot to tell you the best part of that story is Richard attends a church in the mall in downtown mississauga and every week he picks up this 90 year old woman and takes her to church with him. I was like, "richard! how was church on sunday?!" and he said, "oh! the worst thing happened! It's closing!" apparently, the lease for their space they rent in the mall is up and so the church is closing! If that's not a sing, i don't know what is! haha

 What do people do for exercise here? Well, you see people walking their dogs ALL THE TIME. Seriously, more people have animals here than any where i've ever seen. They'll be walking their dogs in the middle of a snow storm..anytime.

Do i miss tv? haha No...surprisingly you really never think about it. It will be on in people houses sometimes and it's just a big distraction. Of course they don't have good shows on...if it was Say Yes to The Dress it might be an entirely different story! Nick Jonas did come on in the bathroom of a store i was in a couple days ago and so i got to hear that! haha Taylor Swift seems to come on every time i walk into a store i get my fill ;)

Another quick story about Brian (the guy we tracted into, and we told him we'd be back to pick up the BOM in a few days) Well we showed up and he handed us the BOM and said he read it and it was interesting. So we were like, "well, do you want to read it more because you can!" and he was like, "yes! i do. Give me a couple of weeks and then come back. " So hey, maybe he'll do the golden pray & read and boom.

Well, maybe next week's email will be full with interesting information I found out at stake conf...maybe i'll be packing to head somewhere else or maybe we'll have a baptism date for vivian again..ya never know! Missionary work is soooo unpredictable, eh?
Sister Messer

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mailing a post

Hello Everybody!                                                                                                        
Well, I guess i'll start out with the most important topic-the weather has been great! haha I didn't wear a coat today...The members continue to tell us that the snow level is usually a couple of feet and that we are super lucky that it's such a mild winter but so far i'm diggin it! Last week we had our first real snow storm (see attached picture...i was mailing your post! That's what they call it hear..."post".) But they usually don't get much more snow this time of year so the worst of winter might be done...and it wasn't anything compared to Rexburg!

Vivian and Kim both came to church yesterday and it was great! They both continue to progress. Vivian's only concern is that she wants to learn more doctrine before she is actually baptized. But she does want to be baptized and she knows the church is true. She actually cried in RS yesterday. That's what i'm talkin' 'bout! Her lesson on Friday went really well. We brought Sister Taylor with us. Her and her husband are from the U.S. and moved out here a year ago because her husband works for General Mills. They have a daughter on a mission in AZ right now and they're both RMs as well. Super awesome couple. She's actually the ward primary pres. Kim isn't as "golden" as we thought. But she's great! She's been taught by missionaries for a year who would give her a lot of bible study. We don't think she'd been committed to baptism yet because when we asked her she said, "wow". hahaha She needs to read & pray but she's great. Things have picked up finally and we're enjoying it! They only scary part is transfers are in 2 weeks and something is going to happen...not sure what but the fact that Sister Wirthlin & I both have leadership training this week. The situation for that meeting is weird because only certain missionaries are going and they're even splitting up companionships for the day and sending companions on exchanges while their comp is in Brampton at the training...ahhh! But who knows, right? haha Could be prep for the future!

Everyone and thier dog tells us about Mitt Romney. Even an elder in my district text us and said, "Mitt Romney is leading in NV right now" haha all the members are talking about it.

The Stake activity down to St. Thomas will be a fun. I do remember going down there a little bit, that was a long time ago! But having the different families at the houses is a neat idea. I wanna see pictures of that one! haha

Good news! I am becoming more bold! I think my perspective has changed a lot since being out here. My desire to develop Christ-like attributes and do everything right has never been so strong. When I keep that desire strong, I have no fear about talking to people on the streets or tracting. It's the craziest thing. The other day we were street contacting in Oakville on a road called Lakeshore which reminds me a lot of the shop area in Maryland that we visited on our summer vacation a few years back. It's right by a pier and boat docking area. Anyways, the people there aren't the most humble and i talked to the rudest guy! Rude people can totally ruin your mojo for the day. But eventually you get over it and he'll apologize one day...see you on the other side mean man!

I was reading dad's talks for stake conference and Sister Wirthlin and I decided to get rid of a few negative anchors ourselves. But there was a story in there about the lights of Vegas reflecting off of the temple--what is that story?

 I'm excited to hear that i have some packages being sent! :) If you wanna stuff in my black/white pencil skirt i wouldn't complain. It goes to my knees, right? It would be nice to have cuz it doesn't blow up in the wind! that's always a plus.

Missionary cars do not have GPS...That would be helpful but they do give you maps. Let's just say SisW's gps saves many arguments that could result because of maps. We've had to use maps a couple of times but you taught me well! If i do buy a gps, it will be 2 weeks from today after I know if i was transferred, depending on where i'm going if i'd have a car/bus/subway and if i'd be training...but nothing might happen so it's all good so far!

 3 months! i know, it'll be 6 before i know it, then 9 and i'm 1/2 way done. I'm getting an idea of what the Lord's time is like. haha it really is flying and the other missionaries say after 4 months is when i really starts ticking.

We continue to teach ESL twice a week and i've learned that a little love goes a long way. We've been "blitzing" a lot which means we hang up ESL posters all over and it has been helping to get more people to come! No one knows why it's called blitz but blitzkrieg was brought up..i suppose it's a similar task. All you have to do is be nice to these people and listen to them and they love you! It's the craziest thing...This one girl told me i looked like was 30 so that part i didn't like so much but the elders and I got a good laugh out of it. She told one of th 19 yr old elders that he looked 25 so i think she's got her numbers mixed up. Atleast i hope so. haha

Well, thanks for all your prayers! I think they're working!
Love and miss you,
Sister Messer