Monday, 26 May 2014

Transfer 6 Week 6

Our first baptism! Janus Jiang!
District lunch

Elder Johanson is the one i did exchanges with that day!
So these are of me and the dog mexi! Whom we hung out on exchanges! Elder Johanson is the one i did exchanges with that day!

Laying a meadow. 
Giving Service is hard work

Elder Joe has been learning how to play hymns from the Simplified book and 
accompanies for meetings now.

Sis. Wight from Lethbridge just happened to be visiting Elder Joe's ward
Well it is that time again everyone! transfer calls coming up this Sunday! It has been a super quick transfer once again! i swear time just keeps moving faster and faster! I am so excited to see what next transfer will bring! Hopefully nothing too crazy! I will be soooo sad if I do leave this area! I will say this that I love this area and it is a pretty darn good one! So last week we had another tennis match against Elder Johanson and Elder Lowry! We were looking like we were going to lose but we come off victorious! Elder Cowley and I have become pro over night! It will be sad when our tennis matches will be over as the Niagara knights! :( I do have to hand it to tennis players! it is most definitely a hard sport!

Tennis on PDay
Anyhow after This was all part of our fun on prep day as it was on Tuesday! The evening before we got to see some awesome fire works! It is the best after finishing planning to watch fire works and celebrate what you have accomplished today and think those fire works are for us! So after Tuesday came Wednesday of course. We drove up to Skills and Interviews! This was going to be our last interview with President Scott before he goes home. I really will miss him. It is so weird thinking he is leaving as I have only known him for so little time and usually your mission President stays the same! President Scott has helped me so much with everything and has provided me with some crucial feedback and help that I have been so grateful for to help me in my missionary work. So we got to go into interviews first! We talked about the road to disciple-ship and what I can do to be more of a disciple. It was nice to have the interview where it was as Elder Izzh and I had been given the opportunity to give an instruction on Importance of Member work. it was interesting to plan for and than the time leading up to it I will be honest, I was sooooo nervous! When elder Izzy came back from his interview we begun! It took some time but slowly became more natural! We did a great job and the Zone Leaders seem to be pleased and did not have to much bad things to say! haha So it was a success none the less. Coming back home we got to have Pho which is a Vietnamese dish and is actually so good and super filling! That day we came back and went to the Breeze's for dinner, and following them we wanted to place one book of Mormon in the area before leaving. We met this Catholic guy and was kind and talked to us for 25 minutes but just really wanted us to understand how wrong we were. We were able to leave him with it but he said it might end up in the garbage. Hopefully not. Anyhow we went to Young men's to talk with and help them out! it has been fun getting to know the Young men more and help them develop closer relationships with themselves and the missionaries! Thursday yet again weekly planning! We got to go into the soup kitchen today as we had our day off on Tuesday. I will say that I have come to love the older ladies we work with on Tuesdays! they are so much more inviting and warm and friendly haha.

 That day we met with Janus and had an awesome lesson about the Apostasy! He also tried out the baptismal suit and we even practiced in the font! haha He was sooo excited to get baptized.  Friday came and we finished our last little bit of planning and than we went out tracting and worked hard in the morning but was not able to find anybody to teach! Oh well. Than Sis De Meel wanted us to come over to continue working on her yard! We continued to build our meadow and it was sooo nice to lay on when we were done! We came back in the morning to finish up what we left over and than had an awesome left over lunch! That Saturday was sooo busy! We ran from appt to appt! We also got three new invs! Donmark, a Jamaican, his friend Shawn, and Chris. We taught them all at the same time and man was it interesting! We had to teach towards a Jehovah witness and Roman Catholic! It was a hard lesson but interesting non the less! So Velma and Gabrielle have been doing better with not smoking and have been keeping to the program! We are so happy they are working towards overcoming it! Than the big day came of Sunday! Janus was going to get baptized! We got everything ready and started filling up the font early! We steamed up the room so badly! haha the fan was not working at all. Anyhow janus showed up in his suit and tie! With a huge smile on his face. He was soooo excited to get baptized. he loved singing the songs with us and really enjoyed the meetings. After church we set up for his baptismal service and it went fantastic! it was a major success! i got the great privilege of doing the baptism. I will say that Chinese names are soooo hard to pronounce! But I got it right just in time! It was the first one of my mission and i will always remember it! It is the neatest experience being able to help someone from the very beginning enter into the waters of baptism! I felt the most joy I have that few moments in the water than I ever have. It has brought great joy to my soul to see people enter into the waters of baptism and have a fresh start to their lives.  Well this was the big finish to our week and this letter!
Elder Sopal signing off! Love ya all!

Transfer 6 Week 4

Hola todo el munda,

This week was great! Monday night we did not get to see the Poulin's but we did get to see another family, The Curry's. Elder lowry and Bro. Curry had a fun evening where he found out the secret identity of my companion and so we teased him about the next time we come over how he is going to have a throne and fine china set and all this to sit on for Elder Lowry. He also bought a coconut for Elder Lowry to open! We were all sooo excited but he could not do it as he apparently did not have the right utensils. I got some pics so I will send em out. After we went and did some good old tracting! Tuesday came and we were back at the Soup Kitchen, nothing to crazy happened there just the norm. After we met with Janus and were still trying to help him overcome his concerns about Joseph Smith so we have been going into depth on his life and all that he did! It was so amazing how strong the Spirit was as we testified and talked about the life of Joseph. I was pleasantly surprised how much the Spirit helped me to remember. Than we were off again to go do more tracting and contacting! The weather has been continuing to get nice here and so tons of people are out and about! Wednesday came and we had district meeting! I have been working on my piano skills and slowly improving more and more, making less mistakes when I play. I am still far from being able to play the hymns in the actual book but it is nice to be able to hear the voices and listen more carefully and ponder the words and how the music supports it. We had a board office district meeting which was cool! We are always mixing it up! After we went and taught Andrew our returning less active member. He is still loving learning. We are now to the issue of the commandments with him and are going to begin to try to help him overcome his issues with it. We hope he continues to have a desire to change his life to follow more on the straight and narrow path which he loves to be on! Once more we were back at it tracting again! it has been so awesome chatting with people and trying different ways to see what might interest them! We have been having success by offering service to others and so we hope that these will lead to us teaching them and so forth from there. We had the Atkin's for dinner it was nice to visit with them and hear more of their stories from Mongolia. Man all the members here really do love the missionaries and we love them for keeping us well feed haha. After the Atkins we went to the church to sit down with Janus and we brought Erica to come and help us out!We watched the restoration Dvd and also discussed some very specific chapters being Mosiah 27, Alma 5, and Galatians 5. I would recommend those chapters to anyone who is needing help with receiving a spiritual witness to their testimony or seeking more guidance in what they can do to increase the Spirit in their lives! It went really well and we were pleased to have Erica with us to bear a strong powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith. I really wish we would of let her teach more of the discussion! haha After we had Ward Council! It went quite well and it is still becoming more productive! I really wish I could get more organized to do more to help this ward out. This is such an amazing ward. Thrusday came and we had weekly planning again and let me tell you it just keeps coming quicker! So we had the Taylors for dinner. Friday came and just did more tracting and contacting haha. We got to met with Shea again, Andrew's son! So we have started teaching him again and just helping him learn more about the church and God and our believes. It is nice to build from the ground up. I find that a lot easier than having to destroy the structure or alter the structure that might already be in place with people. Than that eve we met with Terri and Sis Brogan and went over the gospel of Christ and tried helping him understand the importance of following the Gospel and help him understand that the steps in the Gospel are and have been restored and we only do know them through and because of the restoration. it was a decent lesson but my head was rather sore so it was hard to maintain focus. Saturday was our big day! We met with Janus and brought Bro Oliver. he is an awesome older gentleman from England! So we met and got way off course with our lesson talking about recent movies and comparing them to the reality of the world as we see it. it was a great topic. But as we got refocused Janus just came out and said I Believe this is true. I just kept talking and he than said, I believe this is all true, that this is Christ's church and man I could not stop myself from smiling or know what to say. That was probably the worst lesson I have taught since I came out haha. But ya so we set up Janus baptism! And he ask to be baptized this coming Sunday! So here is hoping! We are so excited for him! Than Velma and Gabrielle we saw them too that evening at the Woodruff's. We took them through the Stop Smoking Workshop which is a special workshop created by a companionship and it has helped sooo many people! So we did it for them and it was an awesome discusssion and work shop! Their commitment to quit it so inspiring and has motivated me to want to help other people over come this troublesome addiction. Anyhow they are still following every step to the key! They have been non smokers for 5 days now and counting! We are so proud of them! Well this week has been great! I went on an exchange with Elder Johanson and we practiced Spanish together and read some chapters from the Book of Mormon so my Spanish is getting better! Well guys I love you all! talk to you later have an awesome week!

Transfer 6 Week 3

Elder Joe on Skype

Talking to Elder Joe on Mother's Day

Hey Everyone!!!

Well this past week was Mother's day! Happy Mother's day to all! So I must say to all go and check out the hall mark video called "The World's toughest job." and than also go onto or check out this These are so awesome videos about Mother's Day. I am so grateful for my Mother she is the reason I am here! She has taught me all that I know. She raised me in the Gospel and helped me to grow mine own testimony. She taught me how to cook, clean, do laundry, manage time, to study, to learn. I owe my Mom everything as she brought me into this life. She has shown me love and support for me in all I do. She has taught me valuable lessons about life that could not be learned but by experiencing them. She has been there for me through the hard times and the best of times. She has celebrated my successes with me and comforted me when I just fell short. She never gave me the answers I wanted but helped me find them out for myself. I love my Mom! Thank you for all you have done! I cannot put into words how much I Love you and appreciate you! I invite you all to remember your Mom's and continue to make them feel loved and special and do everything you can for them! 

Well this week was pretty good! We had an exchange and I went with Elder Cowley and well I probably had a little too much fun. We talked too a tons of people and went tracting in some crazy ghetto areas! We also went out to Fort Erie and he peered out over the horizon to gaze upon buffalo! He felt closer to his home haha. So we had some fun tracting and contacting experiences and took the long way back to Niagara as we drove along the lake Erie down to the Falls. We also were being pretty silly in the evening and played rock paper scissors and shoot eachother with nerf darts! haha. 

This week we finally saw the fire works! It is awesome Elder Lowry and I sit on our porch and just have some nice drinks and watch them! We have the perfect view of it! 

Well not to much to say! But Janus will be getting baptized this Sunday! And we will be having a wedding too! 

Anyways sorry for sooo little! I love you! talk to you later!!! Have an awesome day!

Transfer 6 Week 2


Well this week was pretty good! Monday after emailing we went and played tennis for a bit! That was quite fun! I was told I am quite a professional. Who woulda thought haha. That evening was good as we went over to the Poulin's for dinner. We had a awesome lesson after talking about the Spirit and how it is different and unmistakable for a personal desire. It was fun to have a deep Gospel talk with the whole family. It turned into a long discussion but was really a great experience for everyone. It definitely helped me strengthen my testimony! Tuesday Soup Kitchen of course. But first I must tell you this week was probably the most wettest week I have had since I have been out on my mission! It rained like the whole week! Plus my umbrella broke so it was pretty great! Anyways continuing on. We did a ton of tracting this whole week! Tuesday we taught Janus again! And we saw Velma and helped them learn more about how to use the web site. They love all the videos that are on there! As they are big movie buffs. We had an awesome dinner at the Sykes house. They are actually my Dad's baby sitters from Raymond! Too funny how small the world is! Wednesday we had district meeting and we helped someone move! It was the longest and most hardest move I have ever done! haha we loaded a 26 foot U haul full! It was all Elder Lowry and I and one other person who loaded that thing up! After moving we went to the Young mens and played some pool! Our thrusday for the most part was booked with unloading the U haul and all that good stuff. Surprisingly the week traveled by incredible fast! Friday we traveled up to Hamilton for Zone Training. It was a great meeting. Once again the Spirit was strong as always. We have some ambitious goals for this zone in this month and hope to accomplish them! One goal that we set that day was for the weekend, we wanted to find 26 new invs! So we set that in faith and we saw an amazing miracle. By the end of the weekend we saw 30 new invs enter into the Hamilton teaching pool! At the lesson it kind of hit me. I really have learned the need to teach to peoples needs and not just teach lessons. It is so awesome as we listen to people and what they have to saw they always highlight truths of the Gospel! I am so grateful for the Spirit which helps me know what to say and when to say it! I have truly learned well have started to understand and learn how the Spirit talks to me! I am so grateful for these experiences I am having out here as it prepares me for the rest of my mission!  A ton of things happened this weekend and some very crazy stuff that would take forever to write about haha. Ask me to tell you when I get home about this past week! I would have to say what stuck out was Sunday. We got to go to church and this Sunday was special as we fasted with one of our invs and it turned out to be a great experience for everybody! Janus is progressing welll and is hopefully going to get baptized next week! We are super excited and really hopeful that everything will workout! Well we saw all our other invs this past week and we are just slowly helping them along. Not to much to report on. But I will say this that after this week! I have a lot stronger testimony of fasting! When we give up food and some of our money for those meals it is truly something that the Lord does not leave unnoticed and allows for us to be more spiritual in tune. Oh I had another fun experience at church that I can share! After Sacrament meeting we went into the Gospel Principles class and found out the teacher was actually going to the doctrine class. So Elder Sopal, that being me, was like well I guess we are teaching it. Elder Lowry was not to keen on this so I got to lead and teach the class! I must say serving a mission really does  help and prepare you for teaching in class settings! Without what I know now and the teaching skills I have acquired because of the Spirit and the help of God I was able to do a "great job" in the words of our Ward mission leader for not having read over the lesson or anything haha.  Well I must say this week I feel like I have learned a ton about teaching! I feel more prepared to teach invs and other people after this week and what I have learned. Well I am just blabbing on again haha. I would encourage you all to learn and study Preach My Gospel! It is the key to teaching and missionary work along with the Spirit. Study Chapter 10 and follow those principles to the key! I know Preach my Gospel is inspired and I revere it as scripture. I know that what is in there is the fundamental way to help invite others to come unto Christ by helping them to receive the restored Gospel. I am forever grateful to my Father in Heaven for allowing me this chance to serve here in the Canada Toronto mission! It is the best mission in the whole world! haha Love you all! have an awesome week!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Transfer 6 Week 1

Well there goes the first week of the transfer. It was a good week! We got some new members to our district! Elder Lowry and I stayed together. We got Elder Itthipornvanich, Elder Macdonald, and Elder Johanson. Monday night we had our weekly dinner at the Poulin's! It was BBQ night! We did an object lesson about keeping the whole Armour of God on and how important it is to always have every piece on! We peeled an orange and dropped it into water! We slowly peeled it off showing how important it is to wear all the Armour of God. It did not quite go as planned but still work out pretty good!

Tuesday came and we were back at the Soup Kitchen. The lovely ladies were so glad to see us! Some of them ever gave us hugs they were so happy to see us. Elder Lowry and I had a good laugh! They have become our temporary Grandma's. They always make sure we don't leave empty handed and give us some of the food!

We saw Velma and Gabrielle today! They are doing awesome we are just waiting and praying for them to get their divorce things in the mail. After that next step is to get hitched and then dunked! It was fun to teach about the law of tithing. For all you teachers of the gospel or even just life lessons here is how we teach it!  Always teach the Doctrine and Principles, the doctrine is the why and the principles is the what and how. If we do this with the commandments of the Lord our understanding will deepen of them. As we teach the doctrine instead of the rules will help people change their behaviors and help them to grow a great testimony of these teachings. I would encourage all to study the doctrines of the commandments and than learn of the principles. As you do this I promise you will be a more effective teacher of the Doctrine of Christ.
Elder Lowry, ???, Elder Joe
We got our mail this week thank you to the awesome people who i received mail from! It was appreciated! Wednesday was good! We finally got on top of the ward paper work. Our Ward Mission leader kicked it into gear and well now we are official caught up and the ward has direction to take on the work of Salvation! We also got breakfast out of this deal of helping him figure out what needs to be done! We met with Andrew today our returning less active. He is sweet. He has been really enjoy learning about the gospel again through the missionary lessons. He has been able to feel the Spirit at church and loves how it has helped him to be more positive over the last little while. We had dinner at the Gilmor's which was amazing as always. We love going over to their house! They have such a nice backyard and we are trying to track down these foxes and the new born foxes to see them. Supposedly they are super cute and Elder Lowry has yet to see what a fox looks like. 

Thursday was weekly planning yet again! We got to go with Elder Lowry's uncle for lunch again. He is an older fellow but super super nice! It is enjoyable to hear what he has to say as he has had a ton of different life experiences. Then we came back and finished and than we had Janus! Janus is doing awesome he has now learned everything and this coming week he is going to be fasting with us to spiritually prepare himself for his answer! He is sooo excited to do this! He has been reading and praying for so long so we really do pray and hope he will receive his answer as that is what we are waiting for as for that he does want to be baptized but wants God approval. SO we talked a lot about that and also went over tithing! He said how it just made so much sense to him that God would have the members pay 10% and than it goes back to the church to pay and it benefits the members. He say the real reason behind it and why we do it so he was like when can I start paying it! It was awesome to see how eager he was! We got to go to the Holgram's for dinner. It was fun to get to know them as they are more quiet older couple at church! it was so crazy during the Spiritual thought she was like my brother Chris is here and he is gone from this life. We saw an ornament move from side to side and a wind come up! it was so crazy!
Elder Lowry, ???, Elder Joe

Friday we had district meeting which was about extending bold commitments and I also played the opening and closing hymns! I can finally play most of the hymns in the hymns made easy book! I thank the Lord for the talent of learning things quickly and for my musical abilities! Then we did a ton of tracting and drop-bys! We went over to the Slavin's for dinner. Than it started raining that night! So we tracted in the rain. We had very little success but we talk to quite a few people. As we walked through the rain i realized my feet felt like they were walking in a puddle and turned out that there was a hole in them!  Oh well I guess that means I am getting older now in my missionary time haha. The evening we had a lesson with a wonderful PMF, The Brogans. We love Sis Brogan to death! She is just sooo kind and giving. She has come to understand charity and the pure love of Christ well. Bro. Brogan has made a lot of changes in his life to allow his wife to be baptized like getting married. So we have starting teaching him and are working towards helping him receive his answer! 

Saturday was pretty good too! we went over and had lunch with Velma and Gab. We went over the Baptismal Interview questions! She is so excited to getting closer to be able to be baptized! She is super prepared and can answer these questions! It is so awesome how the lessons we teach and the commitments we leave help them to have spiritual experiences they need to have to prepare them for the interview. We also saw Janus again and went over the same thing! It was nice to teach similar stuff that day. Than we went over to the Brogans. We taught the Restoration. 

Than it was Sunday. The ward was happy to see us still there and that they did not have to get to know new missionaries. We had one at church on Sunday but hopefully next one we will have more people come! 

Well this week was kind of slow but we had a lot of teaching to do! We hope to find some new people this next week and help our other people enter into the waters! We are so excited for this up coming week! Keep strong and remember to pray! I love you all! Thank you all for your support and love! Have an awesome week!

Transfer 5 week 6

Hiking with the District
Well this week we spent a ton of time doing service! Monday we went adventuring again and found a sketchy cave that we decided to venture into! We also were soaked to the bone and got sooo muddy. Than there was this sweet waterfall too that we all wanted to play in but did not haha. After our little adventure we went and changed and went over to the Poulin's. We arrived quite late so they had already eaten and they watched us eat. You know I've never been a fan of people watching me eat but it was all good. It was a good evening and we had fun talking about there weekend with the wedding and all. It was great to see all the pictures and see the wedding come together nicely. Not saying I am excited for that day or anything haha. Tuesday came and we went to the Soup Kitchen and ended up taking literally huge box of food home with us! They had received 10 crates full of salads! So for the past week we had some delicious ceaser salad. Wednesday came and we did not have district meeting. That evening we got to go to young mens and we played risk with them. It was awesome to hang out with some of the young men and help them to enjoy themselves and to fellowship some of them. It got pretty intense but was quite enjoyable.

Pizza courtesy of Elder Joe's mom

working hard performing service

Thursday came mighty quick and this was the starting of our service projects. So we went over to Sis Dee Mel's place and we helped tear up sod and than move it away from some of their trees. It was so beautiful that day! The weather has been getting so much warmer. So we worked up a sweat and got the job done but we will have to go back to do more. Our reward was not money but lunch! I also got a little bit of my summer tan going. It was nice to do something a little different for a change. After that we went to Dylan's house one of the recent converts and we cut down her trees and removed her fence. More strenuous work and was well needed. I always love giving service! You just feel so good after doing it and it is always fun well doing it too. So we did not have any rope to help pull down the trees so we got a hose instead and I climbed the tree and hooked it on and took it down! It was a fun day as people walked by and thought I was crazy for pulling this tree towards me. I honestly thought for a bit too I would get impaled by it. We also took out some metal concrete posts. Man those things were a pain! I was about ready to take dynamite to it! But it helped me to learn and exercise my patience. I am a strong believer when you pray for patience or pray for something the Lord will not just give you that attribute but will give you experiences that work that attribute to strengthen it!

After our service we went over to the Atkins and had Janus over for dinner. It was quite the meal as we made our own subs! It was neat as Janus Had never made his own subs and than after he learned about how delicious it is to put chocolate syrup and other stuff on ice cream!

We had no time to do weekly planning so we put it off. Friday was our busy busy day! We first had our ward pancake breakfast! Which was super good! It was awesome as we had Scooter and her family there and had a fun time. After we traveled over to district meeting. It was nice to role-play cause we had the Zone Leaders there. We talked a lot about the Atonement and just how important it is to help our investigators understand it. I love teaching the Atonement of Jesus Christ as it literally is what Salvation is through Christ. I love teaching about the redemptive power of the Atonement. I have felt its power in my life time and time again! It is amazing how deep the Atonement is and how you can study it forever and not even get close to understanding any of it. I am so grateful for the understanding I do have of the Atonement and for that great act of love by the Savior. I encourage all to study and apply the Atonement in your life and seek for the healing power for any wounds that may not be healed.

district meeting - knights of the round table??
After the meeting we took off to the Mandarin. We went on an awfully bad day! We went on a holiday and ended up having to pay sooooo much! The food is just so good it is simple irresistible! Friday night we got a special opportunity to attend the Easter Cantata. The musical numbers were amazing and really moving. I want to wish you all A very Happy Past Easter. That evening we got to ride up with the Poulin's  to the Cantata. As always hanging out with the Poulin's was great! We always have great time doing whatever we might. At the Cantata I got to experience a very special experience but I will tell of this. While one of the songs were being sung. The lyrics rang through my head and the Spirit testified to me of my Savior, Jesus the Christ, and that he really does live. I know he lives and did rise again. I am so grateful for this time to remember him and am grateful to have my testimony of that. Saturday we got breakfast at the Curry's. It was a great start to the morning. After that we went back over to Dylans and helped with the fence! That evening we went over to the Miller's place. I had a great experience with some of the hottest hot sauce I have had in awhile! it destroyed my taste buds! Man was it ever hot. Elder Lowry took awhile to convince him but he did it too and he could not stop laughing! It was sooo funny but I felt bad as I knew how bad it really was. Sunday came and this Sunday was special! It was Transfer Sunday! So I really did not want to get transferred. Nor do I really want to leave. We had a great time at church! Janus came with us and he LOVED church. It was so cool to have him even join in singing with us! It was nice to see him singing as he was the first invs I have had who actually sung. Well that evening we went over to the Poulin's for an Easter dinner. It was fun as they had lots of people there. We got there and the party was already started. They decorated there garage and we all sat in there to eat. They had done up an Easter egg hunt for the missionaries, their kids, and also cousins i believe. It brought back a lot of memories as a kid. Than we ate and chatted. After we played basketball, Frisbee, and volleyball. It was quite a good Easter/transfer night. Than 9 rolled around and my nerves kicked in! We waited for that time pacing around and we got no call! So I am staying one more transfer here in Niagara at least! I am so excited for this transfer. I hope we will see some great miracles! :) Love you all! Talk to you later!

At the Poulin's house