Monday, May 27, 2013

Sort of hurt my leg.

I'm doing pretty good, however I sprained my MCL this Saturday on my right leg so I've been taking it fairly easy and been limping around the last few days but it is getting better so don't worry. I saw a doctor this morning because I was worried I tore my meniscus again but she said it's most likely a sprain and to just take some ibuprofen and if it continues to see a physiotherapist and referred me to one but I think that it will be fine. I don't even know how it happened to be honest. Every Friday all of the Elders and Sisters here run a YSA activity and try to get all of the young single adults out whether they are members or less actives or investigators or potential investigators or whoever they are as long as they are young single adults. We get about 10-15 out including us but they really enjoy it and have a lot of fun. Anyways Elder M and I were in the Gym shooting around a basketball and playing 21 and weren't playing aggressively/competitively or anything because we were still wearing our missionary clothes and were just waiting for everyone to arrive. All I did was jump to ally-oop a ball that was going off the rim and when I jumped and was in the air my knee made a popping sound and kind of hurt a little before I even landed. It was really strange and doesn't make sense because we weren't even doing anything and before I left I played basketball at the Y a lot more competitively and even at the MTC we played basketball and volleyball a lot more intensely and I had no problems  at all. My guess is because my legs have been somewhat stiff lately seeing as we walk around the whole city everyday and often are running if not sprinting to make it to our bus stop a lot and we still do our workouts in the mornings sometimes and sometimes they involve legs. But yeah I don't know. It's feeling a lot better and should be fine so don't worry about it.

Brandon is quite a bit bigger than 12,000, no one here really knows. Everyone I ask either doesn't know or give me different numbers; my guess is it's about the same size  maybe a little bigger, maybe a little smaller than Medicine Hat but I don't really know. The guy I just asked right now said around 50,000 which is probably correct.

But other than my knee exploding everything has been pretty good. We have to fend for our selves and have only been fed by members once since I have been here. And I don't know of any future dinner appointments as of right now but we are surviving none the less.

One of the main things we do here are service projects. We try to find and do as many as we can. Since I've been here we have helped a member out by painting his shed, putting up some rain-gutters, and helped him take some stuff to the dump. Every Thursday (and sometimes Wednesdays) we serve people at the soup kitchen, then help out sorting stuff at the food bank.  This Wednesday Elder M and I are going to donate blood. Last Saturday morning we helped out at a food drive by packing food boxes and what not. Really enjoy it.

We also are teaching a lot of less actives and trying to reactivate them and work with lots of potentials and we have a few other investigators. One of which I challenged to baptism on Wednesday and He accepted and set a baptismal date for July 6th, which is really exciting. Even though we haven't seen him since. He’s from Brazil and is going to University here in Brandon and speaks Portuguese. He can speak English pretty good and we can understand him pretty well for the most part but there is still a language barrier sometimes and we're not sure if he always completely understands everything we teach him so it'd be nice if Brandon came down next time we see him and they can speak Portuguese together.

It's a really different province here. A lot poorer. The roads are kind of like they are in Saskatchewan and it's really flat, no hills here. Most of the houses are over 100 years old. The City of Brandon is very multicultural. Lots of Native Americans, lots of Spanish and Asians because there is a huge Maple Leaf Meat plant out here and all their workers are imported in because they can pay them so little, so people come and work there for a few years and then sometimes get a job  somewhere else but the Spanish population is constantly growing. It makes it hard sometimes because there are so many people we see that we can’t even talk to them because of the Language barrier. That's why there are the Spanish speaking Elders I suppose.

But it's great, loving almost every moment of it, except for blowing up my knee and going into some pretty nasty houses but it's great!

Love you All!

This what we eat all day everyday

Monday, May 20, 2013

Brandon, Manitoba

The flight was pretty quick; no problems.  We got to Winnipeg around 2:30 probably, left airport around 3:45, went to the mission home and had real food, which was great, and then had interviews and testimony meeting.  We then (the elders) left to walk over to the mission office to stay the night and we contacted a guy on the street. There were 8 of us elders and he looked a little intimidated seeing as there were 8 big guys in suits surrounding him.

I'm in Brandon, Manitoba, by the way, for the next three months most likely and my trainer is from Edmonton.  His name is Elder McRitchie.  He's awesome. We get along great and he's an amazing missionary.  It’s great everyone here in the Winnipeg Mission are super obedient and so far I placed my first BOM, taught a crazy cat man, and had a man yell at us and slam the door in our face already. We're also teaching other people and visit other people including a Medium who speaks to her 4 guardian angels and sees demons and spirits all of the time. People pay her to be a medium and do card readings so it’s going to be interesting to tell her that she is influenced by Satan. Her house is full of living creatures and plants and fish tanks and a ferret runs around sometimes. At the first lesson we taught her, she's really nice and seems really interested in the gospel and really likes us so she gave me a free reading without me even asking her and told me that she see's me serving a mission in Africa somewhere, some day, and that my missionary experience won’t end here. But her boyfriend or husband (not sure what he is to her) is a really good investigator and he knows nothing about the gospel or Jesus Christ and we showed him a video on Faith in Christ and then the restoration last night. We got him to pray for the first time in a really long time; it was great. We also talked to a Salvation Army Church couple who were very nice but not interested, but still very nice and gave us a drink and what not. It's been great though.

All week we've been praying for our investigators and non-actives and non-members to come to church and Sunday tons of people who hadn’t been there before or hadn't been there in a long time came.  It was super cool. We have about 80 or so people in our ward and it’s the only ward so it’s really different and we had a potluck after church. We have yet to get fed by members and only have 200 dollars a month so that'll be interesting.

It’s rained almost everyday since I've been here so far so the raincoat and umbrella have been very useful so far.  Also my apartment is stacked.  There are two of us and we have a stove, an oven, toaster-oven, dishwasher, fridge, bread-maker, rice-cooker, toaster, blender, hot chocolate maker, microwave, crockpot, our own dryer and washing machine (Elder Kenney and I learnt how to do laundry together in the MTC and we're really good at it), walk in closet, three couches, and three desks and stuff.  It’s a nice apartment, one of the nicest in the mission. Its great! Loving it already and I haven't even been out here for a week yet! Also our mission has 24 brand new Chevrolet Cruze but I don't get one because we are the walking missionaries in Brandon and take the bus, which is pretty interesting. There are 6 missionaries here in Brandon; two companionships of Elders and one sister companionship, one of them being Sister Carmen Waterhouse from third ward, now fifth ward I guess. But yeah it’s good and has been fun. Loving it here!

Also, it’s great because my companion always cooks so I don't have to worry about it.  All I've made so far is KD and he’s made everything else! :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 14

We leave tomorrow at 5:00 AM so that means that we will have to get up at like 3:00- 3:30 AM. But it's nice because yesterday was our last day of classes and today is P-day so that means we have all day today to get all of our stuff ready, pack go to the temple and whatever else we want/have time to do. We will be at the Salt Lake City Airport sometime between 7:00-9:00 AM and I have a phone card so I can call you. I don't know if you will be home or not so I can leave a message or call you at work? But I don't know your guys' work phone numbers. We also have a lay over in Minneapolis around 12:00 - 1:00 but that’s not much time so I don't know if I'll be able to phone or not we will see. Respond to this email as soon as you can and I will check it again later today to see what you guys want me to do.  We had a fireside today with Elder Nelson.  It was really great and we had front row seats because we saw him in the building so we went early.  He said that by July there will be 401 missions throughout the world!  Well let me know when I should call.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7

MTC is pretty good.  My Companion's name is Elder M from Cardston. I don’t know if you got my letter or not but there are 4 elders in my district of six and we are all from southern AB. Elder K is from Lethbridge and he played volleyball against me. Elder O is from Calgary and I saw him at the Calgary Temple when we were there. And then there is Elder J from Taber in the other district going to the same mission and there are a few girls from Vancouver and from Raymond as well. Lots of Canadians going to Winnipeg. So it’s pretty good. The food is all right but its pretty gross after a while.  Thanks for the letters and for the package! Really appreciated!  I am senior companion and TL right now. But things are going good not to worry. I wrote back to your letters but I'm not sure how long that they will take to get there but I got to go now talk to you later. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

MTC Life

The MTC is such a great place!!  The spirit is so strong here and time goes by pretty fast, but not fast enough!  The food is good for the first few bites but after that it's nasty and you feel sick for like an hour after every meal.  And we all are getting fat and morbidly obese because all we do all week is eat, sit, eat, sit, eat, sit, sleep, repeat over and over again.  There was one foreign Elder who came her back in the day and wasn't used to the food in this country and ate it so much he gained something crazy like 38 pounds in his stay at the MTC and had to go home and lose the weight before he could come back and serve his mission.  Mu goal is to beat his record and gain between 45 - 50 pounds before I leave next Wednesday at 5:00 am.  I'm pretty close so I'm pretty sure I'll meet my goal.

Getting up is easy but it's falling asleep at night that is the hardest thing to do.  I lay there for almost an hour sometimes before I can fall asleep but I'll be fine.

I just want you all to know that I love you all so very much and I know that there isn't anything better in my life that I could be doing right now besides being here serving the Lord and bringing others unto Christ.  It's such an honor being an Elder sharing a title that only the 12 apostles hold.  The other day I remember looking down in my pocket and seeing my tag and really realizing how special it is to be a missionary.  But I have to go, love you all, and kick the cat for me!

Elder Shane Dola