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! :)