Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sister Messer & Sister Wester!

Hey everyone! 
This week has gone by pretty quickly! Things are hectic, crazy and going well. My baby's name is Sister Wester. After introducing ourselves we've learned to take a pause and wait for a's a great intro do gain attention! Try saying it outloud- "Hey! I'm sister messer and this is sister wester." yup. laugh away. She's awesome. She's from Florence, AZ and she's the only member in her family. She was just baptized a little over 2 years ago. Training is hard...however it's made me be more outgoing! Because i know she'll do what i do not what i say. So it's been good for me to have to be the good example. 
   Actual transfer day was crazy. It was pouring rain and sister Tuia and I had to pack our car in it. It made for a great hair day! We had a really great meeting with all the missionaries that were training and then met all together with the new missionaries, had a testimony meeting and then they assigned us. Sister Wester and I were announced very last :) Then we had a luncheon with everyone and went the mission office, got supplies and drove to Kitchener. Now let me tell you a little bit about Kitchener- It's a tri-city area. So we actually cover Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge. We live in Waterloo right by two very big universities. U of Waterloo and Laurier Univ. U of W is a very smart school- well known for their engineering programs which attracts A LOT of asian people. We work a lot with the mandarin speaking elders and they baptize a lot! Laurier is a party school. We live within close walking distance to both Universities...quite the college town! Street contacting is much more useful now- there are always lots of students around. However, talking to kids our age is intimidating! haha It's hard, most of them will listen for a minute but then just tell us they're not interested. BUT that doesn't mean anything. We're working on our approach to ask better questions to make them think about their future and how much they really need the gospel! :) For example, we stopped this guy and he told us he was athiest so i asked him what he thinks the purpose of life is and it was quiet for a second and then he said, "to eat." and walked away. It's gonna take some getting used to. haha It's sooo different than working in a family ward but i know i'm growing to really love it. We serve in the Kitchener YSA branch which is VERY similar to ours back home! Same size and everything. It's very strange working with kids our age but they're SO missionary minded. They have no fear of sharing the gospel with their friends and that is very nice compared to family wards :) So all in all i'm overwhelmed but totally excited to work with YSA. should be interesting. Our branch pres is Pres. Buckingham. He seems to be super cool too.(of course not as cool as my old branch pres. leavitt)
Sister Messer and Sister Wester!
   To answer some of your Q's- YES! we saw mennonites! We had dinner out in the country with the Sellars (in branch presy) and there are mennonites out there- riding around in their horse & buggy.
   Investigators- We are teaching 2 people right now. One is Jeff, he wants to be baptized but is working on WoW problems. He is so humble but we have to teach very very very simply to make sense to him. Another is Garrett who is totally prepared and hopefully makes his date Oct 21. He has been working with the sisters since March and is sooooo ready! Hopefully Sis. Wester (being a convert and all) can really relate to him. He came to church yesterday, we taught him with our Branch mission leader and asked to meet with us this week again. Super cool guy. We're also working with some cool less-active members as well.
   New living quarters are big. In an older, kinda run-down apt complex by Waterloo Univ. But it's not too shabby. Hopefully we'll have time to unpack today.
The Kissing Bridge-Only open for Mennonite horse and buggies!

Isn't it impressive!

The new apartment in Waterloo

Living area

Looking out the apartment window

    I love the pictures and all from Tar & Shanes wedding. Looks super classy! holla! She looked beautiful!  It's getting quite colder already and Saturday while we were contacting people in the rain, i was thinking about Tar getting married! haha Figuring ya'll were having quite the good time. well just for the record, so was i! :)
   Well, it's been a pretty good week! We have some appointments this week with some potential investigators and hopefully some baptisms coming up! We're excited! YSA is a new adventure but i know i'm going to learn a lot about myself as I teach and contact people my same age.
Love Sister Messer

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Splitting up the team!

Hey everyone!
Boy, have I got news. PRESIDENT called last night to let us know that he was "splittin up the team!"  Sister Tuia and I will both be training. I'm whitewashing Kitchener YSA ward and she's staying here in Brampton. I'm pretty bummed to be leaving the hub but feel real lucky to have been here for almost 6 months. Kitchener will be a fun i hear. YSA should be interesting :)  Hopefully i get the hang of things quickly.
  Cool news also is that Oakville sisters and 3 baptisms this week and when I was there we taught them too! It's cool to see that they continued to work with them and hammer things out. One is a father of a part member family and the others are 2 sons of a less active member.
  zone conference this week was good. We learned about managing stress (haha but good), about filling the gaps that cause stress and the savior to fill them, helping us to grow and become better disciples of Christ. We also practiced teaching members to get referrals. All of you please do missionary work. Working with members is a pain sometimes! They're worse at keeping commitments than investigators are! haha
Zone Conference

Gay, Navene and Clint with Sis. Tuia and Messer
   We had some great experiences this week. We gained the same amount of new gators this week as we have the rest of this transfer! We worked hard and hit the standards of excellence set by Pres. Scott. One of the new gators' name is Linette- an old lady from guyanna. We set her for baptism Oct7. We brought a member and her daughter to the lesson with us. While we were there, Linette's daughter ran through the living room, she was getting ready for work and the member we had with us said, "hey you!" and they both jumped up and started hugging each other! Well, apparently the work together and have a great relationship! It's really cool to see the Lord's hand in the work. Now this member can introduce the gospel to Linette's daughter at work and be able to really be a great fellowshipper to the family! Super cool, eh?!
   The elders met Anita in the elevator at the hospital and referred her to us. She has 3 small kids, her husband just up and left them so they're really struggling. Amongst that, her youngest child has seizures every 10 days or so making him stay in the hospital a lot. She is from India and is losing all belief but found out that someone could give her son a blessing so we invited her to church and she came with her kids yesterday! THey loved primary and her son was able to get a blessing. She met some great members that are excited to help her out. I'm sad I don't get to continue to help her too but know she's in good hands and hope she accepts the gospel!
   We met one more cool guy from Jamaica that was really excited to read the BOM. Bummed that i can't teach him again cuz he's so open! but again- in good hands!
   Our recent converts are doing well, thanks for asking :) Our meeting with the sikh lady was interesting. .. She's not interested. But it was a fine experience. We introduced the 15 step stop smoking program to the trio last night- today is the day the start it. Hopefully they're game! We got the supplies for them and they seemed really excited about it last night. Now it's all about follow up!
  Have a great wedding weekend! Wish i could be there :)
   Have a great week everyone! I'll need your prayers so pleasssse dont hesitate to belt one out for me :) thanks!
Love Sister Messer 

Monday, September 10, 2012

FULL of miracles, that's for sure

Hey everybody!  
I didn't even realize i had hit my 10 month mark until basically every email mentioned it! haha thanks for rubbing it in ;) Weird thing is, I had two different members ask me if I was "almost done"...what's that supposed to mean? I took it as i must not be caring as much about what i look like i.e. if my clothes match, if my shoes are falling apart...maybe my hair is bad..but i just got it cut on monday! And it was my first hair cut since i'd left last november. Hmmm. whatevs! This week was a pretty good one. FULL of miracles, that's for sure. Remember Michael David from July? We met him street contacting and he had just been feeding the ducks? Anyways, he needs the gospel and he knew it but wasn't ready to give up all his bad habits. Well, a few days ago we got a text that said, "i'm ready. when can we meet?" We were like say whaaat?! He came to stake conference on Sunday! Hopefully we'll meet him this week and things will continue to look up. Another miracle took place as we were dropping by a less active. We had gone by 4-5 times in the last month and they never answered so we knocked on the landlords door and it was an older indian lady and she was smiling really big. She spoke broken english and told us the people had moved. Then she said, "i was feeling really disturbed inside and was praying and then one second later the door bell rang immediately!" She invited us in and gave us water. (indian people are very good at offering water whether or not they're actually interested) She's sikh but we started to talk about prayer. Sikh beliefs are interesting. They worship gurus and there's 10 of them. So whenever a prayer is answered it's the gurus that are answering their prayers. However, on the street they'll always say "god is one! god is one!" so i'm a little confused at whether they believe in God as well or what. Anyways, she invited us back next Sunday and we're bring Bishop Solomon's wife who speaks hindi so we can communicate. That was our only new investigator for the week.
     I learned to do a couple of new things this week! One, I mowed a lawn! Two, I made homemade tomatoe sauce with an italian guy! It's a member family from Italy and every year they make their own sauce and bottle it to last the entire year. They made us pasta and pizza the italian way and it's quite delicious! But the process was pretty fun- as you can see in the pictures!
   The trio's smoking problems are getting better but are still there. They came to church yesterday and had a great experience! They're so humble and are really great at recognizing blessings that have come into their life since they've been changing and seeing answers to their prayers. Navene left church for a few minutes and last night she told she left and went over to the temple. She said while she was there she was praying and got the answer that she shouldn't wait so long to be baptized. (her date is for nov 25 and she wouldn't budge!) But now she wants to get baptized with her bro and sis on Oct 28. Still too far away but better, eh? They're all very excited to get baptized. Now if they would stop procrastinating and quit smoking, they'd be prepared! That's what we're working on now.

 Now i'll answer your Q's, mom. Did Subhash bless the sacrament again this week? Nope, it was stake conference!
Did Joseph come to church? Of course he did! He's awesome. Before stake conf we had a meeting for all investigators and recent converts with the stake pres and pres scott. He made some great comments. he's definitely super solid!
 Any more luck with Shannon this week?  Did she come to church? We've talked to her and she's still struggling a lot. She didn't make it to church. But we're still in contact with her.
How was zone training?  It was good. we focused on meeting with members and getting referrals. We're implementing that into our dinner appts now and it makes the message we share a lot more powerful.
A cucumber a member in our ward gave us
When is zone conference? Tomorrow! I'm excited. We're the last zone to have it so we've heard a bit about it and it seems to be a wonderful conference. We'll see quite a few sisters :)
 So that's this week. Thanks for the prayers and everything!  Love and miss ya
Sister Messer

he told his boss that he can't work on Sundays anymore and his boss said, "oh ok!"

us at the office with ysa elders elder soo and rodee. 
us with the Nwaka family

This week has been a pretty good one. Joseph was confirmed at church on Sunday. Then he bore his testimony and it was awesome! After sacrament meeting he told us he had been praying about working on Sundays and that he told his boss that he can't work on Sundays anymore and his boss said, "oh ok!" and was pretty impressed by it. So he's made a personal commitment to make sure he's back in Brampton every Sunday for church! (he travels in the U.S. every week) Subhash blessed the sacrament! He's on fire and he's so close the spirit, it's amazing to hear him talk about it. For example, yesterday sister Tuia and I were feeling a little down about our pool of gators and their progress and we were talking about how transfers are coming up (never do that!) and baptismal dates etc and we get a call from Subhash and he's like, "how are you doing? i just felt like i should call you." So even in times where things aren't going as well as they were last month, Heavenly Father reminds us of how blessed we have been! We know we  have to work harder and take care of the gators we do have in order to be able to find more.
We did find one new gator this week. We were able to visit her and she's great. her name is Shannon and she told us she wants to be baptized! She's a single mom right now and has two kids under the age of she didn't make it to church on Sunday :( but we're definitley not giving up yet, she needs the gospel! While we were in the area, we were street contacting and talked to this man who said, "oh, i know you you are! I'm related to one of the founders of that church. But i'm not interested." He told us he is a cousin to Brigham Young! haha but he wouldn't stick around to talk to us...his loss.
We're still working with the trio (Gay, Clint and Navene) However, this week we had a great lesson with Bishop Solomon there and he explained authority to Navene and she commited to be baptized! However, not until Nov 25. Gay and Clint are set for Oct 28. SO FAR AWAY! it's killing us. We're hoping that as they stop smoking, their desire to be baptized will quicken and happen sooner. Pray for that, eh? :)
We got a new ward mission leader this week- we're really excited to work with him. The RS, Pri & YW all got released so there's been a lot of awesome changes in the ward. Stake conference is coming up this Sunday and there's a meeting beforehand for all recent converts and investigators to meet with Pres Goobie (Stk pres) and Pres Scott. Should be a great week! We have zone conference coming up as well and a zone training tomorrow...lots of training. yippee!
Other than that, we have quite a few gators ready for baptism but they just won't commit to a date. Gah! It's so frustrating at times but Dad, the quote you sent me put it all in perspective. :)
How was it without a kitchen? Well it wasn't bad at all. It was only a few days and once we leave in the morning we aren't back until 9. We usually pack our meals unless we have a dinner appt cuz we live so far away from our area. So it wasn't bad at all.
 Umm, about the vegetable question- i can't think of any weird veggies here...oh wait, i tried these weird fruit things from Subhash. It looked like a yellow grape tomato but it had a outer shell that was like a leaf. So it looked like a lantern...can't remember what it was called. but they were good.
Have a great week!
Love sister messer

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"You build it, we'll come!" and I said, "Deal."

Joseph's baptism!

old kitchen
new kitchen!

Hey everyone!
Well, looks as though moving Mady to provo was a success! her dorm looks really cute. Not gonna lie, made me excited to go back to school next Fall! 
Joseph's baptism was last night! It was soooo great! His daughter came and had a really emotional time! She's 21, wasn't interested really but we talked to her quite a bit and hopefully we'll be able to meet up with her soon :) There was great support from the ward and he's such a cool guy! We're so excited for him! Sister Scott's mom is visiting so she also came, along with Pres and Sis scott's son. So that was neat too. When they were leaving i said, "thanks for coming!" and President kinda laughed and said, "you build it, we'll come!" and i said deal.
Bibi and Avi both were confirmed yesterday too! And Zarah got a baby blessing. Phonetically spelled Bee-Bee and A-vee and Za-ruh. Good peeps.
What are the food stores here like? ummm basically the same as U.S. but more international sections and in Brampton- YES, lots of indian food in that section. But walmarts are exactly the same, produce is basically the same. Cheese and milk are a lot different. Not in taste but how they sell it. Milk is in liter bags (sooo annoying) and cheese is really long and skinny. like a shoe box lid. i do not know why.
Subhash recieved the priesthood last week and  he did baptisms for the dead this week! He loved it.
OH! every week we volunteer at the salvation army garden and we were in the newspaper! i think. it's called the brampton guardian. It was only online, not in print, but i saw the article and i'm in a picture! good luck finding it.
Funny story of the week, we taught subhash some follow up lessons on Wednesday night and he was sitting on the church steps waiting for us and we walked up to him and he had his hands up to his face and we noticed a ctr ring on his pinky finger- we said, "hey! check you out- that's pretty sweet" It was a green primary kids ctr ring. He said, "oh these?!" and he had one on each pinky finger and they were upside down. hahaha we started laughing and he was like, "what? what?" who wears ctr ring on 2 pinky fingers? haha we tried to resize them but he wouldn't let us-saying they'd ruin the figure of them.
We had a ward picnic this week! It was fun, we got some potential investigators, had a bbq and talked to lots of people. It reminded me of the L2 ward corn roast. Which sounds like it was a success in itself.

ward activity...

Other than that...we've been struggling to find new investigators. All of our gators are being baptized and we haven't re-filled the gator pool! not good! This week we'll be really focusing on that. But things have been great. Pretty hot week but today is a rainy day in Toronto.
Love and miss ya
Sister Messer