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 lds.org 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!