Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

This week we were extremely busy as usual here in Dryden.  It has been great! 

Monday we had our P-day and were busy helping sister T doing some heavy duty landscaping in her backyard.  We then had a good time meeting some of the members and some of our investigators

Tuesday we had a great district meeting and had dinner at one of our investigators home and met his family and helped him chop and pile firewood. He really appreciated it and continues to open up and has his heart softened.

Wednesday we helped out at the food bank and then  had a really good practice lesson with the H's and Elder E got to really know them a lot better.  We also had a great lesson with J on Tithing and she said she would have to pray about it.

Thursday we were even busier. We worked out at Aaron Park and volunteered at the Dryden Native Friendship Centre, then straight to the go-getters retirement home to help them take down tables and chairs for Bingo, then straight to a different care home where we took a lady on walk in her new motorized chair and had a great gospel conversation. She wanted a Book of Mormon but we will have to wait and get her the jumbo sized one so she can see it.

Friday we had a really good weekly planning session followed by a great opportunity to serve with J.  Then we had another great lesson with J and had a great appointment with our Branch president and his wife with the T's and discussed things to do in the Branch.

Saturday we were busy with following up on referrals and seeking new referrals.  We were able to go to a pumpkin festival that we were invited to by one of our investigators and had a really good talk to find out things that have been happening with him and his wife that have been keeping them from progressing.  Then we dropped off some book of Mormons at some jails and were able to help the H's with some chores around the house while visiting with their family for a bit.

Sunday was super great. We had only nine people in total at church but it was fast Sunday and the fast and testimony meeting was so strong with the spirit and J was there and she loved it and stayed for the other two meetings. Straight after church we had to go out to the S's to give A a priesthood blessing because he has been sick lately. Then we came right back and taught a lesson to a new family who are now investigators, and then we taught a quick lesson to one of our investigators we haven't seen for like a month. We had dinner finally, and then had a great talk with some of our other investigators who just got back from Winnipeg right when we stopped by!

It's been going great I love you too and I will enjoy conference. You enjoy it too and take it easy!

-Love Elder Shane Dola

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

First of all, that thing on my arm. I went to the clinic and they wouldn't accept me because I didn't have an Ontario health card so I went to emergency and sat there for 3 hours to find out that it isn't cancer or anything like that, just dead skin or a wart, so I asked him to cut it out. He said he could but he didn't want to and he couldn't freeze it because his Nitrogen was back at the clinic, so he told me to freeze it with one of the things that you buy at the drugstore or to buy some acid stuff to put on it, so I used the rest of that stuff we bought before I came out, and froze it, and ripped it off, so for now it is gone!!!

Sorry I don't have much time to write this week. We got an unexpected call from a lady in our ward to go do some landscaping project today, so that took a lot of our time today! But it’s great to hear that you are doing well with you and the family and your surgery and I will keep praying for you!

Last week on Monday we had FHE with J. Tuesday we had lunch with the H's and then went to Aaron Park, and then later we went out to the S’s for dinner, along with some other things. Wednesday we went to the food bank and to the DNFC and had lunch with the T's and then taught a lesson to S and J. Then we went to the N’s for dinner and had a great lesson with them, the best since I have been here. Thursday we got up, drove to Winnipeg, dropped off Elder Florence and picked up my new companion, who just got here Wednesday, who is from California and is 18 and was raised catholic and has been baptized for just over a year, and is great, has such a great desire to be here! We drove back from Winnipeg and went straight to J’s and taught her. Then Friday we got up, drove to Fort Francis and had a Zone Conference and stayed the Night in International Falls, MN. We went on splits with Elders there Saturday, and went to district conference that night and the next morning. But we were 20 minutes late because we got stopped at the Border, even though this would have been the 3rd time that weekend we had come through, because Elder Elliott`s Visa he got on September 18th, 2013, expired on September 18th, 2013, because whoever made it up messed up and didn't put 2015 on it. But they got it sorted out and let us back into Canada and we went to District conference, came back home, finished our planning, went and got a door slammed in our face from an atheist, got invited over to M and D’s for dinner, and taught them a lesson afterwards. They are just such great people! And today we have been busy doing service and other things to prepare for the week!  

But I love you and hope and pray that you will continue to get better! And be careful!

Love Elder Shane Dola

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

This week was really good though.

Monday we had P-day and spent the rest of our night getting soaked by walking around in the rain inviting people to the branch picnic that was happening on Saturday.

Tuesday we helped out at the Dryden Mission sorting some stuff downstairs in the basement, stopped by and invited some more people to the picnic, and had a lesson with G, and then we had another lesson with J and S and this was my first time being able to actually sit down and teach them. The spirit was very strong and we were able to help them start family prayers and helped out S receive some comfort since her grandma just died recently. Afterwards, Elder Florence said that that was the best lesson that he had ever had with them, which was great! After that we went over to the DNFC and helped them clean up there and had some people say that they were coming to the picnic! Afterwards we had dinner with President McDonald, and they had invited some friends over so that we could teach them, but unfortunately they didn't show up. But we were able to help out and serve the McDonalds by moving stuff around in their basement.

Wednesday we had a good district meeting and helped out at the food bank. We were able to teach the N's and also we had a lesson with J, who is still doing great and is so strong with keeping the Word of Wisdom.

Thursday we went to Aaron Park and helped out N and worked with him splitting logs. He, knowing we had a sports night every week, told us he is a certified Yoga Instructor and would love to give classes there if we wanted, which was such a miracle because we had been praying that we would have more success with getting people out to our sports night and out of nowhere, he completely solved our problem. We never even guessed that something like that would happen and he so willingly offered to do so.

Friday we weekly planned and were at the Mission helping J again, ripping up carpets, and then we got the transfer calls. We couldn't believe it but Elder Florence is leaving and I am staying here and will be training, which is going to be great for the new elder to be able to come to this great area, where so much is happening. It is going to be a great experience for him!

Saturday we helped the people at the Go-Getters (old folks home) set up for their big potluck meal and then we went to the church to set up for our picnic. Shortly after we got there, J showed up (over an hour early) before everyone else and just wanted to help, which is so great to see. She isn't even a member yet she always is helping and doing everything that she can, just a true disciple of Christ. It started raining and no one was coming which was really sad but then M and D showed up, who we hadn't seen all week, and they helped set up and prepare and they are just great people. And then I felt that we should text N and remind him to come and he had completely forgot about it but put down everything at work and came right out and had a great time. He mingled so well with the members and looked like he belonged. He is such a great guy! Too bad that Aaron Park closes soon and he will be leaving at the end of October. But overall there were over 25 people there and 7 of them were non-members, 4 of them being our investigators so it was great! After the picnic we went to the go-getters and helped set up everything else and had dinner and were able to talk with some really great people and let them know what it is we are doing here and just had an over all good conversation with some questions about the church. After that we were able to stop by the N's and shared a quick little spiritual thought with them.  They loved it and it is great to see their prayers being answered for the hard times that they are facing.

Sunday was great. M came to church by himself and we forgot to even invite him. He stayed for sacrament meeting and Sunday school and was very involved in the Sunday school lesson. We were able to stop by the N's again and shared another quick message and he just expressed his thanks to us and how he has such a strong desire to be baptized and get rid of his smoking. He is just such a great guy and the rest of his family too. I am so excited for things to settle down with them and for being able to teach them and help them out in all we can. We then went to J's and taught another lesson with her and she is still feeling more and more towards getting baptised and has been continuing to pray and read her scriptures! After that, we had a good lesson with J and S on faith, and they really enjoyed it.

This week is going to be really busy. We will only be here Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so already our days are packed full with appointments and like 2 meal appointments everyday because all of a sudden everyone wants to see Elder Florence one last time before he goes home. It's great! Thursday we will drive to Winnipeg and drop off Elder Florence and pick up the new elder, drive back to Dryden, and then the next day we drive up to Fort Francis for zone conference and then Saturday and Sunday are district conference, so it's going to be a crazy busy time, but it is great!

-Love Elder Shane Dola

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013

Things are great! How have you been doing?  It has been raining, and then hot, and then normal and raining, and whenever it rains though, it is always super humid. The other day I heard someone say that it was 90% humidity and sometimes when we walk outside, my glasses will fog up because it is so humid!  This week was really busy again but it has been great!

Monday we went to Sandbar Provincial Park with the Tambres and then watched Legacy with J and she loved it, the Spirit was so strong!

Tuesday we drove to Fort Francis and had a Zone Training Meeting and went to I-Falls for lunch and came back and had a dinner appointment with a great couple. They are just so nice and great people who said that they would come to Church on Sunday.

Wednesday we went to the foodbank and helped out and and then we went on exchanges with the Kenora Elders. Elder H and I went to the Dryden Mission and helped sort some stuff and afterwards we went over to visit the N’s and they were sick so we couldn't really meet with them and after that though we got a call from J telling us that the truck to take stuff for Africa was coming tomorrow and he needed to fill the rest of the truck and had two hours to do it. The original date was set for September 30th where he would have over 100 volunteers to help him and now there was no one! Later that day we went and had a great lesson with J and the Tambres came with us again and we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she had some questions that were all cleared up. She really understands the importance of baptism more now and once again the spirit was very strong with her and she just told us how much happier she has been and that she just enjoys herself more and that she just enjoys life more. Later that night we stopped by a few others and went tracting a bit and were able to set up a return appointment with a lady named C.

Thursday we went to the Dryden mission with the Kenora Elders around 7:30 and were there until around 11:30 and they went back to Kenora. We had to rearrange the whole semi-truck trailer when we got there because it was half full but it wasn’t pushed to the back of the trailer and was spread out so that took over an hour and then we started getting ready to load other things up. The Tambres came to help and Sister M and random people just started coming out of nowhere to come help out and we never told them or anything.  They just saw the truck and came out to help! Then 2 high school classes showed up and helped us out too and just had a line of people passing boxes and bags. It was so good. We accomplished more than we had originally planned and never would have gotten it done had not all of the people shown up! After that we went out to Aaron Park and helped N cut some more brush for a while. Then we came back and took this lady on a walk with her new motorized wheel chair because she just recently got it and wasn't comfortable going out on her own with it.  So we went with her and took her shopping, and carried her bags, and 35 lbs of vegetables she bought at the farmers market, and even brought her blasted dog with us too. We then ate for the first time that day and went out and cut L & L’s lawn because they were out of town in Thunder Bay because their newborn twins are in the Hospital.

Friday we weekly planned. Then we set up for a church tour but the guy was sick so he couldn't come. We then went to our other lesson for C but she wasn't home so we tracted around the area and ran into a family of 5.  It appeared to be single mom, and their lawn I don't think was ever cut, so we cut down the 3-foot grass, even though it clogged up our lawnmower numerous times. Then we drove out to President V's and had my first dinner appointment with them and spent the rest of the night helping him with things around his massive yard.

Saturday we went to teach the N's but they were still sick so we went to a youth center and helped out a bunch there. Then we went to President M’s Retirement party where he bore his testimony and gave all of his colleagues a copy of the Scriptures and we were able to meet with and talk with a ton of people there.

Sunday we had church and M&D came to Sacrament meeting. We later had a ward correlation meeting, made some invitations for the BBQ that we are having on Saturday, then we had a lesson with G who we hadn’t been able to see in almost 3 weeks, and then we went and invited all the people we could think of to the BBQ for the rest of the night. We went to M & D’s to invite them and see what they thought of Church, but when we got there they invited us in and had some other friends and family over and we got to meet with them and talk a bit. They just had a BBQ and fed us again and we hadn't even planned on eating that night but the Lord provided for us and they told us they loved church and we found out that M saw one of the videos I posted on Facebook from and went on there and spent almost 2 hours on there afterwards just watching videos and learning more about the church! After that we went to the N's and they were finally all feeling better and we set up an appointment later on in the week and they are so excited to meet with us!

Love Elder Shane Dola

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2

September 2, 2013

It was really hot but then Saturday and Sunday it poured like I have never seen before and there was a huge thunderstorm. We got soaked, even our shoes, and it destroyed my umbrella. It was crazy!

Things in Dryden have been really good and we have been really busy, it is great! I am just writing now because yesterday we didn't have any time to e-mail. We were out of town in Ignace and went on a great hike around sandbar lake or sandbar park or something with some of the members of our branch and the senior missionaries and right when we got back we had a lesson/FHE with J, the lady we have our Baptismal date with. Today we left at 7 to drive to Fort Frances, which is a 2 and a half hour drive through wilderness with literally no civilization or human contact for 180km, for a zone training meeting, which was great by the way, and then we went across to Minnesota to International Falls and had lunch, bought some cheese, and drove back just in time for my first dinner appointment since I have been here. We had a great visit with them and really go to know them. They are such great people and we didn’t have time to teach them but they said that they are coming to church, which will be great!

Last week so much happened but I don't have enough time to write it all! We had so many service opportunities and were the guest of honor at the community gardens potluck dinner. They thanked us for all the work we have done there and they gave us a huge basket full of vegetables and fruits from their gardens. The people here in Dryden are so nice and friendly! We also have made a great friendship with one of the people we serve here. His name is J and he had a baptismal date two years ago but for various reasons wasn't baptized and hadn't actually met and talked with the missionaries for over a year. But ever since I have been here, he has had a great softening of his heart and really opened up to us. He took us for dinner and then we talked for a very long time and taught him his favorite lesson, the plan of Salvation. I have developed a great love for him. He is such a great guy and everything he does and works for is for other people, just a great disciple of Christ, and very humble. I have learnt so much from him.  There is an organization he has created and has devoted almost his whole life to. It is like the Salvation Army stores but soo much more. 

We were also able to have 4 lessons with J since the last time I wrote you and we taught her the word of wisdom. We were worried that she would have a problem with it but she was very good. She said, "I love my coffee and my tea, but I think about the sacrifice He made for me. I think I can make this small sacrifice."  She also just has so much faith and said, "I know I don't always understand things but if He gives us commandments we should just do it." and she even had a pot of tea that she made before we came there, and was planning on having it after, but instead of drinking it and starting keeping the Word of Wisdom after, she just put it down the drain. The next day she forgot and made coffee, and half way through drinking it, she remembered that she wasn't supposed to drink it, so instead of drinking the rest, she stopped and dumped it down the drain again! She had a friend over Saturday night and made her tea or coffee but she didn't have any herself! It has just been so humbling to see how the Lord has prepared people and how he truly does answer all of our prayers. Everything we have had success with was from answered prayers and miracles! But it has been great! So much has happened!

I love you very much!

-Love Elder Shane Dola