Saturday, April 27, 2013

Key word of this week: URGENCY!

Hey Hey Hey!

   Well, in all honesty, it's been a pretty slow week. Jacob didn't get baptized and we went finding a lot. But we had a great comp study yesterday in which we set some new goals to help us be better and more effective. I was sitting at my study desk during dinner and I was like "gahhhh! We HAVE to be better, work harder and baptize this transfer! We're in flippin Toronto!" You'd think I would learn by now that God continues to make me grow in order to see blessings. Crazy how he does that, eh? He's like "oh, Sister Messer stinks at bus contacting so lets have the Spirit tell her she needs to do better at that. She'll deny it for a few weeks and then finally surrender and be the missionary I expect her to be. Then the harvest will come." Ya. So stay tuned, i'm hoping this week i'll gain some guts and yet again open my mouth. Key word of this week: URGENCY. We're going to have a sense of urgency all the time!

   We did have Alice at church yesterday, which went very well. She even brought a friend with her. She's been reading steadily from the BoM and she's very close to the Spirit. As we've helped her recognize the Spirit it's made a big difference in our lessons. We gave her a church tour on Tuesday and it was awesome. We taught the 5 steps of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we did. For example, as we taught faith, we showed her classrooms that she would learn in and explained how that would increase her faith. Repentance, we talked about prayer and how leaders in the church help us to repent if needed. Baptism took us to the font where we also talked about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We ended in the chapel and talked about enduring to the end and the sacrament. That was definitely the highlight of the tour. She used the words "peace" and "sacred" to describe the feelings there. We were able to point out that it was the Spirit and that really touched her. She said she would be baptized as she understood the commandments and knew that this was true. We were hoping to set a date at church but it didn't work out. Stay tuned :)

  We also taught Nora and Sylva. They're from Africa, we've been working with them for quite a while now. Working sundays is keeping them from church. Nora is a single mom and Sylva is her 10 yr old son. he wants to be baptized soooo bad! His dad who is in Africa says he needs to be older. However, Nora told us she could talk his dad into letting mainly it's her holding him back. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and invited Sylva to say the closing prayer, in which he said, "Please bless the missionaries that they will have eternal life and that me & my mom can be baptized on time." We thought that was very sweet. He's such a stud. We wish he only had permission!

  We heard about the bombing in Boston on the bus right after we had gone downtown on Pday. That's crazy stuff! Boston isn't too far from Toronto, everyone has been talking about it. But the details you mentioned were crazy! I had no idea about the lockdown and finally finding the guy in a boat? So weird. All the terrorists seem to be muslim, eh? Which is weird- the muslim people here are so kind even though they're usually not interested. They all seem to be very family focused people too.

  Last pday we went downtown and wandered through Kensington Market- a multi cultural marketplace. We soon found ourself in China Town and had lunch there. Coolest part of the day- we rode a street car! They're all over the place. From the subway we boarded it and i felt like I was getting on Indiana Jones at Disneyland. haha but for real. It was  in this dark cave like place and we got quite excited.

  Well, today we're going to Target!!! They're new to Canada! I haven't been in a Target in so long. I've been looking forward to this day. ;) Have a wonderful week! I'll see ya soon!
Love Sister Messer

Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Would you like to stand?"

Well this week was great. Especially's why.
A cool hindu mural walked past. I'm telling it a secret.
It was fast & testimony meeting. A member in our ward got up because her little boy kept saying he wanted to. So they get up there and of course he just stares at everyone and doesn't say a world. You can tell the mom just is kind of embarrassed and our investigator, Jacob, was sitting with all the YSA in the front and says, "can i help him out?" hahaha he walked up to the pulpit and tried to whisper what to say in the little boys ear but he still didn't say anything. Well, Jacob stayed up there and bore his testimony too! It was classic I couldn't help but smile and he looked down and saw sister cross and I as he was speaking and smiled and said, "and these sisters have given me tools to help me quit smoking,
would you like to stand?" I about died. We both just shook our heads and S. cross audibly said, "nope." It was a classic moment for sure. Jacob is one of a kind. He tries to make things difficult as we teach, kind of making smart comments but you can tell he knows that the gospel is changing his life. His baptismal date is set for this coming Sunday. We'll see how following the WoW goes this week. We may move it back. Hopefully not!
Sunday night we were walking to an appointment from the subway and met Gidey, a younger guy from Ethiopia. We were introducing ourselves and telling him what we do and how we teach about Christ. He was like, "I want that. I was Christian when I was young but fell away and now the devil holds my life. I was at my apt and he was tempting me to do bad things and so i left and came on a walk." That kind of sounds fake but he was so sincere! We taught him about baptism and how he can have a fresh start and he basically asked when he could be baptized. So we prayed, taught and committed for baptism on the sidewalk. We're meeting him on Tuesday-that's when we'll see if it's all for real.
We also started teaching Alice this week. She's from mainland China. She's very sweet, we hope things start progressing for her. With great things come bad ones too...haha We met a false prophet on the bus this week! I heard there were false prophets in Toronto. It was pretty classic. We got on and I saw him and you know how sometimes you can just tell someone isn't very nice? Ya. So he read our tags and scooted to the nearest seat to us and pointed directly at me and yelled, "Sister, sister, when you go home you need to pray..." and then went on about all sorts of wonderful things. You know me, If I started talking back to him I'd get feisty so I just smiled and kind of shook my head and then said, "have a great day!" and got off at the next stop.  Oh crazy people. I also had someone ask me if I was a nun this week. I told him no and he said, "well that's good, i didn't think you looked very much like a nun!" We taught him the Restoration on the bus. He's super cool but lives out of our area.
I guess this week was full of cool experiences. One of the bus drivers smiled really big at us as we were getting on. We exited at our stop out the back door and were waiting at the stoplight when he pulled forward at the red light and opened the door and yelled, "where are you from?" I responded and he said he had member friends who served missions and that they always told him to watch for people with tags get on his bus. We prayed that we would be able to meet him again (we'd never seen him before now) and the next day, on a different bus route, he was the driver! We rode it to a subway station and everyone exits the bus there. So we got off last and talked to him for a minute, gave him our information and stuff. THEN we saw him a couple of days later pass us and he just smiled and waved really big. It's great.
At ESL this week there were only a couple of students at our class and they were both at very different learning stages so we did a one on one lesson. I taught a man named Jimmy who is from China. He came to General Conf last week and noticed the prophets picture on the wall in the classroom. That started a big discussion about who he is etc. He had never prayed before so I was teaching him about prayer. at the end of the class he said the closing prayer! He was so excited, had a huge smile on his face. The mandarin speaking elders are teaching him and he's actually progressing towards baptism now! yay!
So it's been a pretty good week. We've found some great new investigators and the weather is getting warmer...i'm not wearing tights today! Sadly my nice tan from last summer isn't showing anymore. haha I'll have to work hard for one in the next few weeks ;) Pray for Jacob! Hopefully he'll get baptized soon!
Love Sister Messer
p.s. Sister Chidester fwd this in her email- i thought it was pretty cool!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is making adjustments to the way its 405 missions are organized, to better utilize the skills and abilities of all missionaries in training and leadership….. Each mission in the Church will organize a Mission Leadership Council that will include both elder (males) and sister (females) missionary leaders. The new mission leadership council will consist of the mission president and his wife, assistants to the president, zone leaders, and sister training leaders — a newly created role….. The role of sister training leader has been created as more female missionaries serve in missions around the world. Sister training leaders will be responsible for the training and welfare of female missionaries assigned to them, and will be members of, and participate in, the new mission leadership council. Assistants to the president and zone leaders will also participate in the council, and those roles will remain unchanged. Missions will continue to be organized by zones and districts, with district leaders being responsible for baptismal interviews, but the Mission Leadership Council will replace the Zone Leader Council….. Sister training leaders will continue to proselytise and will also spend time each week training and evaluating the needs of female missionaries. They will report directly to the mission president on the needs of sister missionaries. Additionally, the wives of mission presidents are now being asked to play an enhanced role in training and caring for sister missionaries….. Councils assist in Church governance at every level. In councils, assigned members meet to discuss individual, family and organizational needs and work together to determine how to respond to those needs effectively. Full expression from all participants is invited in council settings, unifying the efforts of both male and female council members.”
The Lord is hastening His work, and it's a joy to be a part of it!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

It's officially my last transfer as of today

Hey Everyone!
Our district. We all serve in the Don Mills ward.
Don Mills South: E. Orr & E. Rowley
Don Mills North: E. Cragun & Lacoste
Don Mills East: Sis. Cross & I

   Yup, conference was pretty great! My favorite talk? I really liked Sis. Dalton's. There were so many on marriage and commandments and yes, missionary work! It was all pretty great. Our investigator, Jacob, came for 1 session on Saturday and both on Sunday. He's progressing pretty well- he's an interesting guy. He's just grown up thinking about way too many options about God and different religions and stuff. He likes to confuse himself. haha But we love him. We love him a lot. We really are hoping to find some solid investigators this week so we can have a couple of baptisms this transfer! It's officially my last transfer as of today. That's super weird but I don't think it'll hit me until i'm off the plan in the USA. Until then, not much is gonna change! I'm just determined to make it the best transfer in the history of the Can-Tor mission.

   So, yes- transfers are tomorrow! Calls were made last night. We're staying here! In fact our entire district is staying which we were all pretty shocked about. Not many changes this transfer but rumor has it that next transfer is another big one. It doesn't really apply to me :)

   This week we had dinner with a great family in the ward- the Lim's. We invited Jacob and he came as well. After sharing a message, Bro. Lim said, "Sister Messer, I have a gift for you." He handed me some caribeeners (sp?) and I was like, "gee, thanks bro. Lim...what are these for?" He said, "I noticed your purse straps were breaking." It's true, one side is tied with a red ribbon and the other is safety pinned. haha Now I don't have to lift my bag up as I run for the bus hoping that the strap won't snap again. haha I continued to show them the lining of my coat which is torn and taped back together and the dirty-ness of my coat that I claim to be all the bus's fault. It just came to my realization after that how worn out my stuff is. I can now relate to all missionaries who wear their shoes 'just a couple more weeks...' in hope that they'll actually last their entire mission. So know that i'm in good hands, the ward takes care of their old, dying missionaries.

   Did I mention to you that Subhash recieved the Mel. priesthood a few weeks ago? Now he is in India for a few months. I don't think he gets home until end of July/Aug.

   Last Pday Sister Cross and I went downtown and visited the Hotel lobby of the Royal York hotel. It was super duper fancy. They had this book that was signed by the Queen and Pr. Charles a few years ago. Then we went to St. Lawrence Market, a big indoor farmers market and vendors. We shopped around and had lunch at a Greek place.

   Well, this week is going to be fantastic. We'll be working hard to find those solid gators and talking to the fantastic people here in Toronto. Have a great week!

Love, Sister Messer


Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Here comes trouble!"

Hello Everybody!

   Well, this week was pretty good. We found a couple new investigators  this week. One of them we found Oym and seems pretty good, One of them is on house arrest. End of story. And one of them came to church on Sunday! His name is Jacob, he's YSA age and has a very logical way of thinking. He's studied business and Law  at U of T. He's a funny guy. The missionaries were in charge of a fireside during the 3rd combined hour about Preach My Gospel, the role of members in teaching and finding through the members. He was present for all of it and still seemed interested to hear more! haha Afterwards we were asking him some questions about what he thought about church and he said, "Well, I didn't expect to be back on the path to God any time soon...but it may be sooner than I expected." So i think that means good things, eh? We're supposed to be meeting with him on Wednesday night, hopefully things go well! 

At the Temple
   We got to go to the temple on Saturday! We rode in with a some elders in the mission's classy mini van. haha We went to the 6:30 session so we had to get up super early! But it was a lot of fun to be back in Brampton! Most of the temple workers were from the Brampton ward and it was great to see them again, as well as other missionaries too. I saw Sis. Tuia! :) She's training Sis. Prescott (the one who read my blog before she came, and I took a picture with her so her mom can see her! she's great. and super lucky to be sister. tuia's comp!) 

Sister Prescott and me!
   Other great news is that I found out Anne & Amanda (both baptized in Kitchener/Waterloo) did baptisms at the temple on Friday! How sweet, eh?! Also that Kevin (we taught in Kitch YSA) who I said looked like Sid, is getting baptized! So many great things happening. 

   We had some funny experiences this week. A member is a bus driver for TTC and we were waiting at a stop for the bus and up he drives and honks twice when he sees us. We get on and he says, "here comes trouble!" If the people on the bus weren't staring at whoever he honked the bus at were staring at us now. Then we were walking down the aisle and someone on the side said, "oh, yup, trouble. " IT was our gospel principles teacher! Haha. If you need a grand entrance on a bus- that's how to do it. We had a good convo with a potential out of it. 

   We had lunch with a great mother/daughter in the ward yesterday. We claimed it as our Easter dinner cuz no one invited us over on Sunday. I had vegetable soup with cut up hot dog in it. hahaha yum! But the family is from Poland and are super great. She walked over to us while we were eating and all of a suddent started flicking water on our heads. We were like what in the...and she started laughing. Apparently in Poland it's a tradition for the boys to sprinkle water on the girls or pour buckets on them when they're not looking. It gets their Easter dresses all wet but symbolizes health and beauty for the year. I'm thinking of implementing that tradition forever. 

   We were walking down the road a few days ago and there was a lady sitting on a bench. Sis. Cross was on the phone but as we approached her one of her bags fell off the bench and I bent down and picked it up for her and started talking to her. Long story short, she had been baptized years ago and we helped her back home with her groceries and shared a message with her. She's not  on the ward list but hopefully we can get her back out!  

   Our pool of investigators is growing but we're having a hard time getting them to progress! This week will bring great things though. I just know it! We've got General Conference! holla! and Transfers!....Mom, you asked what I thought would happen- I think i'll die in Toronto. (missionary lingo) Fine with me! My international drivesr permit expired and they called to tell me what I had to do to update it but i called the office back and told them i'm in a bus area and only have 1 transfer left and he called back the next day and told me not to worry about it. Soooo not that i'm taking it as a hint...but ya never know!

   Last Pday we went exploring downtown some more. We were going to go to the zoo today but clouds came in and it's quite cold. The giant panda exhibit was enough to spring our curiousity. But last week we went to Dundas Square (the times squaure of Toronto) the Eaton Center (a huge mall, the biggest Sears i've ever seen) Nathan Phillips Sq. and the old Toronto City Hall.
Dundas Square in Toronto

Thanks for everything!

Love Sister Messer