Monday, 30 December 2013

Week 15: Christmas and Craziness

Well there went week 2 of the transfer. It is crazy how fast the weeks are starting to fly by. This past week we found 4 new investigators and actually several more. We met a man named Manuel who speaks only Arabic! But is working towards baptism and is striving to learn english and the gospel at the same time haha. It is awful trying to teach people who have a language barrier. I wish i could speak Arabic!

Tuesday we did the read-a-thon which I talked about last week. It was so long but awesome! I have now a better mind set on time frame and understanding of the gospels even though we had to read each page in 2.5 mins haha. We got pizza for this special occasion and celebrated Christmas Eve with pizza and egg-nog. For Christmas we went to the Read-a-thon and then back home to head back out to the Thompsons. They are an awesome family! We had a big Christmas feast and enjoyed ourselves quite well. We were feed good and got chocolate and all. It was so weird to see my family and hear them haha. But it was super nice to see them. Christmas was made by skyping them and talking to my Dad on the phone! This Thursday we went to Bro. Ianni, an Italian in our ward. He is an amazing cook! He made us some delicious lamb! Then we went back and planned for the day. We also had some other lessons with people we got let into and all that good stuff. Elder Hewitt and I have been trekking downtown every day walking about 10 km+ it is crazy my legs are going to be jacked haha. We always walk so fast haha.

Friday we went up to Skills and Interviews. I was so excited because I got to get my Christmas presents and letters! We had an awesome Training instruction. I had to bear my testimony on missionary work. It was awesome! I started with Proverbs and power housed the rest of it by being lead by the Spirit. This work is amazing and it is not our work but the Lords work. He could do it all without us but he has entrusted us to help teach and help people come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel. It is truly amazing! I am going to learn so much these 2 years! We did a fun role-play today where we practiced contacting missionaries and tried to get there cards. We received a commitment to never let any person get by us on the street and to find 2 new investigators every week! So we are doing to try to keep to that! After Interviews we got our packages and letters! I had a lot it was nice to see that I am loved haha. Thank you to all who sent me letters and packages! But man the ride back home from London was so long! It takes 2 and a half hours and plus Elder Johnson almost killed us!

We also had an interesting experience with tracking. We had an appt with Jeremy a referral from other missionaries we went to that address and this women answered and said that she was Jeremy but not the one we were talking to haha we were super confused! But it was interesting because she was actually a man. Elder Johnson and I were like oh my gosh! What just happened type moment. It was different thats for sure.

 So Saturday was not bad but we did a lot of tracting and contacting! We have found 4 investigators alone on Saturday. They are all set with dates and working towards those dates. We have actually been let in so much recent! So we are teaching a lot! I love teaching so much more than finding haha. It is never fun knocking on door after door. But Becky is doing awesome! She now officially passes all the Baptismal interview questions and just needs to learn about tithing! :) We are so excited as her baptism is coming up! She is the only one who came to Church on Sunday. Sunday, Elder Adams, and Elder Harlot, and I all went up to do a special musically number be still my soul! It was pretty awesome and enjoyable that's for sure! Becky now has every Sunday off in the New Year to come to Church which is an awesome miracle!

the new GPS he bought for Christmas.  Apparently the streets "don't make sense there"
Well this was our week! I love you all and Hope you have an awesome New Years Eve! Cya all in 2014! May this new year bring much success and may you find much joy in it as well.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Christmas Phone Call - written by Mom

So the afternoon started out a little stressful!  I had checked everything out with Skype earlier in the week and it was all working fine.  Ironically enough when I sat down 2 hours prior to Elder Joe's call nothing was working!!!  Yikes.  I started freaking out.  There were a few tears, my husband had to rub my shoulders and hold my hand while I vented at the computer. 
The Lord seems to work in mysterious ways because Elder Joe didn't call at his pre-scheduled time of 2:00... He called much later at 4:30.  I feel blessed because it took that much time to get things sorted out with the computer and skype.  I got to see my boy, talk to him and just enjoy his wonderful smile.  Anya (Elder Joe's sister) is happy again and all is well. 
It was a wonderful conversation and we caught up on everything from here and there.  Too bad his packages won't get to him until this weekend (they were delayed in London with the Zone Leaders) but he didn't seem to mind.  
What an amazing young man.  He is awesome.  So happy to talk to my wonderful missionary.
Merry Christmas, my son. 

Week 15: Christmas Short and Sweet

Just joking.  The new companion is fantastic!

Hey everyone!

Sorry for no weekly letter last week! I do apologize. The computers were down all day so we were unable to email. It is good to finally be able to email again! Well That past week was not bad. It was Elder Koceja last week with me in Windsor. He is now in Brampton North. I have gotten a new companion named Elder Hewitt. He is English with a killer accent. He is an awesome missionary. He is super bold and just an all around good guy. He is eating me out of house and home though haha. 
Oh well. 
So it has been snowing a lot in Windsor. We had reports of freezing rain storms occurring but we dodge them down here in Windsor. There has been some super cold days and some actually pretty nice days. All the snow is gone now and it is beautiful outside. We have been doing a lot of tracting this past week. We have found a lot of new people to teach and help come unto Christ. We tracted some of my first apartment buildings which was a different and scary experience. Usually all good rejection stories of missionaries come from tracting/proselyting in them. 
In our teaching pool we have Becky.  It has been cool to have found her my second week here and then be with her till now. She is awesome! She is preparing for baptism on January 12 and is planning her on baptism. She has given up coffee and smoking and is striving to keep the word of Wisdom! It is so cool to see the changes people make in their life through the Atonement. I have loved teaching Becky and I am excited to see her get baptized.
 Next is Matt. He is a Part member family. He has been investigating the church since 2004. He has lost some of his desire to know if what we share is true or not. But we are going to help him come to a knowledge of what we share. He is being a little stubborn because he is denying himself the blessing of an eternal family and marriage because of his lack of desire. It gets me going erg. haha He is a super nice guy though. 
Then we have a member in our ward Shawna, who referred us her Bro. We had a lesson with him this past week and he is super prepared. He is seeking for the greater truth and knowledge this gospel can bring and has agreed to be baptized! His only concern is his mom as he is under age. But we will pray for her heart to be softened. 
Then we have Manuel who we OYM into and he is super kind and is Arabic. He is Christian and has studied a lot of religion. He was super exciting to met with us! He is preparing for baptism too this transfer. He was so happy we did not believe in the trinity that he gave us 7 -up! haha 
Next we got another referral from a member in Leamington. So last night we went to go stop by and his name is Wayne. He was super surprised at how soon we came. He let us right in and we talked for awhile and we taught him about the saviors atonement and introduced the Book of Mormon. It was a power house spiritual lesson. We have had some awesome blessings of finding some super cool and nice people well opening our mouths on the streets and all. We have been blessed down here in Windsor North for sure! I am loving missionary work :) it is a blast! I encourage all to share the joy and blessing they have seen and had with all their friends! 

Well that is my week. It is short sweet and simple :). I will say this that some people are super nice in Windsor. But some people can be very rude. So my mission is testing my temperament and helping me develop greater Christ-like attributes. I would never trade my mission for anything. I love the people of Windsor! We are going to tear it up down here. Elder Hewitt and I have been growing on one another and sometimes I feel like I am slipping into a english accent haha. I will miss Elder Koceja but it has been swell! Well till next week! Merry Christmas! And a Happy New year! 

Elder Sopal!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Week 13: Santa and silly in the snow

Well Merry Christmas to all! And to all a Good Afternoon. 

Well this week it has definitely gotten colder. There is snow that stuck on the ground from yestorday! It is so much fun ridding our bikes across the City in sub zero/ sub freezing temperatures. We bundled up to the nine yards yestorday to go out riding in the blizzard! I am not really saying I am excited for transfer but I am. I really do want to go into a car area! I do not care if it is in Windsor or not but a car would be awesome! This week is the last week before transfer calls this Sunday! This transfer has gone by so fast(six weeks). I feel like just yesteday it started! I feel like its been so long since I have been in Alberta! 

To start off this week we had P-day. We got hair cuts. Elder Koceja got his hair fixed because I made his hair look different haha I took 2 inches off the back whoops! So a wonderful Sister in the ward fixed it for him. Well we all got hair cuts I played with their super cute daughter and Elder Bullock joined in and we played tea party haha. After that we had to drive all the way up to London for Zone Conference in Guelph. We stayed in London with the Elders in London 3rd and Chinese Elders. It was awesome! We did not sleep one little bit! It was an aweful sleeping night! In the morning we went to Mcds and Elder T was ordering and almost ordered a cappuccino. We had to quickly stop him and correct him nicely! 

At Zone Conference President Scott, Sister Scott, and the assistants were there it was awesome!  The spirit there was very strong.  One funny thing was that at one point the asked a few missionaries to come up and bear their testimony of the savior.  When the called my name I was like what?... So luckily they only needed to be like 1-2minutes long.  I was so confused and nervous as I went up there! I really wanted to just bear a strong testimony. I thought it was alright. At least the Spirit was strong but i said nothing I wanted too! Next time I will kill it. I think I will be more prepared for next time! It was an awesome Zone Conference! I met three people from Alberta. An Elder from Cardston, Sterling, and Calgray. It was cool to met different missionaries and get to talk to some more people then just our district. 

Anyway it was good. At the zone conference for one of the Christmas presents we got was a temple recommend holder that has a picture of Christ in a field of wheat looking at Toronto.  It was done by Simon Dewy just for our mission (because his son is on a mission here) limited edition temple recommend holders, oh, ya. So that was pretty much our Tuesday and then we drove back for 3 and a half hours to Windsor! Oh ya in London they had huge snow banks! It is crazy how Windsor has no snow and London had soooo much. 

When we got back Wednesday Elder Koceja spent the whole day in our area and then Friday and Saturday he left to go to Chatham and Windsor West area. So I was in our area the whole weak by myself left to fend. Wednesday we had to fix my bike because an Elder broke my tube haha. So we did that and then went and dropped by a ton of people but no one would let us teach them! We went over to Bro. Ulriches for pizza! It was awesome and we got into some deep doctrine again! The quotes we got this week is, "Your future is as bright your faith." He also gave us a sheet of quotes to ponder and have! They are so deep! I will send one every week. So we went and tracted today and found a guy named Jeef who was super nice, He is about 35ish and is a PSW. He has a family and is struggling with his teenagers. He is a bible believing Christian. He is super interested about what our message is and wanted to know more about the Book of Mormon. It was cool experience meeting him! We have yet to met him but we will soon! 

Well we had one interesting Tracting expericence where a house full of college people decided to greet us. We explained who we were and they then mooned us. It was the weirdest/ crasizest experience ever! Elder Bullock and I laughed and walked away! We have so many crazy tracting stories! 
Come Thrusday we did weekly planning and enjoyed the lovely snowy cold weather outside! After we switched I was with Elder Tinney in my area! Everybody bombed us that day :( and the next day with Elder Bullock! So those two days were spent calling formers and tracting. It was pretty cold outside. 

Friday we helped a member move and moved his whole house in a hour and a half! It was one of the quickest moves we ever did. On friday with Elder Tinnie we taught Becky! Bro Hanna our acting Ward Mission leader came with us. It was an awesome lesson! Becky is a single mother for those of you who do not know. She works at a pizza place and is a PSW too! She loves her daughter and is super close with her. Her daughter Emma is well behaved sometimes but shows off for us whenever we come over. She has been coming to Church and the activities. We had a Ward Christmas Party and she came out to it and loved it! She made some new friends and loved meeting so nice people in her own words. She also joined right in helping clean up like she was apart of the ward! It was awesome to see her enjoying herself! Anyways back to our lesson she believes in God and Jesus Christ and loves the Atonement. She prayed asking about our message whether it was true or not. She asked us if she had to bring a question to church in her heart if she already received an answer! We were like what! She knows our message is true and is working towards baptism on Dec 29! She is loving the Book of Mormon and she is really changing her life around. It is amazing to feel the Spirit of her home now and feel the difference then from the beginning when we first went in. I love teaching Becky. So other then Becky we have had no one come out to church. It is hard getting people to commit to come out. We are striving everyday to try to invite more people but  agency is always getting in the way! Silly agency!  

Sunday we had fun at church and then after we went home and made Cookies. It was delicious! Elder Koceja and I are great cooks haha. Then we had to bike half way across town in a crazy blizzard and froze our butts off. But Bro. Ianni gave us a ride back home. It was a good night. Then we got to go to the Christmas Devotional. I love Christmas time. People just show more of the love! It was sad to not put up a  tree though but oh well. 

This week i have now memorized and can quote word for word, the Living Christ! I am so proud of myself. I encourage all to read it and ponder, this Christmas season, what you can give to Christ? 

Well I bide all farewell! Till next week! 

Love Elder Sopal! 

Christmas just isn't the same without a nativity scene. 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Written by Mom: Christmas Packages

View photo.JPG in slide show 
We had a lot of fun getting Elder Joe's first Christmas parcel ready.  This one contained many different items.  Little things to decorate the apartment - stockings and pillowcases for the beds.  Mostly dollar store items.  It also had some church videos in them like the one that has Mr. Krueger's Christmas on it.  But fun things all the same for Elder Joe and his companion to get ready for Christmas.   I sent him a picture of the parcel, just to tease him.  He will have most likely gotten it by now. 
The 2nd parcel is on its way.  This parcel is the ACTUAL Christmas package with gifts and treats.  We did a scripture theme and attached scriptures to many of the items, which would have been a little boring without.  I forgot to take a picture of it, but I will have to ask Elder Joe to and update this post later on. 

Week 12: Exchanges & Educating the Multitudes

So here is my weekly report! 
This week unfortunately has been super slow. I will not lie but missionary work can come to almost a stand still! We need find more people to teach! This week we are going to find and destroy our area and find a bunch of new people to teach! Our bus passes expired and my bike was broken due to Elder Ward on exchanges this past week. So we are back to walking everywhere until we get a new tire tube. 
So last week monday was the first snowish type of storm haha We had to wait in the cold for 45 mins for the bus to come and get us because our appointment bombed! It was awesome. So Tuesday we had our District meeting on Tuesday that was awesome! We learned a lot and we are doing this Living Christmas Card in our Mission. There is four scriptures which we are to memorize and then we come to people doors and carol and recite to them and then ask to come in to bless their home! We are so excited to start to do this Christmas Card. 
After our meeting we did an exchange with Leamington! Elder Trost another seasoned missionary who leaves this transfer was with me in my area for the day. He is awesome and we read from Songs of Solomon together during our comp studies! Here is another question haha Why is the Songs of Solomon in our bible haha? He read it in this hilarious voice. Our exchange constituted of riding our bikes all over the place and looking for houses that don't exist because people like to give us false address! Those are the best haha. But there was this one address that Elder Koceja stopped by and set up an appointment, but Elder Trost and I could not find it so we continued on our way. We also had dinner with some members! It was sooooo good! I love eating at members I swear if I keep eating at members I will gain 20 pounds haha. But I have actually lost 10 pounds being out on my mission so far. I have been keeping to my goal of being exactly obedient and working out in the morning! On Wednesday we exchanged back but when the West Elders went to drop us off we found out Elder Koceja left his bag in the Leamington's car! So we spent out afternoon driving around to pick it up. So our day was pretty shot. That evening we went to visit a single sister in the ward! She is so awesome! She is trying to overcome smoking and come back to church more! She has been praying again and reading! She has been clean for 2 weeks now thanks to the help and strength from God. It was an awesome lesson we had because after she said her testimony is defiantly coming back! So we saw success with that! On Thursday We got invited to go over to the Ogdons place for American Thanksgiving since we are just across the river from Detroit. We came over and met their family and friends and partook of a meal fit for a king and 50 people! It was crazy they had so many different types of food and it was just all delicious! It was awesome after the dinner we had dessert which consisted of two pies and cakes, flon, and much more! For the lesson after that we were privileged to teach we taught about thanksgiving and showed the mormon message "in the spirit of thanksgiving". It was really awesome! 
I am so grateful for everything that I have been blessed with! This awesome mission, the wonderful people of windsor, my amazing lovely family, my marvelous friends, my amazing strong home ward! I miss you all very much btw! I thank God everyday for all that I am given. I am so blessed. My invitation to you all whom read, pray tonight and just thank your Lord thy God for all you have been blessed with or even write a list out and just remember all the things you are grateful for!
 Friday rolled around and we went on more exchanges I went with Elder Ganowsky into a car area. Man i love car areas compared to our bike, bus, walk area haha. So we went tracking all day and had lost of fun talking to people who did not like us too much. Elder Ganowsky turned to me when we started tracting a street and was like I have never once but able to go inside at first contact and teach someone! Lo and behold that was exactly what happened! We met a pastor from another church who was super nice and kind. He did not know too much which was nice but we taught him the first lesson and he loved the idea of it! He accept to read and pray about the Book of Mormon! It was such a cool experience! Elder G. and I had a good laugh about that one! As we walked out and he said wow God does hear our conversations haha. So Sunday was our next big day! We went to church to partake of the Sacrament which was nice and is the main reason for  church. But we also got to teach the 11 year old class! It was so much fun we taught the lesson about when they were building the Salt Lake Temple and how they had to bury it to hide it from the American Govt. After the army left who was sent to destroy it they uncovered it and build it up from scratch because the foundation had cracked! It was an awesome lesson and got to use cold objects like a stone for building our foundation upon the rock of our Redeemer. Also a tub of water and a lid to float and then dump money into it representing sin and how it will sink us into Satan's grasp as we continue to sin and do not repent. After teaching the class which was successful we went and sat in Elder Quorum and Elder Cowley and Bullock taught the lesson about lesson 3 The Gospel of Jesus Christ! It was pretty awesome! After Church Elder Koceja and I had a nice healthy break- the- fast haha it was so delicious eating the yummy ham sandwiches we made for ourselves! That evening we had two really cool experiences though! We got to teach Becky today! We got Bro. Hanna, our ward mission leader, to come over with us and help us teach Becky. He was so awesome he is being her fellowshipper! His wife and her are going to start hanging out too! It was such an awesome match for Becky to befriend! They are going to take her to church this Sunday too! They invited us and Becky over for dinner sometime! They are being such awesome helpers. You know fellowshippers are  key to retaining investigators coming to church and helping them stay active. If they did not have friends in the church and were still struggling with learning about the Gospel as it would be all new they would most likely leave and be discouraged. This way by having friends they can always be there for them and help them and encourage them to continue to learn about the gospel and grow their testimony. During the lesson which was filled with the Spirit, we came to know that Becky does believe in God and Jesus Christ through her prayers she feels like she is now talking to someone on the other end when she prays! She loves praying and reading scriptures! She also loved coming to Church. We have set her to get baptized on December 29 i think haha so we hope she will be ready by then and are praying for it! She will be an awesome member! 
 After the lesson we went over to visit our Jamaican friends the 13 of them living in the house! We met this new guy who we started to teach! It was awesome then Karl came and talked to us and taught and testified to the message we shared! He even started to resolve concerns he had! It was awesome Karl was doing that! So we know that he knows what we share is true! He said he was going to met with the missionaries in Jamaica! So hopefully they can baptize him! It was sad to leave and said good bye to all our Jamaican friends. We prayed with them all and then we left! It was super sad to leave them go! But Karl said we would met again! In this life or the next so I believe him! I love all the people we met and teach! I do not even know why I love them I just do! This was my week and next week we are going to slay the num nums and find some new people to teach! 
Spiritual Thought:
For Zone Conference, we were asked to study the Principle of Repentance.  We studied a bunch of passages.  Here is my favorite passage:  Mosiah 3:17, 19, 4:1-3, 10, 26, 5:2, 5.
These scriptures help us understand some of the steps of repentance and how we can use the full atonement.   You can read the others for yourself but I will reference a few of them.  
From Mosiah 3:17 we learned that salvation is only through and in the name of Christ which means that we must believe in him but we know that we also must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling as it states in Phil 2:12.
We must have works as well to follow and find salvation.  Then comes the awesome scripture that I really do like!  It's 19!  We know that no one can truly repent unless they yield to the enticings of the Spirit.  We all have the Light of Christ which is given to all men - good or evil.  That Light of Christ or conscience leads us to follow through and we then repent through the atonement. We can truly see the atonement work if we become like a child.  Submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him.  If we acquire these attributes, we can become a better example and disciple of Christ.  I invite you all to read those scriptures and apply them.  They are awesome!

I love you all and have a great week! 

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Week 11: Balut & Scaling Balconies

Well this week was pree good! I went with Elder T. who I came out with on Tuesday tracting in London! I got to drive again! I am loving this driving! We drive such nice cars here! They handle pretty nicely too but they are gutless! It was fun being in another area and companion! Elder T. is really doing well with the language and is so funny to serve with! He still loves talking about dogs and about how he loves to eat them haha. Wednesday after district meeting I went on Exchange with Elder Roberts. He is super awesome! He is from Utah and is pretty cool! He has about six months left on this mission!  It was fun going to teach their investigator Rick who is preparing for baptism too! He just needs to get married but he knows everything is true! It was a awesome exchange but he talked a lot about how his companion is leaving in two months I think of this is his second last transfer . So he is super trunky! We talked about his plans after the mission, what he did before, possible girls he would like to take to the temple, his family, and all this jazz that got me thinking about home . :P It is hard being in a district full of missionaries who have under 6 months left and are super trunky haha. 
I got to do my first service project with Elder Roberts for Bro. Granger. We cut up his fallen tree! I got to use a cool power tool called a tree splitter and unfortunately did not take any pictures! I promise I will take more pictures for fun things like that! But ya. Then for service I wore shorts outside and it was probs minus 5 haha and he was like are you crazy! It was super nice haha. We also went to a gas station to buy gas for the chain saw and car and the lady was like its a little cold for shorts no haha and I was like well I am from Alberta and she said it made sense.
Oh ya before I forget! On Tuesday when we took the West Elders car, we also stole their house keys which we did not know hahah so they were locked out of their apartment. They had to get a ride to our apartment scale the balcony and then climb into our apartment and slept there that night haha! Pays off to leave your balcony door open.
Friday was pretty good we went and rode our bikes around to go visit people who bombed our appointments! We saw Becky today at work and she waved to us! She is super friendly! After that fun little adventure we went over to give a Sis. A blessing for her wisdom teeth getting taken out. For the rest of the night we came back and E. Koceja slept because for the past few days he has been feeling pretty sick. This morning was especially tough for him. I ended up studying for three hours by myself! It was awesome. I am learning so much for myself by asking myself what people do I want  to find who have this question. It has helped me study for my investigators and really be able to answer their concerns. This evening we had Sports night with the YSA and some people who came to it! It was fun we played dodgeball and all! Then shortly after we went into the kitchen and found out we were all going to eat balut which is a duck egg! It was so nasty I almost pucked haha! It actually looked like a duck! It had a beak, wings, feathers starting to grow. It was the grossest thing I have ever eaten in my life. The juice was so disgusting! It was the nastiest thing I have ever drank and eaten! Everybody was almost pucking haha all the missionaries did it. Elder Bullock even ate 2! The next day he chucked buckets the very next day. The taste stayed in my mouth all night long and I even had dreams about it hahah :P I'll include pictures of the event haha. 
eating balut- apparently it's a delicacy

Then Saturday and Sunday rolled around. I went on another Exchange with Elder Cowley into Windsor west! This area includes the University. All our appointments bombed! But we saw all the investigators out and about haha bombing our appointments so we went up to them and was like hey where were you! We were supposed to have a lesson today! They were so confused and bewildered haha it was awesome! 
I ate my first Shawarmma today! It was soooooo good! It is kind of like a pita but better. After this we walked around in the flurries of the nice sunny day hahah and then went back to our apartment to eat the delicious food that the Lui's made for us! It was pasta with shrimp with red velvet cake. During our dinner we listened to Elder Bullocks talks about Eternal Marriages and Celestial Marriages and finding a wife! Man once again my point is proven everyone in my district is so trunky and ready to go home but they all still work hard. That evening we met with one of their investigators Vomba from India, she is Hindu! She is super nice and a high school student! She is loving to learn about the gospel and is working towards a baptism! She is really growing in her faith of Jesus Christ and is doing awesome with all her questions. Well that was our Saturday! 
Well on Sunday we were waiting at the doors of the church for anyone to come to church! The whole entire zone was depending on us for investigators at church because they cancelled church and we were the only ones going to church. Lo and behold Becky showed up! It was awesome! We have our first progressing investigator! Becky liked church but she was a little timid of it as it is a little bit of a shock! But people were super nice to her and welcomed her! She said she wanted to come next week and bring Emma too! We are so excited she is progressing so well and really growing a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel! Then also on Sunday we had a potential investigator become an investigator! He is awesome he is from Uganda and is 24ish his name is Charles! He loves Jesus Christ and is Roman Catholic but he says it is good but not all true! He says he is looking for a church that preaches apostasy and that there was a falling away! We are so excited to teach him and help him understand the message of the restoration of the Gospel! He is reading the Book of Mormon and says that what we have told him about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon all sounds true and makes sense! So we are excited to go back and teach him! 
This Sunday we had a Sis missionary leave from our ward and give her farewell talk! It was awesome the food was great at it and the talks were awesome! It was fun taking pictures and just chilling with the members! I remember when I was like that a week before I left! Man I am so glad to be out here on my mission! I am loving it! It is so awesome and the memories are priceless! 

Sorry for not writing to much this week next week Ill include more and spiritual thought among other things! Love you all and have a great week! 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Week 10: Quotes and CARS!!!

Elder Koceja (front), Elder Joe (kneeling behind), other two elders unknown. 

Well let me tell you about my week! So here is some quotes for everyone to ponder this week, 
" The treasures of eternity are found in the depths of Christ personality, the more they are received, the more they are in his pattern, given."
"You cannot repress goodness in human nature!"
"Goodness is the only investment that never fails."
"Was any intelligence communicated? And was there anything indecorous?" How to know if you have a good lesson! 

So this week we saw some pretty cool things! We again have been doing a lot of member work and helping the LA come back to re-activity. We had a sister who has been going through some really hard trials give us a call and said that she really wanted to start coming back to Church and wanted us to help here to strengthen here faith and uplift her spirits. So we went over and had a great lesson about the Atonement and how to overcome trials and how to use prayer to overcome the adversary! It was awesome! She is going to start coming back and is giving up smoking, drinking, coffee! It is amazing to see the changes of a person that the Atonement can render! 
This week with our investigators we have about 10-12 in our teaching pool and invited all of them out to church we had a big fat ZERO unfortunately :( ugh it stinks since we got here nobody is coming to Church! We have invited everyone to baptism and have been trying to help them to work towards baptism but it is so difficult! Our three solid investigators are Ryan, Becky, and Steph. All have a date they are working towards. We also found a bunch of potential investigators and are excited to follow up with that! It was super sad but we will deal. We will keep trying to get people out! But Ryan is super open and an honest seeker of the truth! He is excited to learn more! Becky is preparing for baptism on December 8! We are so excited that she will be our first person to get baptized :) The Jamaicans are still doing great! But they did not come to  church which was sad. We also picked up some one who we had to let go his name is Jay Jay, he is french and is super super nice! He is looking for something more in life and has visions! It is so cool teaching him! We are excited to met with him again and get him baptized as he is super prepared! 

Well this week we had exchanges with the Zoneleaders! I was with Elder Rowley with the CAR! It was sweet! We dropped by some many people! We started out by looking for a formers house that did not even exist! We looked for 30 mins haha there was every number except that one haha. We talked to 52 people and i have now talked to 1654 people I think is the last accounted for number. That is so many people! It was awesome not having to ride bikes for a day hahah and my legs felt really rested after that haha! It was super nice! He is an awesome missionary. He is from Idaho and has been out for over a year and a half coming down to a few months left. We had great studies where I learned a lot. Did you know in the 10 commandments to keep the Sabbath Day Holy is 94 words compared to other commandments. We also did a exchange with Elder Ward too! He is from Washington! He is super awesome and knowledge. He knows so much about serving a mission and the gospel! I loved learning from him. We talked this super nice African american lady who was pentecostal! She was so nice! 

Well the weather has been mighty interesting this week! We have now ridden or walked in the rain for 20 days! It was pretty awesome! Last night there was a huge storm!!!!! So we were having supper and just minding our own when all of a sudden boom!!! The biggest rain fall and thunder hit outside! It was like we were in a tropical storm! The wind blew over some trees and lamp posts and the stop lights were twisted. We even had a huge pool in our parking lot haha! We had a appt last night and it was downtown! We had to ride in the rain! It was pouring so hard and we got sufficiently soaked! The streets were flooded and all my clothes were soaked! It was awful but so much fun. Elder Koceja rode through the puddles and put his legs up haha we were drenched! The thunder was so loud too! It was aweful but a good memorable experience! We did not find the house unfortunately and yea haha. We called her quits. and went back for the night haha. 
Well that was our week it was fun and productive and we almost hit standards of excellence too! it was nice for a change! We also had a lesson this week with Becky and got Bro. Teffer out! It was such a cool spiritual experience! When we got to the first vision I had to say it! I said it perfectly and it is so sweet how that testimony and vision can bring in the spirit and allow all to feel the spiritual witness of the Holy Ghost to confirm it. It was one of the better lessons we have taught :) But that was our week! We also had some very very kind members drop off a bunch of food for us it was sooooo nice :) We loved it! God bless them! Our cupboards are pretty full now! We only have to buy milk and some snacks haha its awesome! I love you all and my spiritual thought for this week is Spiritual CPR is the way we can grow and increase our testimony! It stands for church, prayer, reading of the words of God! It has blessed my life and the life of our investigators.  

Windsor Ward (can you spot Elder Joe?)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Christmas is Coming!

A reminder to friends and family if you are sending Elder Joe something for Christmas.  Please send it to his mission home address and check Canada Post to see what the timelines are for delivery on Christmas letters and parcels.  We will be putting Elder Joe's Christmas package in the mail probably in the next week or two... just to be sure it gets there before Christmas.

Elder Joseph P. Sopal
Canada Toronto Mission
197 County Court Blvd. Ste 203
Brampton, ON L6W 4P6

Week 9 Initiation: The Freeze Out!

Elder Joe by the Detroit River
Last week was once again a slow week in all of Windsor :/ we are all experiencing some problems with finding new investigators. This week we started doing a lot of member work trying to be careful not to drink the "devils kool aid" as our mission president put it. We visited a awesome Less-active man that name is Bro. Nolan he is so cool! He is what we call a mountain man. He has his house full of paintings and tools and saws and guns all in his front living room haha. He is burely and big. He has the biggest beard I have seen haha. He kind of looks like a Santa Clause! I think every ward has one of those members that looks like that haha. They are always so nice and Christ-like! 
This past week we have found some new investigators to teach actually which was pretty cool! We came across a house full of 13 Jamaicans living together. They are seasonal workers and are here for awhile! They are so awesome! The lessons with them have been going great! They love the Book of Mormon and always give us Carrot Ginger Jucie haha! they are some of the nicest people I have met! We are going to try to baptize the house haha :P It should be fun next lesson we are going to pretty much teach a class the lessons haha. They are all like "yea man, God is good man!" I love how they talk haha. 
Becky is our only notable investigator who is showing progress! She is awesome! We are helping here come closer to God as she is praying daily! She was nervous about opening up the Book of Mormon but she is now reading from it! She loves the old english style of it! It is so awesome! She is now reading a lot and enjoying it! She feels the Spirit every lesson and this Sunday she is coming to Church! The progress has been amazing that she has made and her daughter sees the change in her. 

On the missionary front we now have a functioning ward missionary leader who is so awesome! He is a PMG mission leader and is helping to increase the work here in Windsor! So we are so excited! 
Alright well here are the stories from the week :). 
Well this week we biked in a lot of rain and cold weather! The cold is finally here and might be here to stay haha. Yesterday we went out to Remembrance day with the Stake President Sandor! He is super cool and super accomplished. We attended the ceremony here and saw the cannons fire and the planes fly over head! It was so cool to go and see all the people there! It was a neat experience and good way to just put our name out in the community that we support those people who serve and have served. We went for lunch at a chinese place after and it was delicious. I am loving the food here in Windsor! I am becoming a pro at using chop sticks haha. After that we went out and went dropping by some of our members till later afternoon and as we were heading back out it started to snow like crazy here! The hard stuff that is like frozen rain haha! Try riding a bike into that! It was a blast and a half! We were soaked to our bone, our hands were cold, our feet were cold, our bodies cold. Later that evening we went back out and as we were riding our gears on our bikes started to freeze! Even our brakes started to freeze which made a good time for trying not to get hit by cars and jazz haha. So ya that was quite eventful! It is aweful to ride bikes when it is so cold but hey we are doing the work of salvation :P It comes at a cost I guess haha. So that was a fun experience.

Apparently Elder Koceja does not care for the Canadiens hockey team??
Well After daily planning Elder Koceja and I decided to have what we call a freeze out. It is something that i guess crazy missionaries do for fun haha. So we left the back porch door open all night and slept like that haha. It was so freezing cold but so much fun! I actually slept so good! We had also a movie night till bed time we watch The John Tanner Story! It is so good I would recommend it to anyone to watch! We made big bowls of popcorn and sat back and relaxed! It was awesome haha. Then we endured the long cold night and I woke up at 430 and was like man I am freezing chucked on a sweater and closed the door haha Elder Koceja said I did not endure haha and compared it to the judgement seat of God haha and that I could not say I endured my whole life.
It was a good week and a good night :) Well that is our week and it was quite slow but still good :) My testimony is growing every day and every day I am learning to teach people more by the Spirit its awesome! I love being out here on my mission :) Thank you all for the support! 

Elder Sopal Signing off.
The Detroit River

The Detroit River

Elder Joe & Elder Minors

Elder Joe & his companion, Elder Koceja

Elder Joe along the Detroit River.  What a nice winter coat!

So proud that my boy is cooking healthy meals for himself...  minus the Gingerale. 

Goofy companion

Elder Minors on the bridge
Goofing around at the park.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Week 8: Bicycles & Winter Boots

Elder Koceja with the broken bike.

So our bikes broke down official on Thursday!  So Elder Koceja rode the broken black bike to Sis Sharp's place and he ended up having to talk it back again and almost ended up dying as he biked lol. The next day with our bikes we played Mr. Fix it so I finally have brakes on my bike for now lol. I have almost ran over people and gotten run over by cars because I have no brakes lol. So on Friday Elder Koceja kind of put together a bike to ride on friday to our appt. it took quite awhile to get there his bike was aweful! His back wheel looked like would break off the gears and then he was trying to peddle up a mountain on a flat stretch lol. He was about to die and his patience was running a wee bit short. So he started having to walk to as I rode beside his bike then he said I am done and took his bike to a garbage and dumped it lol Ill send the picture of it to you! It was one of those small garbages and we salvage the seat with the light on it haha. It was the only good part of the bike. It was funny because we had three appts where we carried the bike seat with us and it made people asked a lot of questions haha. We had pizza at a members house on Friday! It was so good! We haven't really had much food usually missionaries do not the week of transfer lol they are all a bit selfish in that aspect. So I am excited for today because we will get to buy really good food!

I have been having some problems sleeping! I wake up A lot! A funny story about sleep actually happened yesterday! So we all knew about the day light changing or savings times and stuff lol. So we changed our clocks head one hour ahead and then we went to bed! So we got up in the morning thinking it was 6 am! We got ready and got downstairs at 730 waiting for our ride it became 8 and we were like shoot our ride is late! Silly missionaries! We went back inside and phoned them! Our clocks somehow got 2 hours ahead! It was awful! We called the zone leaders and woke them up haha and they were none to pleased with us phoning at 5 haha. Oh well. so we only got like 4 hours of sleep! 

I went on another exchange this week with Elder Tinney into our area! It was fun tracting all day! We had an appt with this one potential and he bought us milkshakes! He is pretty awesome his name is Andrew! We met and talked to a lot of people again! It is great! The past P-day we got to go to Devonshire mall and we felt so apostate going into A.E. and it was great but weird lol I have not been in the mall for a long time lol. We bought some new ties and all that good stuff. At sport chek a member works there so we went to go find boots for Elder Cowley and I and we bought boots that she got us for half price off and it was so sweet! So I only had to pay 70ish for them! They are nice boots! I am prepared for the winter! 
Elder Joe in his new winter hat.

Halloween was pretty good! It rained all day again! Then we went out and bought pizza! It was great! We had a party with Elder Minor's and Cowley in our apartment! It was so much fun and then we partied Elder Koceja and I till 10:30 doing weekly planning haha. We even got some Halloween candy :P

My comp is super silly sometimes and so I do not get privacy in the shower and one day in the shower he put all the chairs into our apartment! Into my closet! It was funny but he made me late for personal study! erg haha. We love playing jokes with each other! 

Well yesterday was Stake Conference! It was so cool we went up to London! With some Less-active members and they were so much fun to ride up with! We listened to some Johnny Cash Gospel music lol. And much much more. It was none the less an interesting ride! There was so many people at Stake conference! Like 300-400 people! Most LDS people I have seen in a long time! It was such a good meeting and I sought a lot of revelation! I found out so many cool things! It was nice compared to the Saturday broadcast where we watch the first five minutes and then we never got to hear any parts of the other talks for more then 3 mins :( it was sad! But It was a good spiritual experience! In the morning Elder Cowley and Minors brought over a Ham! I was the only one who knew how to cook ham so i prepared it and stuck it into the slow cooker!   Anyways when we got back home I prepared the dinner and it was so delicious! They were all impressed that I could make such a good dinner! They were all jealous of Elder Koceja! But later that night Elder Koecja started to feel sick and literally started to die. So i left him laying on the couch and his stomach was killing him while I made calls and filled out teaching forms and then he was out cold I came back to find him dead on the floor lol. Fast asleep. After that he was feeling awful the whole night and it was sad but kind of funny! But now he is feeling all better! So we are happy about that :) and he left me a nice surprise on our mirror again this morning! We are saved! Transfer calls were last night it took so long waiting for the calls but they never came! So I am still here in Windsor. Elder Koceja is my comp and the only Elder to leave is Elder Minors and Leamington Elders are getting white washed out. 

They survived transfer day.  Another month together. 

Poor Elder Koceja.  He was not feeling well and crashed on the couch. 

Well some notes on our investigators. Not a lot happened this week again. Becky is doing great and she is preparing for baptism and is so excited! Then There is Mark, Sherye, and Nathanyl! They are super nice people! Then Scott, Julie and, Jade a family. Then we have a new investigator Mikey who is super quiet and really conservative. It is interesting teaching him because he does not say anything! But he is preparing for baptism! Then there is veronica who has been evading us for awhile and same with Chris. Then we have Grazyana and this past week we had to let go of Rob because he was not progressing and what we call an eternal investigator :/ it was hard to do so. But oh Well

This was my week! Happy Halloween!!!! 

Love you all! :) 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Week 7: Hats and Exchanges

Haha nope no snow not yet :P It has been getting a little chilly but not bad.

So we got a new investigator this past week :) Her name is becky and her daughter is Emma. Her daughter got her interested in religion as she wants to find a chruch for her daughter to be raised in. She wants to come to Church next Sunday and has been taking the lessons really well. She does not know much about religion or Jesus so we started from ground zero and it has been so cool seeing her start to grow a testimony of Jesus Christ and God and growing that relationship. We had a lesson this past week about the plan of salvation! It was so solid cause she had some past trials that really made the Plan of Salvation hit home for her! I love seeing the needs of the investigators met by the gospel of Jesus Christ. She had a baptism date set for Nov. 24 which I am excited to see happen. 

So this week I went on two exchanges. One out to Leamington and one out to Chatham. The first one was with Elder Steele who is a sweet humble old missionary! He has been out for a year and a half. He is pree awesome in that he is super knowledgeable about missionaries and does spanish work. So he talked a lot about growing as a missionary and how to react to rejection and concur our troubles. He gave a lot of good advice. It was a pleasure to serve with him. So in his apartment his shower has a huge hole in the wall and is quite gross. Man some missionaries apartment are having trouble keeping them clean lol. But they had a piano and it was fun to play that and the ukelele. 
Next exchnage I went out to serve with Elder Carter! He is super nice and pree cool! He does spanish work too. We did a lot of drop bys and talked to a bunch of spanish people. We taught a less active who is quitting smoking! It was cool to see that change he is making and how the atonement of Christ is helping him. They have a super nice apartment and also have some work out machine as well as leamington but for some reason we dont oh well. It was fun being out in Leamington because there is both a lot of Spanish people and Jamaicans. 

Well this Saturday was the most interesting and unfortunate day. We exchnaged back saturday morning and went out to Mcds for lunch it was delicious! Then we went to teach Grazyana! It was a good lesson we helped her to finally come to a realization of the Godhead and how they are separate beings and also really pray and ask God if the Word of Wisdom is of God. We are enjoying teaching her and really trying to get her ready for baptism! After her we started over to a mebers place to go see how they were doing and taught about the importance of scriptures and how we show our love for God by reading his words.

After this visit we started off on our journey from downtown Windsor we were cruizing on our bikes going pretty fast when Elder Koceja hit a bump and started having troubles riding. He looked back and said he popped his tire on a huge bump that he rode over. Soon after him telling me I noticed my own tire flat as can be and now just riding on the rim. Elder Koceja and I rode 5 kms back to our apartment. We had no choice and had to get back to go to a members for dinner as we did not want to miss it. Our luck had been depleted and it started raining as we rode back home. That evening we had some delicious pizza! It was so good I missed having pizza. After we went and knocked on the huge houses along the Detroit River that are like million dollar summer homes. 

One other exciting experience was yestorday we had two lessons where we had 5 rpls which are when people come and join in the lesson to our investigator! So we taught a bunch of people! They all came to listen. We taught a decent plan of Salvation lesson to some high school students at their house and they asked some solid questions. We are trying to help them establish a relationship with God. After we met this guy named Scott who had gotten into some anti material. So Elder Koceja and I were preapred for the worst. But it turned out to be a super infortmative lesson as we talked and discussed and bore testimony of the truth of our Church and the Doctrines. After the lesson we asked if they would read the Book Of Mormon and pray about it! Scott said no way haha but his wife Julie and his daughter Jade asked for a hard copy and really was interested as they both felt the spirit so strong during us talking! We left quickly while the spirit was still there! It was great! 

Well that is all for this week! Kind of a boring week! But man I am loving the mission. It is great here. I would not want to do anything else but this. I love the people here I am meeting and serving. We are going to find people next transfer and this one and help them come unto Christ and enter the waters of baptism!!!!! I am so excited to be serving with Elder Koceja we are hitting it off while and teaching like bosses. 

Well Till next week all! Have a great week and love you all!!!!!!! 
My area is the top section of Windsor

The scripture "and my father dwelt in a tent," rings true!

Detroit and the Detroit River.

Our lovely table setting that remains like this every day.


Elder Koceja in his funny hat with me in the church.

My lunch that I made.  I did not set my comps food out yet, whoops haha

A lovely note I found this morning, apparently my companion likes me a little too much LOL