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!