Monday, August 19, 2013

Life in Dryden

This is my week:

Monday we cleaned the house really well and then went shopping, cleaned the car, did some laundry, and hung up some invitations around town for church tours and other posters with information on some of the activities that we do weekly at the church. Then we started looking up information on all of the pastors in town that we could contact and let them know that we are here to help. Then we street contacted a bit and went home at the end of the night.

Tuesday was such a great day, just packed full of miracles and great experiences. We had been praying to know how to contact the pastors and when we were walking down the street, we saw a man working in his garage and offered to help. We got to know him a bit and turns out that he is "Father A," the pastor at the Catholic Church. He was super nice and referred us to a lady named  H, who was the head of the "Ministerial Association" in Dryden, which covers all 12 or so churches in Dryden. We knew of her, we just never knew how we could get a hold of her. He told us where we could go and said to tell her that he sent us. It was a miracle; we had planned on searching out all of the other pastors but the Lord provided us with a better way to do things. As we continued down the street, we ran into some random lady I had never met, and Elder F had only met briefly, but she knew who we were and told us that she wanted us to come help her husband put in a heater and said that after we would have dinner as a payment. This was another miracle because we had been praying to find more service activities and she just gave us one. As we continued on our walk (we were heading towards a teaching appointment) we ran into B, a really old investigator and he told us to come down to his house to set an appointment with him and his family, who we had been trying to contact for quite some time. Once we finally got to our appointment, they weren't there but we had those other great opportunities. After that we made our way to the Dryden Mission and were able to help out J for a few hours. He really opened up to us and told us that sometime soon he wanted to meet and talk with us again and it had been a very long time since he has wanted to discuss religion with us, and he kind of gave us a referral to one of his volunteers, and he asked us to pray with him and he prayed for us! Then we went home, had dinner, and went out street contacting again and ran into a guy on the street named G. We started talking to him and he looked like he was almost ready to walk away, but we continued to talk to him and we then went down to the park and taught him the restoration. He was really interested and told us that he has been wanting to leave Dryden for a long time but had always felt that there was something he needed to do here first and when he was walking that night he hadn't planned on walking down the street that we were on but felt prompted so he did, and said he felt like he knew a little bit more of what he needed to do now. It was such a great day!

Wednesday we volunteered at the food bank and got to have a few good conversations with the people there and later that day, we went to a Community living center where they house people with birth defects and handicaps, and we were able to volunteer there and paint some sheds and do other yard work. I got to be a leader and work with some other handicapped individuals capable of doing physical labor. We also invited the senior couple to come, and that was where they found one of the less-active members that they had been trying to find for over a year, so another miracle! Later that night we had a really good lesson with one of our less-actives and we gave him a “Preach my Gospel” book and he was so happy to receive it. The spirit was so strong that night too! Then we had a lesson with J and with the T's and she is progressing so well!

Thursday we went down to Aarons Park and offered our service and helped split and store wood for over 2 hours. Then we had a 5-minute lunch and were able to teach G again and gave him a book of Mormon. And he had prayed like we committed him to do the other day and he received an answer and told us how he knows now more of what he needed to do with his life here in Dryden! We committed him to baptism and he accepted! After that we helped out by putting away tables and chairs at a seniors center. Then we had a sports night at church but unfortunately no one came, but we were able to contact some people over Facebook!

Friday we were invited to play softball with the people at the Dryden Native Friendship Center and we had a really good time and broke down a few barriers. We had a few good conversations, and went to the community gardens and were able to finish placing the last few paving stones after R (a neighbor across the street from the gardens) helped us cut them to shape with one of his stone cutting saws. Then we had dinner and did our weekly planning.

Saturday we went and had a tour of another old folks home, where they are in palliative care. We hope to be able to volunteer two hours there every week, which was great. Then I worked on my talk and we were able to meet with D and his dad, which also was good. We had a lesson with them and then we met with J and were planning on inviting her to be baptized that night but before we could even get to it she asked how she could be a member of our church, so we asked her to be baptized and she accepted. It was great!

Sunday I finished my talk. We had a good sacrament meeting and good Sunday school meeting. J was at church and this will have made it the 3rd week in a row that she has come, and the first time she came to Sunday school, but she loved it still and participated really well. In priesthood we met with A. He is the only young man here and we helped him with his talk a bit with scriptures. Later we taught G again and read with him from the Book of Mormon and he has been progressing still!. Later that night we went out to President Vahovick’s estate and home taught him and his wife with President Hessler and had a really great visit with him, and I go to know them quite a bit better!

But that was my week and it was great! Miracles everyday!!!

Love Elder Shane Dola

Ontario is very beautiful.

Our little church building.

Our well furnished apartment.

Different from the way they package milk at home.