Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27

The roads in Sask are horrible. Road from Highway one to Weyburn was broken up and super narrow and cracked and bumpy and had "soft shoulder" warning everywhere. Sometimes the road would just drop off and would be gravel or sometimes just mud!

This week was super interesting:

Monday we had P-day and I got everything sorted out and ready for me to go kind of, and went to J and got a haircut, and then went to M for lunch. After, we helped him take a few loads of garbage to the dump, then we went and taught G one last time.

Wednesday was crazy. We taught Pastor T and that went all right. He was asking about temples and baptisms for the dead and we really stumped him on thinking about how important it is to take care for those ordinances, especially for those who never learned about Christ. He had nothing to say and said he would have to study that out and get back to us. After that we had a surprise phone call from the Zone Leaders telling me that we needed to leave to Winnipeg ASAP (the plan was originally that I would leave on Thursday morning) so we had to drop all of our plans for the day. We rushed home and packed, and called and stopped by as many people as I could to say goodbye, and then we drove to Kenora and picked up some of the Elders' luggage there (3 of them were being transferred and had not enough room in the one car to fit all of their stuff) and then drove to Winnipeg. We arrived right in the middle of rush hour, and that city is laid out in the most ridiculous way. There are one ways and 2 way streets and 6 way intersections and it is just a super crazy stupid layout, but we eventually made it to Polo Park and walked around (we literally had nothing else we could do) and had dinner and then went and stayed at the St.james East Elder's apartment that night.

The next day was transfer day so we went to St. James Chapel and said goodbyes to Elder Scott, as he went back to Dryden, and then I was with the St. James East Elder that whole day.

Then on Friday I had to drive one of the vehicles to Regina with Elder Kenney and Elder Natress. Once in Regina, I jumped in another car with Elder McRitchie and we headed back East and ended up in Weyburn, where we had no phones, and waited around until the other Elders came home.

But yeah, all I did was drive multiple cars across Canada those last few days for about 12 hours ((4 hours Dryden to Winnipeg in the Dryden Vehicle (Chevrolet Cruze)
6 hours Winnipeg to Regina in the Meadow Green Vehicle (Chevrolet Malibu)
1 hour 45 minutes Regina to Weyburn in the Estevan Vehicle (Chevrolet Cruze w/ Turbo))

Saturday was pretty good. We went and met a great non-member family and helped them with building some cabinets and had some great food. We then went and taught a couple.

Sunday, apparently there was a blizzard the night before, so no one really came to church except one guy,  an older Couple, and a lady and her daughter. Then two visitors came as well, which was great to have. So I was expecting 40 people but ended up having 5 and then us 4 Elders (Estevan Elders have church in Weyburn because they haven’t started up the branch there yet and have no building) We ran church that day and later had a lesson with G who is a recent convert of 2 years so we had a good lesson with him and then drove out to McTaggart and had a great dinner and gospel discussion with that family.

Today I cleaned the trailer that we live in, and man that place is nasty. The kitchen sink leaks and there's tons of black mold growing underneath the sink. and just tons of garbage everywhere, but it is now clean. Then we went shopping and now I am here writing an e-mail ...

But I love you too! Take care and have a great week!

-Love Elder Shane Dola

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20

My week was pretty good; nothing too extraordinary happened, just transfer calls, going to Weyburn Sk so I will be closer to home than to the Mission Home come this Thursday!

But not too much happened this week I will never write such as I did last week that literally took forever... 

So this week we were teaching J and discussing the importance of sacrament, when out of nowhere she related to us a dream she had the night before where she was working with a shovel and white robed figures came down and "told her to do something." When she accepted what they said, she started to feel this sense of love and joy more than she had ever experienced before and she just felt that everything was going to be alright and it would all work out. When she looked down, her shovel she was working with turned into gold. She woke up from her dreaming laughing because of the pure joy she was experiencing. So she tells us this and has no idea what the dream means. We didn't tell her because we want her to figure it out for herself, but basically she just had a heavenly vision where Heavenly Messengers came down and told her to pay tithing and she knew it was the right thing to do. She'll figure it out eventually; I hope.... nothing I can really do.

We are also now teaching another Pastor. He recently moved into Dryden and he is very interested in learning, but not so much in changing. He’s a super great guy and I already like him a lot. The way he sits though is ridiculous, he almost slid off his computer chair like 4 times while we were talking with him. 

M is still being the most solid guy, President came down this week for sacrament meeting and said right after he met M:  "Nice work Elders! We need to get this guy baptized so he can be the next branch president!"

But it is great to hear that you and everyone else seems to be doing well you all take care, Love you

-Love Elder Shane Dola

The ice road and ice hut fishing community on Wabigoon Lake.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 13

Hey, I am doing pretty good. It was +1 yesterday and 0 the day before but now it is -10 and will probably start to cool down again! How is the weather there?

Today I have a lot more time to write you than usual, which is nice for once. We always end up being busy doing something on P-days! 

So on Monday we had P-day and were done all of our shopping and cleaning and gassing up and whatnot and were at the Church when we got a call from our Elders Quorum President who said he needed all four of us Elders to come and help him chip off the ice from his chimney so that the smoke can get out of his house, so we all went over there and he handed Elder E a hatchet and sent him up the ladder up to the chimney.  President H climbed up the ladder and said that he didn't need anyone else to come up because he didn't want any more added weight on the roof. So Elder G, Elder S and I stood back and watched as Elder E hacked away at 4 feet of ice frozen to the top of the chimney with a hatchet as shards and shrapnel of ice went flying everywhere. All I did was hold the ladder against the house while they went up, and while they went down they ended up kicking the 4 feet of snow that was on the roof off and it went down the back of my coat and I couldn't do anything about it since I had to hold the ladder in the -30, so at that point my coat served no purpose. But after that we went in and Sister H surprised us by making us a nice dinner so that was great! After that we went to J's because she called us earlier in the day and told us she wanted to see us, (she rarely calls so we were pretty excited to see what she needed.) She told us how happy she was to have us always come over and see her and for how much she has been able to learn and the changes she has seen in her life.  After that we rushed back to the church and Elder S and I had a skype meeting with our Zone Leaders and all the other District Leaders in our Zone because our Zone Training Meeting was canceled because the roads for us to take would have been treacherous to take and had we gone another way it was have meant that we would be driving in the dark which is against mission rules. During this time the other Elders ran the FHE here at the church so after that we went home, after receiving tons of groceries from sister H again, and it was great because Elder S and I decided not buy any groceries that day and now we didn't have to buy any the next week either! After that we came home, planned for the next day, and went to bed.

Tuesday we had district meeting, which went really well, and we had a bunch of great practices. After that, we went to Subway and had lunch, and since all the Elders in my district had subway gift cards and since they all love me, they bought me my sub! After that, we went and stopped by a few referrals which didn't work out, then went to the Dryden Mission and helped  put away some of the Christmas stuff and got another service referral to a lady who needed her roof shoveled off, so we took his only "roof rake" and headed over and started to rake off the 4 feet of snow, and it was taking forever so we walked over to President MacDonald’s home and borrowed his "Roof rake" and went back to work. Then we went back to President and sister MacDonald's house because they had invited us for dinner prior. Then we ended up at the Church on Facebook looking for some potentials and other proselyting opportunities, and then came home after about 45 minutes, planned, and went to bed.

Wednesday, we went on exchanges and all went downtown (the other Elders were going to go to a bible study at another church but it was canceled while Elder G and I went and helped out at the food bank) but we all ended up at the food bank for a while and it was a good that we all were there because we had a lot to do since the food bank had been closed for almost 3 weeks for the holidays. After that Elder G and I went back to the ice roof top and shoveled all of the snow off and Elder G almost slid off and died like 4 times, but that took us quite a while. She was super appreciative and told us she had gone by the Dryden Mission and dropped off some money for us (which we just donated to the mission) and was super happy that we did it for her and we got to talking and she said we could come by and start to teach her next week, which is great! After that we came home and had a quick dinner and then went and had a great lesson with one of our less-active members, and had a great Scripture study with him. After that we went and had our Bible Study which went well. We then went out  and had a good discussion with another investigator couple on Church, Praying, and reading. We asked them what expectations they had for us coming over and they said "To invite Christ into their lives more," and they really committed to come to church this week. It was a great lesson. After that we came home, planned, and went to sleep.

Thursday was pretty busy too. We taught a new investigator, who we found in our former investigators list, and he basically told us his whole life story and how he has seen the Lord’s hand in his life many times. He is super great, and loved the Restoration and committed to read the Book of Mormon despite his bad eye-sight. After that we went and volunteered and had lunch at the DNFC and waited for the other Elders to get back from Vermillion Bay (they were there on a service project) and we went over to Sister Turner’s where we were taught a ton about Family History Work and how to do it more effectively, even though most of it went over my head. We then saw J and she surprised us with dinner so we had dinner and then had another discussion with her and she is starting to understand more of what the Holy Ghost does and who he is. It was really good and she finally finished reading the Book of Mormon! We then went and taught a great lady and her son (9 years old and a religious protégé; he asked his mom what we do and said that he would like to do that one day) and the lesson went great. She seems super solid and I see some pretty good potential with them! After that we came home, planned, and went to bed.

Friday was pretty interesting. We had a special appointment at the Mission where a guy from the Diabetes foundation was coming to pick up some donations and he had requested we be there to help, but when we got there and texted him to find out where he was, he was over 3 hours away in Red Lake at his other job and said, "Sorry but my work comes first." It was frustrating, but there is always stuff to do there so we helped for a bit and then dropped the Elders off at a meeting with a pastor who is really interested in the Mormon religion and just wants to learn more because he said that he believes a lot of what he has heard of it, so we will have to see how that works out! While the other Elder's did that, we went and tracted for a bit and we didn't have too much success but we handed out quite a few cards and it was funny because every time I would knock and start the door approach, I would receive a nice friendly lady, and every time someone would answer the door when Elder S would start the door approach, it would just be a rude giant man or a teenage kid who when opened the door said, "What do you guys want?! Going around wearing that Jesus Christ name! You here just to throw your bible at our face?!" to which we explained what we were doing, and he then responded by yelling ," You guys just need to leave," and slammed the door in our faces. But after that we came home, had lunch, and stopped by some more potentials who had told us to come back later, but none of them worked out. One lady told us to come back in the new-year, back in November, and then we saw her she was confused, then remembered, but said she is too busy now so to come back in the Spring now...  After that we did our weekly planning and stopped by some other potentials and came back, planned, and went to sleep.

Saturday was great. We had another Elder’s Quorum Breakfast at President MacDonald's.  It was a great time and great fellowshipping!  Then we went and had our studies, after President MacDonald showed us some of the videos he has that we might be able to share with our investigators. We then received 3 more service referrals and shoveled more snow off of roofs. We then went to a lady who was at the Mission and shoveled her roof a bit and then she said she would love for us to come over and teach her some time! After that we went and had a great lesson with D and he expressed that he really wanted to come to church tomorrow which was great!. We then came to the church and took the branch Directory and found as many members, and less-actives, and former investigators, and potentials, and looked for them on Facebook. It was pretty successful.  We have a few potential return appointments now! Crazy eh! After that we came home, planned, and went to bed after eating the gigantic Reese Cup.

1/2 pound Reese's Peanut Butter Cup!

Sunday we all got up and shoveled all the snow at the church, which wasn't that much, and it was so warm that I didn't even have to wear gloves. After Church we went and stopped by P, but he wasn't home so we went over and set up an appointment with R who we will "Maybe" meet later on in the week. We then had a lesson with a guy we met on the street who asked us to stop by sometime and so the fourth time we stopped by he answered in his underwear but let us into his lair and put on some pants. He told us he is possessed by demons all the time. He told us some crazy experiences he's had and I asked him what drugs he was on at the time and he said just Crystal meth and others but he doesn't do it anymore. He also told us he is Schizophrenic but doesn't do any heavy drugs anymore, just weed once in a while but it has been like 4 weeks. But yeah, I don't think we will go back there any time soon unless he contacts us. Mostly because he is completely fried from all of the drugs he has done! After that we went out and tracted Thiel street and the first house there was this lady who has apparently been stuck in her house for who knows how long, and even though she pulled with all her might, she could not open her door to her house because it was "Frozen Shut" in +1 degree weather, so she turned around and walked away, even though we could hear her clearly through the door. But we did find a few potentials we will have to follow up with. One was a lady who sounded super excited to see us but couldn't at the time because her entire household was on their deathbeds with the flu, but when they get better she would love to. This other guy we met put his daughter on hold so he could talk to us and sounds super excited to meet with us when he gets back from work next weekend. There was also this vicious dog which would bark at us then run away if we walked towards it so we had to be super careful. After that we came home and broke our fast, and saw M and taught the 10 commandments with hand signals, which he loved.  He told us how his friends discriminate against him and make fun of him a bit because they always see his truck at church or whatever, but he says he feels bad for them because they're "missing out." He has such a strong testimony and is such a great member who is not actually a member! After that we went and had a first lesson with a family referral we received. We taught her and her two teenage children the Restoration and watched the Restoration video and were so enthralled that the daughter burnt her banana bread. Then at the end, when we invited them to read and pray about our message and committed them to read the Book of Mormon, the boy accepted and asked for 2 so he could give one to his friend, and the daughter loves reading so she is going to read it too! It was a pretty good day; got 3 new investigators. After that we reported indicators and came home, planned, and went to sleep!

This week went kind of slow at some points but overall it was really good, definitely saw the Lord’s hand in our work all throughout the week! Fasting truly does bring blessings!

But it is great to hear that you and everyone else is doing well and is great to hear the missionary work you're doing! Keep it up! Love you and wish you and everyone else a great week!

-Love Elder Shane Dola

Our groceries :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6

My week was good but today was a little hectic. We are not quite yet frozen to death but possibly soon! Basically they say it's too cold to come out when it is -40 but also use your own discretion. New Year’s Eve we had a normal day of missionary work and then went to President MacDonald's and he had a branch party there and had some fireworks. We had special permission so we didn't have to be back until 10:30 that night. It was fun. It is great to hear that everyone else had a great time at home.

It has been too cold lately for lots of traveling appointments across the mission here! Great to hear everyone else is well too, and they will always be in my prayers!

But things have been great! I don't have any time right now to write you much but I will get back to you next week!  Love you. Take care.

-Love Elder Shane Dola

We had to walk to the church on New Year’s Day because the sticker for the license plate hadn't come yet and it was about an hour walk in -30 degree weather. I don't know what the windchill was but it wasn't that bad! Needless to say we only didn't have our car for that 1 day and were super happy when it came in the mail the next day and we could drive!