Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29

This week really had its highs and its lows.

Monday we just prepared for the week and taught T and read with him some more out of Alma.

Tuesday we tried to meet with our new investigators but they all launched us so we did some more street contacting and tried to meet with some less actives but everyone except for one of them wasn't home!

Wednesday we went to the soup kitchen instead of Thursday because we weren't going to be there on Thursday this week. That was good because they really needed people to help that day since there weren't many people volunteering that day. After that we volunteered at the food bank and tried talking to that one guy we shared a Book of Mormon with but he was too busy so we went out and talked to some people downtown and later went and gave blood again which was great. We were able to share a message with 2 separate ladies there before giving the blood! After that we quickly rushed home, ate, and packed and headed out of Brandon for the first time since I first arrived here. We arrived in Winnipeg and we stayed the night at the Zone Leaders because we had a Multi-Zone Conference the next day.

Thursday was great. I was able to see two of the missionaries that I served with in my district at the MTC (Elder O, Elder M) and it was great! But most important was what we learnt and were able to practice at the Zone Conference. We were able to learn from all the Zone Leaders and from Stake President and from President and Sister Thomas as well. All of the talks and testimonies that were taught and spoken were so great and full of the Spirit! Afterwards the missionaries who are departing before the next Zone Conference all bore their testimonies one last time and it was really great to hear how much they have changed and to hear how their testimonies have strengthened and how much they have improved. My favorites were from Elder P (who actually was done over the phone and Skype because he is all the way up in Flin-flon) and Elder M. They are such great missionaries and have been such great examples to me and the spirit just emanates from them whenever they are present and whenever they speak. But after the conference was over, I was able to talk to Elder K over Skype and it was great to see the great work he has been doing in Flin-flon and then I saw elder S too. It was great to see all the missionaries I came out with doing so great! After that we met with one of Elder M's old friends/investigators that he worked with when he was serving in Winnipeg and taught him a little bit and were able to see how he was doing. Then we went home.

Friday we weekly planned and tried to visit with T again but she launched us again. We tried meeting with our other new investigators but they weren't home or were busy doing other stuff and one of them, we found out from her husband, is now in jail...

Saturday we cleaned the whole church and set it up for a church tour and set up for the English classes we were just starting up, but not a single person showed up, and we had invited quite a few people. After that we were finally able to meet with a referral we had been trying to contact and we share the restoration with him. He said he was going to read the Book of Mormon, which was good. We got a new investigator! After that, we met with another referral and talked with her for quite a while, even though she said she wasn't interested. We still offered her service and had a really good conversation with her and she was very kind and even gave us some food. We then helped a bunch of Spanish people, 3 out of 5 individuals who all had the name Lewis, move into a nicer house. Then we had YSA at the Bishop’s and had a nice fire but sadly only two people came and we had invited over 20, which was sad but still good. A random guy on the street came and joined us half way through which was good too!

Sunday, no one that said they were coming to Church actually came. After church, we tried visiting all the people who said they were coming to church and find out what held them back from coming. We then visited with T and a few others, had dinner at the Bishop’s, and went home teaching with Brother A from our ward.  Then we did some street contacting.

That is the basis of our week this week. Kind of a downer because we had worked so hard all week and when we did our call in report, we realized that we had only been able to teach one “actual” lesson the whole week.

-Love Elder Shane Dola

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22

Sounds like everyone has been having a pretty good week! Exciting that Dad is back home and that everything else has been going well. Tell grandma and grandpa Dola and Schultz that I love them and also Uncle Brian too. Tell him thanks for wishing us luck!

This week was a pretty good week compared to last week. However we are very low on money so we ended up having to eat all of our freezer-burnt/rotten/expired food that we found in the fridge that we don't really have any idea of how long some of that food has been in there, but needless to say we didn't die. Mosquitoes are still raging on, but yeah. It thunderstorms sometimes, or just rains, so it is still really humid and hot.

This Monday we didn't really do much, just got prepared for the rest of the week and had Family Home evening with T.

Tuesday we helped the U's do more renovations on their house and checked up on the last commitments that we left with them the last time we saw them. After that we talked with some people on the streets and had dinner at the S's again, met a man and another lady who we were able to talk to  and share a message with both of them. Then we got two new investigators after meeting with a couple who ran into us the other day and said that they wanted to change their lives around and meet with us.

Wednesday we had District meeting and did some contacting on the bus as well as visited some potential investigators.

Thursday we worked at the Soup kitchen again and then at the food bank again where we were finally able to share a message with one of the guys who helps run the place. We had a really good lesson and conversation with him. After that we met a lady named S and now have her as a new investigator. After that we went over to the Hospital, per request of D and C, and visited her mom who was in the ICU. It was really rough.  She can't even breathe and looked like she was in tons of pain. All we were able to do was share a bit about the Plan of Salvation and how God truly does love her and we prayed with her when we arrived and when we left. It was pretty sad seeing as we couldn't help her out in any other way. After that we met with a man and his wife and shared the Plan of Salvation with him and it was a little difficult because he doesn't know English all too great, but it was still good having him as a new investigator and very interesting to hear about his life back home in Russia. After that we had ward Coordination meeting and that was the day.

Friday we did our weekly planning, met a few people and were able to share with them some messages on the street. One guy said I really inspired him to change because I was the same age as him and that what I was doing at my age really inspired him. We contacted a few other people and met a few other people, but that was that.

Saturday we had the most spiritual lesson and experience I have had my whole mission. After we left one house, we were walking down the street and were just going to catch a bus but Elder McRitchie felt prompted to talk to this one lady sitting on her deck. At first she didn't seem interested at all but we asked her some really good questions that really hit her hard, and taught her the restoration and when she read a bit out of the book of Mormon, all she wanted to do was read more. The spirit was so strong and even though she had a hard time, we got her to say a pray for the first time in over 6 years and she felt the spirit so strong and recognized herself the significance of her going outside at the time she did, and knew that it was for a reason. We now have her as a new investigator and are very excited for her! After that, we had supper at a member's home and taught them a lesson, and then later had YSA, even though only like 3 people came. This time we played soccer and basketball and had a good spiritual thought.

Sunday was kind of disappointing. All the people we met this week said that they were going to come to church, however none of them came and there were almost 20 people who said they were coming. After church it was pouring rain so we couldn't do much.  We had a visit with Sister J and some of her family and taught them a lesson. We tried street contacting on our way home, but that's the basis of our week!

Love you all and hope you continue to enjoy your summer!

-Love Elder Shane Dola

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15

This week was a little better than last week. Still a large swarm of Mosquitoes raging on in battle against us, and we are still losing. The other day we saw one that was the size of a toonie.

Monday we had P-day and met with one of our investigators and taught her the importance of prayer. Her sister was there too.  We couldn't get a member to come with us so we had to teach them in the middle of the park. Later that night Elder M and I cut each other's hair seeing as President told us he was coming through and was going to interview us the next day.  We learnt not to use the ear trimmer attachments... and half way through, when we were cutting mine, the clippers actually died completely.. . . . so needless to say I had to go see a barber the next day and had to pay 17$ just for him to give me a 3 minute hair-cut. I was not exactly too pleased with that.

Tuesday we just did a lot of tracting and street contacting.  We also helped the U's work on their house again and then they fed us supper.  Then we went to the Church and had our interviews and then the Zone leaders were in Brandon for the Zone Training meeting the next day.

Wednesday we had a really good Zone Training meeting and learned quite a lot. After that we went to a place called Qdobas for a Zone lunch and after that we went and tried doing more tracting and street contacting.   

Thursday the Zone Leaders decided to stay and go on exchanges with us that day after we worked at the soup kitchen. I went out with Elder V, who has been out for quite a long time, and who is a really great, diligent missionary. I was able to learn a ton from him. We went and visited A and tried to figure out his concerns and are left confused. He believes everything we teach to be true and just still feels like he doesn't connect. We have a pretty good guess why but we aren't exactly sure. After that we went street contacting a bit, came home for dinner, then went out tracting and bus contacting, which was pretty good .

Friday we finished our exchanges and tried to teach this one guy but he didn't show up so the Zone leaders left. Later we did our weekly planning and followed up on some referrals. We met a really great guy, who I think has a ton of potential, at Moores and found a few other potentials that day as well.

Saturday we went and visited a bunch of people and street contacted and met with M.  We had dinner at the Z's and then had YSA where we played Ultimate Frisbee.  We had a few people come out.

Sunday we had church and T was going to pick up S but he slept in again. This is twice in a row so none of the people we invited came to church, but it was still really good. There is a new Mexican family form El Salvador that came. They just got here but the father was working at Maple Leaf for two years in order to get enough money to have them come over, which was great. After church we had an appointment with T and taught him a lot about temples.  We watched Mountain of the Lord with him had a dinner appointment with the P and the U family.  The B family was there too and it was really good. We were able to share a message with them and had a really good dinner. After that we tracted for the rest of the night and visited with A. We committed him to reading the Book of Mormon and had not much other success though. When we were tracting, there was one house and we could see the guy sitting on his couch just staring at us and even though we knocked and rang the doorbell. He completely ignored us. It was quite hilarious how ignorant the guy was being.

But that is basically our week.

-Love Elder Shane Dola 

Monday, July 8, 2013


Well this week was rather rough. We have pretty well lost every single person we have been working with since I have been here. However we were able to do a ton of service this week

Monday we just had P-day and sat inside all day after ripping out a man’s flooring in his apartment.  Then went over to a family in our ward for dinner and had FHE with T afterwards (and we didn’t go fishing this time.)

Tuesday we had to find a new apartment for the sisters because the apartment they were currently living in was no longer suitable for them so we did that and then went shopping for groceries because we couldn’t the day before. Then we went over and pruned a bunch of trees for Brother and Sister C and after that we tried to teach one of our part member families but the non-member guy kept getting up and getting distracted so we ended up mostly teaching his dad who just happened to be over and who we will never see again. A had to cancel his appointment with us that day because he was sick so we ended up going street contacting instead and tried visiting some other potential investigators.

Wednesday the Assistants came down and we had a really good District meeting and after that we made our way over to another ward family and had a really good lesson on how they can do missionary work at home and at work. After that we went and did some more service and picked a bunch of weeds for Sister P, which took a while.  After that we tried to do some bus finding. Then we had a dinner appointment with the T Family which was great and the assistants were able to give a nice message for them. After that we went and had a good lesson with one of our less-active members.

Thursday we went and served at the Soup kitchen again and after that we were able to meet with the assistants and we went on Exchanges. Elder M and I went street contacting and I was able to learn so much from him, he truly is a phenomenal Elder and a great example of a missionary. We then spent the rest of the day coordinating and making sure that we were able to get the sisters moved in and set up in their new apartment and T and Brother S came and helped us out too. And that night the other Assistants were there and stayed at our house and at one point all four assistants were over.  It was quite interesting.

Friday we went back to the U's and helped them paint and do some renovations on their home and they had a BBQ lunch for us and we checked up to see how their missionary  work had been doing since last time we were there. A cancelled on us again because he was still sick so we helped brother U move some furniture from his In-laws house to theirs because they are moving. After that we went to Superstore to the Mobile Shop there to visit C, C, and S to see how they were doing and tried to set up some appointments but they weren’t allowed to talk to us that day so we went from there to the S's for supper. 

Saturday we did our studies and then our entire district went over to T’s house and painted the entire upstairs level of her house that she rents out and she had pizza delivered for us for lunch. After that we went over the park. We planned on playing volleyball for YSA and we had a lesson with A there and it was good we talked about his baptism and he said he wanted the bishop to baptize him and it rained for a bit and the sand on the volleyball court turned to mud so when people showed up for volleyball we instead went over to the Gym at the Chapel and played basketball and card games. That night afterwards A didn’t say bye and we assumed he just caught the bus and went home so when we phoned him and told him we had a ride for him for church the next day he told us he wasn’t coming because he was thinking about it and decided that the church just wasn’t for him so he didn’t want to meet with us anymore, which completely came out of nowhere.

Sunday church was pretty good. T and her boyfriend G (his first time at church ever) came to church for the first time since I have been here. There was also a new family in our ward and a bunch of other visitors were there. Also a man from India came to Church because Elder B invited him and he was looking for a Christian church here in Canada. I sat with him because he came a little late and it was fast and testimony meeting and I could tell that he was really feeling the spirit. Even though he left afterwards he said that he will come back next Sunday and would like us to come teach him. After church we tried to contact two families and were planning on sharing a message with them but one wasn’t home and the other apparently saw us and just didn’t want to answer the door. After that we went and visited with a member of the Ward who just got back from his mission just over a year ago who hadn’t been coming to church for over a month so we visited him and found out that he has thrown away his family and his fiancĂ© and almost everything because he no longer believes in God. It was really sad to see someone who was so strong fall away so quickly.

But that is the basis of our week. A dropped us, all of our other investigators didn’t want to talk to us all week and all appointments we had were dropped.  We now have 0 people in our teaching pool, one has completely gone inactive and on top of all that the H Family, the Z family, the P's, G, and S are all moving away within this month, which is like half of our ward and they are all really strong members.  It has been a tough time. But yeah other than that, the week was okay.

Love Elder Shane Dola

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Canada Day!

July 1, 2013

Today is Canada day so everything is closed so we can’t go shopping and we have nothing to do so I will write you a long letter today

This week was pretty good, there were transfers so Sister W and Elder M were transferred out and now we have another new missionary straight from the MTC who knows no Spanish but is being trained to be one of the Spanish missionaries on top of already not knowing how to teach and be an effective missionary, seeing as this is his very first area. Feel a little bad for him. That wouldn’t be all too much fun. But things here have been pretty interesting.

Monday we had P-day and we had family Home evening with T,  again and went fishing with him again, still didn’t catch anything so I think we will do something else for family home evening tonight. But T is a really great guy and just in the little time I have been here, he has really progressed quite a bit and is really starting to open up way more than he did in the beginning. He comes to church and all other church activities and meetings and helps us out a ton with all that he does. He has been able to teach me right off the start how important it is to be their friend too and not just a missionary.  When you area just being a missionary people tend not to want to listen. So that’s something to remember and they really showed lots of examples of that and how easy it really is in that broadcast “Hastening the Work of Salvation.” So if you still haven’t watched that you really need to; it was really great. It’s on the front page of the website.  

Tuesday was a rather interesting day as well. We went on exchanges so I went out with Elder M and we didn’t have much success, especially me because everyone one that we went and visited were Spanish and so they would talk in Spanish and I would just stand there. It was kind of awkward just standing and smiling. But other than that it really wasn’t that bad. When we went back to the truck to head home that was rather interesting too.  We were just leaving and a guy came up to us and told us to stop and wanted to talk to us so we stopped and talked to him. He told us he wanted to hear what we had to say because he was having a rough time in life. He told us his wife recently divorced him and how he was from the Hells angels and told us all about how he was in prison for 16 years, 8 of them on death row because he was accused of killing someone. He showed us all of his tattoos and showed us a scar from a bullet wound. Let’s just say that he was a very interesting man and even though we tried to teach him the restoration, he was drunk and really didn’t take too much of it in. We had to leave because we had another appointment so we probably won’t ever see him again, especially since he was evicted the day before we met him, but yeah that was interesting. After that we went home and later that night Elder Mc and I were back on the bus and there were a few younger girls, probably about 18-20, talking about partying and drinking and just stupid stuff. So Elder Mc and I took out our scriptures and just had a scripture study right there out loud and we read about sinning and how if you know you’re sinning and you keep doing it, it is even worse and we were just talking about all kinds of stuff like that and they completely shut their mouths and didn’t say anything the entire time we were reading.  They just listened and probably thought how stupid they must have sounded. It was quite funny because they listened to us for like 7 minutes with us rebuking them, but not actually speaking at them at all, until they got off at their bus stop. After that we were headed to T’s and we watched Joseph Smith, the prophet of the Restoration, with him just to help him expound his understanding a bit, but during that time a huge thunderstorm was forming and we looked outside and the streets started flooding and the sky was green and wind was blowing like crazy.  Apparently Storm catchers or some show from the discovery channel were there because it was supposed to be some huge storm. So we came home and some parts of the streets were completely flooded and some parts people couldn’t even make it through. So when we got home the four of us elders went to one of the flooded areas to see if anyone needed help and one car was stuck; it probably got destroyed but it was pretty interesting.

Thursday we went to the soup kitchen and Elder M and I served basically all the food by ourselves.  Usually there are four of us doing it, but because the Spanish Elders were in Winnipeg at the training/transfer meeting, and so were the sisters, we did it all! After that, we went and did some work in the food bank, and we taught A, and had a few other appointments, had ward coordination meeting, and that was it.

Friday we had our weekly planning and put together a video compilation based on the “Heeding the Work of Salvation” broadcast for the third hour of combined meeting on Sunday, as instructed by our bishop. Then we did some tracting and had a few other appointments with some less-actives and what not.

Saturday, we finished our video for Sunday, taught a lesson to C, talked to C, talked to some Jehovah Witnesses, made our way over to teach another less-active part member family, and made it over to a another appointment who launched us again. So we went to this one house that we have been trying to follow up on a referral with for the last six weeks, but to no avail, but we were in the area so I decided we might as well give it a try. We got there and the man, M, was finally home and let us in right away. He is from some island off the coast of Madagascar, I can’t remember the name, and has been in Canada for 4 years now working at the Maple Leaf factory, and just recently was able to bring his family (Wife, one boy, one girl) over here. He himself has met with the missionaries in the past and really liked to listen to their messages all the time but hadn’t seen any in a very long time so it was great that we finally got to meet with him, and even better, that his family is there now.  They were extremely nice and offered to feed us and really liked to listen to our message (the restoration). I really feel like this family has a lot of potential; not right at the moment but they were such great people and I really think that we will have great success with them later in the future! After that, we met with another guy we know and then got on the bus and met some other nice people. Then we went to the church and set up YSA for the activity.  It was a birthday party for S and T, which was pretty successful.  Quite a few people came and they seemed to have a really good time.

Sunday we had church and A came for the second week in a row. T was able to pick him up and bring him, which was really great for both of them. Then E and her husband came again (they’re a Chinese couple that came here to work at the maple leaf factory. They found us randomly walking through the park when we had our ward picnic and have been seeing the sisters ever since) so we had a very good gospel principles class. In the combined meeting, we had our video, which worked out pretty good, and afterwards we had another good lesson with T on tithing, which is one thing he is having troubles with. After that we walked around to some other houses and then went to the bishops for supper. All 6 missionaries were there and T and A came too, which was a great way to break our fast (there was a mission wide fast for missionary work here in the Canada Winnipeg Mission yesterday).  After that we went to a fireside where the two somewhat recent return missionaries, talked about their missions and experiences in Chile and in St. Louis. It was very interesting and very informative, and just good overall.

Then today we went over and help this one guy we know rip out the entire base flooring in this boxing gym that got flooded. It took us a few hours.  So that was my week in a basic sense.

It's great hearing about all of the missionaries going out and all of the work that the church is doing to promote missionary work.

Our Mission is growing really fast there are now 112 missionaries here which is exactly twice as many as there were here before President Monson made the age change announcement last October Conference and we will potentially get up to 150 missionaries. When I was in the MTC Elder Nelson told us that by today that there would be 405 missions in the world and growing which is crazy. And there are so many missionaries coming into the MTC now that they are building a completely new campus type deal so they can accommodate all the new missionaries coming in. Right now they bought some of the Residence halls that used to be used by BYU and use them now for missionaries. It's crazy.

Since the mission has been growing so rapidly there are now 4 Assistants to the President to help with the training I have only seen the Assistants once since I have been in Brandon but apparently they usually stop by around 2 times per transfer and probably more then that now that there are 4 of them. And we also see our zone leaders around 2 times per transfer I believe. So usually they bring the mail when they come visit us. I got my package on Thursday when the Spanish elders came back from Winnipeg from the transfer/training meeting.

And I was telling dad that we really do strive to teach like the Savior and what Elder M and I, and I'm sure other missionaries probably do too, is study the "Christ like Attributes" Chapter in Preach My Gospel and at the end of the Chapter on page 126 there is a Christ like attribute assessment that we do every month to see where we have grown and where we have fallen in the last while. It's really good and really effective in helping you see how you are doing and how you can improve in becoming more Christ like. What anyone can do is see which one(s) they scored the lowest on and then work on it or multiple ones. It's really good and I think it's something that everyone should do!

But I love you so much, thank you for all that you and dad do for me I hope you have a great Canada Day and a great rest of the summer!!

-Love Elder Shane Dola

P.S. Could you please send me the Lord of The Rings Soundtracks that Brandon has in his room? I'll send them back I just want to put them on my iPod because we are allowed to listen to classical and instrumental music in the vehicles and those are really good. I'll send it right back or you could maybe put it on a flash drive or something! Pretty Please :)

Also if you're bored or something you can always send me paisley ties, I really like those they're my favorite! ;) Love you all tons!