Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thinking outside of the box

Helloooooo everyone! I'm doing well! This week we taught Nanthini a couple of times and committed her to baptism on May 6! We still have a lot to cover with her because she is Hindu...but we taught a really powerful lesson at the Brampton Soccer Center while her son was at school. haha We taught her how to pray and the Spirit was so strong! Sister Anusuya (that's how you "officially" spell it) said it in Tamil so Nanthini could understand it more fully and Nanthini just started crying. We just wanted her to know for herself that God loved her and knows her personally and she got that answer! It's probably the coolest lesson i've been involved with thus far. Having SisA translate some parts in tamil is such a blessing. I think she'll be in this area for a long time because there are so many indian people here. Why i'm here with her? I'm still trying to figure that one out...haha So that was really exciting. We are working towards that date as a goal but her cousin is getting married and she has something wrong with a disc in her back causing headaches and what not. She was coming to church yesterday to get a blessing but couldn't make it because she felt so sick. Investigators ALWAYS get sick and miss church the week after they commit to baptism haha...ironic, eh? She loves meeting with us though and we have a great relationship so I really hope we can help her out. Sister Wirthlin left on Tuesday. Her companion arrived from the MTC so we sent them off to Oakville. But Sister Scott invited us over for dinner on Tuesday night so Sister Anusuya, Wirthlin, Harwood & I got to spend dinner with President and Sister Scott! We're pretty lucky. In attempt to find some new investigators we've been thinking out of the box. So this week we set up a table on the grass outside the church by the sidewalk with BOMs in all different languages, pamphlets, cards...you name it, we had it. The coolest thing happened. Amidst the people crossing the road to avoid us a car came to a slow putt-putt stop right in front of the table. We stood there for a second in pure shock and then walked up to them and their car had run out of gas right in front of us. hahaha There's a gas station just 200 yards down the road. They were sikh but were totally open to hearing what we had to share. They said they were really excited to read the BOM...I was back at the table talking to people who were passing but the sisters didn't get their #! So hopefully they'll call. We thought that was the coolest thing though. I got a GPS! It's saving our life every day. :) It was right after SisW left we drove to Canadian Tire (kind of like WalMart but not as good) and there it was- the cheapest i'd found it so I bought it! So to answer about Vivian---she sounds great on the phone. Now that missionaries are in Oakville hopefully they can meet with her again. We took Sister A to her first Dairy Queen visit. I bought her a choc dipped cone. She kept saying, "oh sister, this is sooo goooood!" haha she's so funny. Every time we pass she says, "next month we're going there again!" If any of you would like to write her, she would LOVE it! Sister Wirthlin and I got on a topic about how scary it is to run up the stairs in front of someone in your family because they always try to spank you or something...you know what i'm talking about? hahah We were laughing and both agreed that when your dad follows you it's always the worst for some reason. Anyways, she was teary eyed and expressed how sad she was never having a caring dad because her dad was abusive and left her family when she was young... We got stopped by a pastor from a different church the other day. He was passing in his car and saw us walking so he pulled over and started to talk to us. He asked us how many people we had converted. haha He was really nice and was just curious about the work we do. He even thanked us for being young and active in church. It was interesting. We continue to do work in Brampton!Can't wait to talk to ya on Mothers day! I realized yesterday that it'll be here before ya know it! I"ll try to find someone who will let us use thier skype! :) love and miss you sister messer

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Life in Brampton

April 16, 2012
Hey Everyone!
How do you like your apartment? What does it look like? The new apt is pretty good. It's in an older apt building and it's on the 4th floor. We have a balcony that overlooks some new townhouse apartment buildings and you can see some taller apt building in the distance in downton Brampton so that's good. Our fan in the bathroom hasn't worked in a couple years so we have some mild mold issues. I called the super intendent and they said, "ya, you've told us that before, we don't know what to really do about it." hahah well, thank you kind sir! So the couple missionaries in charge of our apt said they'll take care of it. What does it look like? Well, it's got hard-wood parquet flooring throughout the whole thing, except tile in the kitchen and bathroom. It's got a bedroom and a bathroom ... i'll try to remember to send some pictures :)
What are you learning from Sis. Anushya? Is she Sr. companion? How do you phonetically say her name? Why did she stand in elephant poo? Sis Anushya has been out for just a couple of transfers. I'm the senior companion. It's pronounced Anoo-sha. Standing in elephant poo is something to do with Hinduism. I'm sure you can google it ;)
Are you driving now? I am driving! We have a 2011 white Chevy malibu. It was weird driving after like 6 months. haha To make it even better I had to start driving on 6 lane freeway after dropping off SisWirthlin in Weston. It was quite exciting...But we made it alive. have i told you about the black boxes installed in all the cars? They talk to you if you speed it says "speeding violation" and you have to slow down or it's recorded. It's moniters your driving so they can tell who needs to be 'red dotted' and can't drive anymore and stuff. I only heard speeding violation a few times :)
Did Sis. Wirthlin leave today? She hasn't left yet. Her companion is being held up even longer but we do find out if she's staying with us the entire transfer or going somewhere else later today.
What did you do this week? I"ll tell ya in a sec!
How did your church tour to the Hindu family go? The father just came and it went pretty well. We need to focus on his wife but they're really hard to get in contact with.
Did you get a follow up with the film maker at the library last week? Nope, he never called. haha
Alright, so this week was pretty good. We had dinner with the Temple president and his wife. He actually served his mission here in Toronto and was the AP to Pres Monson. They're from Santa Monica and he said Pres Monson talked to him over a conference call and asked them to come back out here. I really like them, they're nice. Know what else he told us? Well apparently there are sister missionaries just assigned to do flower arrangements in temples! how cool is that? They were just here in Toronto and spent like 3 days in the temple making new arrangements for the rooms. They fly to different temples and do that. They had just been at the Boston Temple...cool, eh?
I got an interesting call from the mission office at like 8:45 on Thursday. It was sister sippel who works the front desk. She said, "a lady named Vivian just called the office looking for you." haha Vivian had called looking to talk to me but we're not supposed to call out of our zone. She said i could call her this once so i did. She was just wondering how I was...i talked to her girls and told them i'd come to their baptisms! haha
We were at the stake center for our district meeting on wednesday and saw this lady sitting on the bottom step of her bus in the parking lot, smoking. So we went and talked to her. She drives a school bus once a month to the temple with members from Toronto ward in it. She was interested in the gospel! Sadly for us she lives in Scarborough which is not in our area but we had a great chat with her and referred her to some awesome sister missionaries there. It was cool!
We have started teaching a woman named Nanthini. She's from Sri Lanka and speaks Tamil which is the same language sisterA speaks. She came to church on Sunday with her 2 boys! She's great. We were sitting at a park teaching her and she touched my legs and said, "so nice"...see? President put me here because of my porcelain whiteness! hahah whatever helps the work!
Wanna know something cool? The bishop's wife in this ward helped to translate the BOM into the Tamil language. She's tanslating the D&C right now...cool, eh?
Dad asked how Sis Anushya joined the church. She was 16 and she worked nearby the chapel in her town in India. She said they walked in and were interested. (golden!) She said her mom stopped worshipping idols and what not a couple of years earlier. They were Hindu and worshipped idols! So that's basically it...the rest is history!
We're trying to teach a few yw aged girls in the ward who aren't members...this area is open! The people have been really nice, even if they aren't interested. YEs, i AM getting sick of the indian food smell...I'll have to burn a candle...i did this morning!

love and miss ya!
Sister Messer

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New area-Brampton, Ontario!

Me and sister Anushya with the Weston sisters at the Toronto Temple

Whew, what a week! It's flown by. I LOVE serving in the Brampton 1st ward! Brampton is super diverse and it's actually the #1 most populated with people from India outside of India. Plus my companion is from India-she says they love white people. So we should have some success here-i'm basically as white as they get. There are old guys walking around with turbans EVERYWHERE. There are tons of sich people here (prounounced seek)-which are the guys with turbans and ladies with dresses. It's the strangest thing. The funny thing is they are super friendly and if you say "nameste gee" to them it means good afternoon in hindi. Sister Anushya (my new companion) taught me that. She speaks a little hindi and tamel. By the way i'm probably not spelling any of this stuff correctly. :) So we stop and talk to them often. They try to communicate but don't speak english hardly at all. The same man with the turban comes and sits on the church stairs every day at the same time and talks with 2 other sich guys too. On Saturday the elders in our ward had a baptism and we went and saw them sitting on the steps so we invited them in! Here come 3 turban guys walking down the hallway and sitting in the relief society room in the front row. It was quite the site. We tried to communicate but it didn't go very well. Sister Anushya can a little bit but doesn't speak their language very well. After about 10 minutes they all got up and said bye so they missed the baptism but they're the coolest. We wave to them a lot and say hello. They're pretty cool.
So a little bit about my new area- We share the brampton 1st ward with elders. We took the north side and them the south. It's cool having other missionaries in the same ward. They've never had that in this ward before so it's like whitewashing. We're opening up a new area. The mission home is less than 3 kilometers away and the mission office too. So sending packages to the office would be better than sending them to my new address-
47 McMurchy Ave N. #411
Brampton, ON
L6X 1X5
Because our mail comes through a slot on our door. Packages have to be picked up somewhere i think. We go to the office every pday to look for mail sent to the office so if you ever have a desire to send a package, send it the office :) But guess what? The temple is in our area! I get to see it every day. In fact, last Friday we got to go! Every 6 months or so the missionaries in the surrounding areas get up early and get to attend. It was a great day. We also had interviews with president that day too, they went well.
Sister Anushya is from South India. Her family converted to the church 6 years ago. She was Hindu and was blessed by elephants, stood in their poo, all that good stuff. It's really interesting to talk to her about it all. Her culture is SO different than ours! She was telling us how she would like an arranged marriage, she cooks indian food every day (it's pretty good!) and they sleep on the floor back home. Sister Wirthlin is with us until the 16th when her companion who is held up at the MTC gets here. Being in a threesome is actually pretty fun. However, we look like a mob if we're tracting or street contacting. haha
I was able to say goodbye to great people in Oakville. The saddest was definitely Vivian. We went to Dollarama (that's where she works) and she got off her ladder (she was hanging up paint rollers) and was really sad, she gave me a big hug and asked me to write down all my information for her. I told her i would come to her baptism...a couple of days later she was on the phone with Sis Wirthlin and she found out I was right by her and asked to talk to me. She was soooo excited to talk to me and I felt like maybe I had helped her out a little bit, it made me feel like my effort with her in Oakville really did help her and it made me really happy!
Easter for us was great. We dropped by some former investigators and met some Hindu people that are really interested in the fact that families can be eternal. In fact, the woman was crying the whole time...we're giving them a church tour this week so hopefully that will go really well :) Brampton area is so open to listening compared to Oakville. We had dinner with the elders in our ward (elder fox and elder raikes) and elder and sister carrol-a senior couple that also is brampton 1st that works at the mission office at the DeDios family's house. They're great! They have a son named Matty who wants to be a music producer and he is sooo talented at the piano, he played me a taylor swift song...shhh don't tell :)
For your questions-
What day did you end up moving? Tuesday we got to Brampton
Tell us all about your new place and your new companion. We live in an apt complex..it has a balcony, parquet flooring and with a little sprucing up can shine like the top of the chrysler building.
Maybe she can teach you some of her India dance….You know that’s one of the first things I’d ask her about! I did too! haha we haven't had time yet but she's going to teach me.
Can you still see Lake Ontario and Toronto? I can see Toronto when we're driving to Caldone (part of our area). But we're not close by lake ontario anymore.
Well, i hope that answered your questions...and i hope i didn't forget much information. We're just getting this are rolling and meeting all sorts of interesting people! The guy at the computer next to me told me i type really fast and then told me about a job he had working with a movie producer...i think he needs to hear about the Gospel! wish me luck :)
Sister Messer

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Pictures attached: Sister Woo and I at sisters conference in Brampton (she's from Hong Kong and i went on exchanges with her in Weston a couple of months ago) and our district at our district meeting in Hamilton...as well as me with my Easter packages! Thank you! haha

HEY Everybody!!!
Guess whaaaat?! I'M GETTING TRANSFERRED! Yup, we thought we were safe 100% but then this morning during companionship study, Assistand Pead called and gave us the news. I'm moving to Brampton 1st ward. Not too far away! Nearby all the mission headquarters and what not. Crazy, eh? I even recorded videos of me talking on my camera but the files are too big to send via email-what's a girl to do?! But really...what am i supposed to do? Hmm But more news about that area- my companion's name is Sister Anushya. She's from INDIA. Not even kidding...I was talking to her a couple of weeks ago at our zone conference. She seems pretty cool- but India? insane! She may be a woman of few words soooo that's gonna be a change. Probably means i'll have to talk a little more...haha Sister Wirthlin is training but her trainee is stuck at the MTC for an extra week, so she'll be coming to Brampton and we will be a threesome for a week.
This week has been full of miracles.
On Friday morning we had an appt with a member who had invited her friend over to be taught. She cancelled last minute so we were left with the morning empty. We called and got an appt with a less-active member so we decided to head over to that area and find something to do there before the apt. Usually we hate to tract in apartment buildings because missionaries get thrown out sometimes if they're caught but we had a prompting to tract this particular building, so we did! It's in a pretty sketch area (shhh don't tell Gma) But we started on the 10th floor and listened at the door- if there was weird rap music or yelling we didn't knock.haha But we knocked on a couple of doors and we met Charlene. She's living common law with her boyfriend and they have 4 year old son. She's super cool! They have been looking to get married and actually called our chapel in Oakville and talked to Bishop Watson about using our church for the wedding/reception. That was pretty recently and then we found her! She's really interested and we have an apt with her this week...well, i don't. :( Such a bummer! On our way out of the building, we ran into Mr.O (remember them? the family that were former investigators) and he said, "hey! how are you?! Why haven't you been coming?" and we were like, "hey, you bombed 2 apts with us!" and he's like, "whatttttt, whenn?!" So anyways, he said he wants us to teach him still. So we met with him and his 2 sons last night. He said they all would love to be baptized if they're mom agrees. She's busy but as soon as we can meet with them as a family they will be baptized! how great is that? Well to make this story even better as soon as we left our less-active cancelled. Had she cancelled any earlier we wouldn't have even gone to that area, tracted into Charlene and ran into Mr. O. God's timing...eh?
On Wednesday we had sisters conference! It was really great. We talked a lot about our calling & ministry, what makes the ideal missionary experience, how to work with The Spirit and things the other sisters didn't learn at leadership conference. It was really great to be able to see all the sisters. We took a picture all together- hopefully they'll send that around soon. Something I really like that I heard was "God's motivation is love, Christ's motivation is love and ours needs to be love too." Just as we try our best to be Christ-like and love everyone it's a great reminder. There was also a lot about love in General Conference this weekend which brings me to my next topic--
General Conference was great!
It was like Christmas for missionaries. I didn't notice Archie in the choir but that picture you sent me was sweet! I did see Taylor Cox in the choir though-how cool would that be? To be able to sing at GC? man...and with Archie! haha They talked a lot about families, eh? and missionary work too...i've never gotten so much out of Conference before! We did get to watch all 4 sessions. They started at 12 and 4.
One more story for ya, after the Saturday evening session, we were dropping by former investigators and at one house found Dani (a former's cousin) She said she had been crying the night before and really loved what we had to share with her. We haven't been able to talk to her since but hopefully we can get in contact with her soon. It was another miracle!
We continue to struggle getting V to set a baptismal date...but being so nearby Oakville maybe i'll get to come to it when it actually happens!
So you had a great time in Utah? That's cool. I thought of you as I watched all the way from here. haha We watched it at the chapel and not very many people came, i think many of them just watch it at home on their computers. But both days we were invited inbetween sessions to have lunch with some members so that was fun.
Sister Ence and I (who we met in St. George before I left)
The new elder from mexico sounds miserable! Is he getting taken care of by members? Something that means a lot to missionaries is a dinner apt on a hard day...do they get fed a lot by the ward? I think i'm good as far as stuff from the dist center or deseret book. Thanks for the Easter packages! They were fun to open :) i guess i could've waited until easter butttt the though didn't even cross my mind so i guess it wasn't supposed to happen! :) haha
Well, this should be a very interesting week. A new start...in Brampton! I'm kinda scurrrred. haha Love and miss you
Sister Messer