Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hump Day Package from Home

Celebrating the one year mark (hump day) is pretty important after dedicating two years out of your life to church service.  I am so proud of our Elder Joe for the service he has given thus far in teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is an amazing young man.  
To celebrate this milestone we created a Hump Day package for him.  I filled it with a number of fun things:
  • a new pair of socks and gel insoles (walking all day makes those feet sore)
  • some sheet music and a CD that I ordered especially for him
  • his favorite chocolate bars
  • some food from the dutch store
  • a camel bag (something I found from the clothing exchange - it had camels on it)
  • animal crackers - camels inside
  • long letters from each of his immediate family
Then we covered it with #1 and hump day themes pictures, cartoons and quotes.  He wrote me this week that he loved it and enjoyed opening it.  After being so far away from him

By Cheryl K. Carpenter
As you come to the one-year mark of your mission, I am sending you this camel to remind you how far you have come, and where you are going.There are many similar characteristics of a great missionary and a camel.
The first is the "hump". Yes, you have crossed the mark and now are over the hump of the first year. But remember the hump of a camel is used to store food for the long journey. Camels can go for long periods of time without food, but he must store his food in his hump. A Missionary has learned from so many experiences, but a wise Missionary will store the knowledge he has gained, and put it to greater use the second half of his mission.
Another important symbol is what the camel does to be prepared to carry his load for his Master. A camel sometimes protests his heavy load, but he drops to knees for his Master, and once started, he patiently carries his load. As a missionary, sometimes the load seems heavy and difficult to carry but when you drop to your knees and succumb to the Master's will, he will carefully lead you and you can bear the load patiently, and do your Father in Heaven's work as he would have you do. This is why the camel's knees are heavily padded, as a Missionary; your knees are calloused from the many hours of kneeling in prayer.
The camel has high set eyes, that enable him to see long distances. A Missionary has his eyes set on higher things, he follows the Spirit that enables him to see the Children of God, those who are seeking answers, and he teaches them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The camel has broad, two-toed feet that keep it from sinking in desert sand. A missionary has a broad knowledge and a firm testimony of the Gospel. This enables him to teach with boldness and stand firm in his testimony. The people you teach do not yet have the blessing of such a sure-foot, but as you teach with love and the Spirit, you will help them gain their own testimony that will help them walk on firmer ground. One that will lead them back to their Father in Heaven.
So you see a Missionary has a lot in common with a camel. Put this camel where you can see it often. Dedicate yourself to do as the camel does. Serve your Master well and patiently over the long journey. You have come a long way; there is still much ground to cover. Continue to move forward, serving with love, until your mission is complete and your Father in Heaven will say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

No Letter only pictures with captions

Hey all no weekly for this week but here is picks!

Scarborough and my new comp!

This is my comp and Harmon, he is an awesome member who came from India! He was baptized here.

all of us at our new fav place Tim's!

Well even in the city there is forest!

Here is the sky line!

My family loves me and sent me a camel package for my hump day!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Transfer 9 Week 3: One Year Hump Day

Hey Everybody!!!
Well here it is. So my week and last week was long. We have been teaching A LOT of people and the members are so awesome and willing to come out teaching with us. So Tuesday last week was pretty good as we have a standing dinner appt at the Stiels every Preparation Day. But before that we went to Zone Sports. It was awesome to see the whole zone and chat with a ton of other missionaries. We had a fun time playing chair soccer. I had never played this before but boy was it fun! You have a chair that is your goal and the ball cannot touch it. So everyone is against everyone! It was a lot of fun! In the evening we had  some spaghetti and well most of you know How I feel about that haha. It is interesting the family we eat at is vegan  so the food there is always something different! After that we went and did some bus contacting. 
Wednesday we had Zone Training and it was a very Spiritual meeting. We were able to study the attributes of faith, hope, and charity. I love these Christ-like attributes. They honestly are what we must strive to have and obtain. As we develop these we will increase our love for the people we serve and are around. My faith in God and how he answers my prayers has grown sooo much. My faith in that what I am doing touches the lives of many. I have great faith in that I am a son of God and that I have a knowledge that my testimony has grown from what it once was. I know that a mission progresses you in your conversion and will if I let it turn me into the servant that God needs me to be. I felt the Spirit so strongly at this meeting and it re assured me of all that I am doing. I have cherished growing the love for all the people we meet and just feel such a strong connection for them that I do desire their salvation just as Alma and Amulek of old. I am still working on becoming like them and need to work on identifying the Spiritual promptings I receive and following them! 
After the meeting we headed back to our area. We went and tracted some apartment buildings and OYMed on the street. It was a lot of fun. I still love talking to so many different individuals every day! In the evening we went and dropped by a Part member family the Duffey's and it was nice to be able to see them. We invited her kids out to our basketball night. We hoped to see them there. Thursday was slow. Friday was filled with a lot of finding time! It is not to much fun to find but what changed finding for me is how when you find instead teach! Right from the moment you meet someone begin to teach and bear witness of what you are sharing with them. Doing this makes finding a lot easier and can help you to help them to feel the Spirit. Testimony is one way or skill the always invites the Spirit into a conversation. 
Friday I got to go on an exchange and well it was a lot of fun. I got to go with Elder Fjeldsted from Utah. We had a blast talking to so many people and we even got to teach a few people. We taught one of their Part member families and he was so tired but really wanted to find out if what we were sharing was true. He has had no religious background at all so we have to work from the ground up to help him recognize and discern the Spirit in his life. It is hard trying or attempting to teach new things to people who have never felt these promptings before but we really helped him I believe. We were able to also help him set a goal of October 25 to pray about Baptism. Later on that night we also had an amazing lesson about the restoration of the priesthood. We bore strong powerful witness and our recent convert Harmon joined with us and we brought the Spirit into the home that the lights went out haha. It was a huge rainstorm. Saturday we had Marius and Anita and than we had basketball again. It was another good day!
Now to skip to this week! So we have been having a lot of problems helping out invs attend church. We have been having such a hard time and I cannot figure out why. All we can do is continue to teach and pray that investigators will come. Greshan, our investigator from Sri Lanka was supposed to come but was not able to as his ride, his friend which he invited to come with him did not show up. It destroyed me. I felt like I had so much hope and faith but I collected myself and was determined to get him out this week. So we tried having contact with him and getting members to call him and invited him out and what not. We prayed all week that he would come. Tuesday we did not have a chance to met with him but we will later on in the week. 
Tuesday for dinner we were over at the Burn's. They are a family from the Caribbean and  one other place. They are sooo funny and made the day a whole lot better. Jason is actually going on a mission soon to Mexico. Than we have another guy in our ward, Helaman who is going to BC! It is so awesome seeing these young men prepare for service haha. Their families are always asking us questions, I love it! Wednesday we went and did service for Sis. Bell and helped fix her fence and what not. We were also with a member Bro. Brigdalal. It was actually a lot of fun. He served a mission in Guyana and surrounding area. He has so much knowledge and was fun to hear some stories from his mission. Service was good, I helped out a little and just jumped in when the Elders could not figure out what to do haha. We teased Elder Fjeldsted a lot about lacrosse. Even Sis. bell joined in. The rest of the day was spent doing drop bys and tracting. Plus the rainy season is back! So we went and dropped by Bro. Brigdalal and he gave us some cookies! He has such a huge collection of books! I have never seen so many lds books in my life! He even has copies of the Book of Mormon when it was like 1927 and other rare writings. He shared a spiritual thought with us. He shared a quote that talked about categorizing God and how we have to take him and acknowledge him in all his forms. I love this idea and concept. God is so much and has so many attributes we sometimes only focus on a few but really we have to develop as many as we can.  
This week has been particularly week but it has been nice for a change instead of heat. Friday was good as we had District Meeting and we discussed more on Faith, Hope, and Charity. I would encourage you all to pray for these gifts and than to set goals and make plans to increase/ develop them as this will greatly help you! District Meeting was about helping investigators accept baptismal dates and then set goals and make plans to work towards them. It went really well. We had a competition that was seeing how many people we could invite to be baptized every day and total it up at the end of the week. We ended up getting the most as a district at 115! It was a great feat and really cool to see the miracles that came from that challenge. Saturday came and all our appointments fell through. So we did some tracting in the morning and than we taught a french lady named Ijay. She is Pentecostal and was really nice but LOVED talking haha. We finally got to see Greshan today too! We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We also got him a Book of Mormon in his own language, of Tamil. It literally looks like a bunch of scribbles haha. It was so cool to hear him pray in Tamoli and read in it. It is so neat how the Spirit will still tell you something is good even if it is in another language. So we invited him out to church again and made sure he had his alarm set and everything. Than we departed and carried on with our day. That Sunday unfortunately nobody should up at church. It was really heart breaking but I know that if God wants them there he will make it happen so we will be patient and just keep inviting. This week was good and I hope you all had a good week too!
I am so excited though we got a referral from the Sister's in Hawaii at the Temple and there is this family Bong and Mae who we will get to met with! We r so excited to teach them and hope all goes well!
Well Bye love you all!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Transfer 9: Week 1

Hey Everybody!
Well this is my first email from the Burrow. I got transferred to the burrow. I am in West Scarborough! I am so excited to be here! So on Monday I took Elder Tinney to Brampton and dropped him off to the departing missionary meeting. I just hung out at the BSC waiting for my ride. It turned out that my ride was full and so they took off and were supposed to find me a ride. However they failed to talk to the people they said they would and so I was left there stranded without a ride to my new area haha. So I hung out with the new missionaries and trainers and than went and chatted with some of the dying missionaries. A lot of the missionaries I served with in districts now are all dead haha it is truly a sad thought. Time is literally flying by and I do not like it one bit. So I finally got a ride with Elder Gunnell and Elder Call his new greenie. We jamed all of us into the car and fit three peoples luggage into there two! I was literally buried under the seats haha. When we got into Toronto I could not see out the windows but once we got out of the car buildings literally grew to new hieights and it was the CITY. I have never been so happy to see apartment buildings in my whole entire life. We unloaded there stuff than headed over to met up with my comp and the other Elder's. We ended up getting into a dinner with the other missionaries. After that we went to ESL and than off to our area. We went out with 15 mins left and met a guy named Mathal! He is from the Caribbean! We will be meeting with him again! I did my thorough clean of the apartment and got everything all tidy! It is now liveable. Man I miss the smell of apartments haha, we get a nice whiff of some weed every morning! This place is so cultural diverse and really nice. I love apartment building tracting and that is what we have been doing. Wednesday came and we were abck at it working out butts off and walking all over. We are on buses down here and boy is it a riot! I love it! We have a few invs we are working with, Marius and anita, Hugh, Erika, John, Mathal, Juwahir, and a Doct Kunj. we have a ton of invs and are busy every day! I really am unsure how to report on all these people but ya. They are all awesome and I will update you on the most progressing ones or anyone that we have a good experience with. Weekly planning took 5 days to complete haha cause we are so busy. We accidently let our bus passes expire so we had to go and walked a bunch yestorday to go and get new ones. The ward is awesome here! There are so many nice families! I finally get to do District Meeting every week and I am one of the oldest in the District. I have really enjoyed imparting my knowledge and seeing the fire behind these new missionaries. After District meeting we had a funny encounter with a place that we went for lunch. Some drunk guys were there and they loved how nicely dressed we were. It was a good time! We have a member named Eleanore. She is extremely nice but does not want to come back to church. She is so awesome in just helping us out and what not! I have enjoyed chatting with her and all that hse does for us. One more quick story! This week i buried my first dead cat. A member called us and asked us to come and help so we did and ended up almost getting caught by one the cops and two some little kids haha I think it may of been illegal but shhh oh well. She wanted us to come back and do it but I said no and we finished burying it and than had to take the bag of misleading dirt to her apartment. I swear we do the crasiest things sometimes. Well this week was awesome! So much to tell but not enough time! I love you all and Hope you have a great week!

Elder Sopal